Pumpkin French Toast with Apple Cider Syrup and Spiced Pecans

It’s been quite an adventure these past few months! On August 9th, Steve and I welcomed our brand new daughter Ava into the world! At 7 lbs. 3 oz. she was the perfect little peanut! Steve and I have been having a blast getting to know her and adjusting to a very different routine as parents!

A few short weeks later we were packing up our apartment and getting ready to head back east to our brand new house in Rochester, NY. Although we were sad to leave Portland, we were also pretty excited to start this new chapter in our lives!

One of the things I’ll always love about Portland is the city’s obsession with brunch. People are incredibly serious about brunch over there. With good reason – if you take a gander at any of the local restaurants brunch menu you will see an assortment of dishes completely worth dragging your butt out of bed for.

Our love affair with brunch was something that followed us back east – and lucky for us, our friends were only to happy to indulge us over the weekend at our most recent get together! I got to make a this pumpkin french toast dish that I had been dying to try out (I  had pinned it on pinterest – a site that I get sucked into waaaaay to frequently. Are you on there? Come follow me!) Anyways, I was thrilled with how it turned out! It’s definitely one of those dishes that you have to save for the weekend when you have a little extra time – there are lots of parts to prep. But the end result is totally worth it – I promise you.

Here’s what I know about french toast:

You need really good bread – something really thick and rich and dense like challah or brioche. It can also be really amazing with a super crusty french bread as well, if your into that sort of thing. You absolutely cannot use that wimpy little wonder bread stuff. You’ll be left with super soggy, limp french toast that just kinda dissolves when you stick a fork in it. Not good.

You also need to think ahead. While you can definitely make french toast the morning of (and I have quite a few times) it’s even better if you get some serious soak time in. Dip your bread in the egg/milk mixture the night before and let it soak it all up over night. It will be 10x better – I promise!

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin French Toast with Apple Cider Syrup and Spiced Pecans

adapted from ABC’s “The Chew” 

For the french toast: 

1 loaf bread – challah or brioche is best
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Half and Half
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Tspn Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch Salt

1. Slice your bread into reasonably thick slices. Set aside.

2. Combine all of the above ingredients (except the bread) in a large bowl. Whisk well. Dip each slice of bread into the mixture, making sure it is thoroughly coated, and place in a casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread and store in the refrigerator overnight.

3. The next morning, melt some butter on a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the griddle is hot and the butter is melted, fry up the french toast until each side is browned and crispy. Place in a 200 degree oven to stay warm until the remaining pieces are cooked. Serve with apple cider syrup and pecans.

For the apple cider syrup: 

1/4 Cup Sugar
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 cup Apple Cider or Apple Juice
2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Butter

1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Pour in the apple cider and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a minute while stirring constantly, then remove from heat and add the butter. Serve over french toast.

For the spiced pecans: 

1 Egg White
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
4 cup Raw Pecan Halves

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are thick and foamy. Add the sugar, salt, and spices and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pecans and make sure to coat evenly.

3. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, stirring them around every 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle over french toast




  1. Charlie & Louise Quick says:

    Oooh, that looks so good!!

  2. Congrats on your baby!! And this looks like the perfect brunch item!


  1. […] Spaghetti…..not so much. Since I had some leftover pumpkin from creating the Pumpkin French Toast, I decided to put it to good use and make a Pumpkin Pie […]

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