Air Fryer Pumpkin French Toast Sticks are the ultimate Fall breakfast treat! They’re ready in 10 minutes and come in fun-size for hungry little hands!
I hope you’re ready for Autumn and all things pumpkin because along with a delicious Fall twist on the classic mac and cheese, I have another pumpkin treat for you and more to come!
These French toast sticks are ready in 10 minutes with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry. Plus, they’re warm, filling, and bursting with an earthy, sweet pumpkin taste that’s sure to be a hit for breakfast or brunch.
History of French toast
Ready for this? French toasts are NOT of French origin! The first recipe was found in a Roman cookery book and some early accounts of a comparable dish in Germany and Italy.
The dish was called “pain perdu” in French, which translates to “lost bread.” Quite fitting as French toast was originally a way to make use of stale bread, so it does not go to waste. What a comeback for bread that would have been otherwise thrown away!
How to make
French Toasts are traditionally made with bread slices soaked in an egg and milk mixture and then pan-fried in butter until golden. They’re usually sprinkled with sugar or drenched with syrup to serve.
In this recipe, we are taking the classic breakfast treat up a notch with a generous dollop of pumpkin puree and a few shakes of pumpkin spice added to the custard for a full-on Fall flavor. Along with kicking up the taste, we’re upping the fun factor by preparing them in stick form for kids and adults alike.
And we’re also cooking them in the air fryer for an easy, hassle-free meal. Fast and straightforward enough to make even on busy weekdays!
- The recipe below uses whole wheat bread for extra nutrition, but sturdy and rich-flavored French bread, Texas toast, challah, Pullman loaf, and brioche are also great options.
- For best texture, use stale bread that’s beginning to dry out. If using fresh bread, arrange them on a wire rack in a single layer and bake in a 300 F oven for about 8 minutes on each side to remove excess moisture.
- Whisk the eggs well to prevent white streaks on the cooked toast. Whisk the custard until well-combined and strain with a fine-mesh sieve to rid of any remaining lumps of egg white.
- For rich taste and velvety texture, use full-fat dairy.
- Give them a grown-up twist by stirring in a shot or two of bourbon, Irish cream, rum, Frangelico, or orange liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau to the custard.
- If feeding a large crowd, try my slow cooker version!
- Enjoy these Air fryer pumpkin French toast sticks as a traditional breakfast or easily jazz them up with a side of eggs, sausage links, ham, or bacon for a more filling and nutrient-packed brunch or dinner.
- They’re delicious as is but feel free to make them extra special with your choice of toppings such as butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, jam, coconut flakes, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, applesauce, fresh fruits, chopped nuts, and whipped cream.
- Real maple syrup is classic but try other flavored syrups such as butter pecan, strawberry and fruit, and chocolate as well as other sweeteners such as salted caramel, honey, and agave nectar to find your favorite.
How to store
- Store leftovers in an airtight container or resealable bag and refrigerate up to 3 days.
- To freeze, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, cover with film, and freeze until hard. When frozen, transfer into a resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat in a toaster for 1 to 2 minutes or in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. For large servings, reheat in 350 F oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
Air Fryer Pumpkin French Toast Sticks
- cooking spray
- 4 bread slices
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- maple syrup, for serving
- Preheat the air fryer to 325 F. Grease the air fryer tray with cooking spray.
- Slice the bread lengthwise into 3 sections.
- In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined and strain in a fine-mesh sieve.
- Dip the bread slices one by one into the egg mixture, making sure all edges are coated. Shake off any excess egg and transfer to the air fryer tray.
- Cook in the air fryer for 2 minutes. Flip the sticks over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until a golden toasted brown color.
- Serve warm with powdered sugar and syrup.