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Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

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A cozy weekend brunch idea that’s perfect for the holidays or entertaining, this Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole is sweet, warming, and ultra-satisfying!
Prep 50 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 50 minutes
5 from 15 votes

It’s apple picking season! Or so I’ve been told. I’ve spent all of September traveling and certainly have not been to an apple farm, but Instagram has duly informed me that there are apples to be picked. And those apples should be picked by smiling women with their smiling babies, all wearing matching scarves and boots.

I will not be participating in such activity (mostly because I can’t be bothered to figure out how to transport myself outside of New York City to go apple picking, not because I hate fun family activities). Instead, I will be sharing an apple recipe with you that I think would be perfect for using up all of the hand-picked local apples you’ve gathered over the last few weeks.

So, say hello to this Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole! It features alternating layers of vegan french toast, maple syrup-cinnamon coated apples, and a crunchy oat-pecan topping. YUM!

French Toast Casserole with whipped cream in a white casserole dish on a pink table.

Like all of my favorite sweet foods, this Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole is indulgent and mouthwatering, but not overly sweet or heavy. In addition to being vegan, it’s also refined-sugar-free (if you use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar).

This French toast has rich warming spices folded into each component, from a winning trio of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the French toast, along with a generous amount of cinnamon in both the apple filling and the oat-pecan topping. If you want to keep things even easier, replace the individual spices with pumpkin spice (use about 4 teaspoons instead of the cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg called for in the French toast).

Looking for another amazing apple treat to make over the holidays? Try my Vegan Apple Crisp!

French toast casserole in casserole dish with a slice taken from it.

To make assembly quick and efficient, slice up the apples first and get them started on the stove. While they’re cooking away, make the oat milk “custard” (a simple whiz in the blender) and pour it over the sliced bread.

As for presentation, if you want to get fancy, you can (a) layer the sliced apples between the bread slices (see the image below), but if you don’t care about fancy presentation, (b) simply tear up the bread into pieces and dice up the apples and mix everything together.

You can assemble it the morning of and let it rest for 30 minutes before baking it, but for a low-stress brunch (and so that you can sleep in on the weekends, if that’s something you are capable of doing), assemble it the night before and pop it in the fridge, then baked it off in the morning while you slurp on your coffee.

Overhead view of casserole with slice taken out of it.

Regarding ingredients, I recommend using a sturdy piece of bread, like a French bread (no soft sliced sandwich bread or you’ll end up with a soggy sad mess). The bread should be dried out and hard, not soft. You can use stale, day-old bread, but my preferred method is to use freshly baked bread and then dry it out in the oven. This enables the bread to soak up the “custard” while maintaining a soft, pillowy but not soggy interior. Plus, it also maintains the delicious freshly baked bread flavor that you lose when using stale bread.

For the “custard,” I use a combination of oat milk and silken soft tofu. If you want something even creamier, you can substitute some of the oat milk with some “lite” canned coconut milk.

And as for the apples, be sure to use a variety that is firm and crisp. I like a sweet-tart variety, but feel free to use any firm variety you like (my recommended varieties are in the ingredients below). When you sauté the apples on the stove, you want them to soften up but not completely break down (they’ll continue cooking in the oven).

Finally, for the oat topping, if pecans aren’t your thing, you can substitute slivered or sliced almonds instead.

That’s all you need to know about this Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole, so happy apple picking and happy brunching!

Big Vegan Flavor

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Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

5 from 15 votes
A cozy weekend brunch idea that’s perfect for the holidays or entertaining, this Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole is sweet, warming, and ultra-satisfying!
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 8


Apple Filling

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or neutral cooking oil of choice
  • 4 medium apples, sliced (I recommend a crisp variety, such as Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Gala)*
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

French Toast

  • 1 large loaf French bread (about 16 ounces), sliced (not too thick or thin) or torn into pieces**
  • 2 cups oat milk (or other creamy plant-based milk)
  • 8 ounces silken soft tofu
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional but adds a nice rich body)
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Crisp Topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or other neutral-flavored oil

