This vegan eggnog french toast casserole makes the perfect holiday brunch. It requires just 15 minutes of active kitchen time and can be prepared up to a full day in advance. Hearty cubes of french bread are soaked overnight in a rich mixture of coconut milk, applesauce, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In the morning, the dish gets popped in the oven to bake for 45 minutes and then topped with spoonfuls of vegan crème anglaise and drizzles of maple syrup.
My mom makes a mean french toast casserole. It's light, fluffy, and almost soufflé like.
She's been making it for special occasions for years and years, and it's a family favorite. The only issue is that it's not exactly vegan, so it's been a while since I've enjoyed it myself.
But after making this sweet potato french toast casserole, I figured I'd try my hand at a more classic version with a spiced holiday twist.
A little nutmeg here, cinnamon there, and vegan crème anglaise to boot. After just two trials, this vegan eggnog french toast casserole came to be.
It's glorious. And I certainly don't toss the G word around carelessly when it comes to food. No, no. The G word is reserved for only the most special of dishes.
As luck would have it, today's my mom's birthday, so not only is this french toast casserole GLORIOUS, it's also aptly timed.
So, how does one make this glorious eggnog french toast casserole? Let's have a look...
To start, you'll whisk together ground flaxseed and filtered water.
Let the mixture rest for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken and create a flax "egg". This acts as the binder in the casserole and takes the place of traditional eggs.
While the flax mixture thickens, slice a large French or sourdough boule (or loaf) into 1-inch cubes.
It's important to use a sturdy, hearty loaf for this recipe in order to yield the optimal french toast texture—crispy on top with a soft, almost soufflé like interior. Soft loaf bread (or even multigrain bread) simply won't cut it.
Once you've sliced your bread, add it to a lightly greased baking dish.
Then, to the flaxseed mixture, add unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened applesauce, canned coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sea salt, and whisk together until smooth.
For the most authentic french toast taste, use kala namak instead of sea salt—it adds the most wonderful eggy flavor.
Pour the wet mixture over the bread cubes and gently stir to ensure they're evenly coated.
Then, wrap the baking dish and refrigerate for at least eight hours or overnight. If you'd like, you can prepare the casserole up to a full day in advance.
In the morning, bake the french toast casserole for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly crisp and the bottom is well set yet soft, tender, and fluffy.
While the casserole bakes, prepare this vegan crème anglaise.
Once the casserole is ready—and if you're feeling extra festive—sprinkle on some vegan powdered sugar (or a bit of arrowroot starch if you're simply looking for that overall snow-dusted vibe).
Alternatively, keep things ultra simple and skip this step.
Next, pour on the crème anglaise and drizzle on the maple syrup (either over the casserole as a whole or over each spooned-out portion)...
Then, there's nothing left to do but serve, savor, and (maybe even) repeat.
This vegan eggnog french toast casserole is everything. It's sweet, nutmeg-kissed, warm, cozy, comforting, and festive. Plus, it comes together with just 15 minutes of active kitchen preparation and is designed to please a crowd.
I hope this recipe offers a bit more warmth, comfort, and JOY to you this holiday season!
Vegan Eggnog French Toast Casserole
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 20- to 24- ounce hearty french bread loaf/boule or sourdough loaf/boule, sliced into 1-inch cubes*
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup unsweetened plain apple sauce
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk, can vigorously shaken before measuring
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2–3 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or kala namak (highly recommend—adds an eggy flavor)
- 1 recipe Vegan Cashew Crème Anglaise
- Lightly grease a large, oven-safe baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and filtered water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile, add the bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
- To the flaxseed mixture, add the almond milk, apple sauce, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sea salt. Vigorously whisk until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the bread cubes, and thoroughly toss to coat, ensuring they're all evenly covered.
- Spread the coated bread cubes evenly into the prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight (can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking). Note: At this time, you'll also want to soak the cashews for the crème anglaise—see recipe here.
- In the morning (or just before baking), preheat the oven to 350F.
- Uncover the dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until set and desired doneness is reached. (I prefer a slightly crisp top with a soft, slightly gooey bottom—almost like a bread pudding—so I bake mine for 45 minutes, but baking time will depend on taste preferences as well as the type of bread you use.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegan cashew crème anglaise.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with generous spoonfuls of spiced cashew crème anglaise and drizzles of maple syrup.