Looking for an easy french toast bake? This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole would be perfect for a Thanksgiving breakfast! You can make it dairy-free with coconut milk and a non-dairy milk of choice. Perfect recipe for a crowd and leftovers reheat well too.
Think pumpkin bread meets oven baked french toast with a delicious crunchy topping!
This is a crowd-pleaser for sure.
The Perfect French Toast Bake
Whether you have a large family to cook for, or you’re looking for breakfast leftovers, french toast casserole is the perfect breakfast.
Pumpkin french toast is actually a pretty balanced breakfast, thanks to a good mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein.
Okay, and a little sweetness thanks to the pecan oat topping.
Anyone else looking forward to this for Thanksgiving morning?!
I know it will be on my list for an easy, hands-off breakfast while other food has to be prepared later for dinner.
Pumpkin french toast casserole requires a simple list of ingredients and you might have most of what you need already on hand.
- Challah bread – the best bread loaf for this kind of french toast bake, though french bread works too.
- eggs – we’re using six large eggs here. I haven’t tried this recipe using egg whites.
- non-dairy milk – I typically use oat milk or cashew milk but you can use the milk of your choice (i.e. soy, almond milk, etc.). I would just stay away from plant protein milk options.
- coconut milk – use the full fat canned coconut milk variety. This gives you a richer, more custard-like texture in the french toast. If you open the can and the cream is separate from the liquid, that is fine. Just scoop out half a cup of the cream in a small bowl, and add a tiny bit of liquid from the can and stir together. If you’re not dairy-free, feel free to sub heavy cream.
- granulated sugar – just a few tablespoons to add some sweetness to the mixture. You can add up to half a cup if you want a sweeter loaf, but if you’re adding the crumble topping and serving with maple syrup, you may want to stick to a lower amount of added sugar.
- pumpkin purée – use canned pumpkin if possible, but I am sure homemade would work too. If using homemade, try to drain out some extra liquid through some cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. You want 1 and 1/3 cups total.
- pumpkin pie spice – I always keep this homemade spice blend on hand.
Make sure you have a 9×13 baking dish (or similar size), a large mixing bowl, measuring cups and a good whisk to to help this recipe come together easily.
Pecan Oat Crumble
The oat crumble topping is optional but really takes this pumpkin french toast casserole over the top. It makes for a pretty presentation and adds the perfect crunchy topping along with a hint of sweetness.
It definitely reminds me of my sweet potato casserole, which you also need on your holiday recipes list.
For the topping you just need:
- rolled oats
- brown sugar
Note: if you’re looking to keep this recipe nut-free, simply omit the pecans.
How to Make
I love how easy this recipe comes together. It takes just a little bit of prep, comes together easily and you can prepare it overnight if you’ve got a busy morning ahead.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make it, with the full written instructions in the recipe card below.
Slice the Bread
Slice the day-old challah bread into about 1″ thick slices, the take those slices of bread and cut into 1″ cubes. Add these directly into a greased baking dish.
Pumpkin Egg Mixture
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Then pour it directly over the cubed bread, cover with beeswax wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours (up to eight hours overnight).
Top with Oat Crumble
After the casserole has chilled, remove from the fridge and set the dish on the counter while you make the crumble and the oven preheats.
Bake for One Hour
This french toast bake recipe takes about 1 hour total. You’ll bake uncovered at 350ºF the first 40 minutes, then bake an additional 15 minutes or so covered with foil, which helps to keep the top of the bread from browning too much.
Option to Prepare Overnight
If you are looking for Thanksgiving breakfast first thing in the morning without the prep, you can refrigerate the covered casserole for eight hours overnight.
The crumble oat topping can also be prepared ahead of time – just mix everything together and keep covered in a bowl in the fridge.
While the oven is preheating, take the casserole out, top with the prepared crumble and then place in the pre-heated oven.
Storing & Reheating
Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered in the baking dish, and enjoy within 5 days.
To reheat, you can use the toaster oven “reheat” option for about 10 minutes, or simply microwave for about 30 seconds per large slice.
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 loaf, day old challah bread (about 14 ounces, equal to about 8 cubes cubed, see notes)
- 6 large eggs
- 1.33 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- ½ cup canned full fat coconut milk (or sub heavy cream)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (can use plant based)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten free blend)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup pecans, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13 casserole dish with butter or coconut oil; set aside.
- Slice french bread into 1” thick slices, then slice again into about 1” cubes. Place in bottom of baking dish.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, pumpkin, milk, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over bread in baking dish, pressing bread down and making sure each piece is fully covered. Cover with lid or foil, and place in fridge for 4 hours, up to overnight.
- Once you’ve chilled the casserole, make the make the streusel topping: in a medium bowl, use fork to combine butter, brown sugar, oats, flour and ground cinnamon – use hands as needed to make sure the mixture is fully combined. Spread over top of baking dish, adding pecans if using, and press down gently.
- Bake pumpkin french toast for 40 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow mixture to cool slightly before topping with powdered sugar for extra presentation. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!
Bread – If bread is not dried out, toast bread slices at 350ºF for about 10 minutes. A loaf of french bread would also work if you can’t find challah bread.
Sugar – I thought this french toast needed a touch of sweetness in the custard-like filling, but you can omit. If you want a sweeter filling, you could also add more sugar, up to 1/2 cup is what I’d suggest.
Milk – feel free to use the milk of your choice and heavy cream if you aren’t dairy free. I would just stay away from protein plant milks for this recipe.