Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is perfect breakfast for any fall or winter morning. This make-ahead breakfast casserole tastes of pumpkin, warming spices and is wonderful for an at-home brunch, holiday breakfast and any other occasion. Makes 8 servings.
Love pumpkin baked goods? You’ve got to try Pumpkin Spice Bread and Praline Upside Down Pumpkin Cake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
I don’t know about you, but the make-ahead breakfast situation for a holiday morning is the best thing.
Why wake up early to whip up a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls, biscuits or eggs? Just throw it all together the night before, let it hang out in the fridge and bake it the morning of.
THAT, my friend, is the charm of this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole. That, and it’s utterly delicious!
Why I love this recipe
It’s hard not to love any pumpkin-flavored breakfast item, and goodness knows my site is bursting with them.
However, this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole recipe is especially wonderful because…
- It’s filled with fall spices and pumpkin. Seriously… it’s like a match made in flavor heaven.
- You make it the night before, making your morning a thousand times easier.
- It works for holidays, too! Who would turn down a slice of this goodness on Thanksgiving morning or even Christmas?
- It calls for stale bread, which is easy to find at my house. 😉 If you don’t have a loaf of stale bread, plan out your menu in advance and run out to the store beforehand so your bread has time to get stale. You can also toast your bread in the oven if it’s not stale and you need to make this recipe ASAP.
So… what I’m saying is this is a good idea, and we all need to make it this season for sure.
Looking for a fall recipe? Check out my Fall Recipe Index for inspiration.
What you need to make this recipe
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In addition to these tools, you’re also going to need some ingredients.
Everyone stocks their pantry and fridge differently, so I wanted to list these out here for you so you can know what you’ve got on hand (and what you need to get the next time you’re at the store:
- Day-old bread—use your favorite bread in this recipe! The bread has to be stale to soak up the custard without losing its shape. My favorites are French bread, sourdough bread and ciabatta for this. You can use challah and brioche, but I caution you on those because they’re softer and can lose their shape more easily unless they’re really stale.
- Heavy cream—you can also use heavy whipping cream or whipping cream, though their fat contents are all a little different. The key is using a dairy product that’s got full fat to add optimal flavor.
- Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this is one of the sweeteners in this recipe. We need it for both the casserole and the streusel topping.
- Brown sugar—use either light brown or dark brown sugar here. We need it for both the casserole and the streusel topping.
- Pumpkin puree—we’re looking for a can labeled “pure pumpkin,” not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to read the label, because we want the stuff that isn’t already sweetened and spiced.
- Large eggs—these are going to be a large part of the custard, so don’t cut them out. They make for the wonderful texture of this French Toast Casserole.
- Pure vanilla extract—to add just a hint of vanilla to our custard. Use the real deal stuff if you’ve got it on hand.
- Pumpkin pie spice—this magical combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves add fall flavor to this dreamy make-ahead breakfast. You can make your own if you feel so inclined.
- Kosher salt—I use a medium-grain kosher salt in this recipe. If you keep finer grain salt, use a little less so this recipe won’t veer toward too salty.
- Salted butter—this is a major component of the pecan streusel topping, and there’s no substitute. We use the salted variety of butter because it adds some salt to the topping without us needing to add that in.
- All-purpose flour—I prefer to use unbleached, but if you’ve got the regular kind, that works! We just need a little bit to bind together the streusel topping.
- Pecans—the perfect fall nut! However, you can swap these with the same amount hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds if you prefer those to pecans.
Toppings for this casserole
I’m of the mind the more the merrier when it comes to toppings for this recipe. Here are a few ideas:
- Homemade whipped cream—yes, the real deal stuff, not the store-bought kind. It’s easier to make than you think!
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Extra chopped pecans
- Extra butter
How to make this fall-flavored French Toast Casserole
This sweet breakfast casserole is a two-step process recipe because we’re going to make the casserole the night before, refrigerate it and then bake it in the morning.
Please do not rush the process, as the casserole really needs the refrigeration time to soak up all these wonderful flavors.
Make the French toast breakfast casserole
Prep your baking dish. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
Chop the bread into bite-sized pieces, then transfer them to the baking dish.
Make the custard. In a large bowl, combine the cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk together until combined.
Combine the ingredients. Pour the custard on top of the bread in the baking dish, stirring with a rubber spatula to ensure all the cubes of bread are coated in the custard mixture.
Refrigerate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Bake the French Toast Casserole
Before you’re ready to bake this goodness, be sure to preheat the oven to 350°F. We want the oven nice and hot!
Make the streusel topping. Combine the brown sugar with the granulated sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Stir to combine, then use your fingers to press the cold butter into the mixture. The topping should look like coarse crumbs when you’re done, then you mix in the chopped pecans and sprinkle this on top of the casserole.
Bake the casserole. It’ll take about 50 minutes, depending on your pan and your oven. You’ll know the French toast casserole is done when you move the pan and the center doesn’t jiggle.
Cool, then serve. Let the casserole cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with homemade whipped cream, maple syrup, butter and powdered sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
If there’s too much of the egg mixture, the casserole can get soggy. Likewise, if your bread isn’t stale enough, the casserole can also become soggy.
You can keep your casserole from getting soggy by using the right amount of eggs.
Personally, I love pairing this sweet casserole with something simple like a fruit salad or homemade hash browns.
Quick Tips and Tricks for the French Toast Casserole
- Use stale bread. That way, the bread will soak up all the custardy goodness. Because if the bread is too soft, you run the risk of getting a soggy French toast casserole, which nobody wants.
- Plot out your cooking timeline, and don’t forget to make it the night before! The best part of this casserole is that you make it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge until the morning, when you make the streusel topping and bake it. It’s perfect for holidays because of this!
- How to store: Wrap the cooled casserole in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for 2-3 days after baking. Reheat in the oven until warmed through.
More pumpkin breakfast recipes for the season…
- Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
- Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Pumpkin Biscuits with Maple Butter
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is perfect breakfast for any fall or winter morning. This make-ahead breakfast casserole tastes of pumpkin, warming spices and is wonderful for an at-home brunch, holiday breakfast and any other occasion.
French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf of day-old bread, cubed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 15 oz. pumpkin puree
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold salted butter, diced
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Homemade whipped cream
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Salted butter
Make the French Toast Casserole
- Spray a 9"×13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- Place the cubed bread in the baking dish.
- Whisk together the cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread, pressing down to make sure all the cubes are coated with the custard.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (You can also do this 3 hours in advance, though I really like the make-ahead option of this recipe.)
Bake the casserole in the morning
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- The morning of, make the streusel topping in a medium bowl.
- Combine the brown sugar with the granulated sugar and flour. Mix until combined.
- Add the cold butter to the mixture, using fingers or a fork to mix the ingredients together until they are in large coarse crumbs. Add the pecans, and stir to combine.
- Pour the streusel topping on top of the casserole. Sprinkle additional pecans on top, if desired.
- Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until the casserole is set. (This means it will no longer have a wiggle in the middle.)
- Let the French Toast Casserole cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Serve with homemade whipped cream, maple syrup, butter and powdered sugar.
How to store: Wrap the cooled casserole in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for 2-3 days after baking. Reheat in the oven until warmed through.
A note on the bread: Use your favorite bread in this recipe! The bread has to be stale to soak up the custard without losing its shape. My favorites are French bread, sourdough and ciabatta for this. You can use challah and brioche, but I caution you on those because they’re softer and can lose their shape easier unless they’re really stale.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 776Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 209mgSodium: 644mgCarbohydrates: 130gFiber: 5gSugar: 72gProtein: 18g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.