overhead shot of French toast casserole on several plates

Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole (Vegan!)

This Vegan Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole is the perfect easy yet decadent brunch idea that’s sure to impress!

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slices of French toast casserole on plates with dollops of whipped cream

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite holiday breakfast. This Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole is the stuff dreams are made of. It happens to be vegan and is the perfect easy make-ahead brunch option for all your holiday needs. I seriously haven’t been able to stop making this casserole in the last month and plan to make it again for Christmas. It’s just that good.

overhead shot of casserole in baking dish

Ingredients for Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole

Cane Sugar: We’re making caramel from scratch with real sugar, baby!

Vegan Butter: To give our vegan caramel that buttery goodness.

Canned Full-Fat Coconut Milk: It is essential that you use canned full-fat coconut milk in order to get the caramel to the proper consistency. Light coconut milk or milk from a carton will not work. You will use half a cup for the caramel and the rest will go in our delightful custard mixture.

Sourdough Bread: Any loaf of vegan bread should work, but sourdough is my favorite. If you’re not vegan, challah bread is also a lovely option. I have not tested this with gluten-free bread, but I imagine it would work fine.

Granny Smith Apples: I recommend not substituting a different apple. Not only will Granny Smiths will create that authentic caramel apple taste, but they also hold their structure better than other apples when baked.

Ground Flaxseed and Water: To make flax eggs, which will keeps this casserole vegan.

Cornstarch or Arrowroot Starch: To thicken up the custard mixture just a bit.

Vanilla Extract: For subtle vanilla flavor and enhancement of other ingredients.

Cinnamon: For cozy holiday morning vibes.

Sea Salt: A pinch for the caramel, and a bit more for the custard mixture to really make those flavors shine.

Raw Pecan Pieces: For a little added crunch!

overhead shot of French toast casserole on several plates

How to Make Homemade Caramel

Have no fear! The caramel-making process is actually super simple, and I’ve broken it down into three easy steps for you.

  1. Heat cane sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it melts and starts to brown. Whisk frequently during this process to prevent burning. This may take a few minutes so patience is key here! The sugar will likely clump up before it fully melts; that’s totally okay!
  2. Once the sugar has melted, stir in the butter, whisking constantly. This will likely cause intense bubbles, so remove from heat briefly and continue to whisk if you’re concerned about the mixture burning. Otherwise, carry on. You’re on the right track.
  3. Finally, stir in the coconut milk until well-combined and allow the entire mixture to come to a boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of sea salt. Let cool for 20-30 minutes.

If you make this Vegan Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole, be sure to leave a rating and review! This encourages others to give the recipe a try. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. I always love hearing from you!

More Delicious Holiday Breakfasts

close up of slice of french toast casserole
overhead shot of French toast casserole on several plates

Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole

This Vegan Overnight Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole is the perfect easy yet decadent holiday breakfast that's sure to impress!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Chilling Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, British, French
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Heavy-Bottomed Medium Saucepan
  • 9×13 Baking Dish

Ingredients
  

For the Caramel:

  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan butter unsalted
  • ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk (if you buy a 13.5-oz can, you should have just enough for the caramel and the custard)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

For the Rest of the Casserole:

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Granny Smith apples diced
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (if you buy a 13.5-oz can, you should have just enough for the caramel and the custard)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • cup raw pecan pieces

For Topping

  • coconut whipped cream
  • maple syrup

Instructions
 

Make the Caramel:

  • Heat the cane sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it melts and starts to brown. Whisk frequently during this process to prevent burning. This may take a few minutes so patience is key! The sugar may clump up a bit before it fully melts.
  • Once the sugar has melted, stir in the butter, whisking constantly. This will likely cause intense bubbles, so remove from heat briefly and continue to whisk if you're concerned about the mixture burning.
  • Finally, stir in the coconut milk until well-combined and allow the entire mixture to come to a boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt. Let cool for 20-30 minutes.

Make the Rest of the Casserole:

  • Mix ground flaxseed and water until well-combined and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • While the flax mixture is thickening, toss your diced apples with 1 cup of the caramel mixture until all pieces are fully coated. Set aside.
  • Once the flax mixture has thickened, add cornstarch, coconut milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt, and whisk together until well-combined into a custard.
  • In a greased 9×13 baking dish, add bread cubes and caramel-coated apples and give everything a mix until well-distributed. Pour the custard over the bread and apples. Press bread down as needed to make sure every part of the casserole is covered in custard. Top with even layers of the remaining caramel sauce and pecans.
  • Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
  • In the morning, allow the casserole to sit out at room temperature while the oven pre-heats to 350° F. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a little crispy. Let sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy! I like to serve this with maple syrup and whipped cream.

Notes

Storage: Can be kept in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: Place in oven on 300° F for 20 minutes or until the entire casserole has warmed and crisped up again. 
To make gluten-free: I haven’t tested it, but I imagine your favorite gluten-free loaf would work well in place of sourdough!
Keyword bread pudding, brunch, caramel, caramel apple, christmas breakfast, christmas brunch, dairy-free, french toast, french toast casserole, granny smith apple, vegan, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This is l like french toast+cinnimon toast crunch+apple crumbl and that is a heavenly trio. this is a delicious breakfast. it may be tempting to go cheap on the bread… but don’t you will thank me for it.

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