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Overnight Pumpkin Croissant French Toast

yield: 10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound about 5 large stale croissants (see baker's notes)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped


The Night Before

  • Butter a 10-inch castiron skillet with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and set aside. Slice croissants crosswise and arrange in the buttered castiron pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk pumpkin puree until loosened. Slowly pour in 1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream, while still continuing to whisk the pumpkin puree slowly. Whisk in 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is a thick but still fluid, mottled pale orange.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture by pouring into a small glass jar with a lid or a small tupperware container. Pour the rest of the mixture over the arranged croissant slices, making sure to coat each slice with a generous layer of the pumpkin mixture — let the rest pool in the bottom of the pan. If necessary, use an offset spatula to spread the mixture evenly across each croissant slice; you want the croissant to absorb as much of the mixture as possible for the most custardy, delicious breakfast. Cover the croissants with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.

The Morning Of

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F).
  • Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of pumpkin mixture over the croissants, using a small rubber spatula to spread it around evenly across the slices to completely cover them. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until the custard is set and the edges of the croissant look crisp and toasted, around 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly, before sifting 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar over the slices and garnishing with 1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts. Serve warm, with a side of butter and bottle of maple syrup.