For serving (optional)

  • Non-dairy yogurt or whipped topping


  • Make the Apple Filling. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the apple slices, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and mix to evenly coat. Cook for 10 minutes, until apples are soft but not falling apart. If you are using a good nonstick skillet, you can skip the oil, but be sure to stir frequently.
  • Lightly grease a large rectangular baking pan (about a 13×9-inch pan) with oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Make the French Toast. Arrange the slices of French bread in the greased baking dish so the tops are facing up.
  • In a blender, combine the oat milk, tofu, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder, and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth and no lumps remain.
  • Pour the oat milk mixture evenly over the bread, making sure to moisten each piece completely. Pour the apple filling on top of the soaked bread and stir to combine, or carefully layer the apples between the slices of bread, as shown in the photos.
  • Make the crisp topping. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl using a spatula or your fingertips. Sprinkle the crisp topping evenly over the French Toast.
  • Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20-30 minutes, until the crisp topping is golden browned and the casserole is completely cooked through.


*For an alternative presentation (dicing the apples), see the blog post above.
**See notes above about using stale or dried out bread and options for slicing or tearing the bread.

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 3mg


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5 from 15 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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30 comments on Vegan Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

  1. MadisonHomeCook

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I reduced the brown sugar to 1/2 cup, which was great. I had 1 lb of hotdog buns and 3 janky apples that I needed to use up and it worked perfectly! I toasted the bread slices at 300 until they were basically like croutons. I skipped cooking the apples in the skillet because I couldn’t be bothered. I just put the dried out bread slices in the greased pan with the peeled and cubed apples and added the 1 Tbsp oil and the maple syrup to the custard mix. I omitted the 1 tsp of cinnamon from the apple mixture and was glad I did because it ended up with a pleasant amount of cinnamon with 2 1/2 tsp. It was sweet and moist enough as is to not require extra syrup for me, but my kids added syrup. In fact, in addition to reducing to 1/2 cup brown sugar, you could easily leave out the 3 Tbsp maple syrup if you wanted to cut out more sugar and serve syrup at the table just in case. I only chilled it for the minimum 30 min and it turned out great. I’ll definitely be making this again! It would be delicious with vegan or meaty breakfast sausages, a yogurt drizzle and fruit if you wanted to round out the menu a bit more.

  2. Diane

    Sounds delicious!
    Will silken firm tofu work for this? I don’t see an option for silken soft tofu.

    1. Diane

      Also, do you think a whole wheat sourdough artisan bread would work?

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yes, silken firm tofu would work just fine. You’re welcome to use whole wheat sourdough, but based on my French toast research and experience, the flavor of sourdough comes through in French toast. It’s not traditional, but if you like it, then I’m sure you will enjoy it :) Also, artisan breads are quite dry already compared to some other breads typically used for French toast, so I wouldn’t use it if it’s stale. I’d use it either fresh, or just slightly dried out (add the bread pieces to a low oven, like 200ºF, for 10 to 15 minutes). Hope that helps!

  3. Tina Nguyen

    5 stars
    Great make ahead of time recipe!! I did a combo of slices and and cubes of toast which resulted in a nice crunch and soaked pieces! It was hard to layer slices of apple like the picture so I recommend just chopping those in cubes. I used coconut milk and didn’t taste much a difference!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Tina! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  4. Andrea

    5 stars
    I love this recipe mainly when I don’t tell people it’s vegan until the end. I didn’t have time to refrigerate it. It was good but i do think refrigerating it makes somewhat of a difference.

    For moms who have babies and toddlers. For the French Toast part I did 1/4 instead of 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar and I warmed up 4 dates to reduce the amount of sugar and still have that sweetness, since babies can’t have that much sugar. I also took the skin of the apple. He LOVED IT!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      It’s lovely to hear the recipe was enjoyed by the whole family, Andrea! Thanks for leaving a review!

