On Christmas morning we wake up, pass out presents, maybe open a couple but then take a break and have big brunch. So that no one has to slave away in the kitchen for too long, over the past couple of years we’ve been experimenting with various overnight French toasts and slow cooker egg bakes. One of my most recent experiments that would be great for Christmas morning is pumpkin French toast in the slow cooker.
Before you start judging the paper plate – I was at duck camp when I took pictures for this recipe. And if you don’t want to do dishes on Christmas morning, I won’t judge you for paper plates either. But let me tell you if it’s easy enough for duck camp, it’s definitely easy enough for Christmas morning. And the pumpkin flavor in the French toast with the smell of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup really does feel like the holiday season to me. And for you traditionalists out there who don’t like to break seasonal trends (I’m talking about you Tory) this is one of your last times to break out the pumpkin.
Here’s what you need:
I used cinnamon bread for this recipe because I wanted to amp up the cinnamon flavor. Start by cubing the bread into inch and a half or so chunks.
Now make sure your slow cooker has a slow cooker bag in it – because who wants to soak and wash out their slow cooker on Christmas? And add all the bread to the slow cooker.
Mix together your custard mixture for the bread. I used milk, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin puree. Yes, I’m using canned pumpkin here – but you have to realize that I was at duck camp and made this spontaneously so my only resort was the buy canned. So while I’m adamant you need “real” pumpkin in pie, go ahead and cheat for this French toast if you don’t have any ready in your freezer.
I actually also forgot the sugar when I mixed the custard together the first time and we all still liked it, so you can skip the sugar if you want but just be prepared not to have that sweet flavor in the French toast itself. You can also use brown sugar instead of white sugar if you want for more of a rich molasses-ey flavor.
Now pour the custard over the bread in the slow cooker and stir to ensure all the bread is coated.
This can sit for an hour or so before you turn the slow cooker on to let the bread absorb the custard. I also let it sit because I wanted to relax for a bit before bed and didn’t want to turn it on until we headed to bed.
Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Serve with caramel sauce or maple syrup.
- 12 oz loaf cinnamon bread. Cut into ½ inch squares
- 3.5 c milk
- ½ c sugar or brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¼ t salt
- 1 t pumpkin pie spice
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ t ground cloves
- 1 t vanilla
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (or 1-1/2 c homemade pumpkin puree)
- Line the slow cooker with a slow cooker bag. Place bread in lined slow cooker.
- Whisk all other ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
- Pour over bread in slow cooker and gently stir to coat all the bread.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Serve with caramel sauce or maple syrup.