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French toast casserole in baking dish topped with blueberries, powdered sugar, and maple syrup

Overnight Vegan French Toast Casserole


  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Overnight Vegan French Toast Casserole recipe is the coziest make-ahead holiday breakfast! Bread cubes get soaked in a creamy plant-based “egg” mixture to create the perfect buttery and custard texture.


Ingredients

  • 16 ounce (450 g) loaf of sourdough bread, cubed*
  • 3 cups (590 mL) non-dairy milk* 
  • 1 cup (140 g) raw cashews, soaked* 
  • 1/2 cup (52 g) chickpea flour 
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder 
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grade A maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup (54 g) chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cold vegan butter, finely chopped (optional)
  • Serving suggestions (optional): fresh berries, powdered sugar, maple syrup, chocolate chips*, etc.

Instructions

  1. Prep: Bring out a 9×13” non-stick casserole dish. If your casserole is not nonstick, grease it with vegan butter or cooking spray. Spread the bread cubes evenly along the base of the pan. 
  2. Milk Mixture: add the non-dairy milk, cashews, chickpea flour, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 60 seconds, until a smooth and bubbly mixture forms.
  3. Soak: Pour the mixture evenly over the bread in the dish, trying to coat every surface to allow for even absorption. Cover the baking dish with foil and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, 8 to 12 hours.
  4. Bake: Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and uncover. Let the dish come to room temperature for about 30 minutes – in the meantime, pre-heat your oven to 350F. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the pecans and vegan butter (if using), then place the casserole dish in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. The french toast cubes should puff up and be slightly browned on top. If the casserole starts to get too dark before it is done, tent the baking dish with aluminum foil for the remainder of the bake time.
  5. Serve: Top as desired, then serve warm; leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Bread: I used a sliced sourdough loaf for this recipe, but french bread will work as well. Softer, fluffy breads like white sandwich bread will get too soggy and fall apart. I believe this recipe could work with Ezekiel or whole wheat bread, but haven’t tried it myself. Bread not dry? Place the cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 215F for 10-15 minutes, until dry.
  • Milk: I used a creamy oat milk for this recipe, but soy or cashew milk would also work well. Make sure your milk is nice and creamy, so the final recipe is richer! I would not use store-bought almond milk.
  • Cashews: If you forget to soak your cashews ahead of time overnight, you can (1) cover them in boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes, or (2) cover them with water and microwave for 3 minutes, then let sit for 3-5 minutes before draining.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free sandwich loaf instead. Gluten-free bread tends to be a little more tender, so you may need to bake your casserole for an extra 5 to 10 minutes so it is not soggy.
  • Nut-Free: use a nut-free milk (soy or oat) and skip the pecans, or replace them with pumpkin seeds
  • Other Substitutions: Maple syrup can be replaced with another liquid or granulated sweetener. If your sweetener is dry (ex: brown sugar), make sure it dissolves completely during blending in step 2. Arrowroot powder can be replaced with cornstarch. I have not tested this recipe with a substitute for the chickpea flour, but I imagine 1 cup of Just Egg would work as well – try at your own risk though 😉