In this Vegan French Toast Casserole, cubes of crusty bread are drowned in cinnamon infused custard then baked until crispy & toasty on top, & soft and custardy (but not soggy!) underneath. Then comes the drizzle of frosting which takes it over-the-top. It's perfect for feeding a crowd & can even be prepped the night before if you need to.
And then I made Vegan French Toast Casserole and all of my brunch dreams came true.
My life is complete.
Ok it's not the end, because I like food far too much for my recipe creations to stop, but if I had to eat this every day for the rest of my life, let me just say that I would not be unhappy. #carbsarelife
I feel the same way about my Vegan French Toast recipe. If I had to choose between the two, I have no idea which would win. The Vegan French Toast recipe is pretty instant which is nice if you need a yum-tastic breakfast right this minute, but this?
This Vegan French Toast Casserole is just as easy to make, but to be at its best, it does need 30 minutes minimum to rest. That ensures that that the bread sucks up all of that lovely cinnamon-y custard. And what's even better, is that if you want to, you can make it the night before, leave it in the fridge overnight to do it's stuff, then wake up and bake it the next day.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
... Christmas morning brunch.
Last week I shared my Vegan Christmas Dinner Menu with you. Everything down to the last detail lunch is planned out for you, even down to the shopping list. Why not print it out and add the ingredients for this at the end of the list? I left a whole blank page for extras! And this, with all of it's festive cinnamon-i-ness (did I just make a new word?), is just perfect for your Christmas morning brunch. Or any brunch. Just make it whether it's Christmas or not because you need this Vegan French Toast Casserole in your life!
CAN VEGANS EAT FRENCH TOAST?
French Toast is traditionally made with eggs, and vegans avoid consuming, or wearing/using, animal products. That means that regular "eggy" French toast is not something a vegan would eat. However there are ways around the egg situation and it is perfectly possible to make really great French Toast without eggs.
HOW DO YOU MAKE FRENCH TOAST WITHOUT EGGS?
You may be wondering what can replace eggs with when making French Toast or French Toast Casserole.
The eggs can be replaced with chickpea flour ( like I have done in my Vegan Yorkshire Puddings recipe - it works brilliantly for that recipe), or you can use flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water), chia eggs (the same concept as flax eggs, just with chia seeds), or cornstarch. Some people just omit them completely, although personally, I think you just end up with soggy bread if you do that.
Not the effect I'm looking for.
I have tried them all, and none of them make a French Toast as good as one with eggs. But thankfully, I have found a solution. I discovered it when I created my Vegan French Toast. That solution is tofu.
As you know I have many vegan tofu recipes, but never had I used tofu to replace eggs in a custard like this. But it works absolutely perfectly in this French Toast and unlike other vegan substitutes, the bread doesn't get really soggy. Because who wants soggy disintegrating Vegan French toast or Vegan French Toast Casserole?
By using tofu, you get exactly the same texture as you would with eggs, and it's pretty flavourless so you don't know it's there. And I tell you what, it is just perfect in this beautifully cinnamon-y French Toast Casserole!
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS VEGAN FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE?
The most important thing you need to make this casserole is a blender. It's pretty essential for blending up the custard smoothly.
And apart from that all you need is an oven proof dish.
One that holds about 2 quarts, or measures about 8 x 12 inches or 9 x 13 inches. You can even squeeze it into a 10 x 10 inch one.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
This Vegan French Toast Casserole is incredibly easy to make.
Blend up all of the custard ingredients in a blender.
Cube the bread and pile into an oven proof dish.
Pour over the custard.
Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is fine.
Sprinkle with some sugar and optional nuts, then bake.
Make the frosting and drizzle it generously over the crispy, crunchy top of the casserole.
This Vegan French Toast Casserole is:
- Totally egg and dairy free
- Crispy and custardy all at the same time
- Sweet and indulgent
- Warming from the cinnamon
- High in protein
- Really easy to make
- Ultra-convenient because you can get it all ready the night before if you need to
- A great way to use up stale bread
- Perfect for adorning with whatever toppings you desire
- Made for sharing with all your best people!
HOW TO SERVE VEGAN FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
This Vegan French Toast Casserole is at its best when served warm from the oven. I still like it at room temperature though too. While it cools, I can never resist picking the crispy, frosting covered cubes from the top and munching them!
The frosting that is included in the recipe is really all you need with it. However, needing and wanting are 2 different things!
Some things that I really recommend serving with it are:
- A scattering of fresh raspberries (my absolute favourite way to eat this!)
- Fresh strawberries
- Sliced fresh peaches (they work so well with the cinnamon)
- Whipped coconut cream
- Vanilla Roasted strawberries
- Skip the frosting and drizzle with copious amounts of chocolate sauce instead
- Skip the frosting and drizzle with maple syrup instead
- A drizzle of drippy almond butter
- My date caramel or my 5 Minute Vegan Caramel Sauce
- A snow fall of powdered sugar
And a few ideas ideas for ways to switch it up before baking are:
- Peel and core an apple, chop, then scatter the chunks in amongst the bread before you pour over the custard and bake
- Add a handful or two of frozen or fresh berries in amongst the bread chunks before pouring over the custard
- Replace 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut milk with Bourbon ... Helloooo boozy Vegan French Toast Casserole!
- Blend a banana up in the custard mixture
Breakfast perfection! I can't wait for you to try it.
Vegan French Toast Casserole
- 480 mls / 2 cups canned light coconut milk , see recipe notes if you only have full fat coconut milk
- 100 g / ½ cup light or medium brown sugar or coconut suagr , plus more for sprinkling on top
- 160 g / 6 oz / ¾ cup silken tofu , or soft tofu
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch , cornflour in the UK
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 30 ml / 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric , optional (only for colour)
- 30 g / 2 tablespoons vegan butter , optional - omit to make the recipe oil-free
- 454 g / 1 lb loaf of crusty white bread , 2 or 3 day old bread is best. Cheap soft sliced grocery store white bread will not work in this recipe. It has to be sturdy, crusty bread, sourdough or baguette (use gluten-free bread if necessary)
- 1 handful chopped pecans or walnuts , for sprinkling on the top (optional)
- 65 g / ½ cup powdered sugar 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut milk, or any other plant-based milk
- Add the coconut milk, sugar, silken tofu, cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and optional turmeric and vegan butter to a blender and blend until smooth. It might look a little speckly but that's fine. It won't be noticeable when it's baked.
- Cut the loaf of bread into 1 inch cubes and put them into an ovenproof dish that holds about 2 quarts, or measures about 8 x 12 inches or 9 x 13 inches. You can even squeeze it into a 10 x 10 inch one if you need to.
- Pour the blended "custard' over the bread cubes, making sure to cover each one as you pour. Leave to soak up the custard for at least 30 minutes, or cover with cling-wrap and put in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °). Scatter the French Toast Casserole with a generous amount of brown sugar then some nuts for extra crunch and flavour too. Omit if you need it to be nut-free.
- Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top layer of bread cubes are golden and toasty. Keep an eye on it in the last 10 minutes and if the top layer of bread cubes gets too golden, cover with a square of foil to protect them. It should be ok without foil though. I've never had to use it.
- Once you remove the casserole from the oven, make the frosting by putting the powdered sugar in small bowl then adding a tablespoon of milk. Stir and add up to a tablespoon more, until you have a thick pourable consistency. You shouldn't need any more than 2 tablespoons.
- Drizzle the frosting all over the casserole before you serve.
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