Basic Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast with Fresh Strawberries and Coconut Whipped Cream! #vegan #breakfast #frenchtoast

We just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and it caused me to reflect on our early days of marriage, living in Portland in late spring, early summer. I made us breakfast most mornings – just like I do now – and  we’d sit and talk with the windows open before getting to the day’s tasks. I discovered early on John isn’t a pancake guy. The thing is, I’m a pancake girl. But our common ground? French toast. Thank goodness.

Vegan French Toast!Easy Vegan French Toast!

Since going dairy free I haven’t made french toast as often as I used to, but I do miss it. Our favorite recipe is basic with a little cinnamon and vanilla, then topped with fresh strawberries and maple syrup or honey.

I’m not entirely egg-free (though am growing more suspicious of them by the moment), but I wanted to make a vegan french toast recipe A) to see if it was in fact possible to make french toast without eggs, and B) to come up with my own variation to share with you all, as I know there are already a lot of vegan frenchy recipes out there.

At first I considered “thickening” the batter with a starch (i.e. flour) of some kind, but then I really just wanted to keep it healthy and natural. And so, I went with chia seeds. I ground mine up to make them less visible in the final product (for those eaters of yours who inspect every bite and ask, “What’s in this?” before digging in). But this certainly isn’t a necessary step.

Vegan French Toast with Strawberries and Coconut Whipped Cream! #vegan #healthy #easy AND all natural

The batter is basic. Non-dairy milk, chia seeds, vanilla, agave, cinnamon. For the bread I went with a rustic wheat, but you could certainly keep this gluten free by using a gluten free wheat bread, such as Udi’s. I’ve had their gluten free bread and am confident it would work swimmingly in this recipe.

The trick to the batter is letting it sit to firm up a bit. Chia seeds typically take 10-15 minutes to activate (longer for pudding), and that’s about how long I let mine rest before dipping the bread in. Go longer for thicker batter, but no too long or it can turn into a pudding (which is not what you want). You’re basically looking for a batter that resembles traditional french toast batter with the egg. Ya dig?

Easy Eggless French Toast with Strawberries and coconut whipped cream! #vegan

The result? A dreamy, simple, perfectly-sweet french toast that’s completely vegan. So what does it taste like?

It’s light
Slightly sweet
Warm from the cinnamon
Tender with a subtle bite
Filling
Wholesome
And perfect for adding whatever toppings you prefer

Vegan French Toast! Simple, healthy and surprisingly similar to traditional french toast!

Me? I went with coconut whipped cream, fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup. This would also be lovely with a compote, sliced bananas, peanut or almond butter, or agave. Consider this recipe a basic french toast base, perfect for adding whatever flavors you want to make it your own.

I hope you enjoy it! And if you do, be sure to take a photo and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. It’s kind of my favorite. Cheers!

Easy Vegan French Toast! One bowl, 6 ingredients and strikingly similar to traditional french toast! #veganVegan French Toast! So simple, so fast SO good!

4.6 from 12 reviews
Basic Vegan French Toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
1-Bowl, 30 minute vegan french toast made with wholesome, natural ingredients like almond milk, cinnamon and chia seeds.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground into a fine meal so they're undetectable)
  • 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 slices bread (I went with a sturdy rustic wheat bread, but also tried it with whole wheat sandwich bread and it worked well both ways)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except the bread in a large, shallow bowl. Place in the fridge to activate for 10-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat griddle to medium heat (~350 degrees F) and grease with 1 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil.
  3. Dip each slice of bread in the batter for about 20 seconds on each side. If your bread is dry, leave it in a little longer. If you're using sandwich bread, it should only need 25-30 seconds total to soak.
  4. Place on griddle and cook until golden brown on the underside. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden brown as well - 3-4 minutes.
  5. Top with desired toppings: I went with coconut whipped cream, strawberries and maple syrup.
Notes
*Nutrition information reflects 1 of 5 slices without toppings.
*Keep this recipe gluten free by using a gluten free bread, such as Udi's.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 95 Fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 14.6 g Sugar: 3.2 g Sodium: 168 mg Fiber: 3.2 g Protein: 4.4 g

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I am thinking I need to go dairy free soon… so this looks like an excellent alternative to traditional french toast! Will have to try soon! Such a smart use of chia seeds, I would never have thought to use them!

    • Dana Shultz says

      Try it! Especially if you notice dairy gives you stomach qualms. It was rough for me at first because I was raised on the stuff. But I don’t miss it anymore and am feeling much better.

      • Emmalee says

        I’ve been having stomach qualms as well concerning the dairy aspect and even though I’ve switched to almond milk I still find that it leaves me queasy. Have you ever experimented with rice milk?

