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Fall weekend mornings are made for this Baked Butter Pecan French Toast. Made with a warming vanilla and cinnamon egg custard, sweet maple, brown sugar, and pecans. It’s baked until caramelized on top, and served warm with a cozy sweet bourbon maple syrup. Every piece of toast is soft, buttery, and custardy inside, yet caramelized around the edges. It’s almost like creme brûlée. Add fresh whipped cream and…beyond delicious!

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

When it comes to holiday breakfasts, I am very specific. Christmas is without a doubt cinnamon rolls – usually on Christmas Eve morning, and if there’s any leftover, they’re snacked on throughout day. Christmas morning is my mom’s Monkey Bread (an oldie but goodie!). In more recent years, we’ve been doing bacon and eggs too (I need a good savory casserole to make).

And for Thanksgiving? Well, that’s my wild card. It can really be anything, but we love something on the sweeter side. This year, it’s french toast. And probably these apple cinnamon rolls too, because we have a big group and both recipes are perfect.

But my goodness, this french toast is such a favorite.

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

The idea

The idea came from my baked cinnamon crème brûlée french toast that I shared a few years back. It’s my favorite baked french toast.

I wanted to give it a fall spin. I loved the idea idea of butter pecan…it’s my favorite flavor combination in November. So I went in that direction.

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

The details

Star with the “gooey” bottom layer that almost makes this french toast similar to a sticky bun. It’s a mix of brown sugar, maple, and butter. You’ll layer it on the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle over some pecans.

This next step is key. The sweet maple butter caramelizes and thickens in the oven around the french toast. This leaves you with a sticky sauce surrounding each piece of toast.

It is delicious!

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

The custard is a simple mix of eggs, milk, cinnamon, orange liquor, and vanilla. I highly recommend using the orange liquor as it adds that touch of special flavor. And truthfully, you really should have a bottle of orange liquor on hand at all times. Especially during the holidays, it makes the perfect margarita.

Dip each piece of bread in the custard, then arrange in the baking dish. Pour over that remaining maple/butter sauce and top with pecans.

Once the french toast has been assembled, place it in the fridge for an hour, or up to overnight. This is great if you want to have breakfast already prepped and ready for baking in the morning!

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

Finish with the syrup

While the french toast bakes, make the bourbon syrup. It’s simply maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

It might not seem like much, but the touch of bourbon really gives the french toast some warming “November” vibes.

Serve as is, or dollop with whipped cream. Then add plenty of the bourbon maple syrup. It is perfection.

The nuts add crunch, and the sauce keeps everything sticky and delicious. The french toast itself is eggy and custard-like…all together it’s the best!

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy fall breakfast dishes?? Here are my favorites: 

Cinnamon Knots with Coffee Icing

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter Bread

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Lastly, if you make these Baked Butter Pecan French Toast, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch the How-To Video:

Baked Butter Pecan French Toast

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rising time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 531 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Watch the How-To Reel

Ingredients

Bourbon Syrup

Instructions

  • 1. Grease a 9x13 inch-baking dish with butter. 
    2. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple syrup, and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Pour half the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pecans.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Grand Marnier, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Submerge each piece of bread into the egg mix, allowing the bread to sit at least a minute to soak up the eggs. Arrange the bread in the baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mix over the bread slices. Then add the remaining brown/sugar maple mix.
    4. In a bowl, mix the remaining pecans, butter, and brown sugar. Sprinkle the nuts over the french toast.
    5. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake for 45 minutes or until the French toast is golden and crisp. If the tops of the bread begin to brown too quickly, cover with foil.
    7. Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small pot, mix the maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes until thickened
    8. Serve the french toast warm, drizzled with syrup. Enjoy!
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Baked Butter Pecan French Toast | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Hi there! I made this for Christmas mornin today. It was delicious but I cooked your suggested time and the inside was still extremely soft. Is this to be expected? Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Emily,
      Happy Monday!❄️ I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! Yes, French toast is pretty soft:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for wine and Dessert night and even though we had sooo many varieties of dessert, this one was the one that was devoured! It is so quick and easy to make and I made it using half the portion of the ingredients mentioned and it was still plenty for 5 of us.

    1. Hey Daisy,
      Happy Holidays!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try! 🎄❄️

  3. I’m making this for Christmas breakfast and I am confused about how thick to slice the bread. In you video, you slice the loaf into 7 pieces but in the pan, you clearly have more – it looks like 13 pieces???

    1. Hey Lois,
      So sorry, I think you are over thinking this, you are just going to use 1 loaf of challah, cut it into however many pieces you want:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  4. I made this recipe last year on Christmas Day and I want to make it again this year but I was hoping to use homemade sourdough instead of challah. Would sourdough be an ok substitute?

    1. Hey Paige,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! I would not recommend using sourdough for French toast. Challah or brioche are the best options:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  5. 5 stars
    I made this the night before Thanksgiving so that my parents, in-laws, my husband, and I could all have an easy, hot breakfast before our day of cooking. I split the recipe between two pans and used brioche because the grocery store I was at didn’t have challah. Everyone loved this dish and I will definitely make again!

    1. Hey Marchelle,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Yes, that will work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

    1. Hi Shawn,
      Yes, in step 5 you can place in the fridge overnight like stated:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

    1. Hey Miranda,
      Of course, brioche would also be great to use! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  6. This recipe sounds wonderful, but I’ve got a gluten-intolerant daughter. I usually buy her the Canyon brand GF breads. I’m wondering if I can somehow adapt your recipe for the thinner bread slices. Perhaps just less liquids?

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Sure, that should work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out tasty, let me know if you give it a try! xT

  7. I’m not sure what I did wrong here. I baked it for an hour at 375 and it still was completely soggy and mushy in the middle and bottom. ?any ideas??

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try! The top of the French toast should be crispy and golden but the middle is definitely on the softer side, just the nature of it! Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xx

  8. Made this last weekend, substituted JustEggs because of my egg allergic granddaughter. Still tasted great and everyone loved it! Loved that I could prepare the night before.

    1. Hey Kate,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe out, I am so glad to hear that it was a winner! xxT

    2. My daughter is pregnant due in January 2023
      I am nervous using alcohol although I know it cooks out but do you have suggest omitting bourbon in sauce?
      I am not too concerned about liqueur

      1. Hi Barbara,
        Just skip the bourbon:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xT