This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is filled with fall flavors: pumpkin, warm spices, brown sugar, and vanilla. The inside is soft and fluffy with a crunchy brown sugar crumble topping. An easy breakfast, brunch, or holiday entertaining dish that can be prepped ahead of time.
Let’s talk French toast! We’re working our way towards the weekend and I’m already dreaming about a swoon worthy weekend breakfast. Pumpkin French Toast Casserole? Yes, please!
I love French toast casserole. I have previously shared a classic Baked French Toast, an Orange Cranberry Walnut French Toast, and a Banana French Toast. And this here is the perfect fall French toast!
French toast casserole is made by soaking cubed bread with custard (eggs, milk, and flavorings) and then baking it in the oven. I also add a crumb topping which creates a fabulous crumbly/crunchy texture to contrast with the soft and fluffy bread.
- Start by cutting a loaf of day old French bread into cubes. Place the bread in a casserole dish.
- Whisk up the custard: a mixture of milk, half and half, eggs, pumpkin puree, spices, and vanilla.
- Pour the custard over the bread. Chill for 3 hours or up to overnight (the bread will soak up the custard).
- Make a brown sugar crumb topping and sprinkle it on the French toast just before baking.
- Bake and enjoy!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Make ahead – Most of the work for this recipe is done in advance. You can sip coffee (or mimosas?) with your friends and family while the French toast bakes in the oven. No standing over the cooktop flipping French toast – hooray!
Feed a crowd – This recipe is great if you’re hosting overnight guests or serving it as part of larger breakfast/brunch spread. It serves 10 generously or up to 14 smaller servings.
Fall flavors – Who doesn’t love pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar? The warm and cozy flavors of fall.
Ease – This recipe is almost foolproof! Cutting bread, stirring, and whisking is about all it takes.
Use day old bread. It’s best if you’re bread is starting to dry out. Soft, really fresh bread will fall apart and might get mushy when soaking with the custard.
Serve fresh from the oven. The French toast will puff up while baking, let it cool just a bit, then serve warm with maple syrup.
Allow enough time for the French toast to soak. Unfortunately you can’t assemble and bake this right away. The bread needs at least 3 hours soak in the custard.
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- 5 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk, preferably whole or 2%
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- One 15 oz loaf day old French bread , cut into cubes (about 9 cups)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Maple syrup, to serve
French toast (allow 3+ hours to soak):
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, half and half, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, pie spice, and vanilla.
- Grease a 9×13 (or similar sized) casserole dish and place the bread cubes inside.
- Pour the custard evenly over the bread. Lightly move the bread around in the custard allowing all of the bread to get coated. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours up to overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
- Combine brown sugar, flour, pie spice, and salt. Add butter, and using a spoon or small rubber spatula, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles wet, clumpy sand. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake the French toast (it will firm up once it's chilled).
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator (the bread will have absorbed most of the custard). Crumble the topping over the top of the French toast. Tip: the the crumble topping is really hard (from the cold butter), just pop it into the microwave for 8-10 seconds and it will soften enough to make it easy to crumble.
- Bake the French toast for 40-55 minutes, until puffed, golden brown, and set (check that the center is not too wet). Baking time will depend on how deep your casserole dish is and whether you prefer your French toast more well done. Serve warm with syrup. Leftovers can be refrigerated.