Meatless Monday Challenge

Crispy Pan-Fried Pumpkin French Toast

on January 15, 2024
last updated May 14, 2024
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This crispy, buttery, and delicious Pumpkin French Toast uses real pumpkin puree and warming spices to bring rich flavor with a festive flair to your breakfast plate.
Four slices of Pumpkin French Toast stacked on top of each other with whipped cream and maple syrup.

Looking for the perfect Fall breakfast or brunch? This Pumpkin French Toast uses a combination of real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to culminate in the perfect blend of rich flavor and satisfying textures for the ultimate culinary experience!

Crispy and buttery on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside, this decadent French toast recipe is a Fall favorite in my house. Plus, it comes together in less than 30 minutes and requires just 6 ingredients, making it a quick and easy breakfast idea.

In this recipe, you will learn how to efficiently make a pumpkin egg wash for the French toast. You’ll also learn my best tricks to getting perfectly textured French toast (hint: timing is key!).

Close up of Pumpkin French toast sliced.

French toast is definitely one of my all-time favorite dishes to make. Creating unique French toast recipes was a hobby of mine long before I started sharing my recipes on the internet!

French toast is one of the easiest ways to revamp stale bread, making it one of the most delicious and fun ways to reduce your food waste.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can!

Pumpkin French Toast Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Day old or stale bread. Preferably brioche or Challah, but any bread will work!
  • Milk. Any dairy or unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy (unsweetened vanilla works, too.).
  • Brown sugar. Light or dark, I used light.
  • Pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have, check out every pumpkin pie spice substitute.
  • Pumpkin puree.
  • Eggs.
  • Maple syrup for serving.
All ingredients for Pumpkin French Toast including eggs, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, bread, milk, butter, and pumpkin puree.

What is the best bread for French Toast?

Really any bread works with this French toast recipe! It’s best if the bread is day old or stale, so that even with soaking up the egg wash, the French toast is firm enough. Here are my very favorite types of bread for this Pumpkin French toast:

Tips and Tricks for the best Pumpkin Spice French Toast


How to Prepare the Best Egg Wash for French Toast with Pumpkin

The success of your Pumpkin Spice French Toast relies heavily on the success of your egg wash! It’s hard to equally distribute the sugar and cinnamon into the eggs, but I have a great hack to do so!

Add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to a bowl with the milk first. Give it a good stir with a whisk or a fork before adding the eggs to the mixture.

This will help to evenly distribute the sugar and spice throughout the egg wash more evenly, rather than it little clumps.

Once your milk, sugar, and pumpkin spice are integrated, add the eggs and use the whisk or fork again to stir.

Green tips: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.

It’s always best practice to crack your eggs into a separate dish so you can easily extract any eggshells that may fall in and avoid a spoiled or bloody egg. Admittedly, I usually take the risk!

Once the eggs are well-integrated, whisk in the pumpkin puree, and you’ll have a smooth and thick pumpkin egg wash!

Adding pumpkin pie spice to milk and brown sugar to mix together.
Start by whisking together milk, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
Cracking eggs into milk with pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar to make egg wash.
Add eggs and whisk again to combine.
Pumpkin egg wash to dip stale bread into and pan fry.
Finalize the pumpkin egg wash by whisking in the pumpkin to form a thick and creamy custard to coat your bread in.

How to Time the Pan-Frying of Your French Toast Perfectly

If you’ve made French toast before and the texture wasn’t quite right, you may be asking yourself “what is the trick to not soggy French toast?”.

Well, my friends, the trick to getting that perfect crispy, buttery exterior and soft, pillowy interior on your French toast is in the timing.

The key is getting your butter nice and hot in the pan before dropping the French toast in. You also don’t want to over-soak the bread in the pumpkin egg wash.

To achieve this, I suggest adding about 1 tablespoon of butter to your pan first over medium heat. Once melted, tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly with a layer of butter.

Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.

Then, with the butter still over medium heat, dunk your bread in the pumpkin egg wash one at a time, coating it on both sides. You just want to dunk and coat, not sit and soak. Once the bread is coated, carefully drop it into the butter.

