Prepare this recipe for Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast ahead of time. This dish consists of slices of sugary buttered bread, doused with a vanilla egg custard and finished with a sprinkling of toasted pecans. This French Toast is moist but not soggy. With the pecans combining with the buttery syrup, you’ll definitely want seconds!
This is ideal for breakfast or brunch and is a great start to the day, mainly because it is prepared the day prior. The only thing left to do, is to pop it in the oven and wait for it to bake. That is the hardest part about this recipe – waiting for it to be done!
Easy to find ingredients will make this a ‘go to’ breakfast choice for overnight guests or a family treat. No need to wait for the weekend!
- I recommend using a white loaf of unsliced bread. The surface of it can be hard because the egg custard will soften the crust. This is a great use of day old bread that most supermarkets sell for a fraction of the original cost.
- Whole large eggs.
- Golden brown sugar which adds sweetness and a mild molasses flavour.
- Salted butter, or unsalted butter if you want your own desired level of saltiness.
- Pecans are the nut of choice in this recipe. Buy them already chopped in pieces. They will be cheaper and it eliminates a task in this recipe. I used honey roasted pecan pieces for even more flavor.
- Heavy whipping cream which will add the most fat giving the French Toast a velvety mouth feel.
- Vanilla extract for flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by brushing a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter. Make it easy, melt the butter in the dish (use the microwave), then pour the melted butter into a bowl with the brown sugar and mix together until well blended. Using a pastry or silicone brush, distribute the butter around the dish, up the sides and over the bottom.
Slice the French toast into ½ inch thickness.
Spread half of the quantity of sugary butter onto the bread, making sure to cover the entire piece of each slice.
Whisk the eggs together, add vanilla and cream. Pour half of this over the bread slices.
Sprinkle half of the pecans onto bread slices.
Repeat the steps of buttering the bread, creating a double layer of bread in the dish. Then add the egg mixture and pecans.
When you have finished, wrap the baking dish in foil and store overnight in the refrigerator.
The following day, take it out of the refrigerator and put it in a preheated oven. No need to wait for it to come to room temperature first. Putting it into a preheated oven directly from the fridge, will not cause the French Toast to ‘weep’ or be ‘soupy.’
Flexibility of Ingredients
- An unsliced white bread is preferable for this recipe, Italian, French or sourdough. Texas toast, Challah, or sweet Hawaiian bread will also work. Use what you have or what is easy to get. Day old bread is better, as it will soak in more egg custard and yield a tender velvety result.
- There’s no substituting whole eggs, except to use store bought liquid eggs (the ones that come in a carton.)
- Any type of natural sweetener will work, such as honey, molasses, or date syrup.
- Use coconut butter, olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter, be sure to add a little extra salt if you use these butter substitutes.
- Any type of nut or combination of nuts can be used. Make sure nuts are chopped into uniform pieces. Nuts that could be used include macadamia, cashew, or almonds.
- A full fat dairy product is preferable but if you want to reduce the fat content and therefore the calorie content, then use half and half, whole milk or coconut milk. The texture of the custard will not be as rich.
- Vanilla extract is used in this recipe but if you wish to omit it or substitute it then go ahead. If using almonds instead of pecans, then consider using almond extract.
Uses for Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast
This recipe can be used in several different ways:
- As a hot breakfast dish on days like Thanksgiving or Christmas when an early start warrants a hearty breakfast. This will tide you over until the ‘big’ meal!
- This is great for a potluck breakfast or brunch dish, everyone will thank you for bringing it.
- House full of hungry teens? Pop this in the oven, they’ll wake up once the smell of it wafts into their bedrooms!
- Serve breakfast for dinner, consider adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to it to make it more of a breakfast dessert.
- This is great as a snack, which is my favorite way to eat it, if there are any leftovers.
The only equipment needed for this recipe is a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
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Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave or 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes (recommended.)
A Tip From Me
Do not skip the ‘overnight’ part of this Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast. Allowing the bread to soak up the egg mixture overnight, will result in a tender toast that is a little crispy on the outside with a soft custardy center.
Use day old bread. This is a great way to use up stale bread. If you can’t buy any, buy fresh and age it at home.
I’ve got answers – hopefully!
- How ahead of time can I make this? About 2 days ahead of time is fine. Make sure to store it well sealed in the refrigerator to avoid the bread picking up any refrigerator odors.
- What should I do if I prepare a full batch but only want some of it to eat right away? Good question – freeze the rest of it. Make sure to freeze each individual slice of bread in a single layer in the freezer first, then when they are frozen, store them in a large sealable freezer bag with parchment or wax paper separating each piece of bread. Then grab as much or as little as you need. Defrost and reheat.
- The bread part is not soft after cooking, what happened? Either the bread was not stale enough to soak in a lot of the egg custard, (fresh bread will not absorb as much egg custard as stale bread,) or the bread did not soak for long enough (maybe you did not wait overnight,) or maybe you brought the French Toast to room temperature before baking it in the oven. This will cause the bread to release the egg custard onto the bottom of the baking dish.
Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast
- 1 lb French bread this is the typical weight of a standard loaf of French bread
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz salted butter
- 6 oz light brown sugar
- 6 oz chopped pecans
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp salt
- Melt the butter in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (use the microwave.) Pour the melted butter into a bowl with the brown sugar and mix together until well blended.
- Using a pastry or silicone brush, distribute the leftover butter around the baking dish, up the sides and over the bottom.
- Slice the French toast into ½ inch thickness. This will yield about 18 slices.
- Whisk the eggs together, add vanilla and cream to make a custard.
- Step 1 – Spread half of the quantity sugary butter onto half of the quantity of the bread, (about 9 slices) making sure to cover the entire piece of each slice. Put the bread into the baking dish, single layer.
- Step 2 – Pour half of the egg custard over the bread slices.
- Step 3 – Sprinkle half of the pecans onto bread slices.
- Repeat steps 1-3 with the remaining ingredients. Place the second layer of buttered bread slices on top of the first layer of bread slices.
- Wrap the baking dish in foil and store overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, take it out of the refrigerator. Do not remove the foil. Put it directly in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.