Pumpkin Spice Baked French Toast Recipe

Canned pumpkin is available all year round (unlike the fresh kind, which seem to be a September through November thing), so this recipe is actually something you'd have no trouble making in April or July if you so desire, but developer Jessica Morone says she feels that "the flavors in this baked french toast are all so warm and perfect for the cooler autumn weather." Besides the pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice, which is supplemented by additional cinnamon and nutmeg, there is one other typical fall flavor Morone is making use of here: maple extract. "It goes really well with the pumpkin," she explains, plus she also feels that it adds more flavor than vanilla on its own.

One great thing about baking french toast in a casserole as opposed to hand-dipping and frying each slice is, that, in Morone's words, "it's so easy to prep." She also notes that it can be made ahead of time. In fact, another name for this type of dish, reflecting the fact that it can be assembled the night before, is overnight french toast or breakfast casserole.

Collect the ingredients for the pumpkin spice baked french toast

While this dish doesn't require a lot of hands-on time to prepare, it may take you a while to assemble all of the different ingredients due to the fact that there are 17 of them. The good news, though, is that you probably have many of the staples on hand, while any ingredients you lack won't be too difficult to locate in any given grocery store.

For the base of the dish, Morone uses brioche or challah because both breads are egg-based, although she says a different heavy bread like French bread could work, as well. You're also going to need a few dairy products like cream cheese, milk, butter, and cream. While Morone is using whipping cream here, she says "You can definitely substitute half and half for heavy cream if you want to cut down the calories in the recipe or just don't have heavy cream." For dry ingredients, you'll be using flour, sugar (both white and brown), salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The other ingredients involved are eggs (an indispensable part of most french toast recipes), pumpkin puree, pecans, and both maple and vanilla extracts.

Construct the french toast casserole

Grease up a 9x13-inch pan (Morone uses a spray for this) and fill it with half of the bread, then half of the cream cheese. Top the cheese with the rest of the bread followed by the rest of the cheese.

Mix the eggs with the milk, cream, white sugar, ¼ cup of the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon of the salt, pumpkin pie spice, and both types of flavoring extract. Pour this stuff over the bread and cheese, then cover the french toast with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least ½ hour or up to 8 hours.

Top the french toast with pecan streusel

Preheat the oven to 350 F, then gather up all of the remaining ingredients. Mix what is left of the brown sugar and salt with the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter, cutting or working in this last-named ingredient until the mixture resembled crumbs about the size of peas. Stir the pecans into the crumbs, then sprinkle this streusel over the french toast.

Bake the french toast

Once the oven is hot enough, bake the french toast for 40-50 minutes. By the time it is done, the sides and top should be turning brown. The french toast is best eaten warm, and Morone mentions maple syrup and/or powdered sugar as possible toppings. You could also use a different type of syrup or perhaps whipped cream or maybe some apple compote.

Leftovers should be good for 3 days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the oven (whole casserole) or microwave (individual portions). If you still think you'll have trouble finishing up the entire amount before it goes bad, Morone suggests, "You could cut the recipe in half and bake it in an 8x8-inch pan if you want to have less servings."

Pumpkin Spice Baked French Toast Recipe
5 from 14 ratings
Get into the fall spirit with this pumpkin spice baked french toast recipe.
Prep Time
45
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
french toast with streusel topping
Total time: 85 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound challah or brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
Directions
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and fill it with half of the cubed bread.
  2. Top the bread with half of the cream cheese, then finish off with the rest of the bread followed by the rest of the cheese.
  3. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon salt, pumpkin pie spice, and both types of flavoring extract. Pour this mixture over the bread and cream cheese.
  4. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Combine the remaining brown sugar and salt with the butter, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs form.
  7. Stir the pecans into the crumb topping and sprinkle it over the french toast.
  8. Bake the french toast uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until the sides and top begin to brown.
  9. Enjoy warm, optionally topped with syrup and powdered sugar.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 668
Total Fat 39.3 g
Saturated Fat 19.2 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 234.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 66.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 31.1 g
Sodium 580.3 mg
Protein 14.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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