Only dunk the bread when you are ready to fry it. I usually fry one or two slices at a time, as to not overcrowd the pan. Fry the French toast for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until both sides are crispy and golden brown. Make sure to add more butter as needed.

Butter melting in a pan over medium heat.
Before coating your bread in egg wash, get the butter hot and melted in the pan over medium heat.
Dunking bread in pumpkin egg wash on first side.
Working with one piece at a time, dunk your bread into the eggwash.
Dunking bread in pumpkin egg wash on second side.
Make sure both sides of the bread are completely coated in the egg wash.
Adding pumpkin French toast to frying pan with butter.
Transfer the coated bread to the sizzling butter in the pan.
Frying French toast with pumpkin on both sides until golden brown.
Pan fry the pumpkin French toast until it is golden brown on both sides.

Serving Your Pumpkin French Toast

This Pumpkin French Toast is ridiculously delicious on its own or with just a little bit of maple syrup. Pictured, I served it with a little whipped cream, extra pumpkin pie spice, and syrup!

Still, if you want to add a little something, here are my favorite toppings and sides for some out-of-this-world breakfast ideas:

Sprinkling extra pumpkin pie spice on top of French toast with whipped cream.

How to Store and Reheat French Toast with Pumpkin

French toast will stay fresh for up to 1 week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can also freeze this pumpkin treat for up to a month!

From the refrigerator, it’s best to reheat it on a frying pan for about 5 minutes on each side, or until thoroughly heated through. If frozen, you will likely need to double the amount of time in your frying pan.

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You can also reheat it in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes from the refrigerator or 15 minutes from the freezer, or in the air fryer on 350°F for about 5 minutes.

The microwave will also work in a pinch, but it does tend to change the texture and can make it a little soggy or rubbery.

If you have extra egg wash only, you can save that, too. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container to make more French toast over the next 3 days.

Pouring maple syrup onto French toast with pumpkin.

What Makes this Pumpkin French Toast So Special


  • It uses real pumpkin and warming spices. This gives the French toast a super rich and festive flavor.
  • The texture is perfect. A super soft and tender center with a perfectly crisp and golden brown exterior.

If you’re loving this Pumpkin French Toast and want more sweet pumpkin recipes, check out these Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Four slices of Pumpkin French Toast stacked on top of each other with whipped cream and maple syrup.

Crispy Pan-Fried Pumpkin French Toast

5 from 2 votes
Marley Goldin
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This crispy, buttery, and delicious Pumpkin French Toast uses real pumpkin puree and warming spices to bring rich flavor with a festive flair to your breakfast plate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 slices

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¼ cup milk (or half and half, or heavy cream)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (for frying)
  • 4 slices stale bread (or day old)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • To a shallow bowl, add the milk, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and whisk to combine.
    Milk with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice whisked in.
  • Crack your eggs into the bowl with the spiced milk and whisk until smooth.
    Egg wash with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and whisk again to combine.
    Pumpkin egg was for French toast.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of butter to a large frying pan over medium heat and allow butter to melt, tilting the pan to coat the bottom with butter.
    Butter melting in a pan to fry up crispy Pumpkin French Toast.
  • Once your pan is hot and butter is melted, dip the bread into the pumpkin egg wash, one slice at a time, coating both sides and transferring immediately to the hot pan.
    Coating bread in pumpkin egg wash.
  • Allow your French toast to fry for 2-5 minutes before flipping and cooking on the other side. Both sides should be golden brown.
    Frying pumpkin French toast in a pan over medium heat.
  • Repeat for all 4 slices of bread, adding more butter to the pan as needed.
  • Serve hot with maple syrup! Try this Pumpkin Whipped Cream for a fancy finish.

Pro Tips

  • It’s best just to dip the bread in the egg wash, rather than letting it soak. This will help you avoid soggy French toast.
  • Keep the French Toast warm in the oven at 200°F until ready to serve.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan—it will make your French toast harder to flip.
  • Depending on the size of your eggs, there will be enough egg wash for 4-6 slices of French toast.
  • Want more pumpkin? Check out this list of all my favorite pumpkin recipes for Fall
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine French
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, French Toast, Pumpkin, Waste Reduction
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