Carrot cake is a must for Easter and spring in general, so to celebrate Easter with a fun brunch recipe, I made this french toast bake! You can prepare it the night before, then just pop it in the oven in the morning to enjoy a delicious, healthy breakfast!
Carrot cake usually has a cream cheese frosting, which is generally made with cashews for a vegan version, but I chose peanut butter today because that is what I had and I love peanut butter with carrot cake too! But you could make this frosting with any nut or seed butter to adjust to preference or make it nut-free. This frosting is really easy to make, and would also be great on a cake or other baked goods!
Depending on what bread you use, you can make this gluten-free as well. I used a baguette I had that was starting to get dry. This is best if the bread/baguette is a few days old because when it is drier, it absorbs the flavor and moisture of the batter more. If it is too hard to cut, just place it in a bowl or plate with a bit of water sprinkled on it and microwave for a minute to soften, then cut.
Here's how to make this:
Vegan Carrot Cake French Toast Bake
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
¾ baguette or bread, cut into cubes
1 1/3 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1 mashed ripe banana
⅓ cup applesauce
3 tbsp flax meal
1 cup grated carrot
3-4 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (optional, omit if nut-free)
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash of turmeric (optional)
Dash each of allspice, ginger, cardamom, cloves, salt (optional, but recommended if you have these)
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (optional, add if you want it sweeter or if your banana isn’t very ripe)
Mix all ingredients besides the bread together in a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 F if you are baking immediately.
Add the bread cubes to the bowl and mix to coat them evenly in the mixture. You can refrigerate this overnight to let the bread really soak up the flavor (if so, cover the bowl), or just let sit for 5 minutes to a few hours before baking.
Lightly grease a skillet or baking dish (about the size of an 8x8 pan), then place the bread cubes inside.
When it is time to bake, bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes. The edges and top should be golden brown.
Top with the frosting recipe below, and enjoy!
Easy peanut butter frosting
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
Blend all frosting ingredients until smooth & creamy. That's it!