Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake

Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.

This week’s low energy use recipe is a terrific breakfast dish featuring fall flavors like cinnamon, pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, and spiced pecans. This yummy meal requires just a bit of mixing, some microwave time, and less than 2 hours in your slow cooker.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Who wouldn’t want Thanksgiving dessert in breakfast form?!

Don’t worry about whipping up a pancake batter from scratch for this recipe. Simply grab a box of your favorite “complete” pancake mix from grocery store (the kind that only requires adding milk or water). It will work perfectly alongside the pumpkin puree to give this breakfast bake a great texture. And because of that puree, you do not need to add the full recommended amount of liquid written on the box’s instructions. Just use ½ less cup of liquid and substitute the pumpkin puree.

If you are worried about making your batter too thin, check out the pictures posted below and follow the directions exactly. I’ll show you when and where to add half of the liquid, mix it in with the dry pancake mix, then mix in the pumpkin puree, and finally slowly add more liquid until it is typical pancake batter consistency.

You can also add one extra ingredient in this recipe that I did not use today if you like your breakfast a little extra sweet: mini marshmallows! Sprinkle some of those in the middle before pouring in the second half of the batter along with a few on top with the pecans for a great addition to this recipe.

Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Seriously – this is a low-stress recipe.
  • 4 tbsp. Butter (2 tbsp for pecans and 2 tbsp for the slow cooker)
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. All spice
  • 1 tbsp. Packed light brown sugar
  • ½ c. Chopped pecan pieces
  • 3 c. Dry complete pancake batter mix
  • 1 ¾ c. 2% milk (or water)
  • 1 c. Pure pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz. Cream cheese
  • ¼ c. Maple syrup

Directions:

1) Turn the slow cooker on high. You want it to heat up while you prepare the ingredients as directed above.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Butter and spice make everything nice.

2) Add two tablespoons of the butter to a microwave-safe bowl along with the cinnamon, all spice, and brown sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Pro Tip: It’s pronounced pe-CAN, not PE-can.

3) Add the pecan pieces to the bowl and toss them until they are coated in the butter/spice mixture.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
I love the versatility of a good measuring cup.

4) Remove the cream cheese from the packaging and place it in a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it. Mix until smooth.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Mmm… Maple syrup…

5) Add the maple syrup to the cream cheese, and mix to combine. Microwave for another 20 seconds to where it is easily poured.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Why don’t we make the batter from scratch? Because we’re trying to save time and energy with this recipe series, and these pre-made mixes really help with this.

6) Add the dry pancake mix to a large mixing bowl. Pour in half of the liquid and mix together.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Because it really isn’t a “fall” recipe without some sort of pumpkin.

7) Add the pumpkin puree to the pancake mix. Whisk until smooth.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
As in, you want NO lumps.

8) Slowly add the second half of the liquid while whisking until the ingredients are fully combined.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Let’s start building.

9) Melt the second two tablespoons of butter in the microwave. and add them to the hot slow cooker.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Proper layering helps with flavor distribution.

10) Pour in the first half of the batter. Spoon/pour in the first half of the cream cheese mixture in a zig-zag pattern. Sprinkle on the first half of the nuts.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Additional Pro Tip: It’s really pecans that enhance the quality of fall recipes.

11) Pour in the second half of the batter. Spoon/pour in the second half of the cream cheese mixture in a zig-zag pattern. Sprinkle on the rest of the nuts.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
Time to work your energy efficient magic, little slow cooker!

12) Use a knife to swirl through the batter to distribute the cream cheese evenly.

13) Put the lid on the slow cooker, and let cook on high for 1 hour. Turn the heat to low and let it cook for 30 more minutes.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
All we need now for this to be a perfect fall breakfast would be a few strips of bacon.

14) Serve topped with a drizzle of more maple syrup.

Direct Your Dining: Pumpkin and Pecan Breakfast Bake | Direct Energy Blog
It’s the perfect breakfast to prepare your taste buds for Thanksgiving Day.

While this recipe is great for breakfast any day of the week, I like preparing it on Thanksgiving morning next month for an easy breakfast everyone can enjoy. Even better, using the slow cooker lets you use the oven and stove for your staple Thanksgiving feast recipes.

Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M animal science graduate using her education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy in the kitchen.