Looking for the perfect, holiday brunch recipe? This croissant French toast casserole features pumpkin spice flavored kefir milk and comes together in less than an hour. As an added bonus, this dish can be prepped the night before and refrigerated until ready to preheat the oven and bake. Perfect if transporting to another location to serve!
Croissant French Toast Casserole Featuring Lifeway’s Pumpkin Spice Kefir Milk
If kefir is somewhat new to you, kefir is a tangy and tart cultured milk smoothie high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Kefir is amazing in morning smoothies or incorporated into savory or sweet recipes (it is a great replacement for milk or buttermilk in baking.) The probiotics in kefir can improve healthy digestion and support immunity. As an added bonus, a serving of kefir fulfills up to 30% of daily calcium needs.
I am so excited to partner with Lifeway – my favorite manufacturer of kefir – to bring you this amazing recipe. Lifeway is the largest manufacturer of kefir in the United States and has been growing strong since 1980s. The brand offers delicious, drinkable kefir as well as farmer’s cheese and a line of products specifically for kids. Each cup of Lifeway’s all natural kefir has 12 live and active cultures and is 99% lactose free. Lifeway’s kefir is safe for all ages, and all flavors taste amazing! The Pumpkin Spice is a limited edition, seasonal flavor, so make sure to stock up while you can! Lifeway can be found at grocery stores – such as Kroger, Whole Foods, and Publix – and is also available for purchase online.
Probiotic drinks that are low in lactose, such as kefir, have become an important staple in my day to day. Probiotics really help soothe my gut. When my gut is happy, my entire body is happy! Check out my other go-to kefir recipe, strawberry kefir donuts.
Pumpkin Spice Low-Fat Kefir Milk: Kefir stands in for dairy or nondairy milk in this recipe. The pumpkin spice flavor also adds complexity and a bit of sweetness to the casserole.
Croissants: The croissants are the bread component in this French toast casserole. I use pre-made croissants but – if you’re feeling ambitious – you can make your own batch of croissants. As an added note, it is okay if the croissants are a day or two stale. The croissant’s main job is to soak up the custard without getting soggy. My recipe calls for mini croissants but you can swap for regular. You may just use 6-8 instead of 8-10.
Pumpkin: Surprise, surprise! The pumpkin spice casserole contains pumpkin puree! Puree is cooked pumpkin that is mashed and processed into a fine pulp/puree. Pumpkins are linked to a great deal of health benefits. Pumpkin is low calorie and high in vitamins, especially vitamin A. The nutrient-dense ingredient also is an antioxidant and promotes healthy skin. The seeds are edible and delicious too!
Let’s Get Baking
- 9×13 casserole dish
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Pastry Brush
- 8-10 mini croissants
- 8 large eggs (do not have to be at room temperature)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter – melted and slightly cooled
- 2 cups Lifeway Low-Fat Pumpkin Spice Kefir
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp melted butter for baking dish
- Sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds for topping
Croissant French Toast Casserole:
Preheat oven to 350F and ensure a rack is in the middle of oven.
Combine eggs, kefir, pumpkin puree, cream, 6 tbsp melted butter, sugar, vanilla, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth and blended.
Use a pastry brush (or paper towel) to spread 2 tbsp melted butter thoroughly on sides and bottom of 9×13 casserole dish. Tear croissants into varying sizes and place/layer in baking dish.
Pour custard mixture over croissant pieces and push down croissant pieces to submerge in liquid mixture. Top with sliced almond and pumpkin seeds as desired.
Bake for 40-45 minutes on middle rack until the custard is firm. Should be the slightest of jiggle. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes prior to serving. Best eaten same day but can be stored in refrigerator topped with foil for 2 to 3 days and reheated.
As an added bonus, this recipe can be prepped the night before and baked next day. Completely prep recipe and add to casserole dish. Top with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge to allow to warm slightly while preheating oven. Bake as normal and serve.Print