The Perfect Vegan Pancakes recipe is by far the most popular on this website. It ranks high in Google for the search term “vegan pancakes” and I notice a big spike in web traffic every Saturday morning for that reason. In fact, on March 4th, the traffic to this website was off the charts and I couldn’t figure it out… until I realized it was national pancake day. 🙂
Despite the success of these vegan pancakes, I’ve been feeling like something is missing. I mean, what’s the question that rings out around the world on Saturday morning, “pancakes or french toast?” We’ve solved the vegan pancake problem, but unfortunately, I think we can do a better job with vegan french toast.
The challenges here are understandable when you consider that the key to a good french toast is an eggy batter. Obviously, that doesn’t work for vegan cooking. So the most common solution is banana. Like, mash up a banana with milk, coat the bread, and pan fry. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but banana never creates a solid crust; it just becomes a goopy caramelized coating. Not to mention, it doesn’t exactly have the right flavors. So, to combat these problems, we’re throwing out the banana, adding flour to form a crusty coating, switching to coconut milk for a more solid mouthfeel, and throwing in a few clever ingredients to develop a more egg-like taste.
Makes 6 slices
- 6+ slices whole wheat bread
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat or GF)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- A few drops of vegetable oil for cooking
- Maple syrup and/or fruit for serving
A note on bread… I used fluffy white French bread for these pictures only because it’s much more photogenic than thin slices of whole wheat Ezekiel bread. But personally, when I make this for myself, I always use a much healthier sprouted whole-grain bread and I hope you will too!
Gather your slices of bread and dry them out. The best way to do this is by leaving them on the counter overnight. If you’re in a hurry, simply pop them in a 200º F oven for 5-10 minutes until they’re firm but not toasty. Note: the reason you want dry bread is because it’ll absorb more of the batter when soaked.
Add all the other ingredients (coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed) to a bowl and whisk until combined. In terms of the flour, you can easily substitute any variety you’d like – brown rice or chickpea both work well. The flaxseed will give this more egg-like binding power and the nutritional yeast is a brilliant idea I got from Love and Lemons. It gives the batter a wonderful eggy flavor that works so well in this french toast.
Pour this batter out into a large, flat container (such as a baking pan) and drop in 2-3 slices of the dry bread. Depending on thickness, give them about 1 minute on each side to absorb as much batter as possible without becoming too soggy. Meanwhile, begin warming a large non-stick skillet with a few drops of vegetable oil.
With the skillet fully warm over medium-high heat, transfer the slices of bread into the pan and cook for at least 3 minutes on each side. Once the batter transforms into a golden coating on both sides of the bread, remove from the heat and serve as quickly as possible, preferably with maple syrup and/or sliced fruit.
Variation: Rather than serving plain ‘ol french toast slices, why not make a sandwich out of it? Cut one slice of french toast in half, spread one side with a mixture of mashed bananas, strawberries, and almond butter, then top with the other half for the perfect sandwich:
24 CommentsLeave a Reply
Andrew, you are my HERO! I have been missing French Toast for such a long time! This recipe sounds perfect (and I LOVE that is has no banana in it!) Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will be trying this out right away! 🙂
Hey, thanks so much Cresta! 🙂 I hope you like this one!
Looks soooo good but I’m allergic to coconut milk are there any substitutes??
Hi Hannah, the reason I ultimately went with coconut milk is because it has a little more fat and makes a creamier batter, but it would work similarly with soy milk (second option) or almond milk (third option). Good luck! 🙂
OMG DROOL!!! Now if you could only create a gluten-free bread to go with this, I would be truly indebted to you!! 😀
Haha, I have yet to venture into the frightening world of bread making, let alone GF bread. But maybe someday soon… 😉
Made these for a lazy sunday morning the other day with the boyfriend and oh my did we approve. I actually found them to taste better then the real deal, not to mention they’re healthier. Real easy too.
Vegan french toast for life, yo!
Yay! I’m so glad you liked them! 😀 Vegan French Toast for life! :p
I am very excited to try this out, I found it while checking out the pancake recipe as well 😉 I’m also really glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t make a vegan pancake! I love all of your recipes Andrew thank you ! Can’t wait to show this one to my dad haha.
These and the vegan pancakes are amazing! Thank you so much for these wonderful wonderful recipes.
Awesome! Thanks so much, Mish – I’m glad you like both of them 🙂
I tried this for breakfast today and I must admit I had a difficult time with it. I just could not get my toast to stop sticking! I tried more oil, different temperatures, and even switched pans! The only other things I could think of were my almond milk substitution and I used flaxseed meal. I’m not sure if there is any difference between that and just ground flaxseed.
Despite my difficulties, it was still delicious!
Sorry to hear that, Lauren! These can be very sticky. Typically, the best trick to prevent (or at least minimize) sticking is to use a small amount of oil in a non-sick pan and turn up the heat as high as you can without burning the oil. That creates a nice crust that prevents sticking. Regardless, I’m glad they were still delicious! 🙂
I made your French toast this morning. It was a huge success! Even my dad said it was delicious, before I told him it did not contain eggs. You might not know how happy I was when he said “Yum.” I think this recipe brought us a little closer back together since I’ve became a vegan because it proved that vegan twists on traditionally non-vegan recipes are just as delicious!
Very cool, Vienna! I love hearing stories like that 🙂
Just made (and devoured) this with Ezekial Cinnamon Raisin Bread that was on clearance for the date so it was already dry! I added peaches and it was ah-mazing.
Oh, awesome! I think I saw the picture on Instagram. It looked incredible 🙂
Holy WOW! This is the perfect “most real” French toast! Super simple too.
Here are a couple changes I made to avoid a Sunday morning grocery run because we were SO hungry we couldn’t wait:
– doubled the recipe (thank goodness!)
– to substitute for the coconut milk I melted about 1-2 tablespoons coconut butter, mixed it with the maple syrup & vanilla before adding it to unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I did this to get the fat needed rather than the coconut flavor – thanks Andrew for explaining the reason for the coconut milk, I wouldn’t have known otherwise!
Drying the “regular” sliced wheat bread in the oven made a huge difference. The nutritional yeast is so clever – thanks Lemons!
We’ve tried other recipes, and they just didn’t hit the spot, to much banana, to soggy or chewy – this is one is just right – thank you so much!
That’s fantastic, Amy Jo! Your suggestions sound awesome, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this! 🙂
I found this recipe last night when checking out your latest recipe and immediately put some homemade whole grain bread out to dry for French Toast this morning. Wow, these look just like the eggy kind and taste fabulous. They are the real deal. I used chickpea flour because it I like the batter it makes for vegan omelettes. These are definitely on my menu for Christmas with the kids.
Thanks Andrew. I love your blog.
That’s amazing, Darlene! I saw your comment and made this French Toast this morning with chickpea flour, which I’ve also used for omelets, and it worked so well. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂
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