Baked Pumpkin French Toast

Hello there– I have to tell you that this is one of those dishes that tastes way better than it looks!!  It’s sort of a homely little mess sitting on the plate. Looking at the photos, I thought I should just scrap this post, but then it was so yummy, I just wanted to give you to be able to give it a try!!  Please trust me on this one.

The toasty bread coated with custardy pumpkin is pretty delicious, especially hot from the oven.  With maple syrup, perfect!

1 pound loaf French bread
6 eggs
2 cups cream or half & half
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cu brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans (or more if you love pecans as much as I do!)

Garnish:  lots of maple syrup!

Cut the loaf of bread into bit sized chunks.  Put it into a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until they are blended.  Then stir in the cream, sugar, pumpkin, salt, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour the mixture over the bread.

Cover the whole thing with foil and set it into the fridge overnight.  The next morning, take it out of the fridge an hour before you want to put it into the oven, to warm a bit.

While that is sitting, make the Crumb topping by mixing together the brown sugar, flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until the mixture is crumbly.  Stir in the pecans and sprinkle it over the pumpkin French toast just before you pop it into the oven.

Bake the French toast for the first 30 minutes still covered with the foil at 350 degrees.  Then remove the foil and bake for 20 or 30 minutes more until the top is golden and the pumpkin filling is all set.

Serve it up hot from the oven with along with a jug of maple syrup!  I think you’ll love it!

Maple Pumpkin Granola


Hello there– On a trek through Target a couple weeks ago I spied it– a big end display of canned pumpkin!  I couldn’t help dropping a couple cans in my cart!!  Let the pumpkin baking begin!!

Love this crunchy granola– here with yogurt & honey– or sprinkled on oatmeal or ice cream– or scooped by the handful when I wander into the kitchen looking for a mid afternoon munch.


3 cups whole oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, walnuts and coconut.  In a separate bowl mix up the pumpkin puree, olive oil, maple syrup, salt & cinnamon.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and stir until it’s all well blended.

Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Spread the oat mixture evening over the baking sheet and pop it into a 350 degree oven.

Cook for 10 minutes and then take it out and stir it up on the pan.  Bake ten more and stir it again.  Bake ten minutes more for a total of 30, maybe 35  minutes.


Pumpkin French Toast

Hello everyone– When the kids are home for a visit, my favorite part of the day is breakfast.  Larry starts the coffee and I buzz around the kitchen while people with pj’s and bed hair wander in one at a time.  They squeeze around the small kitchen table and I flip pancakes or pour juice.  It’s the best– talking over the day ahead, easy times together.

So while kids were here last weekend, we sat down to this pumpkin French toast.  Custardy and pumpkin spiced with candied pecans to top it off.  I think you’d love it too!

1 loaf soft French bread*
4 eggs
1 cup mik
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
garnish:  1 cup pecans, 1/2 cup sugar

Slice the loaf into thick slices.

In a 9″ baking dish, beat the eggs and then beat in the milk, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Keep mixing til it’s all blended.

Dip both sides of the bread into the pumpkin mixture and set it on a medium hot griddle that has been sprayed with cooking spray, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Keep warm in a low oven until all the toast is cooked.

Garnish– to make the candied pecans put the 1 cup of pecans (whole or chopped and 1/3 cup sugar in a nonstick skillet.  Set it on a medium high burning and stir continuously until the sugar has melted and the pecans are coated with golden brown sugar syrup.  Turn the pecans out onto a piece of foil to cool, separating them with your wooden spoon on the foil.

*Use those spongy French bread loaves from the grocery bakery (not my favorite bread, but great for soaking up eggy French toast mixture).

Simple Snacking Pumpkin Cake


Hello all– Pumpkin pie, it’s OK. I can kind of take it or leave it.  I’d really prefer my pumpkin baked into a batch of muffins or a cake– this little cake especially.  It’s surprisingly moist and tender– and slathered with cream cheese frosting and a dusting of cinnamon– it’s festive enough for your Thanksgiving supper.

But the nice thing about this simple cake it that it’s so quick & easy– at a time when your culinary energies need to go into basting a turkey or whisking gravy.  You might just love it to round out your Thanksgiving meal…

2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 bock)
4 tab. butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tab. milk
cinnamon to sprinkle on top (optional)


With an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil.  Then add in the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Spoon the batter into a 9″ square or round cake pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.  Let the cake cool completely before adding the frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk with an electric mixer until it’s creamy and smooth.  Spread on the cooled cake– and if you wish dust the top with a little cinnamon.  Simple. Done.


Pumpkin Pecan Rolls with Maple Glaze


Hi all– How many cans of pumpkin puree have you gone through this year already?  I think it’s been a record pumpkin year for us!  Cakes, muffins, pumpkin brownies… Larry made pumpkin apple bread (one of his few, but delicious baking forays) for the Thursday kids who come while I was up in San Francisco!  We are taking full advantage of this fall pumpkin baking season.

