If you’re a fan of French Toast, cinnamon rolls and pancakes in the morning – especially on a holiday morning – boy do I have a treat for you. Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole with Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup, sponsored by Fisher Nuts, is make-ahead, feeds a crowd, and is just sweet enough.
Honestly, when it comes to breakfast I usually go the bacon and eggs route. That’s why I’ve shared not one, not two, but four savory breakfast casserole recipes here on IGE over the years. (Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole, Breakfast Taco Casserole (<< OMG), Roasted Poblano and Sausage Casserole, and regular ol’ Breakfast Casserole.) That said, this year for Thanksgiving I knew I had to go sweet or go home. And since I’m already home, I went sweet. Whee!
Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole is the perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving, mostly thanks to the MOST DELICIOUS ELIXIR of maple syrup infused with chopped pecans roasted in butter drizzled on top. I cannot even describe how delicious this syrup is – you’re truly going to have to try it yourself.
As I mentioned, my Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole with Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup is sponsored by Fisher Nuts, who I’ve been partnering with for years and years. Their nuts contain zero preservatives, come in resealable bags which means they stay fresher longer, and above all else their nuts are extremely high quality. I chopped up Fisher Naturals pecan halves for this recipe but if I were making a Pecan Pie for instance, where using a fully intact and unblemished pecan half is important – Fisher’s your brand.
This French Toast Casserole is make-ahead so I usually assemble at night then bake in the morning. That said, grab your nightgown and slippers and let’s prep!
Start by making the Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter or vegan butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then add 3/4 cup Fisher Naturals Pecan Halves that have been roughly chopped. Cook until the pecans are light golden brown, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next add 1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup), then turn off the heat and let the syrup infuse while you assemble the rest of the casserole. Tasting at this point is both encouraged and discouraged because trust me – if you start, it’ll be nearly impossible to stop. That said, spoon drink at your own risk!
Onto the casserole. Trim away any tough crusts from an 18oz loaf gluten-free bread (I love Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White bread) then cut the slices into bite-sized cubes and arrange in the bottom of a non-stick sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.
In a large bowl whisk together 6 large eggs, 2 cups milk (any kind – I used unsweetened almond milk) 1/2 cup prepared Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup, 1 Tablespoon vanilla, and 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour over the bread cubes then press down with a spatula to make sure they’re all soaked. Cover the dish with foil then package the remaining Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.
When you’re ready to eat, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator to warm up slightly while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center and the top is golden brown and slightly crispy. Check the casserole around the 30 minute mark – if the top is browning too quickly, place the foil back on top and continue baking.
Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the remaining Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup – if you stored it in a mason jar like I did you can simply remove the lid then zap it in the microwave for a minute or so.
Since I’m suggesting you serve the Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole for the holidays, it’s a nice touch to serve fresh berries on top. Either way, you and your family are going to devour this sweet and decadent-tasting breakfast casserole. Enjoy, enjoy – and have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!
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Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole with Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup
Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole with Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup is make ahead and perfect for feeding a crowd. This gluten-free breakfast or brunch recipe will WOW!
- For the Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup:
- 1/4 cup butter (or vegan butter)
- 3/4 cup Fisher Naturals Pecan Halves, roughly chopped
- 1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- For the French Toast Casserole:
- 18oz loaf gluten-free bread (I used Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/2 cup Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup (see recipe above)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- fresh berries for topping, optional
- For the Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped pecans then cook, stirring occasionally, until pecans are light golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Add maple syrup then stir to combine and turn off the heat. Let syrup sit and infuse while preparing the rest of the casserole.
- For the French Toast Casserole: Spray a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick spray then set aside. Trim away any tough crusts from the bread slices then slice into bite-sized cubes and arrange in the bottom of prepared baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 cup Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth then pour over the cubed bread and press down with a spatula to ensure all the bread is soaked. Cover with foil then refrigerate for 2-15 hours. Refrigerate remaining Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup. (I leave it in the saucepan with a lid on or transfer to a mason jar with a lid.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pull the baking dish out of the refrigerator to warm up a bit then gently press on the bread cubes again with a spatula to evenly distribute the egg mixture - do not pack bread cubes down though. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center and the top is golden brown and slightly crispy. Check the casserole around the 30 minute mark - if the top is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking dish then continue baking.
- Let casserole cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Warm remaining Butter-Pecan Maple Syrup then serve with fresh berries, if using.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.