        • Dana Shultz says

          I haven’t but from what I understand they’re interchangeable in recipes and pretty similar in taste!

  2. says

    Could these pictures be any more beautiful?! How f-ing genius to use chia seed to thicken the custard. I would like to bust into that stack of toast with my bare hands. Happy anniversary, Dana and John!

  3. says

    This looks so amazing! I’ve been trying to figure out a vegan french toast recipe (and I think I’m right on the cusp) but because it’s not perfect yet I’ve found myself eating tons of vegan waffles! I am in love with vegan breakfast food!

  4. says

    When I saw this on instagram I wondered how you made the custard-y part sans eggs…obviously you’re a wizard! This looks great and any sweet breakfast fare topped with fresh strawberries and cream is a favorite.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Thanks Cindy! Everything you’ve been doing with rhubarb lately? Wizard skillz. Teach me your ways!

  5. says

    this looks great! i have been needing a vegan french toast recipe, and i can’t wait to try this one out! PS: i made your 1 bowl vegan chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday – it was a massive hit!!

  6. says

    There should be a warning not to read these when hungry!! Yet ANOTHER amazing recipe – and the photography…. that syrup dripping off the fork…? Wow. Well done! And Happy Anniversary! Coming up on our 30th, and I am more in love now than ever…<3

    • Dana Shultz says

      Yay! Glad you liked these! And thanks for the kind words about the photography. Made my day, Cathy!

  7. Annie says

    The French toast looks spectacular. In fact, I just bought a new bag of chia seeds and now know how I’ll use them in a day or two.
    I have only one complaint. In my daily email from you, I get a very long email that accompanies the recipe. I must scroll and scroll and scroll to actually get to the recipe. Not really a complaint, since the photos are very well done, but when I opened the email for the French Toast, and clicked on FrenchToast, I had to wade through the first photograph, then a photograph later of a piece of French Toast on a fork (a bite-sized piece, I imagined), and so forth. I understand the nature of photos, (one being worth a thousand words), but it is almost too much. I tend to find myself a bit annoyed. I want the recipe up first, so that I know what ingredients I need, and how to make it. Although, by my age (61), I rarely need the instructions. Been vegetarian since age 18, vegan now for several years. I do love your recipes – I have a huge collection of both vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, but what hangs me up always are recipes that contain 17 exotic ingredients when most often we eat very simply. A banana for breakfast, beans and rice for dinner most days. Miso soup with a bit of cubed tofu for lunch. Salads often. Sometimes steamed veggies for lunch if we’re hungry. Homemade whole grain bread. So, being a minimalist, I do enjoy your recipes. But, if possible, try some restraint with your photos. They are indeed beautiful, but open any recipe magazine, and they try to dazzle you with food photographs – I don’t enjoy them, since it is obvious that the food is faked – shaving cream used for whipped cream, etc. Please do continue my email subscription, though, because I do love your recipes. I just made your chai ice cream (vegan) last week, and it is almost gone now.DELICIOUS!
    Thanks,
    Annie

    • says

      Thanks for your feedback Annie, we really do appreciate it. Although we can understand why our style might not fit with everybody, our original focus and desire here is to create something that we personally enjoy.

      We appreciate good food photography and feel that adding our photographs to posts contribute to our art in a style that reflects our personality.

      We aren’t trying to be a magazine, other blog, or something else; we just want to be us. For now, that means we will keep posting high-quality delicious photos that reflect our creations. Hope you understand.

    • Jodie says

      Good grief Annie. What a lot of effort you made to “complain” about something so trivial. Scroll, scroll, scroll or find some other site.

  8. says

    THESE LOOK AMAZING! French toast slathered with maple syrup is one of my favourite breakfasts and I love that you managed to make it vegan (with chia seeds – amazing!) Thx for another great minimalist and healthy recipe!

  9. says

    This looks incredible! My favorite breakfast treat is French Toast, and always has been. Yours looks like a fantastic dairy-free version. Love the use of flax seed in yours! I sometimes use a hearty flax bread, which may provide a similar effect. Great pictures!

  10. says

    Wow that looks amazing. I didn’t think it was possible to create vegan French toast, I’m definitely going to give this a go.

    Rosie

  11. says

    Congratulations on the 4 year anniversary. You have become one of my inspirational blogs to get out there and try vegan baking which I used to be so scared off. The French toast photographs are gorgeous :)

  12. Caitlin says

    So I tried to make this is morning, and I have to say, it was a complete disaster. My house smells like burned coconut oil and the French toast was burned but still so soggy that I had to throw it out. It seems French toast of any kind is just not my forte, going to try one of your pancake recipes next time instead! Round one: French Toast 1, me 0

    • Dana Shultz says

      Oh no! So sorry Caitlin. What kind of coconut oil did you use? Perhaps you used a little too much or the temp was too high? Next time, perhaps you could try vegan butter as that’s what gave me the best results. This is the first issue I’ve heard with this recipe, so I’ll be sure to watch for anyone else who may experience similar issues.

