It’s finally cooling off a little bit down in Charleston, with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s. I am loving the break from the deathly heat. And, best of all, it finally feels appropriate to start cooking and baking with pumpkin! Now don’t get me wrong, because I could eat pumpkin-anything year-round, and I don’t know that I would get tired of it. However, Craig pumpkins out a lot more easily. I’m worried that he’s going to get tired of my unending autumn-talk about pumpkin and then not want to eat all of my creations, but I really can’t help it. Pumpkin is just so amazing!
My first pumpkin baking experience this year was an overnight pumpkin French toast casserole. I love classic French toast, and there was not a doubt in my mind that I would love any French toast that had a pumpkin twist to it. With this recipe, I was particularly interested in the “casserole” aspect, especially because that meant I could do the preparation the night before and just stick it in the oven in the morning. No having to stand at the stove the entire time. Just pop it in, and you are free to curl up on the couch, enjoy a cup of coffee, and take in the morning stillness while the casserole bakes.
I was definitely happy with how these turned out. You bake the toast with two layers of bread in the pan, so each pumpkin French toast “sandwich” is basically a serving. Craig thought these were absolutely fabulous. The pumpkin aspect obvious makes this the perfect breakfast for an autumn Saturday morning. The casserole aspect of it definitely adds a different twist from regular French toast. I wouldn’t say regular or casserole French toast is better. They are just different, and I really like both.
I will say that casserole French toast is probably a nice option to have if you have company in town, because you can throw it together the night before and then actually enjoy the company of your guests while it bakes in the morning instead of being stuck in the kitchen making breakfast while everyone else is talking in the family room or something.
This is a very rich meal, especially if you add the syrup on top. I must warn you that if you eat too much, you will definitely want to go back to sleep for a while right after breakfast. I know this from experience. 😉
Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Recipe From: Daily Dish Recipes
- 1/2 cup butter
- I used Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine
- 12 slices white bread
- The original recipe calls for what you would think of as you typical “bread-shaped” bread, however Craig was 100% adamant that he would not have French toast that did not use French bread…so that’s what we used. 🙂
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- I used vanilla soy milk.
- Melt the butter or margarine and pour it into a 9X13in pan.
- Mix the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together.
- Lay a single layer of six slices of bread into the casserole dish.
- Spread a thin layer of pumpkin (as if you were buttering a piece of bread) over all the all the bread slices.
- Sprinkle about half of the brown sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture over the layer of pumpkin.
- Now repeat steps 4-6 again with a second layer of bread (each slice should pretty much line up with the one below it).
- Pour the egg mixture over the top of it all, and sprinkle any remaining brown sugar/pumpkin pie mixture over the top.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at lest 4-8 hours…the longer, the better.
- In the morning (or after your soaking time), cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. It should be golden and set.
- Remove from oven and serve hot. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar if you would like. You could also serve this with some butter, whipped cream, or syrup on top…or you could just eat it plain. It’s fabulous. Enjoy!