Sticky Pecan French Toast Bake
I’m a little behind on all my recipe posting, especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I promise some things are rolling out. On that note, for all my website subscribers, don’t mind all the spam. All my content is rolling out today and I promise it’s good! Anyway, this Sticky Pecan French Toast Bake is absolute perfection and perfect for any Thanksgiving brunch or after dinner dessert. It’s gooey, warm, crispy on the edges, and topped with a homemade cinnamon whipped cream.
Each piece is soft, caramelized, and topped with a little bit of sticky pecan crunch. This is a great brunch or early afternoon goody to feed a small crowd. It only takes about 1 large slice to be full!
Having a good start to the day is the most important, especially when it comes to holiday mornings. Thanksgiving and Christmas morning has to start the right way. This french toast bake is sweet, a little crunchy, caramelized, and topped with toasted pecans. I mean, seriously, so delicious!
As for Thanksgiving, I’m planning on a few pies for dessert and maybe some pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfast (which are headed to the blog tonight right after this). I’ve held off on french toast bakes before because I always worried they were soggy, but let me tell you, it’s the perfect balance of a creamy bread with crunchy edges and a caramelized filling.
I call it caramel sauce throughout the recipe which it’s definitely not, but it seems like it, so just keep that in mind.
what you need
- melted butter
- brown sugar
- maple syrup
- challah bread
- ground nutmeg
- heavy whipping cream
This French toast bake is better than any other kind you’ll ever have. The bottom is coated in a gooey caramel and pecan topping that you whisk together and pour half on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the pecans right on top.
As the pecan caramel bottom cooks in the oven it becomes gooey and warm coating each piece of bread.
After that, slice the bread into thick pieces. One loaf makes about 10-12 slices.
Next, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. This is the egg wash and custard for the bread slices.
Add each piece of bread to custard and soak on each side for a total of about a minute. It seems like a lot, but challah is able to soak in a lot of liquid. After dipping, place the bread slices into the baking pan. Alternate each piece of bread in the baking dish. Pour remaining egg wash over the bread slices in the pan.
Top with the remaining caramel sauce and coated pecans. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight. Once it’s ready, preheat the oven to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes until browned, crispy, and bubbly.
Check out my reels here for a video tutorial.
You might just be making this sticky pecan French toast bake for the family, but might as well make it nice for a gorgeous showstopper! Finish the French toast bake with some homemade cinnamon whipped cream and maple syrup. We used the real stuff, Canadian maple syrup. It comes in a can and is much better than all the other stuff. Get one here.
For the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream to a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in your cinnamon and continue whisking until still peaks form. Using a stand or hand mixer with a whisk attachment is the most efficient way to get the job done.
making ahead and storing
If you choose, you can easily make the French toast bake ahead of time. As I mentioned earlier, add each coated bread slice to the pan, pour the custard on top and cover. Place it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next morning. The minimum chilling time is 1 hour, but overnight definitely enhances the flavors!
If you have a little extra in the pan after everyone is stuffed, add it to a Tupperware and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. After that it can actually get a little soggy and lose all its warm goodness. The French toast bake is best eaten the same day!
Check out my other fall breakfast bakes here:
- Apple Cider Spice Pancakes
- Caramel Apple Dutch Baby
- Spiced Pistachio Coffee Cake
- Ultimate Super Sticky Buns
Did you make this for your family or holiday brunch? Let me know below in the comments or on Instagram @tuesday.treats. I love seeing your creations!
Sticky Pecan French Toast BakeCourse: Donuts and Bread, FavoritesCuisine: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy
This sticky pecan french toast bake is perfect for any holiday or weekend brunch. It’s super gooey, caramelized, slightly crisp, and sweet. Make this for your small crowd!
- French Toast Bake
1/2 cup brown sugar + 3 tbsp
1/2 cup butter (8 tbsp), melted
1/4 cup maple syrup (We used the real stuff, get some here)
2 cups halved pecans
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 loaf challah bread, cut into thick slices
- Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Grease a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
- Whisk 6 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl. It should be a syrup like consistency.
- Pour half of this mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half of your pecans on top. Set aside.
- Whisk your eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture and let it soak for about a minute. Place the bread slice into the pan and alternate with the rest.
- Pour the remaining custard over the bread slices. Scoop the remaining sticky brown sugar mixture over the bread.
- Toss the remaining nuts with the rest of the butter and brown sugar. Sprinkle these over the french toast slices.
- Cover the pan with plastic film and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight. If you’re in a pinch, 1 hour will do, but as much as 1 day will work.
- When you’re ready, pre-heat the oven to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes until browned, crispy, and bubbly.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon together until still peaks form. This is your homemade cinnamon whipped cream. Whatever you don’t use can be stored in a Tupperware for a few more days in the fridge.
- Top the warm french toast with whipped cream and more syrup!