This delicious Vegan French Toast Casserole features bread tossed in a sweet custard, and topped with cinnamon almond crumble. The recipe is eggless, dairy-free, and made without coconut milk or tofu. The thick, silky custard ensures you don't end up with a soggy casserole. It's one of our favorite recipes to serve guests for breakfast or brunch!
Serve this baked french toast with maple syrup for drizzling. For an extra special touch, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh berries—like raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
Why you'll love this recipe
- An easy way to serve a crowd: With French Toast, you need to stand over a stove cooking individual slices. But with French Toast Casserole, you can make and serve many portions at once! It's a great trick for serving a crowd, without you needing to stay in the kitchen when guests are over.
- Make ahead friendly: Nothing is more gratifying than an epic breakfast or brunch with minimal effort! You can prep this french toast casserole the night before and refrigerate overnight.
- No day-old bread needed: Adding cubed bread to the oven helps dry it out slightly so it can better absorb the custard. And this way, you can use fresh bread. No need to plan ahead for day-old bread! (That said, if you do want to use up day-old bread, you can definitely still make this recipe).
- A thick, silky custard without the eggs: To keep things vegan, this recipe uses cornstarch to mimic the thickening effect of eggs. Warming the custard over the stove is important to activate the cornstarch's thickening power. If you skip this step—as most other vegan recipes do—the bread will absorb the thin watery liquid and the cornstarch won't thicken effectively in the oven. Follow this recipe's method for a luscious custard that actually works! No coconut milk, tofu, dairy or eggs needed.
Baked French Toast recipe video
- Bread: We recommend a sturdy loaf of French bread or sourdough, so it holds up to the custard. These types of breads are usually vegan, but check the label if you're unsure. You don't need day-old bread for this recipe, but you can use it if you already have some.
- Vegan Butter: Use your favorite melted vegan butter for this. If you aren't vegan, you could substitute with regular butter.
- Vegan Milk: We tested this recipe with plain, unsweetened oat milk and cashew milk. But other plant-milk, like soy, would work too. If you aren't vegan, you could use regular milk.
- Cinnamon and Cardamom: Cinnamon is a classic pairing for french toast! Cardamom is optional, but it does add nice flavor that works well with the vanilla and cinnamon.
- For serving: This part is entirely up to you, but we love to garnish this Vegan French Toast Casserole with a light dusting of powdered (icing) sugar, then top with fresh berries and maple syrup.
How to make (step-by-step photos)
This baked french toast casserole is really easy to make! Here's how:
Make Ahead Tip: The night before, combine the bread with the custard, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, sprinkle with the topping, then place the dish in the oven to bake.
Make this recipe for your next breakfast or weekend brunch! Baked French Toast is an easy way to serve a crowd. The recipe can be prepped in advance, scaled up for more servings, and there's no need to stand over the stove cooking individual slices of bread.
This Vegan French Toast Casserole is a make-ahead recipe that's perfect for:
- Mother's Day brunch
- Father's Day breakfast
- Vegan Christmas breakfast
- ...or any other time you want a delicious brunch or breakfast dish to serve a crowd!
Frequently asked questions
No, with this recipe it's not necessary for the casserole to sit overnight. But, if it makes your life easier, you can definitely prep the custard and bread mixture the night before! The next day, all you need to do is add the topping and bake it.
You know the french toast casserole is done baking when the top is golden brown and slightly crisp. The bread on the top of the casserole should have some resistance when pressed with your finger, but the inside of the casserole should be slightly softer. This textural combination is what makes french toast casserole so good! In total, this recipe is usually done baking in 30-35 minutes.
You can reheat individual pieces of french toast casserole in the microwave. If you want to reheat the whole baking dish, let it sit on the counter while you pre-heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
Vegan French Toast Casserole
Bread and Custard
- 1 loaf French bread or sourdough (about 16 oz / 454g)
- 2½ cups non-dairy milk (plain and unsweetened)
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (more for greasing)
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- Maple syrup (for serving)
- Powdered sugar and berries (optional)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) casserole dish and set aside.
- Bake bread (see note 1): Cut bread into 1 to 1½-inch cubes (2.5-4 cm). Scatter the bread on a large baking sheet. Bake until slightly dried on the outside, but not yet golden, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Make custard: Meanwhile, combine non-dairy milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom (if using), and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium low heat, whisking frequently, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
- Coat bread: Transfer bread into the greased casserole dish. Pour the custard over top. Gently stir until the bread is evenly and thoroughly coated.
- Make topping: In a small bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over top, mix until well combined. Use your fingers to roughly crumble the almonds, then add. Mix with your fingers to combine. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole (see note 2).
- Bake and garnish: Bake until the top of the casserole is golden brown and slightly crisp, about 30 to 35 minutes (see note 2). If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with berries and maple syrup.
- Bread: This recipe does not require you to have day-old bread. The initial step of lightly drying out the bread in the oven helps to reliably mimic the "day-old" effect, without needing to plan ahead. You are aiming to draw out some of the moisture from the bread, to firm it up so that it can absorbs the custard without getting too soggy. Remove the bread before it starts getting toasted and golden brown (at that point, the bread is too firm). But, if you do have day-old bread, you can still use it! Just skip the step of putting the cubed bread in the oven before combining with the custard.
- Make-ahead option: You can prep the bread and custard the night before. You can also mix the topping the night before, if you'd like. But, sprinkle the topping over the casserole just before baking. Cover and refrigerate if making the night before; and let the casserole come up to room temperature while the oven is pre-heating the next day.
- Storage and reheating tips: Cover and refrigerate any extras. Use a microwave to reheat individual slices. Or, if reheating the whole baking dish, set it out on the counter while the oven preheats to 350°F (177°C). Bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes.