Wondering what to serve to a house full of guests this holiday season? I’ve got you.
This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is about to make your house smell amazing, while filling hungry morning bellies with warm, cozy French toast goodness that you can assemble the night before. Every ingredient came from Trader Joe’s, so it makes shopping a breeze. No TJ’s nearby? Most grocery stores should have what you need!
Not persuaded yet to make Pumpkin French Toast Casserole? 👀
Here’s a sneak peek of this warm, bubly casserole right out of the oven.
The blessing of an overnight recipe
Yes, “food is love,” during the holidays, but it should also be about quality time spent with family and friends. That’s why we all need some simple, filling and make-ahead recipes to feed a full house without being stuck in the kitchen.
Enter this delicious Pumpkin French Toast Casserole that delights crowds and comes together quickly and easily. The keys to making this a breakfast masterpiece are:
- Finding a good sturdy bread that you allow to get a little stale (the less moisture in the bread, the better it soaks up the custard goodness) and
- Assembling the night before to let it all come together before baking
Prepping the breakfast casserole the night before saves so much time in the morning since all you have to do is bake, cut and serve.
Trust me when I say…just make it ahead.
While it’s baking you can scramble up some eggs, fry up some bacon and make large pots of coffee to round out the meal for a big crew.
Alternatively, if you’re just making it for yourself or a small family, the leftovers save well and only need a quick reheat!
Whether it’s October, November or December (and c’mon, we still love all things pumpkin into January and February when it’s still cold outside), pumpkin just feels right to serve all throughout holiday season. There’s something about the cozy spices and aromas that fill an entire house that makes pumpkin recipes so irresistible this time of year.
Tips to master this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Flavor: Every bite of this French toast breakfast casserole tastes like cinnamon roll bites married pumpkin pie. Adding the crumb topping and pecans make it especially satisfying.
Texture: The texture resembles bread pudding, which means a thick and dense outcome (but the key is the stale bread!) Your casserole might turn out a little wet and soggy rather than compact and sturdy if you skip the step of allowing the bread to get stale. To do so, simply cut the bread into cubes and leave out for a day.
Substitutions: Feel free to substitute a sourdough baguette or sturdy gluten-free baguette. For a lower carb option, use Lakanto Monk Fruit Granular Sweetener, or even Allulose. If you’re fine with sugar, grab a bag of brown sugar or coconut sugar.
You can sub in any type of milk: regular, coconut or oat. This recipe does require eggs, so there isn’t a vegan option (or one that I’ve tested anyway).
Ease: If you’ve never made an overnight casserole, you’ll be thrilled to discover how simple the process is. Unlike regular French toast, you need not stand over the stove cooking each individual piece of bread. Instead, everything gets assembled in a casserole dish the night before service and sleeps (and soaks in the goodness) while you do!
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
*This recipe may contain affiliate links to products we use and love.
- 14 oz Challah or sourdough baguette
- 2 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (or Monk Fruit sweetener)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar or monk fruit
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (optional for serving)
- Cube the bread and leave out overnight to get stale. When ready, coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and add the bread pieces.
- Add the milk, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, pumpkin spice and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk well. Pour over the bread pieces and cover with foil for 4 hours to overnight to soak up the liquid.
- Heat an oven to 350°F. when ready to bake. While the oven heats, make the crumb topping, or, make it the night before and refrigerate.
- Add the cold butter and cut with a pastry cutter or fork. Add the almond flour, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and mix well. Add pecans, if using. Sprinkle over the casserole while the butter is still very cold. Bake for 20 minutes. Pull out and cover with foil and bake for 30 additional minutes.
- Remove from oven, cut into 10 squares, and top with syrup, if desired.
Let me know if you try this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole!
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make and tastes like you put a ton of effort into making it! Just remember to use stale bread and soak the casserole for at least 4 hours (though overnight is even better)!
If you’re a pumpkin fan, be sure to check out our super easy Trader Joe’s fudgy brownies too!