Vegan Baked Pumpkin-Bourbon French Toast with Pepita Caramel Syrup

I know it’s just Tuesday, but I’m posting this now, so you can gather the ingredients and be all set come the weekend!

I love vegan French toast as it de facto lacks that “egginess” that I found unappealing in the dairy version even as a vegetarian.  I similarly prefer baked to pan sauteed French toast, as the former lacks the equally unappealing greasiness of the latter.  And, especially in the fall, I am crazy for all things pumpkin.

So my Baked Pumpkin-Bourbon French Toast is about as good as it gets for weekend morning fare at our house.  I spike this iteration ’cause I’m a South’ren girl.  But you can simply omit the bourbon.  Or, you can substitute brandy or a nut-flavored liqueur if you like.

Note that I’m not a big breakfast eater, so these are very moderate portions.  If you like to really get your breakfast or brunch on, just make more.  Or serve something on the side like, say, some baked fresh and dried fruit.

Oh, and don’t forget the decaffeinated fair-trade coffee.  It’s practically a must with this dish, as I find the body of coffee provides better balance with this dish than tea, though I’m usually a devout tea-drinker.

Yield: 4 servings

French Toast:

8 (1-inch thick) bias-cut slices of a long whole grain baguette (if bread is fresh, dry it out by placing it on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 3-5 minutes)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup soymilk (unsweetened or plain)

2 tablespoons chickpea flour

2 tablespoons natural sugar (or maple syrup which is not quite as sweet)

Optional: 1 tablespoon bourbon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or to taste (or a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)

Pinch sea salt

Vegan Pepita Caramel Syrup (recipe follows)

Optional garnish: a dusting of powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients except bread and syrup in a medium bowl.  Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or food carton that will just hold all bread slices in one layer.  Add the bread slices and let soak for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil an 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Flip bread slices and let soak for another 10 minutes.  (You make soak each side longer if desired, but a total of 20 minutes should be the minimum amount of time.)  Remove bread to baking dish and drizzle each slice with remaining custard.  Bake for 20 minutes or just until set.  Custard should still be moist.  Serve hot drizzled with Vegan Pepita Caramel Syrup and dust with powdered sugar for a nice contrast if desired.


Vegan Pepita Caramel Syrup:

1/4 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup roasted and lightly salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds; I purchase Trader Joe’s brand)

2 tablespoons plain soy creamer

In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, combine butter, maple syrup and pepitas.  Simmer gently, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until thick and caramelized.  Lower heat if necessary to prevent mixture from scorching.  Add soy creamer–the mixture will bubble up–and cook for about another minute or until well-combined and heated through.  Serve immediately over Pumpkin-Bourbon French Toast.

For 150+ additional recipes that celebrate fall, not to mention winter, spring and summer, I invite you to hop on over to Amazon and take a look at my new cookbook, The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

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  1. I’m going to come and stay at your house one day just so I can have french toast! Yummo!

  2. Don’t tease like that, Lee. Having you visit, French toast or no, would be such a treat.

  3. Honestly Betsy, your recipes are so creative. I don’t know how you find the time to create so many new dishes! And I know I will get there one day, someone needs to break in that gorgeous couch of yours.

  4. You’re too sweet, Lee. For starters, I don’t have a child that keeps me up all hours! You must come visit, nudge the dogs off the sofa, and settle in for a nice long chat. Actually, like I think I said in the sofa post, the dogs don’t get on it nearly as much as they did before it was reupholstered, presumably because they can’t make a stinky dog nest out of it anymore!

  5. This recipe looks delicious!

  6. So glad it appeals, Rachel! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you try it and that you aren’t disappointed!

  7. I hope to make this for Christmas day breakfast. But I donʻt have any chickpea flour in the cupboard and would prefer not to add yet another until one of the others is used up.. However, I do have the following flours: whole wheat, amaranth, brown rice, barley, corn, masa, tapioca, and buckwheat. Could any of those substitute well for the chickpea flour?

  8. Oh, I hope everyone loves it. I understand not wanting to add a bag of little used flour, though I keep mine in the freezer since I don’t use it often and it lasts forever. The chickpea flour has a texture that is similar to egg. I’ve never used amaranth, brown rice flour, or barley flours, but since they aren’t wheat flours…maybe? I wouldn’t use the others just because the corn/masa flavor/texture sounds unappealing in this and buckwheat has such a strong flavor. So, I guess I’d try one of the non-wheat flours or possibly tapioca. Yikes. Sorry I can’t be more help. Can you do a trial run with a very small batch?

  9. This turned out great!!! I made some substitutions that didnʻt hinder the results at all.

    Substituted blackstrap molasses for the natural sugar (for that pumpkin pie flavor).
    Substituted Frangelico liquer for the bourbon (we had no bourbon).
    Substituted a 50:50 mix of coconut flour and amaranth flour for the chickpea flour.

    Yum, yum, and yum.

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  10. Dk, somehow I missed your comment from a year ago(!) and wanted to say that I’m so glad you took the time to share your substitutions. I LOVE Frangelico; that sounds amazing. And I’ve never cooked with coconut nor Amaranth flour and am glad to know that it worked. I know all-purpose wheat flour doesn’t yield the same results. Blackstrap molasses, huh? That is some seriously potent flavor, but I like the sound of it, any for just a part of the natural sugar. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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