If you read our latest Gluten-free Test Kitchen, you know how to make the best batter for gluten-free vegan french toast. While the right batter is a key factor in making the best gluten-free vegan french toast, it’s far from the only element at play in mastering the art of this beloved breakfast dish! That’s why we’ve dedicated this edition of the Little Northern Bakehouse Gluten-free Test Kitchen to finding the Best Way to Cook Gluten-free Vegan French Toast.
Recreating the perfect french toast experience with gluten-free bread and vegan ingredients is challenging and often disappointing.
We want to know:
The best cooking method to give gluten-free french toast that classic tender-but-chewy inside with a crisp and delicious golden-brown outside.
Recipe: Eggless French Toast Recipe (the same as our Vegan French Toast Batter Test Kitchen)
Featured Bread: Little Northern Bakehouse White Wide Slice
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes per side
How did we judge which cooking method is most successful at achieving the classic french toast texture with gluten-free bread? We used our senses! We compared how well it browned (visual), how crispy it was on the outside and how chewy-but-tender it was on the inside (touch), how delicious (or not!) it was (taste), and how well the texture held up from pan to plate—and to fork.
We gave each category a score out of 5 for each batter we tested, then gave each batter an overall score. (And we’ll tell you what we loved—and what we learned—about each!)
How to Cook the Best Vegan French Toast
To determine the best way to cook gluten-free french toast, we tested four different cooking methods and scored them in 4 different categories:
- Browning: Does the vegan french toast develop that famous golden brown crisp around the outside of the bread.
- Cooked Texture: How does it feel when you take a bite?
- Taste: How does it taste? (Pretty self-explanatory)
- Pan to Plate: Does the french toast hold its integrity when transferring from pan (cooking method) to plate?
Each eggless batter substitute will receive a score in each category out of 5—with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being a perfect score.
Overall Tips for the Best Vegan Gluten-free French Toast
- French toast is traditionally made with close-to-stale, or day old bread. Doing so helps the bread hold its shape while cooking. It is important that the gluten-free bread you use isn’t too soft.
- When you soak your gluten-free bread in the batter, do so for slightly less time than you would with conventional bread. This will help prevent your french toast from turning out overly soft or soggy.
Air fryers are one of the trendiest kitchen appliances of the ‘20s so far. For those who have one, we wanted to know—can you cook vegan gluten-free french toast in the air fryer? We tested a batch of air fryer french toast to see how it stacks up to conventional methods. Before you get started, make sure to pre-heat your air fryer to 350℉. Then, lightly spray the inside of your air fryer basket with cooking oil, place your french toast into the basket, and air fry away! After 3 minutes, flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until done.
Air Fryer Used:
Ninja 3.8L (Basket-style)
3 minutes per side
- Crunchy on the outside with a flavourful centre.
- Did not brown at all.
- A little bit soft on the inside.
- Small risk of self-flipping/folding french toast, if the fan in your air fryer is overly enthusiastic.
If you have a crowd to feed or your brunch menu has multiple dishes on the go at once, you can try baking your french toast. Simply lay your french toast out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toss them in the oven at 350℉. If you’re using a toaster oven raise the temperature by at least 25℉. Bake the french toast at 3 to 5 minutes per side. It’s important to note that baked gluten-free vegan french toast won’t brown in the same 3 to 5 minute timeframe as well as it does in a non-stick or cast iron pan. You can solve this by increasing your cooking time or finishing them on the broil setting for a few minutes.
3 to 5 minutes per side
- Soft and moist.
- The best option for batch cooking—you can cook an entire batch for your family on one baking sheet.
- Did not brown as nicely as the other methods
For the more skilled chef (or well-seasoned home cook!), you can go heavy-duty and use a cast iron skillet. This method requires a little bit of finesse, read on to find out why.
3 minutes per side
- This cooking method resulted in the best browning.
- Good for batch cooking as you can cook 2 – 3 slices at a time.
- Lightly crisped on the outside with a tender centre.
- Harder to control the heat across the pan. This may result in slightly uneven cooking.
- Stuck to the pan sometimes, making the french toast tricky to remove from the pan without damaging the crust.
Using a traditional non-stick pan is the go-to cooking method for many families and french toast recipes, so we figured it’s a good place to start. But how does a non-stick pan stack up as a cooking method?
3 minutes per side
- Good for batch cooking, you can make 2 – 3 slices at a time
- Very flavourful!
- Other methods were better at browning the bread
- Slightly softer texture than the baked or cast-iron methods.
What is the Cooking Method for Gluten-free French Toast?
When it comes to making french toast, traditional cooking methods seem to be the way to go. Using a non-stick pan or cast iron skillet is the best way to get that classic crispy golden-brown coating with a soft and flavourful centre. These methods are ideal for whipping up a batch for weekend breakfast with your family as you can have a rotation of 2 – 3 slices in the pan at any time.
If you want to make a large batch of french toast in the most convenient way possible, then baking your french toast in the oven is the way to go. Baked gluten-free vegan french toast won’t brown in the same 3 to 5 minute timeframe as well as it does in a non-stick or cast iron pan, but increasing the cooking time per side can solve this easily. And since you would otherwise cook a few slices at a time to finish a larger batch, the extra time in the oven likely works out to a lower total cooking time—and with a lot less hands-on attention!
As for the air fryer? One of our air-fried french toasts actually folded into itself due to the vigorous force of the fan in the air fryer! This resulted in some interestingly shaped pieces of french toast! And—depending on the size and style of your air fryer—how many slices you can cook at once is limited to what you can fit in a single layer in the air fryer basket. But if you’re making french toast for one, or you like your french toast extra crispy, this could be the cooking method for you. Otherwise, stick to pan-frying and you’ll experience the joy of the real thing!
For more gluten-free resources, sign up for our monthly newsletter at the bottom of this page. Check out our other gluten-free test kitchen for more tips on making the best gluten-free french toast, and post your makes to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. (Don’t forget to tag us!)