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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: 171 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. 4 stars
    This was a great Christmas Eve breakfast. Easy to make and looked impressive, and was super good. Served fresh out of the oven is best.

  2. 5 stars
    I assembled this the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight since we were going to have a full house New Year’s morning and everyone LOVED it. I used a loaf of challah – make sure to get it whole and not sliced so you can cut nice thick pieces to soak up all the custard! I was out of pecans so used slivered almonds. Skipped the bourbon sauce and used maple syrup. Super delish and adaptable recipe!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for testing it out! Have a great week! xTieghan

      1. Hi Diane,
        Yes, you can totally cut this recipe in half. I hope you love it, let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Another great recipe from Half Baked Harvest! This was a big hit for our New Years breakfast today!
    For the 21 & older crowd, I’d just like to add that before digging into to all of this deliciousness, a shot of the bourbon you used in the recipe will get the party started in your tummy. You’re welcome from Milwaukee. CHEERS to the new year!

    1. Hey Andi,
      Awesome! I love to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy New Year!🎆 xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve weirdly never made French toast, but this sounded to good not to make! I made it for Christmas breakfast and used brioche, since I couldn’t find challah at the store. There was not a bite left!! Really good and will definitely make again when I have company.

    1. Hi Alissa,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Happy Holidays!💥 xT

    1. Hi April,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Happy Holidays!💥 xT

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made for breakfast on Christmas morning. Couldn’t find Challah. Read but used brioche buns which were still delicious!

  6. All I have on me bread-wise is Ezekiel sprouted, do you think that will work? Any tips on how to adjust for the thinner bread? I have literally everything else so I hate not to try it.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Honestly, I don’t think that would be your best option. Brioche or challah is the best when making French toast. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

  7. This recipe is soo good. Question, how much egg mixture should you have left to pour over your bread, and should you leave a space between each slice. I had alot of egg mixture left and I think I put too much in my pan while cooking. I will watch for your response. Thank u for this recipe

    1. Hey Holly, I usually have about 1/2 cup of the egg mix leftover. No need to leave any spaces between the bread. Glad you love the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this last night for breakfast for dinner and oh my word. This was DELICIOUS. Everyone was in awe over it. Only thing I did differently was use half milk and half heavy cream in the custard. I also couldn’t find any challah so I made some from scratch and it really was incredible. Freaking amazing. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers.

    1. Hi Cassidy,
      Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!🎄🎁 xTieghan

  9. Its Christmas Eve already and the only licuor I got in my kitchen is Jaggermeister. Made my research, it is mostly made of spices. Gotta give it a try, let’s see how it goes…

    Love ALL your recipes, btw. THANKS!

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Brioche would also work well here. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hi Kelley,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT

  10. Does the orange liqueur cook off? I have family members who don’t drink alcohol, so want to be sure it doesn’t taste boozy (obviously I’ll skip the bourbon in the syrup… for them 😆).

    1. Hey there,
      This would change the flavor profile for you, but yes it would work. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Just made this for my annual Christmas Brunch and it was a huge hit. The only thing I changed was I only added 1 tablespoon of bourbon to the syrup. It is a must include ingredient, but I tasted it after 1 and felt it would have been too strong for my taste with 2. The next time I make this I will line the bottom of my oven. Unfortunately mine bubble over while baking and it was a mess-smoke alarm and all-UGH! But another great recipe that I will surely make again.

  12. 5 stars
    Planning on serving this at Christmas brunch. Did a test run this morning and everyone loved it. I did switch out the recommended bread for sourdough and it gave a bit more contrast to the sweetness. Completely delicious!

    1. Hey Kellie,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    I couldn’t find Challah (and didn’t want to bake it myself 😁) so substituted thick cut French bread. Turned out great. Tasted wonderful. A guest said the bourbon/maple syrup was “naughty!” 😉

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  14. I made this today for our family Christmas brunch and it was AMAZING! Probably one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I made a few changes: used pre-sliced brioche from the grocery store, which I than cubed. Submerged the bread cubes in the egg mixture to coat, then transferred them to the baking dish. All the egg mixture was soaked up, since there was more surface area. I’ll definitely be making this again– what a treat!

