This Vegan Bread Pudding is a delicious addition to any holiday brunch, made without using eggs or dairy. It’s super-quick and easy to make, calling for just a handful of ingredients to make a caramel-like sauce that will coat your favorite bread, and then it’s baked together for a decadent treat.
Vegan Bread Pudding Recipe
Because this vegan bread pudding is egg-free, it doesn’t have the same structure as a traditional bread pudding that fluffs-up when baked. Instead, it reminds me of a cross between a baked french toast casserole and the “monkey bread” I grew up eating. Which is a delicious combination!
How to Make a Vegan Bread Pudding Sauce
Traditional bread pudding is made with eggs and cream, so to replicate that bread pudding sauce I tried two different vegan egg substitutes. First, I tried using chia eggs, which was fine… but it tasted like a really “healthy” bread pudding.
The second version I tried was MUCH better, using arrowroot starch to thicken up the vegan bread pudding sauce. Paired with coconut milk and maple syrup, it becomes a rich, caramel-like sauce that’s perfect for coating the bread cubes.
What is the Best Gluten-free & Vegan Bread?
Speaking of bread, if you want to make this vegan bread pudding gluten-free as well, the choices for bread become very limited. Most gluten-free breads contain eggs, but I found two options while shopping around. The most fluffy gluten-free & vegan bread I’ve found for this recipe is BFree brand. (It’s sold in the freezer section at Costco, if you’re a member.)
I also love Food For Life’s Brown Rice Bread, as another gluten-free and vegan bread, but it’s much denser in texture. As a result, it doesn’t absorb the bread pudding sauce as quickly, so I recommend letting the bread soak overnight as mentioned in the directions below.
If you don’t have special dietary needs, and you just came across this recipe because you ran out of eggs, you can use any other bread you like. It’s particularly delicious when you use Brioche bread– but that is made with gluten and eggs, so it won’t be vegan in that case.
Many gluten-containing breads are naturally vegan, so just be sure to check labels when you shop.
This VEGAN BREAD PUDDING is coated in a caramel-like sauce, made without eggs or dairy. It's perfect for a holiday brunch, sweetened with maple syrup!
To prepare the vegan bread pudding sauce, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat on the stove. Whisk often until the mixture is boiling.
While the sauce is warming up, add the arrowroot starch to a small bowl and stir it together with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Stir until the starch is dissolved and the mixture looks milky.
Once the sauce on the stove is boiling, add in the arrowroot starch mixture and whisk constantly as the sauce boils. It should thicken up quickly once it's boiling, like a pourable caramel sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Use a spatula to stir well, coating the bread completely in the sauce. The amount of bread you use in this recipe is up to you-- I've made it with as little as 8 ounces of bread, and with as many as 16 ounces of bread, and both worked! The squishier the bread, the more you can get away with using. (I used a whole 14 ounce loaf of Brioche bread when testing that version.)
For a make ahead casserole, cover the bowl and let the bread soak in the sauce overnight. In the morning, you can pour it into a greased 9" x 13" casserole dish and bake. Or, you can bake it right away without the overnight soak.
To Bake: Place the casserole dish in an oven that has been preheated to 350ºF. Bake until the bread pudding is bubbly and golden on top, about 45 to 60 minutes. (I usually do 60 minutes if the bread is from a cold fridge for the make-ahead version.)
Allow the bread pudding to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, then serve warm with fresh fruit on top. Leftovers can keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Per serving: Calories: 216, Fat: 1, Carbohydrates: 45g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g
- I love the creaminess from the coconut milk in this recipe (and I don’t notice a coconut flavor from it), but you could probably use any other non-dairy milk you like in this case.
- You can use slightly less maple syrup if you’d prefer, but be sure to also reduce the salt in that case.
As always, if you modify this recipe please leave a comment below letting us know what worked for you. We can all benefit from your experience!
More Vegan Brunch Recipes:
- Gluten-free & Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- Vegan Pancakes (gluten-free!)
- Vegan French Toast
- Crispy Mushroom Bacon (unbelievably good)
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (for an oatmeal bar!)
Reader Feedback: Do you make bread pudding for holiday gatherings? What’s your favorite sweet option to bring to a brunch?