Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

I recently hosted a brunch that needed to be kosher and include a few dairy free offerings. I made my very first challah from scratch to serve that day and I must say it came out great! I can definitely use some practice and improve my technique, but I was so pleased with my results.

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

Even though I was serving freshly baked challah, I also wanted to do a challah french toast. I toyed with the idea of making individual french toast on the fly to serve fresh and hot. Even this introverted chef likes to play hostess and interact with my guests, so I quickly nixed that idea.

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

Then I thought a baked french toast would be easier and everyone could still choose a slice or two for themselves. That felt easy enough, but then my bestie Ina came to my inspiration rescue with challah french toast bread pudding. That was a fun recipe because it ballooned up so huge in the oven and deflated after a few minutes out.

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

I played around with the ratios (not a bad few weeks of taste testing) and came up with this dairy free challah french toast casserole you see here. I wanted something that was not too wet but still moist.

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

I like how this version has a bit of crunch on the top layer, too. If you want no crunch and more moist, just use a little less challah. A standard loaf is 16 ounces, but you can go all the way down to 10 ounces of challah cubes to increase the moistness. Serve with maple syrup if you like, but I actually think this french toast casserole is sweet enough on its own.

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole recipe from ChefSarahElizabeth.com

Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole
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  • 1 (453 grams) challah loaf
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 14-fluid-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Cut the challah into slices and allow to sit uncovered at room temperature overnight. Tear the bread into about 1-inch cubes and spread evenly in a 9 x 11 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. The coconut milk with have a few lumps if it cool, but that is okay. They will melt away during baking.
  3. Let the dish sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes, to allow the challah to soak up the egg mixture. Or cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat the oven to 350F, and bake until the center of the french toast casserole no longer looks wet or jiggly, about 45-50 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. The french toast casserole will deflate a bit as it cools.

19 Comments on Dairy Free Challah French Toast Casserole

  1. Terri Beavers
    February 18, 2017 at 12:14 pm (3 years ago)
    This would make a delicious meal as well as a snack. I was just thinking of raiding the fridge, maybe I should just make this instead.
  2. Amanda @ Move Love Eat
    February 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm (3 years ago)
    This actually looks amazing! And I'm not a french toast fan so that's saying something! I'm not sure if we can get challah loafs here in new zealand though :( I've never heard of them.
  3. Heather
    February 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm (3 years ago)
    This looks so good! I love French toast casserole. I've seen people make it in so many different ways. My husband makes a kind with a nice crunchy pecan topping.
  4. candy
    February 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm (3 years ago)
    I have never made or eaten a challah before. Always interested in trying new dishes and this one sounds delicious.
  5. Doria
    February 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm (3 years ago)
    This looks so GOOD!!!! I'm allergic to dairy, so finding dairy-free recipes is always a win to me
  6. Kim Lee
    February 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm (3 years ago)
    What a yummy recipe. I love that you used coconut milk and kept this dairy free. This recipe will make a great addition to Easter brunch!
  7. Nancy L.
    February 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm (3 years ago)
    I'm a huge fan of French toast and have to give this a try! Coconut milk sounds like agreat substitution for milk.
  8. CourtneyLynne
    February 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm (3 years ago)
    Omg can we say yum?!?! This casserole looks absolutely delicious. I must give your recipe a try
  9. Cat
    February 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm (3 years ago)
    I didn't even know french toast casserole was a thing until now, but now that I do I am DYING to make this! It's on my must-bake list for next weekend for brunch now!
  10. Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    February 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm (3 years ago)
    This french toast casserole looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I love that this recipe is dairy free, as some people in my household are sensitive to lactose.
  11. Destany
    February 19, 2017 at 7:17 pm (3 years ago)
    I've never heard of challah before. Sounds like a delicious, tho, so I need to try this out.
  12. Kathy Myers
    February 20, 2017 at 5:10 am (3 years ago)
    We do a breakfast meal one night a week, my kids would love this. I am going to add it to our choice list!!
  13. Mommy Levy
    February 21, 2017 at 4:01 am (3 years ago)
    my husband loves pudding, but unfortunately I don't know how to make one. Thanks for the recipe.
  14. Dana
    February 21, 2017 at 5:42 am (3 years ago)
    I am so impressed that you made homemade challah! I am gluten free now but when I wasn't, that was my most favorite bread - especially for french toast.
  15. mary
    February 21, 2017 at 6:55 am (3 years ago)
    Well I've never tried Challah before. Looks like a delicious dish. I can't wait to make and serve to the family an see what they think
  16. Stephanie Jeannot
    February 21, 2017 at 7:39 am (3 years ago)
    That sounds good. french toast and pudding in one recipe. Delicious. I want some please.
  17. Amanda Love
    February 21, 2017 at 8:02 am (3 years ago)
    This sounds like a lovely recipe, perfect for when you're hosting a brunch or a dinner party. I love that it's baked instead of fried and it's also dairy free!
  18. rika
    February 23, 2017 at 10:25 am (3 years ago)
    I love French Toast. .This recipe sounds delicious!! I can't wait to try it this weekend.

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