This incredible and easy vegan apple pie french toast casserole can be prepped ahead for a delicious morning breakfast ready in minutes! Just 10 ingredients.
If there is a dominant cook in your house, then they are likely the ones who spend the time in the kitchen the most, even on the holidays. However, this vegan french toast casserole makes sure that even they are able to join in the daily festivities.
Do you have a holiday breakfast tradition?
For many people, it could be pancakes or a breakfast hash skillet. Maybe it’s homemade cinnamon rolls (or those ones where you pop the can!).
If you don’t have a holiday breakfast tradition, then you will love to create one using this delicious vegan french toast casserole recipe.
Whether you use your own homemade bread or you take a shortcut with store bought, this combination quickly comes together to be ready for your holiday breakfast spread or brunch in the morning.
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What ingredients do I need to make vegan french toast casserole?
This vegan french toast casserole needs just 10 ingredients and comes together so quickly.
Full ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card below.
The ingredients that you need are:
- stale bread (see below) *You can make a vegan loaf of bread and get stale bread from that If you don’t have bread on hand.
- unsweetened applesauce
- apples (tart or sweet)
- non-dairy milk (oat is a good choice)
- cardamom (optional)
- vegan butter
- lemon juice and zest
- brown sugar
I don’t have applesauce, what can I use instead?
If you don’t mind a banana flavor, you could swap for 3 medium ripe bananas mashed.
You can also swap for flax eggs.
In order to do that you need
- 4 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 ¼ cups water
Combine the ground flax seeds and water, whisk together. Then, let mixture sit for 15 minutes to become gelatinous.
Add this in where the directions call for applesauce.
Flax seed does have a nuttier taste, and bananas obviously taste like bananas, but the french toast casserole will still come out delicious.
Does it matter what vegan milk I use?
It doesn’t. Any vegan milk will work in this recipe.
From oat milk (our choice) to almond, cashew, flax or even banana milk, it will all come together nicely.
How do I get stale bread?
Stale bread is just bread that has been allowed to be exposed to air and hardened.
It allows for the bread to soak up the french toast mixture better without creating a soggy mess that will never cook properly for you in the oven.
In order to get stale bread for this vegan french toast casserole, you will cube up your bread and then place on a baking sheet for 2-3 days.
We lightly cover with a towel so it’s not exposed to anything in the air.
Is there a quicker way to get stale bread?
Absolutely! If you don’t have time (or maybe you forgot) to leave bread out for a few days to harden on it’s own, you can place cubed bread on a baking sheet in an even layer.
Cook for 15-20 minutes in an oven, preheated to 350 degrees.
You are looking for the bread to be pretty hard, almost like a crouton.
How do you make vegan french toast casserole?
The first step is to start with stale bread. You either need to leave your bread out for a few days or use the oven method described above.
Once you have stale bread cubes, you can proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Start by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples very thin.
In a skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. add the sliced apples, cinnamon, cardamom, half the brown sugar, and lemon juice.
Stir around and get all the apples coated. Cook for about 4-6 minutes or until the apples are soft but not mushy. Remove from here
In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, dairy free milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Tip: you could put all these things in a blender and combine too.
Add your stale bread to a greased 9×13 casserole dish and then pour the applesauce mixture evenly across the top. Use a spatula to mix together, making sure that all the pieces of bread are coated.
Add the apples and gently toss the bread with the apples to make sure they are all throughout the casserole.
Cover and let this sit together for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
When ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar across the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check at the 30 minute mark to see if it is browning too much. If it is, then cover with foil and let finish cooking.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Can I prep this vegan french toast casserole ahead?
Yes. You can make the mixture and let sit overnight and then just pop it in the oven in the morning.
Or once the mixture has sat long enough, you can bake it, let cool, and then cover and store in the fridge.
Heat back up for a few minutes in the oven or in the microwave.
It will last in the fridge up to 5 days once cooked.
Can I make this a Top 8 Allergen Free French Toast Casserole?
We haven’t used gluten free bread in this dish, however, it should potentially still work. From our experience gluten free bread is usually more dense, so you may need more liquid to really soak up into the pieces.
You can use a soy free dairy free butter to make soy free. We like Earth Balance soy free in the red tub.
What are other vegan breakfasts ideas I could make?
Once you try this delicious dairy free french toast casserole, you may be looking for other amazing vegan breakfast ideas that you should try. We are sharing both sweet and savory dairy free breakfast ideas.
First we recommend trying our normal vegan french toast casserole with a nut topping.
- Vegan Breakfast Skillet (photo above)
- Vegan Banana Pancakes
- Super Soft Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Vegan Sausage Biscuits and Gravy
- Glazed Vegan Donuts
- Vegan Chocolate Donuts
- Perfect Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- Vegan Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits
- Dairy Free Banana Bread
Pin this vegan french toast casserole for later:
Vegan Apple Pie French Toast Casserole
- 9×13 casserole dish
For the french toast mixture
- 16 oz stale bread, cut into ½" cubes, (Use homemade bread or artisan, like an Italian loaf. See post for how to quickly make stale bread)
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ½ Cups non dairy milk (we like oat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest from lemon (or ¼ teaspoon lemon extract)
For the Apple Mixture
- 4-5 small apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/16 teaspoon cardamom, optional
- 1 juice of lemon
For the Topping
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Make sure you are starting with stale bread. If you haven't left your bread out for a few days, you can quickly dry out in the oven. See post for instructions on doing this.
- Peel, core, and slice your apples very thin.
- In a skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. add the sliced apples, cinnamon, cardamom, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
- Stir around and get all the apples coated. Cook for about 4-6 minutes or until the apples are soft but not mushy. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, dairy free milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest. Tip: you could put all these things in a blender and combine too.
- Add stale bread to a greased 9×13 casserole dish and then pour the applesauce mixture evenly across the top. Use a spatula to mix together, making sure that all the pieces of bread are coated well.
- Add the apples and gently toss the bread with the apples to make sure they are all throughout the casserole.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Once ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar across the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check at the 30 minute mark to see if it is browning too much. If it is, then cover with foil and let finish cooking.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Top with powdered sugar if desired and serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
We had a retirement breakfast for a coworker, and I needed something to feed staff at the school where I work. This was the first time I made something without trying it out beforehand. I put it together the night before, and baked it in the morning. When I brought it to school, the tables were loaded with non-vegan foods. There was even another french toast casserole. I was a little bummed, thinking my vegan dish would be untouched. (I’m the only vegan at my school) Imagine my surprise when I went to pack up my dish, that only a 1/3 of it was left! It even outdid the non vegan casserole! Your casserole is so light and fluffy. No one touched the maple syrup, and seemed to enjoy it unadorned. Thanks once again for a fabulous recipe!
Wow, we are so happy to hear that it was such a hit!
So delicious and easy. Great way to put aging apples to good use. Thank you!
So happy to hear that you enjoyed it!
So yummy. Didn’t even need the recommended maple syrup topping. The flavor was amazing all on its own.
We’re so happy that you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, we appreciate it!
I am making this for Christmas morning breakfast! I can already tell how amazing this will be. For the bread I used a sourdough raisin bread for some extra yum.
Thank you for the inspiration! Tomorrow morning will be so simple thanks to your recipe.
oh wow, i hope you loved it!