    1. Hey Sara,
      Any dairy free milk that you enjoy will work here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    Delicious!! I used brioche and it was falling apart a bit when I was putting it together so I was getting a little nervous, but it came together perfectly. Not soggy for me!

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Fantastic! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  16. 4 stars
    Delicious, and so perfect for this season! After soaking all 12 slices of challah in the egg mixture there was still quite a bit leftover—so much so that the slices floated in the remaining liquid we poured over them once they were in the baking dish. That seemed a bit much, so we ladled two(ish) cups of the egg mixture out of the dish, leaving enough liquid to measure about half an inch deep for soaking overnight. It worked out well!

    1. Hi Hanna,
      Fantastic! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  17. Wow! We had it this morning for brunch before my daughter goes back to college and it was a HUGE hit! Wonderful recipe with so much flavor! Many thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Fantastic! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  18. 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you, 😊 the best oh and only French toast bake I have tried. This will become the holiday breakfast for awhile. I was always scared to try this type of French toast because I am not a fan of bread pudding. This recipe made me change my mind. Soooooooo freaking yummmmmmy. 😉

    1. Hi Desiree,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  19. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! We had guests staying the weekend and wanted something we could make quick with little mess. We prepared this the night before then just popped it in the oven in the morning. Everyone loved it. Including my two picky kids.

    1. Hey Cassidy,
      I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week! xTieghan

      1. Can this be prepped in advance, frozen, and then baked? I’d like to prepare it now and give it to my daughter to enjoy Xmas morning.

        1. Hey Karin,
          Unfortunately, I’ve not tried this and I really don’t think I would recommend freezing French toast. I would try one of my cinnamon roll recipes for something like this! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  20. In the top written article, you did not say to pour remaining egg mix over bread like in the recipe so I’m wondering if this is the difference on why some had an issue with it being too soggy? In article you said:

    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.

    1. I’m thinking of making this with a sourdough loaf from Costco. Do you think that will work well or better to find a challah or brioche?

    2. Hey Sarah,
      The blog description is just a brief overview of the recipe, please follow the actual steps given for best results. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

    1. Hey Lora,
      18 hours should be just fine. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  21. Could you swap in a dairy free milk? What are your recommendations on options, portions, and if anything else would need to be adjusted?

    1. Hi Kailey,
      I would use an equal amount of your favorite dairy free milk. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  22. 5 stars
    I made this as a trial for a post Thanksgiving Brunch and oh man…it is soooo good!!! What are thoughts on giving this to toddlers? Not the syrup of course but the baked French toast… It is so good and I know I could probably leave the the Grand Marnier out but it tasted amazing with it. Do you think the alcohol would cook off?

    1. Hey Allison,
      Happy Friday!! Love to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for giving it a try! The alcohol will cook out but you could also just skip it. Have a great weekend. xTieghan

  23. 5 stars
    This was truly Devine. I loved the fluffy custardy texture. The flavors were spot on as well. I made this for a late Sunday morning breakfast with sausage links and had enough to feed my family of five as well as my parents. I still had about a quarter left in the dish and we snacked on it throughout the rest of the day. I didn’t have the Liquor on hand so I used two table spoons orange juice and one teaspoon orange extract. I also used a smaller/taller casserole dish which in my opinion was perfect because I only came across smaller challah bread loafs at Trader Joe’s where I did my shopping. I popped it in my fridge overnight and baked in the morning. Before serving I ended up excluding the bourbon syrup because the dish was plenty sweet in my opinion and didn’t need anything else to be just perfect.

    1. Hey Laura,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Thanks for sharing what worked well for you. I hope you have an amazing week! xTieghan

  24. 5 stars
    Amazing for a morning at home or to impress a group! I prepped it the night before and added a touch of orange zest since it naturally went with the other flavors. In the future I would not add the extra egg/French toast mix in – I may also try laying the toast out differently next time.

    But the flavor and idea is fantastic!

  25. 3 stars
    It tasted really good, but it turned extremely mushy. The tops were crisp, but then just below that it was mushy. We had to scoop it out with a spoon. I know French toast isn’t supposed to be as hard as toast. But this ended up being just like sweet mashed potatoes, so I don’t know if pouring in the leftover mix is a good idea. I might try leaving the rest out next time.

