This year has flown by, and the autumnal pumpkin spice season is already back. Yes, the Great Pumpkin‘s presence is officially upon us. Now you can celebrate the changing of leaves and the harvest of fall with this pumpkin spice brioche French toast.
We’ve sprinkled in pumpkin spice goodness into every bite by combining it with our easy no-knead pumpkin brioche and topping it with a delicious compound pumpkin pie butter to pack the most flavor into your fall!
What is in pumpkin spice, aka pumpkin pie spice?
Since Starbucks started the craze in 2003 with the pumpkin spice latte, there are now recipes that use pumpkin pie spice in every food imaginable.
Ironically, Starbucks’ pumpkin latte spice sauce is heavily reliant on the spices, not the pumpkin for its flavor. Furthermore, for marketing purposes they chose “pumpkin spice” over a generic Fall Harvest Latte title. That is to say, the pumpkin is mostly there for some coloring and to emote good feelings of the season.
Pumpkin spice is a ground blend of:
We’d go as far as calling this Fall Five-Spice powder; however, many store bought blends leave out cloves or allspice so it wouldn’t be entirely accurate.
For our French toast recipe, we mixed our own spices and left out the cloves.
Tips for making pumpkin spice brioche French toast
Pump up the pumpkin: Use Libby’s pumpkin puree
While the spices are key in achieving the pumpkin pie flavor, you can’t negate the pumpkin, or in this case, the squash.
Libby’s 100% pumpkin puree uses Dickinson pumpkins. To clarify, these are actually pumpkin squash, which aren’t related to the field pumpkins we carve into jack-o-lanterns. The latter isn’t very edible. This variety is technically allowed by the FDA to be called a pumpkin and is specially cultivated for sweetness and texture. More info on this here.
Despite what it’s actually made of, Libby’s 100% Pumpkin puree makes a huge difference in getting that pumpkin pie-esque flavor.
In the past, we made the mistake of buying a grocery store brand of pumpkin puree, thinking it was all the same, but it’s not. So if you want the sweetness and distinct orange coloring of pumpkin pie, go for the Libby’s.
Infuse the pumpkin spice batter in the fridge
- This recipe takes a little more time to get the most pumpkin flavor into it. It’s similar to making a custard ice cream base, where the spices and pumpkin puree are infused into the eggs, milk and cream for an hour or two in the fridge.
- In addition, we strained the batter so that the puree wouldn’t get in the way of the toast making full contact on the grill and browning evenly.
Make our easy no-knead pumpkin spice brioche
This step is totally optional, and this recipe will work with regular brioche or challah bread. On the other hand, when you buy pumpkin puree and aren’t using it in a pie, you’ll have a lot left over. So we put the rest into this buttery, easy no-knead pumpkin spice brioche. The extra pumpkin and spices help to build and layer the flavor.
What to put on your French toast? Pumpkin pie butter is better!
To sum up, this compound butter really ties everything together. Cutting the puree and spices into the butter with some honey in the food processor makes a wonderful spread that goes great with this brioche French toast or any piece of toasted bread (e.g. Texas Toast, Challah Bread, Croissants) for that matter.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!Print
Pumpkin Spice Brioche French Toast with Pumpkin Pie Butter
Pumpkin Spice Brioche French Toast with Pumpkin Pie Butter – Fall into flavor with this melt in your mouth French toast packed with pumpkin and perfectly spiced buttery brioche and topped with a sweet compound Pumpkin Pie Butter!
- Prep Time: *10 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 20 min
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Griddle
- Cuisine: American
For the french toast:
- 8 slices brioche, cut 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Preferably a day old.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the pumpkin pie butter:
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
For the French Toast
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla, fresh grated ginger, and salt.
- (Optional) Strain the mixture with a fine metal strainer into a shallow casserole dish to make sure that it is smooth and ready to dip.
- (Optional) Chill the mixture in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours to allow the ginger and spices to fully incorporate into the cream mixture.
- Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat.
- Dip each piece of bread in the batter for no more than 10 seconds on each side to fully coat. Be careful not to do it longer or the bread will get soggy and fall apart.
- Cook the French toast in batches, adding 1 to 2 slices to the skillet at a time. Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Put finished French toast slices on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven to keep it warm. Repeat until all pieces of toast are grilled.
- Serve with maple syrup and pumpkin pie butter. Garnish with powdered sugar.
For the Pumpkin Pie Butter
- Combine butter, pumpkin puree, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt in a food processor.
- Process until smooth and spreadable, scraping the sides as needed. You should see no visible bits of pumpkin puree.
- If not using immediately, cover and chill in fridge until ready to use.
*Inactive prep time: 1-2 hours for batter to infuse in refrigerator.
Keywords: pumpkin spice, french toast recipe, fall recipe, pumpkin pie, brioche, butter