If you are having guests stay over during the holidays or need to cook up a big breakfast for any reason, this decadent pecan pie french toast casserole is the perfect option for a sweet breakfast/brunch or even a mid-afternoon coffee break.
There is a little prep work involved as it does need to sit in the fridge overnight (or for at least 6 hours), but it comes together easily the night before and baking it is pretty effortless.
Whether it’s served with pecans or not, which would strip this casserole of its pecan pie title, it’s still very rich with its cozy, warm cinnamon flavor. Serve with a side of coffee (if that’s your thing) and you’ll pretty much be in heaven.
Yes, the servings are a little deconstructed, but it won’t matter because one serving will be in your belly in a matter of minutes. And, you’ll probably be asking for seconds.
One 8″x8″ casserole makes 9 servings.
Here’s how you make this amazing breakfast casserole:
- 8 oz. loaf French Bread (half a large loaf), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups pecan halves
- Butter an 8"x8" baking dish and add the cubed bread.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Then, whisk in the heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
- Carefully pour mixture over bread. Toss the bread in the dish and check to make sure all of the bread is being soaked by the mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
- This can be done the day before or the morning of--your preference.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Stir the butter to ensure it does not burn.
- Add in the corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir to combine. You should see a thick syrup forming.
- Let this syrup sit on low-medium heat for 5 minutes, gently stirring.
- Stir in the cinnamon and then stir in the pecan halves. Make sure the syrup coats all of the pecans. Keep on the flame for another 5 minutes, gently stirring.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover the base using the pecan topping. You might have some syrup left with the pecans. You can reserve it for another use or just add to the casserole.
- Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. The casserole is done when the bread looks toasted.