Pumpkin-Banana Bread French Toast

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This rich Pumpkin-Banana Bread French Toast is the flavor of fall on a plate. The pumpkin and banana in the bread are balanced by warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, which highlight the sweetness of the bread. For the best taste, use the ripest bananas you can find. After being dipped in the custard and cooked in butter, the bread slices get a crispy, toasty, and almost caramelized exterior that yields to a deliciously soft interior. Maple syrup, butter, and pepitas are the perfect finishing touch — the pepitas add some crunch and salt to balance the sweetness.

Pumpkin Banana Bread French Toast
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins
Servings:
12

Ingredients

Bread

  • Baking spray with flour

  • 2 ½ cups (about 10 5/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (from 1 [15-ounce] can)

  • 1 cup mashed bananas (from 3 small [about 4 1/2 ounces each] bananas)

  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

French Toast

  • 3 large eggs

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, divided

Additional Ingredients

  • For serving: pure maple syrup, unsalted butter slices, and toasted, lightly salted pumpkin seed kernels (pepitas)

Directions

Prepare the Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a large bowl until completely combined. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, bananas, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir together using a rubber spatula until just combined and no flour streaks remain (some lumps may remain). Spoon batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until Bread is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour, 5 minutes, rotating pan from front to back after 30 minutes and, if needed to prevent overbrowning, covering pan with aluminum foil during final 10 to 15 minutes bake time. Remove pan from oven; transfer to a wire rack, and let cool 10 minutes. Remove Bread from pan; let cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.

Prepare the French Toast:

  1. Slice cooled Bread evenly into 12 (3/4-inch-thick) slices. Arrange slices in an even layer on a baking sheet. Chill 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven temperature to 200°F.

  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and salt in a shallow bowl until custard is thoroughly combined and frothy. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium until foamy. Using a spatula or fork, lower 1 Bread slice into custard; gently turn Bread to coat both sides (you do not want it to get soggy). Add coated Bread to skillet, and repeat coating process with 2 additional Bread slices. Cook Bread in skillet until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer French Toast to a baking sheet, and place in preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat process 3 times with remaining butter, custard, and Bread slices (re-whisk custard between batches). If desired, serve French Toast with maple syrup, butter, and pepitas.

Make Ahead

Bread and custard can be made a day in advance of cooking. If you like, save half the bread and custard to make another round of French toast the following day. Remaining bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored overnight at room temperature, while custard can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator overnight.

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