Pumpkin French Toast with Candied Pecans

Know what’s better than pumpkin pie? This recipe for Pumpkin French Toast with Candied Pecans is in fact, better than pumpkin pie! Out of all of the recipes I have developed so far, this is the one that I am most proud of. Why? Because it smelled heavenly and made me feel pure joy when I ate it. And I’m sure it will make you feel the same way!

Pumpkin french toast

What is Pumpkin French Toast?

This pumpkin french toast is like taking a pumpkin pie, french toast, and a stroll down an autumn lane with colored leave falling everywhere…and then rolling them all into one. Not literally of course, but figuratively, this recipe sums up autumn, the warmth of the changing colors, the festivity of pumpkins, and the excitement of holidays coming!

So to answer the question, pumpkin french toast consists of Brioche(or challah or any sturdy bread that has been dried out), that cooks in pumpkin custard with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. To top it all off, we make candied pecans and cinnamon whipped cream.

Altogether, it’s the ultimate autumn breakfast that is perfect for entertaining guests. Or if you are like me, it’s perfect for eating while cozied up in some jammies and cozy socks on a Saturday morning with the people who make my life richer every day.

pumpkin french toast

What are Candied Nuts?

Candied nuts are nuts that have been coated in sugar and sometimes egg whites, butter, cinnamon, or other spices. They either bake in the oven or cook on the stove in a skillet.

Of the 2 methods, the stove method is the quickest, taking no more than 10 minutes.

Nuts that candy well include pecans, almonds, pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts. Candied nuts can be eaten plain or on ice cream, french toast, pumpkin pie, etc,.

To make candied nuts: Mix butter, sugar, and spices in a pan on medium heat. Melt butter and sugar and simmer for 1 minute. Add nuts and stir for a few minutes until the sugar dries out and clings to the nuts. Add more sugar, let it melt slightly, then remove from heat and add a dusting of cinnamon sugar. It’s that simple!

pumpkin french toast with candied pecans

How to Make Pumpkin French Toast

  • Dry bread in oven for 10 minutes
  • Make pumpkin custard by combining egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, and melted butter.
  • Add the milk 1/4 of a cup at a time so that the custard stays smooth.
  • Dip bread in custard for 2-3 seconds per side and cook in a skillet with butter.
  • Top with cinnamon whipped cream and candied pecans.
pumpkin french toast

Pumpkin French Toast with Candied Pecans

pumpkin french toast

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast


Units Scale
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 5 Tbs canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk (2% or whole)
  • Bread (Brioche preferred or Challah)
  • Extra butter for cooking French Toast
  • Syrup

Candied Pecans

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


Candied Pecans

  1. Mix dry ingredients together and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar mixture.
  2. To a 10″ skillet (preferably not a nonstick skillet), add butter and the cinnamon sugar mixture(except the 1 1/2 TBS). Cook over medium-low heat.
  3. Let the mixture melt and begin to bubble for 1 minute, and then add the pecans. Keep the pecans over medium-low heat. Nuts can burn easily, so low and slow is key.
  4. Stir the nuts continually. The sugar mixture will dry up and form a sugary crust on the nuts. Once the nuts look somewhat dry and crusted, add half of the 1 1/2 tablespoons of reserved cinnamon sugar. Every now and then, stop mixing the nuts and let them sit for 5-10 seconds in the pan so that the sugar melts and adheres to the pecans. The sugar should not melt fully; rather, there should still be some sugar crystals on the nuts. 
  5. Remove from heat after 5-8 minutes and toss with remaining cinnamon sugar. The amount of time it takes to candy the pecans varies slightly. If you like your nuts a little more toasted, it will take closer to 8 minutes. The nuts can develop a smoky flavor the longer they cook, so I prefer to stay closer to 5-6 minutes. 
  6. If the pecans start to turn super dark in spots, they may be burning, so do not walk away while nuts are cooking.
  7. Let nuts cool for 15 minutes before eating. The nut oils will be very hot, so let them cool so they don’t scorch anyone’s tongue!

Pumpkin Custard

  1. Preheat oven to 250 F. Lay out bread slices on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven for 10 minutes to dry out, flipping the bread over at 5 minutes so both sides dry out. Remove bread to a cooling rack until ready to use.
  2. In a pie dish, whisk egg yolks, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and vanilla. Add melted butter and whisk again. 
  3. Whisk milk into the custard in 4 additions so that the custard stays smooth; set aside.
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter. For electric griddles, heat to 350 and place butter directly on griddle surface.
  5. When the butter has melted, swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Take a piece of bread and lay it in the custard mixture for 2-3 seconds on each side. Place custard soaked bread directly in the hot buttered skillet or on the griddle.
  6. Flip french toast once the first side has caramelized and looks golden brown; brown the opposite side and remove from skillet or griddle. Add more butter and repeat with remaining bread.
  7. Whip heavy cream, sugar and cinnamon until medium peaks form.
  8. Top French toast with pecans, maple syrup, and cinnamon whipped cream (or plain whipped cream). Serve immediately.

**For an optimal flavor combination, use maple syrup or buttermilk syrup with the pecans and cinnamon whipped cream.


This recipe is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

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