Thanksgiving is this week, and if you are looking for something quick to serve for breakfast, this is a great choice. You can make it ahead (even freeze it) and then just pop it in the morning as you begin your turkey day preparations. Imagine the kids happily eating a plate (and letting you cook in peace) while they watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Bliss. :-)
I improvised and froze this recipe to use up some milk and then brought my experiment to MOPs. Thankfully, my fellow moms of preschoolers didn't mind being guinea pigs. In fact, the Thursday before Thanksgiving meant a lot of pumpkin dishes. There were actually two different pumpkin french toast casseroles!
This french toast was perfectly delicious! Just the right custard-to-bread ratio, not too sweet, and plenty of pumpkin flavor. Kiddo ate some of the leftovers for lunch that day and he LOVED it! Since it was so easy to make (and freeze!), I can guarantee that this Pumpkin French Toast Bake will grace our table many times in the future.
NOTE: This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 13x9" baking dish. Add 5-10 minutes to the baking time.
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
- 1/2 loaf french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/5 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
(Optional, but recommended)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Grease a 2.5-quart casserole or 8x8" glass dish and add cubed bread evenly to the pan, pressing down if necessary.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour evenly over the top of the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
*To freeze, wrap tightly with foil and pop the dish in the freezer. Let the casserole thaw overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours).*
- In the morning, prepare the Brown Sugar Drizzle: Add the cinnamon, sugar, and butter to a small glass dish. Microwave for 30 seconds to melt the butter and stir. Microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring, until the mixture bubbles and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Drizzle over the top of the casserole. (This can also be done on the stove top in a small pan, but with such a small amount, it seemed easier to microwave.)
- Place the casserole dish in a cold oven and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve with syrup if desired. (I thought it was sweet enough as it was!)
Do you eat a special breakfast on Thanksgiving? Are you a fan of pumpkin dishes?
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!