  5. Nickesha

    5 stars
    Soooooo good! I made this for a family breakfast and we all loved it. I was worried it would be too sweet because of the liquid from the sautéed apples; when I tasted the liquid by itself it was very sweet, so I was worried it would impart that super sweetness to the overall dish, but it didn’t. The dish had that Goldilocks amount of sweetness – just right! This was eaten and loved by non-vegans by the way, who couldn’t have cared less that there was tofu in there because it was just that good.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Nickesha!

  6. Scott

    5 stars
    Haven’t had French Toast since 2016 and this dish made it worth the wait, delicious nutmegged & custardy, loaded with flavor. Alternating bread slices with thin cooked apples slices was the perfect combo. I did not follow the directions and used 2 fresh baguettes instead of leaving them to dry out and become stale so it was a bit mushy, so follow the directions, otherwise the best French Toast ever, thanks again, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Scott, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  7. Jessica

    I was really looking forward to this.
    When I made it the batter turned into almost a paste in between each slice once it had cooked and was overall quite soggy.
    I dried out the bread in the oven and cooked it for the time and temp in the recipe. I have clearly done something wrong here. Any advise on what to do as I would live to try it again?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      From Nisha: “Sorry to hear that! I’m a bit stumped on this one. The only thing I can think of that would cause the batter to turn into a paste is if you accidentally didn’t use enough milk (2 cups of milk should be sufficient to have a liquidy batter, not a paste). Or that you accidentally used too much arrowroot powder, which can cause it to become thick and paste-like.”

  8. Doris

    Just came across your site. We are having a farewell breakfast for our boss and your apple cinnamon French toasts casserole looks awesome. Can’t wait to make it. Btw, none of my colleagues are vegan and that will an introduction to them

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yay, we are excited for you to make the casserole and share it with your coworkers! Enjoy!

  9. Beth

    5 stars
    So amazing! I have missed French toast so much. This was tremendous, and guilt-free. I only used 2/3 of the sugar called for. Didn’t even notice. Yumminess.

  10. Géraldine

    5 stars
    It looks absolutely fantastic! Just discovered your site, and everything is so inspiring… your voice is very pleasant to hear as well! Thank you for sharing with us! I need to catch up lost time and cook this and your kale and white beans soup recipe.

  11. Darren Wilcox

    I came across this recipe yesterday morning and decided to try it out this morning, knowing I was going to have to pick up ingredients. I came home last night to find two loaves of dried out French bread on my porch from my neighbor who is a baker at Panera Bread, and my wife had picked up a bag of apples earlier. Is that a definite sign or what…. I misread the recipe and put two Tablespoons of cinnamon instead of ½ a teaspoon, but hey…one can never have too much cinnamon, right. Absolute Awesomeness 👍🙌👍

  12. michelle

    Have you tried this with gluten free french bread?

    1. Valentina Martin

      I am wondering the same thing!

  13. Valentina

    Looks really yummy! Do you have a recommendation for substituting the tofu? If possible.

    1. Nancy Halloran

      Hi Valentina, Did you find a substitute for the tofu. I thought about trying a white bean mash.

      1. Valentina Martin

        I haven’t! I was thinking possibly coconut yogurt.

  14. Sam

    This was really good. The next time I make it though, I will cut the bread up so that it is easier to eat after the dish is done. Perfect dish for this weather

    1. Nisha Vora

      Great feedback – cutting the bread into cubes would definitely be easier for serving. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks, Sam!

  15. Di

    Yum, look forward to trying! How do you dry out bread in the oven?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hope you enjoy it!
      Slice the bread as directed in the recipe and then place it on an a wire rack (or baking pan) in the oven at 300F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Hope that helps!

  16. Rachel

    This looks fabulous! I’ll be making it next weekend for brunch with my in-laws. Aside from hot mulled cider, what would you serve on the side with this for brunch?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aw yay, that’s so nice to hear! Hot mulled cider would be lovely :) Good maple syrup or preserves to top the casserole would be perfect. If you want something light, perhaps a veggie salad (roasted potatoes + asparagus or green beans) or a fruit salad!

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