This pumpkin French toast bake is made with crusty bread, pumpkin purée, warming spices, and bourbon, and can be prepared the night before for an easy overnight breakfast bake!
In looking over some of my favorite French toast recipes, the thing that jumps out at me is how beautifully it adapts to any season of the year.
Some recipes are ideal for year-round cooking, like this coconut French toast where you can add whatever fruit you like.
But if you want to get more seasonal, there are lots of fun options!
Want a bright, berry-laden breakfast for spring or summer? There’s strawberry stuffed French toast for that.
Or maybe a sweet and spiced recipe for winter? An eggnog French toast bake should fit the bill.
And for fall, there’s this apple French toast bake that smells of cinnamon and bourbon. It’s delightful.
Now it’s time to add another recipe to the fall lineup: pumpkin French toast made with bread soaked in an easy pumpkin custard and then baked until golden.
Like the other similar bakes, it can be prepared the night before and easily finished up in the morning.
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
Either a French baguette or an Italian loaf will do the job for this bake.
Different types of bread will result in a slightly different end result. The Italian bread will soak up quite a bit of the custard, whereas the baguette will leave some custard to pool along the bottom of the casserole dish.
Both consistencies will be delicious!
Keep in mind that stale bread works best for French toast, but if the bread is fresh you can toast it beforehand for a similar effect.
Should I Use Store-Bought or Homemade Pumpkin Purée?
Canned, store-bought pumpkin purée is often more convenient, but if you’d like to try making your own, go for it!
Why Bake French Toast?
Are you more used to the idea of making French toast on the stovetop? You might be surprised at how easy it is to bake!
It’s a great option if you prefer to prepare your French toast ahead of time. It cooks evenly and produces wonderful flavor and texture.
If you’re looking for a stovetop option, try this pumpkin stuffed French toast!
How to Make a Pumpkin French Toast Bake
Start by slicing the bread into one-inch thick pieces.
If the bread is fresh, lay the slices flat in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for about 5 minutes. If the bread is stale, you can skip straight to the next step.
Whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, brown sugar, bourbon and spices in a large bowl.
Dip each slice of bread into the pumpkin mixture, and then arrange the slices to overlap with each other in a casserole dish.
Once all the slices are placed in the baking dish, pour the remaining custard over the top.
Let the bread soak in the refrigerator at least one hour, or overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, dot the top of the bread with multiple little cubes of butter.
Cover the dish with foil, and bake for about 25 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes. The crusts should have taken on a nice golden color by the time it’s done.
Serve warm, and have the maple syrup (or honey) ready!
If you happen to have leftovers (no guarantees!), they will keep in the refrigerator for two or three days.
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
2-3 Days (Fridge)
- 1 French or Italian loaf, cut into 1" thick slices Stale, dried-out bread works best
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 ounce bourbon Use 2-ounces for a boozier French toast
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning, cinnamon or Chinese 5-spice
- 2 tablespoon butter, cubed
- maple syrup or honey, optional
Prepare the French Toast:
- If bread is soft and fresh, place on a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. If bread is stale, skip this step.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, brown sugar, bourbon, and spices.Dip each slice of bread in the custard, and then layer bread in a large casserole dish. (A 9"x13" dish or a 10"x10" dish work well.)Pour remaining custard over the bread and place the casserole dish in the refrigerator.Soak the bread at least one hour, or overnight.
Bake the French Toast:
- Preheat oven to 350º F.Dot the French toast with cubed butter.Cover the French toast with aluminum foil, and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the bread is golden. (Total baking time 45-50 minutes.)
- Serve warm. Top with maple syrup (or honey) if desired.Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.