This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole takes just 10 minutes to get into the oven. Topped with maple syrup and pomegranate seeds, it’s an easy, crowd-pleasing holiday breakfast.
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While you can whip up this baked pumpkin French toast right before baking it, you can also make it the evening before, cover it with foil, then put it in the fridge overnight. You’ll thank yourself later, trust me! I highly suggest it for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning.
This recipe is like a cross between pumpkin French toast and bread pudding. Cubes of bread are soaked in a 6-ingredient pumpkin custard before going into the oven. It’s amazing on its own, drizzled with maple syrup or served with pieces of crispy (or candied) bacon alongside it for a salty and sweet treat.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a make-ahead breakfast. You can make this pumpkin french toast casserole overnight and bake in the morning.
- Serves a crowd. This recipe feeds 6, but you could easily bake two baking dishes of it at the same time.
- It’s very easy. This recipe requires just tossing bread cubes in a simple pumpkin custard and waiting while it bakes. That’s it!
- Unsalted butter: Greasing the baking dish with butter will make sure you get clean slices of the French toast.
- Pumpkin puree: Pumpkin adds all the autumnal flavor to this recipe. You’ll want to use 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Whole milk: Whole milk adds moisture and makes the base of the custard the bread soaks up. It also adds richness, but you could use whatever milk you have on hand or even heavy cream.
- Eggs: Eggs add moisture too. They also give the casserole structure, making sure things stick together and you get clean slices of French toast.
- Sugar: A bit of sugar lends a touch of sweetness. Granulated sugar is what I call for, but you could use brown sugar instead, which would add some caramel notes.
- Pumpkin pie spice: For full-on fall flavor, you’ll need this spice blend. Pumpkin pie spice is made up of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. You can absolutely make your own spice mixture if you have these on hand.
- Bread cubes: You can’t have French toast without bread! Ideally, you should use bread that has a thicker crust (like sourdough), which will help it from getting super mushy after it soaks up the custard.
- Maple syrup: Maple syrup is the perfect topping for this recipe. You can add as little or as much as you like.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Make it dairy-free. As long as you’re not avoiding eggs, you can make this recipe dairy-free by using oat milk in place of the milk and coconut oil or vegan butter to grease the baking dish.
- Add in chocolate chips. For more sweetness, you can add chocolate chips to the bread pudding mixture before baking.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.
- Add the cubed bread. Add the cubed bread to the mixing bowl and stir until the bread is coated.
- Bake. Add the bread mixture and leftover liquid to the baking pan. Cover the pan with foil, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes more (until the bread is deeply golden brown).
- Serve. Remove from the oven, spoon onto plates and serve with maple syrup and pomegranate seeds on top.
Pro Tip: Keep your butter wrappers around! They have just enough butter on them to grease baking pans. You can even store butter wrappers in a bag in the freezer.
- Have Fun with the Toppings: When it comes to toppings, a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh pomegranate arils and a drizzle of warm maple syrup is my trio of choice. I love the pairing of pumpkin and pomegranate, as the juicy seeds add a pop of color and flavor to each autumnal bite.
- Use a Different Bread: Any variation of bread will work in this recipe, however, I find that a crusty French baguette or loaf of sourdough yield the best texture and soak up the most custard. (You could even try using croissants, though!)
- For the Pomegranate: If you’re going with pomegranate arils as a topping, pomegranate can be quite messy! To easily get the seeds out of a pomegranate, slice the pomegranate in half. Then fill a medium bowl with water and submerge half of the pomegranate, using your hands to open the pomegranate and separate the seeds. The seeds should actually sink, which will make them easier to remove from the water!
- Make it Ahead: You can store the covered, unbaked casserole in the fridge overnight, then bake it in the morning.
This make-ahead baked pumpkin french toast can be prepped the night before, stashed (covered) in the fridge overnight and baked in the morning. Just let the dish come to room temperature as the oven preheats.
You can also store the baked casserole covered in the fridge, then reheat it in the oven when you’re ready to serve it.
Frequently Asked Questions
My French toast casserole is soaked in a pumpkin custard (made of pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice). It’s easy and delicious and makes sure the casserole is moist.
Because it’s already baked, you don’t want to dry out the casserole by reheating it at too high of a temperature. Try reheating the casserole at 325°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.
Drying out bread can help it absorb more liquid without the bread getting too mushy. However, if you use bread with more structure and a tougher crust (like sourdough or a baguette), you can skip the drying step.
- The Best Pumpkin Bread
- Healthy Breakfast Cookies
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake
- Unsalted butter, for greasing baking dish
- 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
- 2 cups whole milk
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 12 cups 1-inch bread cubes (See Kelly’s Note)
- Maple syrup, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.
- Add the cubed bread to the bowl and stir until it is well coated then pour the bread mixture and any liquids into the prepared baking pan.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake the French toast for 30 minutes until the egg mixture is almost fully set then remove the foil and continue baking the French toast for 20 to 25 minutes until the bread is deep golden brown.
- Remove the French toast from the oven, spoon it onto serving plates and top it with maple syrup.
- When it comes to toppings, a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh pomegranate arils and a drizzle of warm maple syrup is my trio of choice. I love the pairing of pumpkin and pomegranate, as the juicy seeds add a pop of color and flavor to each autumnal bite.
- Any variation of bread will work in this recipe, however, I find that a crusty French baguette or loaf of sourdough yield the best texture and soak up the most custard. (You could even try using croissants, though!)
- If you’re going with pomegranate arils as a topping, pomegranate can be quite messy! To easily get the seeds out of a pomegranate, slice the pomegranate in half. Then fill a medium bowl with water and submerge half of the pomegranate, using your hands to open the pomegranate and separate the seeds. The seeds should actually sink, which will make them easier to remove from the water!
- You can store the covered, unbaked casserole in the fridge overnight, then bake it in the morning.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.