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Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

October 16, 2021
Your breakfast game just got stronger this Autumn! Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is a decadent dish with a streusel topping that is the perfect weekend brunch dish that pleases kids, adults, and everyone in between!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Do you need a dairy-free breakfast dish that is both decadent and Fall-inspired? Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is the answer! This french toast casserole is a pumpkin-spiced bread pudding with 100% pure pumpkin mixed right in. It is topped with a homemade crunchy streusel that is out of this world, setting this french toast far above any other recipe!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Welcome back to Pumpkin Week 2021! Here, we are celebrating all things pumpkin. Why? Because Fall is the best season, of course!

We’re back with quite possibly the best french toast recipe that you have ever had. If you have day-old bread and want to use it, make this insanely delicious Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole! The flavors are the epitome of Fall and will please the whole family.

Whether you use challah, whole wheat, Brioche, or gluten-free bread, this casserole will be your favorite homemade brunch to date! Plus, the best part is the homemade streusel topping, which is spicy, crunchy, and oh so decadent.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole vs. Bread Pudding

The ultimate debate! Is french toast casserole just bread pudding? Basically, yes. Sure, bread pudding is a dessert, but who wouldn’t want dessert for breakfast?!

That’s why this Baked Pumpkin French Toast is the perfect weekend meal. If you need a nap afterward, at least you don’t have to go to work!

Bread pudding generally consists of cubed bread (preferably stale, day-old), eggs, and sugar. The custard-like texture emerges from the heat of the oven. When it’s cooked, bread pudding has a moist, eggy texture that is sweet and undeniably delicious. 

The result of bread pudding is essentially similar to french toast; crispy on the outside, eggy in the middle, and slightly sweet. Making french toast in a casserole is just easier because you don’t have to stand over the stove, flipping each piece of bread!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Secrets to the Perfect French Toast Casserole

If you are making bread pudding for the first time, here are some tips and tricks for a successful Baked Pumpkin French Toast!

Use day-old bread. If you use fresh bread, the fresher the bread, the more moisture inside. Day-old bread absorbs the egg mixture much better than fresh, moist bread. For the same reason, croutons are commonly used in stuffing (which is a savory bread pudding). When it bakes, the stale bread will become eggy and light. The drier the bread at the beginning, the better the bread pudding texture.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Bake in a high-sided casserole dish. This french toast casserole can get bubbly in the oven, so to avoid any spillage, use a high-sided baking dish. You can also bake the casserole on top of a baking sheet for extra protection!

Top with maple syrup! Since this is a breakfast dish, it is a requirement to top it all off with maple syrup. Seriously!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

What is Streusel?

Streusel is a crunchy topping in many desserts, often consisting of butter, flour, sugar, nuts, and sometimes oats. You will find it on desserts such as:

  • Dutch apple pie
  • Fruit crisp
  • Muffins
  • Bread Pudding

Add this topping to any dessert you like! It goes very well with fruit in particular.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Ingredients in Baked Pumpkin French Toast

For the French Toast:

  • 1 loaf challah, brioche, or sourdough bread; cubed (best if bread is a day old!)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • 1 cup organic canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling!)
  • 6 large organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, partially melted
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

How to Make Baked Pumpkin French Toast

Lightly grease a large baking dish (9 x 13″) with butter or oil and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together all the ingredients (except for the bread) into a large bowl and set aside so that everything marries together and activates, about 5 minutes.

Next, add the chopped challah bread into the prepared baking dish and spread it around evenly.

Pour the liquid mixture atop cubed bread, generously covering all pieces.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

For the Streusel:

Add the flour, organic brown sugar, chopped pecans, and pumpkin spice into a medium bowl, combining them together using a pastry blender.

NOTE: This helps to break down the nuts into smaller pieces as well, if preferred.

Add the partially melted vegan butter and using a spatula, mix until combined and it becomes crumbly like in texture. Now, top the french toast mixture with brown sugar streusel topping, generously sprinkling it all over.

Bake casserole for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked through (less ‘jiggly’) and edges and tops are golden brown (or slightly dark brown, if preferred).

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes or so and then cut into desired size squares pieces.

To serve, add a slice onto a prepared plate and drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.

Bon Appetit!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Other Recipes You’ll Love!

Fall is the season of heavier foods, so check out all my Autumn-inspired dishes! I know you will love them all.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Baked Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 8 servings
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Ingredients

FRENCH TOAST:

  • 1 loaf challah, brioche, or sourdough bread; cubed (Best if bread is a day old!)
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice (See Notes!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree (Canned version, not pie filling!)
  • 6 large organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

BROWN SUGAR STREUSEL:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsps vegan butter, partially melted
  • 2 tsps pumpkin spice (See Notes!)

Instructions

FRENCH TOAST:

  • Lightly grease a large baking dish (9 x 13″) with butter or oil and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk together all the ingredients (except for the bread) into a large bowl and set aside so that everything marries together and activates, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the chopped challah bread into the prepared baking dish and spread around evenly.
  • Pour the liquid mixture atop cubed bread, generously covering all pieces.

TO MAKE STREUSEL:

  • Add the flour, organic brown sugar, chopped pecans, and pumpkin spice into a medium bowl, combining them together using a pastry blender. NOTE: This helps to breakdown the nuts into smaller pieces as well, if preferred.
  • Add the partially melted vegan butter and using a spatula, mix until combined and it becomes 'crumbly-like' in texture. Now, top the french toast mixture with brown sugar streusel topping, generously sprinkling it all over.
  • Bake casserole for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked through (less 'jiggly') and edges and tops are golden brown (or slightly dark brown, if preferred).
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes or so and then cut into desired size squares pieces.
  • To serve—add slice(s) unto prepared plate(s) and drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 1-2 days.
  • MAKE AHEAD | OVERNIGHT: If you want to prep this recipe for the next day, simply pour all the ingredients in the baking dish (following the steps), covering it tightly, and keeping it refrigerated for 24 hours. Remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bake when ready to eat.
  • TOASTED NUTS: Add chopped pecans/walnuts to a baking sheet and toasting them in the oven (400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5-10 minutes, tossing them halfway to avoid browning on one side.
  • PUMPKIN SPICE BLEND: Mix together 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground ginger, + 1/4 tsp ground cloves. 

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

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ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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