This Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole is such an easy breakfast recipe! The easy french toast casserole recipe gets a fun fall twist with the addition of baked donut holes and pumpkin. The whole easy breakfast casserole is topped with a brown sugar crumb topping.
Breakfast of champs, guys. Plus, an easy how to video for Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole!
This Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole (aka a donut breakfast casserole crossed with a french toast casserole) is slightly over-the-top, but 100% worth every single pumpkin and spice bite.
We live in a pretty weird world.
A world where people order venti caramel frappuccinos with extra caramel but get irrationally irritated when there’s too much sugary whipped cream on top of their drink.
(👆🏻True story. I was waiting for my drink when I overhead this lady, who lacked some serious chill mind you, yelling at the poor barista, asking him “DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A LITTLE WHIPPED CREAM??”)
A world where people get in fist fights over the last pizza bagel sample at Costco.
A world where people demand to know why there aren’t any food options that cater to their very rigid, self-imposed diet restrictions (that the vast majority of people in attendance don’t follow) at the potluck breakfast.
(Does it surprise you that all of my examples revolve around food? It’s my life. 😂)
Right? It’s a weird place. I just think a little more common courtesy and a little less self-involvement could go a long, long way.
I mean, not in a creepy, Buddy-the-Elf-smiling’s-my-favorite kind of way, but in a friendly, hey-how-ya-doin’ kind of way.
I also feel like sharing food could also go a big way to improve a person’s mood. It’s really just a theory, but I feel like it’s got some weight to it. This Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole? It’s hard to be anything but happy when eating this decadently delicious and easy fall breakfast.
This Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole is a combination of three things I heart with my whole…well, heart.
- French Toast. It might just be my favorite breakfast of all time. (This Baked Pumpkin French Toast is also 👌🏻)
- Donuts. I mean, should I say anymore? (These Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donut Holes and these Buttermilk Pumpkin Donuts are LIFE.)
- Pumpkin. I’m not obsessed with pumpkin, but I do love it during this time of year, especially in breakfast dishes.
Of course, this also has the brown sugar crumb topping that I also find irresistible. Anytime we can classify something that’s sweet enough to be considered dessert as breakfast, I’m in.
All right, so let’s talk some recipe specifics.
When I was toying around with ideas for this pumpkin donut casserole, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to use all donut holes (of course, you could also use whole donuts cut into smaller pieces) or a combination of bread and donuts.
I did decide to split it up, using both regular bread and donuts, mostly because I felt like using all donuts might make this a little too sweet (I know, who am I???). You could definitely try out all donuts (maybe use less of the crumb cake topping?? Or ignore me, use it all, and live your best life). If you do, let me know how it is!
Oh, and on another note, I opted for baked donut holes.
They’re cheaper, easy to buy at your local grocery store (I used the ones from Ralph’s bakery section), and a little sturdier than the yeast-based donut holes most donut shops sell (although they are amazing and my ultimate weakness, especially when they’re glazed).
You could also used homemade baked donuts as well. I went for the ultimate easy factor by using store bought donut holes. Judge me if you will.
Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole Tips & Tricks:
- This technically could be an overnight french toast casserole, if you wanted it to be a make ahead french toast casserole. However, the donuts are soft enough that it doesn’t need to be soaked overnight. In fact, it really only needs to soak about 20 minutes before being baked.
- If you do decide to make this pumpkin donut french toast casserole ahead of time, it will definitely be more custardy in the center (because it had all night to soak the liquid, therefore the bread and donuts will be uber soft/wet before baking).
- You can use any type of donuts you want. I used a mixture of powdered sugar donut holes and cinnamon sugar donut holes, but crumb donuts or glazed donuts would be fine in this baked donut french toast casserole (although glazed donuts would definitely amp up the sweetness factor).
All my love in one baked french toast casserole (because donuts).
- 16 baked donut holes (plain, cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, etc.), cut in half or quarters
- 4-6 slices thick bread, cut into small pieces
- 3 eggs, large
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp butter, cold
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 or 11x7 pan (in the video, I used a deep dish 9x9 dish).
Mix donut holes and bread together, spreading them evenly in the baking dish.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and allspice together. Pour the mixture evenly over the donuts and bread.
Allow to sit for 20 minutes so the bread and donuts can soak up some of the liquid (you can make this the night before and let it soak overnight; however, it will be much more custard-like in the center. Because the donuts are naturally softer, it truly only needs about 20 minutes to soak).
Mix brown sugar and flour together. Add the butter to the mixture. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until it has come together and resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle the topping over the casserole.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the casserole feels ‘set’ in the center when the baking dish is gently moved.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Top with maple syrup or powdered sugar.
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Originally posted in 2018, updated in 2019.