This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese Icing is fluffy, rich and melts in your mouth! This bake is incredibly easy to make and can be made in advance! Packed with pumpkin flavor and cozy, warm spices, it's perfect for breakfast, brunch and holiday entertaining!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword: breakfast bake, breakfast casserole, Casserole, French Toast, pumpkin
2CupsPecans – halves or chopped (about 7.5 ounces)
1CupPumpkin Puree(SEE NOTES)
3/4CupLight Brown Sugar - packed
½CupHalf-and-Half- or heavy cream (SEE NOTES)
1 ½TBSVanilla Extract
1 ½TBSPumpkin Pie Spice+ ½ teaspoon for topping
Optional for Serving: Cream Cheese Icing (recipe below - see notes), Powdered Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar, Maple Syrup
Spray a 9x13’’ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare the casserole: Place half of the cubed bread into the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the pecans evenly over the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread and pecans. Set aside.
Prepare the egg custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, sugar, half-and-half, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. Use your hands to gently press the bread into the custard. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, or set aside while you preheat the oven. (SEE NOTES)
Preheat oven: Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Remove casserole from the refrigerator and let sit on the counter to remove the chill while the oven preheats.
Bake: Uncover the baking dish and sprinkle the top evenly with ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the casserole is set and no longer jiggly in the center. (If the top of the casserole starts to brown too quickly near the end of baking, lightly tent the casserole with aluminum foil and continue baking.)
Serve: Let the casserole cool in baking dish for 5-10 minutes before drizzling with icing or sprinkling with powdered sugar. Slice and serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!
Bread: The best bread for French toast is generally a rich, buttery, egg-based bread such as brioche or challah. However, any thick-sliced white bread, such as French Bread, can be used. Instead of brioche, try using cinnamon raisin bread for a delicious twist!
Stale vs Fresh Bread: For best results, use bread that is 1-3 days old. Fresh bread will disintegrate when soaked in the egg custard. If you only have fresh bread, toast the cubes of bread. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spread the bread out evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-6 minutes or until very light toasted.
Pumpkin puree is not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling! Make sure you use pure pumpkin puree for this French toast recipe.
Milk: While I prefer a mixture of whole milk and half-and-half to make the egg custard, you can use any non-dairy milk such as almond milk and/or heavy cream.
Chilling the casserole: This casserole tastes best if allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator. However, you will still get delicious results as long as you let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. While you can bake the casserole right away, the French toast will not have its signature custard texture.
To make this gluten free: Replace brioche bread with gluten-free bread.
Homemade Cream Cheese Icing:5 TBS Confectioners’ Sugar3 ounces Cream Cheese - softened2 TBS Milk¼ tsp Vanilla ExtractPinch of Kosher SaltWhisk everything together in a small bowl. Drizzle over French toast casserole.Recipe yields 8-10 servings.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 8 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.