French toast in process

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

I know my kids would rather be in school with their friends, but there are some aspects of remote learning from our home that are positive, and we are ​practicing gratitude​ these days. Things we’re currently grateful for: pajamas all day, petting the cat while doing virtual school, bubble bath lunch breaks, and yummy food. It’s a lot more work on my end to cook three meals a day, but it’s also something fun and creative we can do together.

I love this recipe for Pumpkin French Toast Bake because it uses up old bread, has a good amount of protein from the eggs, and I can control the sugar content. It’s also pulled together in under 20 minutes in the evening and refrigerated overnight. Leisurely mornings in pajamas eating something homemade is certainly one of the perks of being at home with my kids during this time, and for that, I am grateful.

60 mins



About 6 cups of bread cut into 1-inch cubes (I like whole wheat)

7 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or 1/4 cup pumpkin butter and reduce the spice a bit)

3-4 tablespoons brown sugar

Butter for 9” x 13” pan


Cut or tear bread into 1-inch cubes. (A crusty, whole wheat bread is best as it holds up, but you can use any kind. Even somewhat stale bread works for this.)

Butter a 9”x 13” baking pan and fill it with bread cubes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and pie spice and then pour over bread. Push it all down with a spoon until it's soaked and mostly covered. Cover with cling film or foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, uncover, top with brown sugar, and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no longer wet.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.



  • Cut or tear the bread into 1” pieces
  • Crack the eggs and whisk
  • Open the can of pumpkin
  • Measure all ingredients


  • Manage the oven in the morning
  • Initiate a conversation about gratitude
A photo of Cheryl.

Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.



What is one profession that you’re appreciating now more than ever before?

(Shout-out to the grocery store restockers!)