So here is our latest.  I think people shy away from making yeast rolls (I’m talking cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, sticky buns!!) because they think it’s difficult.  It’s not.  But it does take some time around the house.  Fifteen minute dough tending with long stretches of dough rising (so you can read a book or fold some laundry).  So if you have a quiet Saturday morning at home, and you want your kitchen to smell scrumptious, I’d recommend a go at these tender, delicious pumpkin pecan rolls.


1 pkg. dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
1 cup milk (warmed to 120-130 degrees)*
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
3  1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted & cooled
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tab. pure maple syrup


Put the yeast in a large heat proof mixing bowl (glass is best).  Stir in the warm milk until the yeast is dissolved.  Then add in the sugar, salt, oil and egg.  Mix together.  Next about 1/2 cup at a time, stir in the flour.  When it’s all mixed, knead the dough just 3 or 4 minutes.  If the dough gets sticky, add a bit more flour.

Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise and hour & 15 minutes. (I heat the oven to 200 degrees for just 3 minutes and then turn it off while I’m mixing up the dough– then set the bowl in the warmed oven to rise)

While the dough is rising. mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, melted butter, pumpkin pie spice and pecans.  Set them aside.

Take the dough out and punch it down and lift from the bowl to a counter sprinkled with flour.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin util you have a rectangle about 10″ by 18″.   Then spread the pumpkin mixture over the rolled out dough clear to the edges.

Starting at the long 18″ upper edge, roll the dough toward you until you have a long tube shaped roll.  Then cut the rolls into 1″ slices and put them in a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (or–I used 2 10″ tart pans instead.)  Makes about 18 rolls.

If you have a little handful of extra pecans, sprinkle them on top and pop the rolls into the slightly warm oven to rise for 45 minutes more.

At the end of the 2nd rise of 45 minutes, turn up the heat to 375 degrees and make the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until they are nicely browned.


While they are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 or 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (depending on how thick you want your glaze to be).  When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool about 10 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the rolls.  They taste heavenly, eaten warm from the oven!


*I put the milk in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds.  It should feel just warm enough for a baby’s bath.

Everyday Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake


Hello Fall Friends– I wish I could say it was nippy 65 degrees today– but walking this morning at 7:00 was a hot one!  And it’s predicted to be up around 100 degrees by this afternoon!  But what the heck, the calendar says it’s fall and I’m not waiting any longer for pumpkin desserts to set in.

I love this little everyday cake.  Not fancy.  You can put it together and into the oven in about 7 minutes!  It you really want to make it simple, just dust the top with powdered sugar when you’re ready to eat it and you’re done.  But I think cream cheese frosting makes it pretty irresistible.  I’ll try that next time…


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips*
garnish:  powdered sugar, whipped cream**


In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Finally fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter into a 8″ or 9″ cake pan*** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until a small knife stuck in the cake comes out clean.

After the cake cools, dust it with powdered sugar through a sieve.  Just a friendly easy little cake to share with friends.

*Use mini chips instead of normal chocolate chips, so that they won’t sink to the bottom of the cake.
**Use 8 oz. whipping cream alone with 1 tsp. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix (to stabilize the cream)– whipped together with and electric mixer.
*** I like to use a a springform pan so it’s easy to remove the cake to a plate for serving.img_1810

Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding


Hello all-  It’s October– the start of my favorite baking season!  I picked up some cans of pumpkin at the market and so far it’s been pumpkin bread, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin cake and this– pumpkin bread pudding.  What’s next?? Pumpkin pizza???!!  just joking– maybe.

So when the weather gets crisper, it’s perfect to serve this cozy warm dessert.  (Though actually we are still waiting for some crispy weather here in So California!!– we’ll just have to imagine a chill in the air!)  In either case, I think you might like a homey dessert about now…


Pecan Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tab. flour
3 tab. butter, room temperature*
1/2 cup pecans, chopped to bits (or a little more if you love pecan like I do!)

French toast:
1 unsliced loaf plain white bread**
8 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice***
2 tab. white sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup milk

Caramel sauce & ice cream!!


To make the topping layer, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.  The cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until it resembles coarse crumbs.  The stir in the chopped pecans. Set this aside for later.

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes with a serrated knife (so it won’t come out squashed).

Then in another mixing bowl whisk the eggs until they are blended and frothy.  Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and white sugar until blended.  Then mix in the pumpkin pie puree and milk until it’s all well combined.

Spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Drop in all the bread cubes.  Pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread and gently mix it all in the baking dish until the breads coated with pumpkin.

Sprinkle the pecan topping over the top with your fingers to break it up and coat the whole thing evenly.

Pop it into a 350 oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the bread pudding is set and golden brown on top.  Best to eat it warm with a little maple syrup (for brunch) or with caramel and a plop of whipped cream or ice cream (for dessert after dinner).  Enjoy!

Here it is straight from the oven:

*When you grab it from the fridge, just microwave it for 10-12 seconds to warm it a bit.
**I like the big spongey unsliced grocery store loaf–or a soft white challah bread…
***If you don’t have P.P.spice– use 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 cloves, 1/2 nutmeg.  And if you live near a Trader Joe’s– this is the time of year they sell their $2 bottles of pumpkin pie spice.  It’s great and cheap.  I buy a few to last all year…