  26. 4 stars
    I’m not sure what I did wrong. I didn’t use the alcohol, prepped it the night before, and it came out soggy on the bottom, hard and crispy on top. I used a deep 9×13, maybe that why? The bottom of my dish had eggs and pecans, not a buttery, syrupy deliciousness. I will have to try again, maybe in a different dish.

    1. Hey Trisha! Oh no I’m so sorry about that! Is there anything else you did differently? Let me know how I can help! xxTieghan

  27. 5 stars
    Wow! This was the first time making baked French toast. Incredibly delicious! Tasted just like sticky buns but the maple bourbon syrup sent it over the top! Yum!

  28. 5 stars
    Made it. Loved it and you! Any chance you fancy making a savory challah breakfast casserole, please please please? Brunch made easy?

    1. I’m wondering about substitutes for the alcohol as well please… for both the orange liqueur and the bourbon.

      Do we just omit?

      Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

        1. Hey Devon,
          Yes, that will work for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  29. I am SO excited to make this for our Saturday morning group this week – can’t wait! Perfect timing to share the recipe! I have a question – can this be made ahead of time and put in the fridge the night before, then popped in the oven in the AM? I don’t want to risk it getting too soggy…

  30. Hi there! It’s been asked before, but does this recipe call for buttermilk or whole milk? At the grocery and buying both to be sure. Hope to hear soon! Thanks so much 🙂

  31. Definitely on my list for Thanksgiving morning. Now to find an egg dish to pair with it. I really appreciate your creativity. Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. This looked, smelled and tasted amazing. It however deflated after 5 min out of the oven. Is there a way to keep it up and fluffy? Could one add, say, backing powder to the mix? Or would using butter milk instead of milk help?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Diana! I’m so sorry about that! I haven’t tried this recipe with buttermilk so I’m not too sure, so sorry again! 🙂 xTieghan

    2. Hi Diana, hmm, I am not sure! I don’t think baking powder would really help with that, but you could try. What kind of bread did you use?

      1. I used brioche type bread, live in Austria and this is what’s more widely available.
        Will try it with buttermilk and let you know..

  33. For the butter pecan French toast… We have a rule of no alcohol in the house/even to cook with. Could I skip on the orange liquor and should I substitute it for something else?

    1. This next step is key. The sweet buttermilk caramelizes and thickens in the oven around the french toast. This leaves you with a sticky sauce surrounding each piece of toast. Well we are waiting for your reply about the milk 🙂

    2. Hey Kelli! So sorry for the confusion, the recipe calls for whole milk because the mixture created in step 3 is a sort of “buttermilk”! Hope this helps! xTieghan

  34. Can’t wait to make this! Reading through the the text above the recipe and it says, “ This next step is key. The sweet buttermilk caramelizes and thickens in the oven around the french toast. ” I’m not seeing this in the recipe? I’m probably just missing something, but just in case, I thought I’d ask! Thank you!!

    1. Hey Megan! That was a typo. No buttermilk in the recipe. So sorry for the confusion! Hope you love the french toast! xxTieghan

  35. This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing! Quick question, if I don’t have Grand Marnier, is there a good substitute? Maybe orange juice?!

    Thank you!

    1. 10/10 do NOT recommend pouring the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices. As we suspected would happen, it cooked and attached itself to the bottom of the french toast like scrambled eggs. Disgusting. Recipe would have been delicious if I had listened to my gut instinct and threw the rest of the egg mixture away. Waste of time and ingredients and now we will be hungry until our Thanksgiving dinner is finished cooking.

  36. This sounds so good! When you say cut the bread thick, like an inch? Also does the bread get arranged with top of bread up? It looks that way in the photo but want to make sure. Thanks

    1. Hi there! Yes, I would cut it about an inch thick! And yes, the bread is arranged with the top up 🙂 xTieghan

  37. It makes sense. The recipe says 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Step 3 you are using the 1/2 cup which is the maple/brown sugar mix. Then in step 4 she is telling you to mix in the remaining 2 tablespoons with the pecans. At least that’s what it looks like to me !