Vegan French Toast Casserole! Crunchy, toasty top, buttery, rich, custardy, and creamy insides, drizzles of icing, and sprinkles of chopped nuts. Brunch goals met!
And then I made Vegan French Toast Casserole and all of my brunch dreams came true. If I had to eat this every day for the rest of my life I would not be unhappy.
It's got all the textures going on. Crunchy, toasty, meltingly soft and custardy. It's breakfast perfection and can't wait for you to try it.
This recipe is adapted from my Vegan French Toast recipe, which is one of the most popular vegan breakfast recipes here on AVV, but made for sharing because it comes in casserole form.
You can even prep it the night before so it's ready to pull out of the fridge and bake the next morning. Just perfect for a family holiday brunch!
Here's what you need to make this vegan breakfast casserole:
And a few important ingredient notes:
- Bread - Sturdy, crusty, at least day-old bread. 2 or 3 days old is better. Because it's dry it sucks up all of that lovely creamy custard more effectively. It's a great way to use up stale bread! French bread, Italian bread or sourdough bread work well. Vegan brioche or challah too if you have access to them. Use gluten-free bread if necessary. Fresh bread will not soak up the custard properly and you won't get the intended texture. If that's all you've got, see my tip below.
- Silken tofu - This is an egg-free French toast casserole recipe and silken tofu is our protein-packed egg replacer. By using it you get exactly the same French toast casserole texture. Any firmness of silken tofu is fine, but it must be silken. Picked up the wrong type of tofu by mistake? Have a look at my other vegan tofu recipes for some ideas for how to use it.
- Light coconut milk and vegan butter - This combo is here to make up for the flavour, fat and richness that eggs would usually provide in a vegan French toast casserole recipe.
- Sugar - You can use white, cane, coconut or brown sugar. I personally like to use brown sugar for the extra flavour it gives the casserole.
Only got fresh bread? Cube it, pop it on a baking tray and bake at 350°F until it feels like dry stale bread. It won't take long (5 to 10 minutes) and you'll be good to carry on with the recipe as written.
How To Make Vegan French Toast Casserole
Egg-free French toast casserole is really easy to make. Here's how:
- Blend up the "custard" in a blender.
- Cube the bread and pile into a casserole dish.
- Pour the custard over the bread cubes. Let is soak anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Sprinkle with some sugar and optional nuts, then bake.
- Mix up the icing and drizzle it generously over the crispy, crunchy top of the vegan French toast bake right before serving.
Vegan French Toast Casserole is at its best when served warm from the oven. The drizzle of icing is all you really need with it, but it's great with toppings too. Pretty much anything you'd serve with pancakes works.
Favourites of mine include:
- Fresh berries such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
- Easy frozen berry compote
- Whipped coconut cream
- Roasted strawberries
- Maple syrup
Making In Advance & Storing Leftovers
- To make ahead, add the cubes of bread and custard mixture to a baking dish, cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight. It's perfect to make on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning brunch. Sprinkle with the optional sugar and nuts right before baking.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a microwave or oven. If you use an oven, cover with a lid or foil to stop it browning or drying out too much.
I highly recommend using the coconut milk if you can because it adds richness to the casserole. A regular baked French toast casserole uses eggs which add that richness. We need to compensate for that in a vegan recipe. If for some reason you can't consume coconut though, any other unsweetened creamy and great tasting non-dairy milk such as oat milk or cashew milk will technically work in this recipe. Try not to use thinner milks like almond milk or soy milk.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Vegan French Toast CasseroleAuthor:
- 2 cups (480 mls) canned coconut milk
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar , any - I like brown for extra flavour (Plus a little for sprinkling)
- 12 oz (349 gram) pack silken tofu , (different brands vary in weight slightly. As long as it's roughly the same that's fine).
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch , (cornflour in the UK)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric , optional (for colour)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter , optional but recommended - omit to make the recipe oil-free
- 1 large loaf about (14 - 16 oz /396-454 grams) crusty white bread , it must be stale (a couple of days old, NOT fresh). (GF if necessary)
- 1 handful chopped pecans or walnuts , for sprinkling (optional)
- ½ cup (65 grams) powdered sugar , icing sugar in the UK
- 2 to 3 tablespoons plant milk or water
- Add the coconut milk, sugar, silken tofu (drained if packed in water), cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, optional turmeric, and vegan butter to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Cut the loaf of bread into 1 inch cubes and place in an ovenproof casserole dish that holds at least 2 quarts/2 litres. It should measures about 8 x 12 inches or 9 x 13 inches.
- Pour the "custard' all over the bread. Press down with a clean hand all over so the cubes suck up some custard then leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, or cover tightly and put in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °). Scatter the French Toast Casserole with a generous handful of sugar and some chopped pecans or walnuts. (Omit for nut-free).
- Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden and toasty. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- While waiting, add the powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of milk or water. Stir well then add another tablespoon. Add a tiny drop more at a time until you have a thick but pourable consistency (no more than 3 tablespoons should be needed), then drizzle the icing all over the casserole before serving.
I have made this many times, and everyone, even the non-vegans, loves it!
Made this for Mother's Day today and if turned out absolutely delicious! I forgot to sprinkle sugar on top when placing it into the oven (I did remember the pecans) and it was still so tasty.
I served it with maple syrup on the side.but most guests ate it as is because the flavors are so balances and has a nice sweetness on its own.
Will definitely be making this again!
Sue Ivory says
Made this for a brunch with friends. Didn’t make the icing just drizzled with maple syrup straight from the oven.
I prepared all the components the night before and assembled in the morning half an hour before it went into the oven.
Leftovers are a plus of this dish! Dangerously easy to pick off a cube and pop in the mouth when passing through the kitchen!
All the textures of an old fashioned traditional bread and butter pudding. A gooey inside with crispy top. Next time I make it for brunch I will add some marmalade to the bread cubes and some dark chocolate drops.
Is there anything I can sub for the tofu? I cannot have soy
Melanie McDonald says
I haven't tested the recipe with anything else.
Pat McKenzie says
Would it be possible to make a savory version? I’m thinking of the classic “Christmas morning wife saver” from the best of bridge cookbooks.
Melanie McDonald says
I've never made a savoury one and I'm not familiar with that book, but I'd use light canned coconut milk as it doesn't really taste coconutty, obviously omit the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon & nuts. I'd probably add a good handful of nutritional yeast to the custard, a little more salt, loads of freshly ground black pepper, some dried/fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary. I'd sauté or roast some veggies like bell peppers, leeks, mushrooms, broccoli etc. Maybe some chopped vegan ham or bacon? A sprinkle of vegan cheese on top before baking. I'm sure it would be delicious!
Delicious, I undercooked it slightly as we were in a hurry and it was still good!
This was great! Followed as written except used firm tofu because I had it on hand. I also made some blueberry sauce to go with it and that worked well. Definitely will make again. Thank you!
Made it as a test run for Christmas morning - worked great.
This has become a staple with my family. Thank you so much for the recipe!
Hi, I can’t wait to try this, it looks wonderful! I have both soft and firm shelf stable silken tofu. Which would you recommend I use for this? Thank you!
A Virtual Vegan says
It doesn't really matter in this recipe as long as it's silken. Choose based on how firm you want the "eggy bits" in your casserole to be!
Danette Barner says
Hi there, This looks so good. I am serving it to a group of families at a winter camp. Some of the folks are soy sensitive. Do you think using mashed bananas in place of the tofu would work?
Thank you, Danette
A Virtual Vegan says
No, sorry! The tofu is what makes it set like an egg French toast casserole would. If you omit it or use bananas it would end up really soggy and unpleasant. You would be better off looking for an already soy free recipe with good ratings. Maybe one that uses chickpea flour?
I have seen recipes for making a tofu replacement using chickpea flour. I wonder if that might work. If anyone tries this, please respond with results!
Hey Mel, First off, this is an amazing recipe! Thank you so much for posting it. I’m in a vegan instant pot group on Facebook. I posted this recipe asking for ideas of how long to cook it under high-pressure. One of the other members suggested I reach out to you here, because you do stuff in the instant pot also. I know it won’t get toasty crispy on top but I’m limited as I’m going camping. I was thinking 5 to 10 minutes with the keep warm after.
A Virtual Vegan says
Thank you Miranda. Glad you're enjoying the recipe! And yes I love my Instant Pot but I wouldn't personally cook this in an Instant Pot. I think it's way too damp an environment and it would end up really soggy and unpleasant. The beauty of it is the combination of textures. Soft and custardy and crispy toasty.
But if you really want to, I will say that I've actually never cooked anything like this in my Instant Pot, but I just had a look at some non vegan Instant Pot French toast casseroles and they seem to cook at 25 mins high pressure with quick release. That feels too long for me. I think I'd go for 10 like you said then check it. It might need a bit longer but at least it won't end up overcooked. I hope that helps!
Thank you so much for the quick reply. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I ended up putting it in a crockpot and cooking it On high for about 2 1/2 hours. It was a little moist in the middle but it did get crunchy on the sides. Everybody loved it and wished that I had made more. The non-vegans had no idea until I told them LOL.
A Virtual Vegan says
I'm really pleased it worked out ok!
Anne Atkinson says
Could you substitute a plant based milk for the coconut milk as I cannot eat any coconut product.
A Virtual Vegan says
You can but the custard won't be as rich and creamy.