This eggless gluten-free French toast recipe is a delicious breakfast (or brunch) recipe, perfect for the weekend!
If that (beautiful) little drizzle of maple syrup doesn't make you crave this easy vegan French toast recipe, I do not know what will - I'm drooling just looking at it.
Fluffy and thick slices of gluten-free bread, coated in an egg-free batter with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, seared on the griddle to create a crispy exterior and a slightly custard-like interior. It's absolute perfection.
Ingredients and substitutions
This eggless French toast recipe easily comes together using 7 simple ingredients:
- Gluten-free Artisan loaf: I used GreenLite Multigrain Artisan Bread with Chia, available at Whole Foods. I highly recommend this bread brand, as I've found it's the best gluten-free bread for French toast.
- Aquafaba: this is the technical name for the liquid/brine that is in a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. We are using it in this recipe as an egg substitute. It's slightly nutty, with an eggy flavor, and has a texture similar to egg whites when whisked.
- Almond milk or soy milk: I prefer unsweetened Vanilla Almond Malk in this recipe. For additional sweetness use vanilla flaxmilk or vanilla coconut milk.
- Golden flax seed meal: added for additional nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Chia seeds may also work.
- Cinnamon: french toast isn't complete with a heavy dash of cinnamon.
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds: optional, but helps tie all the ingredients together and adds a bit of sweetness. Omit if you are using a vanilla-flavored milk.
How to make vegan GF french toast with aquafaba
This healthy French toast is easy to throw together. Here is a snapshot of how to make it:
Start with fluffy slices of freshly toasted GF artisan bread.
Next, create the french toast batter by adding aquafaba to a shallow bowl. Vigorously whisk until it begins to foam (as pictured). Add in flaxseed, soy milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt and whisk again.
Dip each slice of bread into the batter, flipping and coating both sides briefly. Do not leave each slice of bread in the batter for longer than 10 seconds or else it will become too wet.
Remove bread from the batter and immediately add to a warm cast iron griddle that has been greased with a bit of avocado oil or vegan butter. Sear each side for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Best bread for French toast
What kind of bread you use is the key to making a truly delicious French toast. For this gluten-free vegan French toast, I highly recommend using GreenLite. Their loafs of Artisan bread are available at Whole Foods. Both the multigrain loaf and the classic loaf are great options for this recipe. Alternatively, Little Northern Bakehouse (V, GF) is a popular vegan, gluten-free option that is available (online only) through Amazon and The Oven Door.
Tips for using gluten-free bread:
- Bake and/or toast bread. This is vital if you're using the Greenlite loaf or any fresh bread. The Greelite loaf needs to be baked first (per package instructions), but I also like to toast the pieces after cutting. By lightly toasting it, we create crispy edges and prevent the toast from becoming a soggy mess on the pan as it cooks.
- Thickness of slices. ½-inch slices of bread work best. Think of the best French toast you've been served (or spotted) at a restaurant - the bread slices were most likely thicker than traditional sandwich slices. Bon Appétit recommends a thickness of ¾-1 inch, anything larger than this will be too thick to cook evenly and throughout the middle.
- Bread freshness. Toast fresh bread for 2-3 minutes before dipping it into the French toast batter. If using stale bread, be sure to dip bread into the batter for slightly longer (15-20 seconds) as the bread will be less moist.
If you're not gluten-free, try one of these types of bread: Challah, french bread, vegan brioche, or vegan sourdough bread. Do not use a standard multigrain or sandwich bread. Use a thicker, bakery-style loaf of bread (like the ones listed above) for best results.
Top tips for making the best French toast
- Vigorously whisk aquafaba. It only takes about 15-20 seconds before it starts to foam, so don't skip this step! It really helps to create a delicious coating over the bread.
- Shallow dish. Mix the batter in a shallow dish, that's wide enough to fit a piece of bread.
- Stir batter. If you end up cooking slices in batches and the batter sits undisturbed for a few minutes, be sure to whisk well before dipping another slice. This helps to ensure all of the ingredients remain mixed for best results.
- Cast iron skillet or griddle. For best results, use a cast iron skillet or griddle. It adds an additional crisp and flavor to the French toast that a traditional frying pan does not. I have this griddle pan and love it! It's also great for making flatbread pizza crust and pancakes.
- Grease pan: be sure to grease the cast iron skillet with vegan butter or a neutral oil with a high smoke point. This helps achieve that golden brown coating! Additionally, be sure to wipe the pan and re-grease between batches.
Vegan french toast toppings
French toast isn't complete without a few toppings of your choosing. Here are some of my favorites to get you started:
- Organic powdered sugar
- Maple syrup or maple cream
- Date syrup
- Sliced banana, fresh berries, apples, pears, or other fresh fruit of choice
- Chopped nuts (pecans are my favorite for French toast)
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice
- Peanut butter or granola butter
- Whipped cream
- Vegan ice cream
- Dairy-free yogurt
Let me know what you add to yours in the comments below - I love hearing about your personal spins!
Storage and reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, microwave or warm on a greased skillet.
Gluten-Free Vegan French Toast with Aquafaba & Apples
- shallow bowl + whisk
- measuring cups & spoons
- cast iron griddle or skillet
- 6-8 slices GF artisan bread (or 3-4 large pieces of sourdough if not GF)
- ⅓ cup aqaufaba (brine from a can of no salt added chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
- ¼ cup almond or soy milk (I used Vanilla Almond Malk)
- 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 scant teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
- drizzle pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup Honeycrisp apple, diced
- dash or two cinnamon
- Prepare bread: If using GF Artisan loaf, preheat the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Slice into ½-1 inch thick slices. Toast slices in the toaster or toaster oven for 2-3 minutes. This prevents the bread from being gummy/mushy and creates a crispy outer edge. *If using a gluten bread, skip this step. This is only necessary for gluten-free breads or breads that are extremely fresh.
- Prepare the batter: drain chickpea brine into a measuring glass or bowl. Add ⅓ cup of the brine to a shallow bowl. Whisk vigorously until it begins to foam (10-20 seconds). Add almond milk, flaxseed meal, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk again to combine.
- Cook: warm a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add ½-1 teaspoon of butter or oil of choice. Dunk each slice of bread into the batter, coating both sides. Immediately place onto the greased pan and let cook for 2-4 minutes, flip, and let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust/lower heat as needed. If cooking in batches, wipe and re-grease the griddle between batches.
- Top: remove from heat, and top with a drizzle of maple, diced apples, and an extra dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!