Pumpkin French Toast Casserole & Calphalon

This post sponsored by Calphalon. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s fall. Clearly. I mean, I already bought 18 bags of Halloween candy, ate them all before the Trick Or Treaters could arrive, and then bought 18 more bags only to discover that not too many Trick or Treaters even come to my house, so now I’m left with about 17 more bags of candy. I’m not very good at math, but by my calculations I’ve eaten my own weight in Halloween goodies. That right there is a sure sign that we’re in the midst of fall.

Believe it or not, though, I’m not really all sugared out yet. So, when Kitchen PLAY and Calphalon asked me to be part of their November progressive party and to create a fall entree to share, I decided to create an entree that is meant to be drenched in sugar. Duh. It’s just the way I roll. You all should know this by now. Sure, the rest of the bloggers involved are creating dinner recipes, but I’m weird. I’ve always been weird and I’ll always continue to be weird, and if you come to my house for dinner you might be served cocktails, appetizers, vegetables and French toast. It’s just the way I am. Don’t judge.

Calphalon sent me a gorgeous XL Digital Convection Oven to cook my entree in and I know what you’re thinking – gorgeous? It’s an oven.

photo snagged from Calphalon

Yeah. I find appliances very sexy and I think it’s rather suspicious that you don’t. Appliances are FUN, y’all.

Anyway, the oven is a tiny bit bigger than my microwave and sits right on my counter top. It’s stainless steel and extra supah fancy looking. I like it. Best part? It fits a 9×13 pan. Worst part? The 9×13 pan only fits if it doesn’t have handles. All of mine have handles, so I snagged a couple of foil pans from the store and got to baking.

(Calphalon also sells a nice 9×13 that has no handles. It’s pretty, too.)

I love that I can cook dinner right on my counter top without heating up the big oven. It is going to be so amazing to have two ovens this holiday season! It can even roast a 4 pound chicken, y’all. The temperature seemed very accurate and it baked my French toast casserole perfectly.

Speaking of French toast casserole…

Basically, all I did was take that classic French toast casserole that everyone’s mom makes for Christmas morning and I added pumpkin. Easy enough, but man, does pumpkin ever transform plain ol’ French toast into something fabulous.  Oh, and I might have added a praline topping, too. Like I said, I’m not sugared out yet.

This makes a fabulous fall breakfast. It’s warm, comforting, and full of all those fall spices we love.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole & Calphalon

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole & Calphalon


    For the French toast:
  • 1 loaf French bread (about 16 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
    For the praline topping:
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


    For the French toast:
  1. Slice the French bread into slices 1/2 inch thick. Arrange bread in one layer on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Set aside remaining bread slices.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  3. Pour half of the egg mixture over the bread.
  4. Top with the remaining slices of French bread and pour the remaining egg mixture over the top.
  5. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
    For the praline topping:
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour the remaining ingredients into the belted butter and stir until combined.
  3. Pour the topping over the French toast casserole.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
  5. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
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praline topping recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Calphalon is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter.  All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win a Calphalon Kitchen Electrics prize valued at $100 (6 prizes total).  The deadline is November 30, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!