Who wants to cook breakfast on Christmas morning? Not us! There's no need to with this super delicious eggnog French toast bread pudding topped with sweet and crunchy hazelnut streusel, that can be made the night before and simply baked the next morning. It's a Christmas miracle! Actually, it's a totally doable recipe that you (and everyone you serve it to) will absolutely love and will break out for cozy weekends in addition to festive occasions. And did we mention it's vegan? Creamy, eggnog and cinnamon-flavored French toast gets soaked and prepared the night before, eliminating mess and stress in the morning. Simply top and bake for a delicious and decadent dish. You can also make the whole thing in advance and simply warm it if you'd like. Or try it with gluten-free bread: we recommend finding the heartiest bread you can for this recipe to soak up all the goodness. Add a dollop of vegan ice cream to make this tasty treat into a dessert (or add it anyways for breakfast -- we won't judge)!
1. Gather the ingredients.
For the eggnog French toast:
- 10 slices of hearty bread
- 1 1/2 cups vegan nog, such as So Delicious’s Coconut Milk Nog
- 1 lb silken tofu, such as Nasoya’s organic silken tofu (found in the refrigerated section)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup, plus more for drizzling on top
- 2 tsp cinnamon
For the hazelnut streusel topping:
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter/margarine, such as Earth Balance
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Vegan ice cream, for topping (optional)
2. Make the batter.
In a blender, add the vegan nog, silken tofu, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Soak the bread.
Pour the batter into a large shallow dish. Add the slices of bread and allow to absorb the liquid for about 30 seconds to a minute. Using a fork, lift the bread and flip so that the other side also gets soaked.
4. Arrange the bread.
In an 8 x 8 baking dish, arrange the bread slices in overlapping layers. The picture above shows the layered bread before it is soaked so that it is easier to see, but at this stage you will actually be layering wet bread. Pour about another cup of the soaking liquid/batter over the arranged pieces and then discard the rest. If you want a softer, more traditional bread pudding-like texture, you can add all of the liquid/batter, but you will likely need to cook it longer than the directions in step 6. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Make the streusel topping.
In a food processor, pulse the oats until you have a flour with only small pieces of oats. Add the hazelnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter/margarine, and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a loose dough. If the mixture looks dry, add another tablespoon of butter and pulse again. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
6. Top and bake.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dish from the fridge and take off the foil covering, but save in case needed later. Top the bread slices with the streusel topping then bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes until the liquid is cooked off and the streusel topping is well-browned. Check the French toast pudding after about 35 minutes to see if the streusel topping is browning quickly and there’s still liquid in the bottom of the dish. If so, you can use the foil to cover it and continue cooking.
7. Serve and enjoy.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup (and/or vegan ice cream) and enjoy warm. Makes 4-8 servings. Happy Holidays!