A comforting and deluxe version of a brunch favorite, this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast is sure to please!
French toast, as a homemade dish, used to intimidate me. I only made it a few times in my pre-vegan days, and the first vegan go at it was a freaking disaster; a tasty disaster, but a disaster no less. The bread could end up too soggy, or you could have goo stuck all over the pan. And that means you won’t get a crispy outside and soft inside. But, I’ve experimented a few times since then, and I think I finally have the hang of it!
Part of the solution is this waffle-maker/griddle that I found in my cabinet. On one side, the plates make thin, ornate waffles. On the other side are griddle plates for pressing sandwiches, or in this case, making some awesome french toast. I used it on its “waffle/low” setting, which was still pretty damn hot.
I had made a deluxe french toast like this once before, for Vegan Cuts Fall Harvest eBook, with a fig spread that was oh-so-delectable. You could shortcut the pumpkin spread by using premade pumpkin or apple butter, in this recipe. I did a shortcut myself, by using store-bought vegan cream cheese, but you could make a cashew cream for that instead!
So, if you need a Fall brunch item, you should definitely try this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast out. Topped with crunchy, roasted hazelnuts and sweet maple syrup, it’s a crowd-pleaser for all guests! I think it would be super easy to turn this into a french toast casserole as well, to feed a larger group.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast
- 2/3 cup Very Ripe Banana Peeled
- 1/3 cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree canned
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup Vegan cream cheese
- 4 – 1“ thick slices French Bread or a similar loaf
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts chopped
- Using a food processor, puree the banana, non-dairy milk, chickpea, nutritional yeast, cinnamon and salt together until smooth. Pour into a shallow bowl and set aside to gel a little.
- Rinse out the food processor and place the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt into it. Process until it creates a smooth paste.
- Take each slice of bread and cut it halfway down the middle, then cut the pocket a little deeper through the mouth of the hole. Spread one side of the pocket with a tablespoon of cream cheese and spoon some pumpkin filling into the pocket. Repeat 3 more times.
- Warm a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat with a very thin coating of cooking spray. Once hot, dunk each side of the french toast into the banana mixture and let the excess drip off.
- Place it on the skillet and cook until the bottom, outer edges are brown; around 5 minutes (you can check carefully by lifting up the corner of the toast with a spatula).
- Then use a thin spatula to flip, making sure to get completely under the bread and coating so that it does not tear off. Cook the other side until it browns, press down on the toast lightly to cook it evenly. Repeat for steps 4-6 for the remaining three toasts.
- To keep warm, you can put the toast in the oven at 200°F while you make the rest of them. Top with hazelnuts and drizzle with maple syrup (although not necessary) and serve.