Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole can add some spice to your morning. If you love pumpkin, this casserole may become a favorite. It has all your favorite fall flavors in one delicious breakfast casserole. Challah bread is soaked with pumpkin custard, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Then the whole delicious casserole is topped with a streusel pecan topping before it’s baked. Make this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole the night before and bake it the following day for a delicious hot breakfast or brunch casserole. For more delicious fall breakfast ideas, make a Pumpkin Spice coffee cake, Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones, or Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls.
SIS Tip – Simple is Smart:
This recipe Pumpkin French Toast Casserole uses day-old Challah bread. You will only need half of a loaf of No-Knead Challah Bread. Make the Challah Bread ahead of time. Enjoy the other half of the loaf. Make a Monte Cristo Sandwich or slice it, and make French Toast topped with berries.
What Do I Need for Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole?
Day Old Challah Bread: Make the Challah bread ahead of time using my No-Knead Challah Bread recipe. This is the easiest Challah Bread ever. I even included detailed instructions on how to do a four-strand braid.
Cream Cheese: Purchase the block, not the tub. The delicious pockets of cream cheese are a creamy surprise.
Eggs: When eggs are cooked, the yolk and the white become solid. This is called coagulation. The egg yolks add a rich creaminess to the pumpkin custard.
Sugar: Powdered sugar for the cream cheese, Brown sugar for the casserole and topping.
Maple Syrup: Use real maple syrup, not imitation. Drizzle syrup over the pieces of Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole.
Milk: Use either whole or 2% milk. If you only have 1% or non-fat, use heavy cream instead of half and half.
Half & Half: The half and half make the pumpkin spice custard so rich and creamy.
Pumpkin Spice: Most stores sell pumpkin pie spice mix. If you can’t find it, make your own—Mix 3 tsp. Cinnamon, 2 tsp ground dried ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp allspice, and 1 1/2 tsp cloves. Mix and store the extra in an airtight container for use later.
Pumpkin Puree: Purchase a 15 1/2 ounce can of pumpkin puree. If you want to make the puree from sugar pumpkins, click here.
Brown Sugar: Helps the streusel to clump better for an even richer streusel; feel free to use dark brown sugar.
Flour: I have only tried this recipe with all-purpose flour, so that is what I recommend.
Rolled Oats: This crumbly, buttery topping relies on rolled oats for the body.
Butter: This is what brings the streusel together and makes the crumbly, clumpy crumble topping. Mix it in with a pastry blender or your fingers. I use salted butter and don’t add any extra salt.
Pecans: Use raw or roasted. The oven will roast them when you bake the casserole.
How to Make the Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole.
Make the Topping:
Mix together all of the topping ingredients except the pecans. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and rolled oats with the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the pecans mix in. Cover and refrigerate.
Make the Cream Cheese Filling:
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and egg yolk. Beat until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
Make the Casserole:
- Cut up 10-12 ounces of the half loaf of day-old bread into pieces about 1 X 1 inch in size and put half of the bread in an 8 1/2 X 11-inch casserole dish or baking pan.
- Scatter spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the bread pieces and add the rest of the bread pieces.
- Mix the ingredients for the pumpkin spice custard in a separate bowl. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, milk, and half & half. Add the pumpkin puree and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture over the bread in the casserole. If the custard mixture doesn’t all fit, save the extra and add it to the casserole after it has sat in the fridge overnight. The bread absorbs the custard mixture and you will have room to add the rest of the mixture before baking the casserole.
- Cover the casserole and refrigerate overnight.
Bake and Serve the Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C)
While heating the oven, take the casserole out of the fridge and let it warm. Add any extra custard that didn’t fit in the pan.
Once the oven is preheated, Take the topping out of the fridge, sprinkle it over the casserole, and bake immediately.
The casserole will take about 50 minutes to an hour to bake. The center should be set when it is done baking.
Let the casserole cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with some warm maple syrup to drizzle over the top.
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- 1 9 x 13 baking pan
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Cream Cheese Pockets
- 4 ounces cream cheese - softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk.
French Toast Casserole
- 12 ounces Challah Bread (day old)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 6 tbsp butter (room temperature)
- Beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar and egg yolk. Beat with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Set Aside.
- Mix the flour, sugar, oats, and pumpkin pie spice together.
- Add the softened butter and mix until crumbly.
- Refrigerate until just before you are ready to bake the casserole.
French Toast Casserole
- Slice the Challah bread (see notes) into one-inch-thick slices and then into one-inch by one-inch cubes of bread. Add the Challah Bread pieces to a greased 9 X 13-inch baking pan.
- Add half of the Challah Bread pieces to a greased 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Layer spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the bread
- Add the rest of the bread to the pan.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, milk, half and half, and salt.
- Add the pumpkin puree. To make your own pumpkin puree from pie pumpkins, click here. Mix in.
- Pour the mixture over the Challah Bread pieces in the baking pan.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Baking the Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. (180°C)
- Remove the streusel topping and the casserole from the fridge.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping on the casserole and put the casserole in the oven. You don't want the topping to warm up, or it will melt into the casserole in the oven.
- Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until the pumpkin custard is set in the middle.
- Let cool enough to cut into squares and serve warm with maple syrup.