This healthy pumpkin pie French toast bake is an easy-to-make, cozy fall brunch with sourdough, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and the usual French toast suspects. Make it ahead to serve a crowd, or meal prep it for warm and comforting breakfasts throughout the week!
In a world...
Where you have but three things to do when you wake up in the morning: eat, drink (coffee), and be merry.
Behold: the overnight French toast bake.
Which totally doesn't have to be overnight! Because if it's not, you'll still have a very easy morning brunch ahead of you. I promise -- you will not miss out on the eating, drinking coffee, or being merry, and you'll have successfully made an impressive amount of French toast in one fell swoop. Are there even other life goals?? (Well, yes there are. But most of them should involve food...).
Oh, P.S. Did I mention this French toast bake tastes like pumpkin pie?
So... What is a French Toast Bake?
Basically, it's just bread cubes soaked and baked in some ratio of eggs to milk and other delicious things. Is it just bread pudding disguised as a breakfast food? Maybe, friends; maybe, but I think that's something we can get on board with.
For ingredients, you've got your usual French toast suspects, many of which are kitchen staples (read: reasons not to make extra trips to the store):
- Sourdough or French bread (whole wheat if you can find it!)
And for the whole pumpkin pie side of the story, you'll need:
- Maple syrup
- Pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger)
- Vanilla extract
Finally, optional but delicious add-ons include toasted or candied pecans or walnuts or fresh pomegranate arils after baking (I've got you covered on how to deseed a pomegranate). Oh! Or sugared cranberries if we're really getting festive.
How to Make Baked French Toast
As I mentioned, this can be overnight or not -- totally up to you! The only difference is that, before baking, you'll either soak the bread cubes in the French toast batter in the fridge overnight, or for just a bit before baking immediately. Both are equally delicious, though the overnight version is slightly more hands off in the morning. On holidays, this can be nice because it allows you to be more present with family while cooking. But, like I said, pumpkin pie French toast bake is so easy that the extra few minutes of prep in the morning really ain't no thang.
If you're baking the French toast immediately, you can preheat your oven to 350 right off the bat. Either way, you'll want to butter a 9x13-inch baking dish to prevent sticking. Tear or cut a loaf of your favorite sourdough into medium-size pieces -- approximately two-inch chunks, if we're getting all measure-y and stuff. Place the bread pieces into the baking dish and set aside.
Next, you'll mix up the pumpkin pie French toast batter by whisking together eggs, milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger until the mixture is smooth.
Once that's all whisked together, pour it over the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish, and gently stir things around so that each cube is evenly coated. For night-before prep, here's where you would cover and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Alternatively, if you're making it the same day, let the bread cubes soak in the pumpkin spice French toast batter for at least 15 minutes. You can use that time to be awesome and clean up your kitchen, lightly toast some nuts to put on top of the bake, make coffee, etc.
After the bake has had some time to sit, throw some pecans on top... and maybe a little more maple syrup or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Pop that baby in the oven for about 30 minutes until the French toast batter has solidified and the bread cube tops are slightly toasted.
From there, cut it up into squares, and serve immediately (with copious amounts of coffee, naturally). I recommend topping it with:
- maple syrup (this is actually straight-up not optional)
- apple butter
- pumpkin butter (if you're intensely into pumpkin-flavored things and want meta-French toast)
- pomegranate arils (as aforementioned)
- sugared cranberries (also as aforementioned)
- a dash of cinnamon or cinnamon sugar (I'm thinking post-maple syrup drizzles so it sticks to it :))
Last, but not least, leftovers are very much a thing with baked French toast. So, if you have any left, just place it in a glass container with a tight lid and reheat it later.
And that is all I know. Get after it!Print
Healthy Pumpkin Pie French Toast Bake
A healthy pumpkin pie baked French toast recipe with sourdough bread, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Perfect for brunch for a crowd, or breakfast throughout the week!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 squares 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
- 1 loaf of your favorite sourdough bread
- 7-8 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk (any kind will do)
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin*
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp ginger
- A pinch of salt
- Optional topping: pecans or pepitas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13" baking dish with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper. Cut bread into 1-2 inch cubes, and distribute evenly into prepared baking dish.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices. Pour mixture evenly over bread cubes, ensuring that the majority are coated. Sprinkle pecans, pepitas, or any nut over the top if desired. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, to give the bread a chance to soak up some of the batter. *If preparing ahead, cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight, then follow baking instructions below in the morning.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until French toast batter is completely solidified and top is slightly crispy. Allow to cool before slicing into squares; serve with additional maple syrup.
*Substitute cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger for 2 teaspoon (or more) pumpkin pie spice.
Keywords: baked French toast, French toast bake, healthy French toast bake, French toast bake with sourdough bread, pumpkin pie French toast