  13. Sandy H says

    Oh my goodness this looks great. I am egg free(family isn’t). Every time I make French toast I get sad. It looks and smells so good. Iced tried 2 vegan recipes that were a flop. I’d given up. I never thought of using the chia seed as a thickener! Now I must get some beautiful bread to try! Xoxo happy vegan now

  14. ce.leb says

    I made the vegan french toast this morning, and it was absolutly delish! I really like french toast, but i do not like the classic custard made with milk and cream.. its too heavy for me. We made this one with whole spelt baguette – it was wonderful!
    But, i have to say, we had again problems with the coconut whipped cream. I followed all directions, the coconut milk was in the fridge overnight, i scooped out the solid part, cooled the bowl, and I tried to whip it with a hand mixer, afterwards with a standmixer. It resembled a coarse meal.. even after a few minutes of mixing :( the coconut milk is whole, and doesnt contain any additives. Do you know what the problem might be?
    thanks alot for the great vegan french toast recipe!
    xxx,
    ce.leb

  15. says

    Oh wow… this is my first visit to your amazing blog and I am blown away with the fact that you’ve made the chia seeds disappear….! Why did I never think of that in terms of making a ‘chia egg’? Genius. Anyway, back to this French toast. It looks dense, crispy, deliciously wholesome, everything you’d want from a French toast breakfast. Definitely sharing this with my friends (I’m not entirely vegan either but probably 80% plant based, so I appreciate an amazing vegan recipe like this one). Great job guys. So happy to have found your blog! -Laura

  16. Grace says

    I always considered a chia egg, but never thought it would work because it might make the bread too “jelly-ish” and wouldn’t toast right. But now since the Minamalist Baker has tried it, it must be legit- and it worked! Woohoo, the grounded chia egg replacement worked just fine and my french toast turned out delish! I used both stale wheat bread and gluten free bread and both turned out wonderfully! Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  17. Ayesha says

    Hi there!

    First off, I just want to say that i LOVE your website! This is my first time on, but i will definitely be coming back. I flew back to my hometown for Mother’s Day and wanted to make something for my mom tomorrow as a breakfast or brunch, however, I am vegan so I’ve been looking for recipe that suits everyone in the family, not just me, and this looks perfect! I was wondering if it would it be ok if i made the batter at night and left it to soak until the next morning or would that be way too long?

    Thanks so much!

    • Dana Shultz says

      You could give it a try, but I think the batter would get too thick. And definitely don’t soak the bread overnight. It’ll be too mushy. Hope that helps!

  18. Rebecca says

    GREAT recipe! I made this french toast this morning and it was absolutely delicious! My only problem came when I tried to grind the chia seeds in my mortar and pestle…they didn’t grind. I used them whole and it worked just fine, but I’d rather have them hidden. Any suggestions?? Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

  19. ashley says

    this was really good. I used homemade coconut milk and worried that it would be too thin, but with the amazing chia seeds…THANK YOU!

  20. Laura says

    My first visit to your blog. I found it looking for a gluten free vegan rhubarb crisp recipe (which looks amazing) and spotted this recipe. I have a child who is gluten free, casein free, and egg free. I am excited to try this recipe! Just so you know, if one is trying to be gluten free and vegan, you can’t use Udi’s bread because it contains eggs (at least every version I have checked). :)

  21. says

    Cool shining pictures. Simple and practical recipe. I love it so much. It is really inspiring. I can make it with different kinds of fruit and ice cream. Go Dana!

  22. Megan says

    I loved this recipe and tried it on my own with a thicker velagio style sandwhich bread. However when I cooked it it turned out really soggy. I’m not sure if that’s because I used butter instead of the coconut oil. Nonetheless a great recipe!

  23. says

    Thank you that really made my brunch. My cold brewed coffee had just finished brewing, I give it 24 hours, and I had some raspberries that were on the verge of going bad. So I made some raspberry syrup with them as a topping to this delicious recipe. A great meal.

  24. says

    This looks amazing. We were having one of those morning where nothing sounded goog until we both thought of vegan French toast. Excited to make this!! One note (maybe someone mentioned it): Udi’s GF bread is not vegan. It’s a great GF option, but sadly, it contains eggs. For a non-vegan, it’s awesome. Thanks again for sharing!!

  25. Sylvia says

    Wow!!! This looks amazing. My kids are going to love me tomorrow. I’m thinking of using ground flax for the eggy part. Wish me luck!!

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