Vegan french toast casserole is an easy-to-make morning breakfast! Pieces of french bread are covered in a homemade vegan custard, topped with a candied pecan crumble and baked to perfection! Enjoy this french toast bake right away or refrigerate overnight and bake it the next morning. Holiday brunch will win over the whole family with this recipe!
Weekend mornings call for more than a simple slice of hummus avocado toast. And, around here I like to keep brunch fresh and fun for the family which means we’re constantly trying new recipes like my blueberry breakfast cake.
A few weekends ago I was on the search for an indulgent morning sweet for the upcoming holidays.
This vegan french toast casserole definitely nailed it!
The soft french-toast-like inside and the crispy sugary-crumble top had the family requesting this breakfast bake be added to the weekend morning rotation!
How to make french toast casserole
Baked french toast casserole is easy to make!
There’s no standing over the stovetop flipping each piece of soggy bread. Instead, everything is dumped into a casserole dish and baked.
Prepping the custard
Start by preparing the custard so it has time to thicken up. This can be done 2 ways.
- In a glass measuring cup to be poured over the bread as pictured. Or…
- In a large bowl to be mixed with the bread cubes (this will give everything a more even coating).
For the measuring cup method, measure out the non-dairy milk in a large 4-cup glass measuring cup. Whisk in the remaining custard ingredients until everything is well combined. Set the mixture aside and cube the bread.
For the bowl method, whisk the custard ingredients together in a large bowl. Set the bowl aside while you prep the bread.
Cube the bread and prep the topping
To easily cube the french bread, cut the loaf into about 1-inch thick slices. From there, cut the slices into 1-inch cubes as pictured.
To prepare the sweet pecan topping, mix the flour and sugar together in a small bowl. Cut in the oil until it’s well dispersed, then mix in the chopped pecans.
How to assemble and bake the casserole
For the measuring cup method, add the cubed bread to your oiled baking dish. Give the custard one last whisk then slowly and evenly pour it over the bread as pictured above. Allow the mix to rest for 10-15 minutes.
For the bowl method, whisk the custard one last time then toss in the bread cubes. Carefully fold everything together. Set the bowl aside to rest for 10-15 minutes. Give the bread a final mix in the custard then transfer the contents of the bowl to the oiled baking dish.
Sprinkle the pecan crumble over the top.
Bake the french toast casserole at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Top with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup for a decadent morning treat!
What kind of bread can I use?
Any 1-pound loaf of day-old “crusty” bread will work for this french toast bake. You can use french bread, sourdough, ciabatta, Italian bread, etc.
I tested this recipe using french, Italian, and sourdough bread. My personal favorite was the sourdough. The slight tang of the bread perfectly balanced out the sweetness of the casserole.
Can this recipe be made ahead of time?
For an overnight french toast casserole, follow the recipe through step 3. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight. Hold off on making the topping until it’s ready to bake.
The next morning remove the casserole from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Uncover, add the topping, and bake.
Ways to enhance this vegan breakfast casserole
For a simple breakfast, top the baked french toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Or, use this recipe as a base to create your favorite flavored french toast casserole. Mix in fresh fruit, dried fruit or nuts!
Try one of these suggestions:
- diced apple
- dried cranberries
- extra pecans
- chopped walnuts
- chocolate chips
Tips for making vegan french toast casserole
- To keep the ingredients separate for an overnight night bake, store the bread cubes in a resealable bag and the custard (minus the cornstarch) covered the in the fridge. The next morning whisk the cornstarch into the custard and proceed with the remaining steps.
- For a seasonal baked french toast, swap out the cinnamon for pumpkin spice.
- Omit the pecans for a nut-free version.
- I added flaxseed for a bit of nutrition, but I know not everyone has it available. So, the flaxseed can easily be replaced with an extra 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch (for a total of 3 Tablespoons).
MORE VEGAN BREAKFAST FAVORITES
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- 1 lb loaf of french bread
- 2 and 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
Pecan topping (optional)
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- Whisk together the custard ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, cube the bread. Cut the loaf into 1-inch slices then cut the slices into one-inch cubes.
- Add the cubed bread to an oiled 9x9-inch baking dish. Evenly pour the custard over the bread and set aside for about 15 minutes.
- Prep the pecan topping while the bread soaks. Mix the sugar and flour together in a medium bowl. Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the oil, then mix in the chopped pecans.
- Sprinkle the pecan crumble across the top of the casserole.
- Bake uncovered at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Dust with optional powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.
- To make this recipe ahead, follow the above instructions through step 3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the fridge overnight. The next morning remove the casserole from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Continue with step 4.
- For the bowl method mentioned above, mix the custard in a large bowl then gently fold in the bread pieces. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Fold the mixture together once more then add it to the baking dish.
- To make the casserole without ground flaxseed, simply replace the flaxseed with an extra 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch (for a total of 3 Tablespoons cornstarch).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 313mg Carbohydrates: 39g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g