This gluten-free vegan banana baked french toast is such a simple yet special breakfast to treat others (or yourself!) to. It's pretty quick to throw together and smells amazing as it bakes -- cinnamon, maple, coconut sugar, and banana are some of the best aromas to fill the house with on a rainy or lazy day in my opinion!
Truly though, one of my favorite things about this kind of a baked treat is that it enables me to use up all kinds of leftover random slices of bread in the freezer (I'm sure we can't be the only ones with a million open bags of frozen bread, containing all kinds of odds and ends and forgotten slices here and there...). When in doubt -- we either make croutons or french toast with them! Hence this banana baked french toast recipe...
Another benefit to this kind of a french toast bake is that you get a french toast treat (of sorts) without needing to fry the bread in oil on a pan, which I know some of you oil-free folks would appreciate :)
I put some notes in at the end of the recipe regarding types of bread and quantity, as it can be a little variable depending on the bread type you use. So do check them out for best results.
Otherwise, it's a pretty flexible recipe -- open to some embellishments when it comes to serving, such as being sprinkled with chopped pecans, drizzled with a chocolate sauce, topped with fresh berries, and so on. I like mine plain with more maple syrup on top, naturally... :)Print
This gluten-free vegan banana baked french toast makes a lovely special breakfast, and is a good way to use up bread leftovers.
- 1 large ripe banana (142gr peeled)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or a nut-free milk alternative)
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 9-10 bread slices (I used gluten-free white bread slices*), toasted or stale
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- dried coconut milk powder for sprinkling** (optional)
- more maple syrup for drizzling
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a square (8x8") baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Blend all "soaking mixture" ingredients, except the bread slices, until smooth. Pour the mixture into a wide shallow bowl.
3. Briefly dunk each piece of bread in the soaking mixture on either side, then place it into the prepared baking dish (leaning the first two slices up against the back wall of the pan, slightly overlapping, then keep overlapping the slices until you run out -- see second photo above recipe for visual if needed).
4. Once all the pieces of toast are in the pan, drizzle the remaining soaking mixture over the bread slices. Mix together the sprinkling mixture in a small bowl, then sprinkle it liberally over the bread slices.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the bread is nice and golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle with coconut milk powder (if using), drizzle the entire pan with additional maple syrup. Cut into squares, and enjoy!
*For the bread, use whatever bread you enjoy most -- gluten-free or regular. Regular bread tends to work better for french toast in general, as gluten-free can get a little too mushy in the middle -- therefore, if using gf bread I recommend toasting it lightly first. For regular bread, use stale bread or lightly toast it as well. In terms of quantity, for this recipe I used a gluten-free "wide slice" white bread from Little Northern Bakehouse -- the slices are larger than most typical gluten-free breads, therefore you might need more or less bread to fill the pan depending on the bread type you use. Of course keep in mind that the flavor in this particular recipe is based on a plain white bread type, so if you use a bread type that's completely different to this then expect a different flavor (though I'm sure it will still be delicious) and texture (especially if you use a very seedy or grainy bread).
**I use the dried coconut milk powder as a substitute for powdered sugar (the look of which I have a fondness for). So it's totally optional here. If you do use it, keep in mind that some brands of dried coconut milk are not vegan -- so double check that the product you're using is dairy free (most are).