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This vegan Christmas breakfast is custardy, comforting, and festive. It's layers of crusty milk-soaked bread dotted with tart cranberries and baked in the oven until golden. Serve it with a drizzle of homemade cranberry syrup for an elegant make-ahead breakfast that's perfect for special occasions like Christmas morning.
If you're searching for the perfect vegan breakfast for Christmas morning, this is it, friends. This seasonal spin on French toast casserole is simple, sweet, and full of holiday flavor. It's easy to assemble the night before so you can sit back with your coffee and enjoy a relaxing Christmas morning while it bakes!
This delicious make-ahead vegan breakfast casserole only requires a few ingredients. Here's everything you need to make it:
- French bread: we use a loaf of French bread that's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Pretty much any bread will work though like sourdough, multigrain, or even gluten-free bread.
- Milk (of choice): you can use any non-dairy milk like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
- Ground flax seeds: ground flax seeds work as a binder to replace the eggs. They're also a healthy source of fiber and omega 3's.
- Nutritional yeast: nutritional yeast might seem like a surprising ingredient but it gives this breakfast casserole an egg-y taste that's hard to replicate. It's a trick we learned from Love and Lemons and now it's a staple in any egg-free French toast recipe we make.
- Cinnamon: we add a sprinkle of cinnamon for a touch of warm spice and sweetness.
- Sea salt: sea salt enhances all the wonderful flavors.
- Cranberries: fresh or frozen cranberries both work for this recipe. Just avoid using the canned variety.
You only need two ingredients to make the cranberry maple syrup:
- Maple syrup: only real maple syrup will do!
- Cranberries: fresh or frozen cranberries infuse the maple syrup with their bright tart flavor.
How to make this vegan Christmas breakfast
This vegan casserole is the perfect breakfast for a busy Christmas morning. It's easy to assemble the night before with minimal prep time. Pop in the oven while you sip a coffee and open presents. It will fill your home with the most incredible aromas while it bakes!
Here's how we make it in a few simple steps:
- Prepare your casserole dish, and place bread cubes in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the liquid mixture of milk, ground flax, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Pour this over the bread cubes and then transfer everything to your baking dish. Scatter some cranberries around, and bake it right away, or cover it and place it in the fridge overnight.
- Bake it uncovered until it's browned and crispy in the corners. At this point, your house will smell like the holidays!
- While it bakes, make the cranberry syrup by boiling the maple syrup with the cranberries. Blend it then strain it to remove any solid bits.
- Serve it with the cranberry syrup on the side. Yum!
Variations to try
Here are a few of our favourite ways to dress up this vegan Christmas breakfast recipe:
- Add a few white chocolate chips for an extra-sweet touch (just make sure they're vegan).
- Serve it with vegan vanilla coconut yogurt or coconut whip on the side.
- Grate some orange zest and add a few tablespoons of fresh orange juice to the milk mixture because cranberries and orange are delicious together!
- Dust the casserole with some powdered sugar before serving. The kids will think it looks like snow!
What to serve with vegan Christmas breakfast
This vegan breakfast casserole is perfect for people who love a sweet breakfast. If you're hosting, you can make it a feast with a tofu scramble, vegan scrambled eggs, or vegan sausages.
And don't forget the brunch drinks! Try this Christmas mimosa for a boozy festive treat. Our dairy-free nutella latte is sure to please. Or turn our Irish cream latte into a vegan treat by using oat milk and Baileys Almande.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Absolutely! This is a great make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings. Make it the night before, cover it, and place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Can I substitute the cranberries for a different fruit?
Yep! This vegan breakfast casserole works well with other berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries.
How long do leftovers keep in the fridge?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What is a breakfast casserole?
This vegan breakfast casserole is a cross between baked French toast and a strata. If you're familiar with a strata, it's a lot like that but it's egg and dairy-free. It's also a nice alternative to pancakes or waffles for people who like a sweet breakfast.
- 1 loaf French bread (cut into large cubes)
- 2 ½ cups vegan milk of choice (almond milk works great!)
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
Cranberry Maple Syrup
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- Grease a casserole dish with a little coconut oil. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.1 loaf French bread
- Whisk the milk, ground flax, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt in a medium-sized bowl. Pour over the bread cubes and toss gently to coat. Transfer the bread cubes to the casserole dish. Scatter the cranberries over top and press the bread down gently. You can either bake the French toast right away or cover it and leave it in your fridge overnight.2 ½ cups vegan milk of choice, 3 tablespoons ground flax, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Bake the French toast, uncovered, in the oven for 45 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes before you cut into it.
- While the French toast is baking, make the cranberry syrup. Bring the syrup and cranberries to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Let it continue to boil until the cranberries start to pop, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Note: if you do not have a high-powered blender, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any solid pieces.½ cup maple syrup, ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- Serve the French toast with the cranberry syrup on the side for everyone to pour themselves.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.