Breakfast/ Casseroles/ Drinks and Desserts

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

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Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

Sooo I have a confession. Amid the pumpkin-crazed fall thing, today is my first time playing around with pumpkin. I still have not had the experience of cutting into one to hollow it out and it’s probably for the best. I’m a little afraid of losing control of the knife and having an early Halloween scene in my kitchen. Last year I went so far as to buy a huge pumpkin and the cutter. Then it sat there for months while I ignored it and ignored it hard. Maybe this year I’ll deal with it.

Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

In the meantime, I’m cheating and using pumpkin puree that comes nice and safe in a can. For those that are pumpkin-cutting inept like me. Or those that just want the convenience. So today we have pumpkin spice french toast casserole. It’s like bread pudding and french toast had a baby in Autumn. A baby that smells like pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

I’ve had some bad renditions of bread pudding before. I guess the recipes weren’t all that great to begin with. Two failures. I was beginning to think I was bread pudding cursed, just like I’m lasagna cursed. It’s one of those things my mother does so effortlessly and better than me. And there are a lot of those things. The key from what I’ve learned is to make sure there’s enough custard to bread ratio and to make sure all the bread pieces are soaked through.

But this time was win! I combined three recipes together to get it the way I wanted it. Which in hindsight might have been a little risky with baking and how it needs precision (does this qualify as baking?) But it worked and my streusel was so yummy I had to stop myself from munching on it. After all, it’s pure sugar and butter. So not good to eat by the spoonful!

Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

In the recipe, I gave the option for pecans or walnuts but I did half of both just to mix it all up and because I couldn’t decide at the time which one I liked better. So why not. Half a cup of pecans and half a cup of walnuts!

And all this was so easy to do. Even for a baking newb like me. It was so easy I had time to have fun with the picture taking part of things. So I hope the fun shows. The only downside was trying to shoot quick enough before the whipping cream melted. And it did. A lot.

Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

Oh and it’s full of Autumn flavors. Mr. Cooking Jar asked me what I meant by ‘it’s so Autumny’. Well, it has pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin and the sweet scent of cinnamon. The house really smelled good while baking this.

Great for brunch or dessert and it’s technically my first dessert recipe! One thing I love about it is it’s not overtly sweet. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I tend to stay away from rich, sweet desserts. This is just enough to sweeten your palate but not too sweet that adding maple syrup or whipped cream would take it over the top.

And as for my previous failures? Now I know the sweet taste of victory (pun intended)!

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Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread, torn into chunks or cubed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Streusel:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans/walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Tear or cube the french bread and place in a greased 9×13 casserole dish
  2. Combine eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice to form a custard. Whisk until smooth
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture over the bread, making sure to gently press down on the bread to soak as much as you can
  4. For the brown sugar crumble, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  5. Add butter and work it into a flour mix with your fingers or fork until crumbly with pea-sized bits of butter. Mix in the nuts
  6. Cover both and refrigerate overnight
  7. To bake, sprinkle the crumble over the top of the casserole and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until set. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean
  8. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving
  9. Serve warm

Notes

Refrigerate overnight

Inspired by Food Network and Two Peas and their Pod

Pumpkin spice french toast casserole is a great fall brunch or dessert loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin pie flavors and a sweet and nutty streusel.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Wendy
    October 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Oh my, we have a girls meeting this weekend, and this will be perfect.

  • Reply
    Dorcas@feelgoodfoodblog
    October 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I have guests from out of town and I know I can wow them with this. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 4, 2014 at 1:04 AM

      Enjoy the weekend and I hope they like it! It’s my first bread pudding that turned out well, so I hope it works out for you. Baking makes me nervous!

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    October 5, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    I am SO craving some of this french toast casserole right now.. great recipe, it looks delicious!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Thanks, Thalia! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! 🙂 First successful bread pudding, yes!!!

  • Reply
    Nagi {RecipeTin Eats}
    October 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    This is pretty much heaven on a plate right there for me right there. That streusel topping – legendary! It’s like dessert for breakfast! And I so get the curse thing. I am convinced I have a baked eggs curse. I always overcook the yolks! Do you think it will work ok with stale bread if I leave it to soak for longer? I know it’s ok with ordinary french toast bakes but I wasn’t sure with the pumpkin puree in it if that would work.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 9, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with stale bread since it soaks overnight. Bread pudding is usually made with stale bread so theoretically since it falls almost under the same category, it really should!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Rita
    October 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I love make-ahead breakfast casseroles for when I’m cooking for company. That way, my job is done except popping it in the oven. I also am not a sweet-toothy person, but I do love pumpkin and cinnamon. I can smell it baking now! I will be the chief cook for a getaway weekend celebration for a friend’s birthday next month, and I think I’ve just decided what we’re having for Saturday breakfast!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 30, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      That’s great to hear, Rita! I hope you all like it as much as I did. This seems to be popular for weekend group brunches! Have fun at the getaway 🙂

      • Reply
        Rita
        November 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        My girlfriend getaway was this past weekend. I made this ahead of time, transported the pumpkin mixture in an empty milk jug in the cooler so there’d be no spills. Picked up a fresh loaf of French bread and was ready to put it all together, zip-zap-done. Popped it in the oven The next morning and everyone just salivated over the yummy aromas in our rental condo. Delish! There was plenty leftover for the next morning, too, and we all agreed it was better the second morning. Sinfully good! I’ll definitely be making this again!

        • Reply
          The Cooking Jar
          November 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

          That’s awesome! I love that everyone loved it! And that was a pretty ingenious way of putting it together when you’re out of the comfort zone of your own kitchen. Thanks for coming back and letting me know, Rita!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    December 11, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Just made this for our “breakfast for dinner” and my husband and I loved it! I used a Pumpkin Spice loaf of bread that I found in the grocery store the other day and it turned out great. Thank you for your recipe!! Merry Christmas!!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 12, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      Thank you for coming back and letting me know, Leslie! Never thought it would make its way to brinner 😉 So happy you two loved it. And Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Reply
    Anna
    August 28, 2017 at 1:18 PM

    This was so good! It made a lot so we cut it in squares and froze it. Then, I just defrosted and microwaved the pieces for a quick and delicious breakfast! It really is like a breakfast dessert. I am making it again with frozen pumpkin from last fall!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 2, 2017 at 4:42 PM

      Good to know it works frozen as well! Thanks for coming back and letting me know. Might help others in the futurel 🙂

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