This Vegan French Toast Trifle combines layers of baked French toast, homemade blueberry sauce, and a lusciously creamy maple-vanilla pudding. From a special-occasion brunch to your holiday dessert table, this vegan trifle is guaranteed to impress!
What's your favorite type of dessert? For me, the answer is easy. Combine cake or something bread-y with smooth, cool, creaminess, and I'm all in!
Cake and ice cream? Yes.
Soft 'nilla wafers and banana pudding? Goodness, yes.
Boston Cream Pie? Oh heavens, of course.
Ice cream sandwiches? Perfection!
This could go on for a while, so I'll get to the point....
And my point is, what's better than a trifle? Typically made with cake, layers of pudding or custard, whipped cream, and fruit. SO many good things packed into one beautiful, see-through bowl, which means you really get to eat with your eyes first. And we all know how important that is. Then, that beauty becomes a messy, irresistible pile of textural, mingling flavors scooped onto your plate. Whew. It's too much.
Well, we're doing that today with this vegan trifle but with a twist. Our bready ingredient is baked vegan French toast!
How to make the baked French toast for your trifle
We're going to soak some sourdough, or other sturdy bread, in a simple French toast batter and then play Tetris with it! Actually, it's much easier and less stressful than Tetris. As you can see in the photo above, I started with one whole slice of bread against the right edge of the pan, then cut and tore the remaining pieces until the round pan was filled. Each pan has two layers of the bread, which become one big, thick layer during baking.
Oh, and before going into the oven, each pan gets a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
See the two layers of sliced bread in each cake below? All baked together!
Other elements in this vegan trifle
Maple vanilla pudding - whipping up this 4-ingredient maple-sweetened vegan pudding couldn't be easier. Simply whisk everything together, and heat on the stove until thickened.
Blueberry sauce - made with fresh or frozen blueberries, this 5-ingredient sauce also cooks on the stovetop in just a few minutes.
Fresh berries on top make it gorgeous!
Obviously, some freshly whipped coconut cream dolloped on top is highly, highly recommended. If only I'd remembered to put a can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before! Another option is Coco Whip by So Delicious (find it in the freezer section). It's dangerously good.
Tips for Assembling the Trifle
Each component of the trifle needs time to cool and/or chill before assembly. If you're making this for a party, it works well to make everything a day in advance, then assemble the trifle just before serving.
Store the pudding and blueberry sauce in the fridge, but keep the French toast cakes at room temp. The trifle tastes best when served cool, not super cold. So, if the French toast is at room temperature, everything comes together perfectly!
If you're making this the day you're serving, be sure to allow at least two hours for the pudding and blueberry sauce to chill (placing the bowls in an ice bath is a great way to speed up the process, if needed). Then, assemble and serve immediately.
In case you're wondering, this recipe is definitely sweet enough to serve as a dessert, but could also be served at brunch. Overall, it's less sweet than many desserts, and for goodness' sake, people eat doughnuts for breakfast! If doughnuts are an appropriate breakfast or brunch food, this vegan trifle definitely deserves a pass.
I hope you enjoy this Vegan Trifle with French Toast as much as we do. If you try it I would love to hear from you. You can give the recipe a star rating below and also share a photo on facebook or instagram. Just tag me @myquietkitchen to make sure I see it!
More special occasion-worthy vegan desserts:
- Cranberry and Citrus Tart
- Apple Layer Cake
- Strawberry Layer Cake
- Salted Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Chocolate Haupia Pie
- Chocolate Tart with Date-Hazelnut Crust
Vegan Trifle With Baked French Toast
For the pudding:
- 4 cups vanilla or unflavored non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For French toast:
- 12 - 16 large slices sourdough bread (I used almost a full loaf of Trader Joe's sliced sourdough, approx 22 ounces)
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used plain soy)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
French toast crumble topping:
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp corn starch
- 2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- fresh berries of choice
- coconut whipped cream or other non-dairy whipped topping
- powdered sugar
- chopped nuts or dried coconut
Make the pudding:
- In a sauce pan over medium heat whisk together milk, maple syrup, and corn starch. Cook for about one minute to bring up to temp. Stirring frequently, reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Chill uncovered for at least 2 hours. If making in advance, cover once cool.
Make the blueberry sauce:
- In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, whisk together water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in vinegar/lemon juice and corn starch. Add the blueberries. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, cook for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool. If making a day in advance, refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the French toast:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment.
- Blend or whisk together the batter ingredients. Transfer batter to a large, shallow dish. Place bread slices in the batter, leaving them just long enough to saturate. Tear or cut bread as needed to fill each pan. If using pre-sliced sandwich bread, versus thicker pieces you sliced yourself, you'll need to make two layers in each pan. Fit torn bread together like a puzzle; this doesn't have to be perfect (see images). Pour any remaining batter over the bread in each pan.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients for the crumble topping. Sprinkle over both pans. Bake French toast 15 - 20 minutes or until the center is hot. Let sit 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool to room temperature.
Assemble the trifle:
- Cut the French toast cakes into large cubes. In a trifle dish or large glass bowl, add a layer of french toast, then blueberry sauce, then pudding. Repeat - bread, sauce, pudding. Garnish as desired and serve.