Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

I think we have a new favorite brunch dish here!

On Saturday, I found this in my grocery store:

So, I purchased two tubs thinking that a new french toast casserole is in our future.  I was right.  On Sunday, I assembled my ingredients and got to work.  First, the bread.

You need a 16 oz loaf of bread for this recipe.  Any bread will do, really.  I happened to get a good deal on a 16 oz baguette at Walmart ($1.50) so that’s what I used this time.  Divide the loaf in half and cube each half.  As you can see by my pic, I didn’t get the loaf in perfect halves.  That’s okay, use the larger half for the bottom layer.

Layer one half of the bread cubes in a 9×13 baking pan that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray.  *(this is why I had you divide the loaf earlier, the hard part about figuring out just how many bread cubes make up half a loaf is already done.)

Then put 1-8oz tub of the pumpkin spice cream cheese into a microwavable bowl along with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Microwave this for about 1- 1 1/2 minutes on High (based on an 1100 watt microwave).  Stir until completely combined and the cream cheese has melted.

Drizzle this onto the bread cubes in the pan and then spread it out as evenly as possible.  This may take a little doing, but it’s great to get a bite of the cream cheese filling in every bite of casserole.

Then top with the other half of the bread cubes.  Now, beat 4 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade) and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together.  Add 2 cups milk and mix well.  It will look something like this:

Now spread this evenly over the top of the bread cubes.  I find that ladling it over the top works best for me.  Push down on the bread to help it absorb the liquid mixture.

Now, bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Mine took 40 minutes to bake completely.  The finished product:

The family pronounced it delicious.  This could be served with bacon or sausage or scrambled eggs and drizzled with maple syrup.  A salad and a side of fruit wouldn’t be amiss either.  You can prep this ahead and freeze it unbaked.  You could also put this in two 8×8 pans which is what I would have done if this hadn’t been my first time making it (Four foil loaf pans would also work for couples-adjust the baking time as needed).  Now, where’s my coffee?


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