Pumpkin French Toast Casserole recipe for Secret Recipe Club! Pieces of bread are soaked in a creamy pumpkin custard, topped with a brown sugar pecan streusel, and baked until golden.
Secret Recipe Club
Secret Recipe Club time again! For those who haven’t seen my previous Secret Recipe Club posts, this club includes a group of bloggers who are assigned a different blog each month and secretly make a recipe to post on their specified reveal day. I look forward to my assignment email every month and discovering new blogs. It is also fun to see what someone chooses from your blog.
This month, I was assigned Burnt Apple! Traci wasn’t always such an amazing cook. She mentions once being able to make muffins hard enough to be thrown through walls and getting stitches from mishaps with her knife. With practice, she has become a “master recipe manipulator”.
She works to make recipes healthier, while still tasting great, for her family. She has even shown off her recipes at Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, and local television news programs.
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
I was inspired by Traci to make a Pumpkin French Toast Casserole! It is definitely perfect for the season and a wonderful addition to the holidays or for weekend brunch. Best of all, the French toast bake is prepared the night before with minimal prep in the morning!
Thick pieces of bread are arranged in a deep baking dish and covered evenly with a creamy pumpkin custard. The mixture is refrigerated at least 4 hours and (preferably) overnight to give the bread time to soak up most of the custard and flavor.
After refrigerating, I topped the French toast casserole with an even layer of a crumbly brown sugar pecan streusel. It adds such a wonderful contrast in texture and even more flavor. The pan is then baked in a 350˚ (180˚C) oven until puffed, golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I served the slices of the Pumpkin French Toast Casserole with a drizzle of caramel sauce and Stay Snatched’s Quick and Easy Maple Butter. Other delicious options include a sprinkling of powdered sugar, maple syrup, or even whipped cream.
A Few Tips
Bread that is a day or two old or has been dried (but not completely toasted) in the oven is best. You can even leave the slices uncovered on a wire rack at room temperature overnight to dry. Fresh bread will be more likely to fall apart or become soggy.
I used thick slices of Shokupan (Japanese Sandwich Bread) to cut into cubes about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide. Other delicious options would be cubed brioche or challah.
Use pure pumpkin puree for the custard, not pumpkin pie filling.
Whisk the egg and milk mixture until thoroughly combined. All of the egg pieces should be blended into the cream to create a smooth and light custard.
I made the Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel right before putting the Pumpkin French Toast Casserole in the oven. If making it the night before, keep the streusel in a separate bowl and refrigerate until immediately before baking.
If the top of the French toast bake is getting too dark and the bread still hasn’t set, cover lightly with foil during the last few minutes of baking.
Check out what everyone else made:
- Turkey Pie from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Green Rice from Bewitching Kitchen
- French Onion Soup from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Dreamsicle Vanilla-Orange Cranberry Sauce from Shockingly Delicious
- Strawberry-Spinach Smoothie from Oh! You Cook!
- Cranberry Maple Griddle Cakes from 84th&3rd
- Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes from Lavender and Lovage
- Heavenly Chicken and Dumplings from Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen
- Dairy Free Banana Almond Butter Milkshake from Life on Food
- Bacon Cheesy Cauliflower Chowder from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Syrian Kebobs from Chocolate & Chillies
- Nutella Coffee Cake from Making Miracles
- Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie from Lynsey Lou’s
- Chinese Chicken Salad from Mom’s Test Kitchen
- Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki and Pitas from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta from Loving Life
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe
Adapted from Burnt Apple
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Pumpkin French Toast Base:
- 18 ounces (510 grams) stale bread cut into 1 inch (2.5 centimeter) cubes
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 grams) pure pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) milk
- 1 cup (237 milliliters) heavy cream
Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel:
- 2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) roughly chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch salt
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter cold and diced
- Powdered Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Caramel Sauce
To make the Pumpkin French Toast base:
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch (23x33 centimeter) baking dish with butter. Arrange the cubed bread in an even layer across the bottom of the baking dish.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk in the milk and cream until well-combined and smooth.
- Pour the mixture evenly over the prepared bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
To make the Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel:
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, pecans, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Using your fingertips, blend the chilled butter into the flour mixture until coarse with pieces no larger than a size of a pea.
- If not using immedialtely, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and evenly cover with the brown sugar pecan streusel.
- Bake in the preheated oven until puffed, golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If desired, top with butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and/or caramel sauce.