From Ilene: This make-ahead morning treat is one of my favorite things to serve for an at-home brunch. Not only is it absolutely delectable and totally restaurant rivaling, but the prep work is done the night before, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning and enjoy the heavenly fragrance while it bakes. I like to make it with a crusty sourdough bread, but you can also use your favorite gluten-free loaf or any type of bread that doesn’t come presliced.
Makes: 8–10 servings | Active time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes (plus overnight chilling)
1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
½ cup nondairy milk
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 loaf of bread, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
2 cups chopped strawberries
Maple Cream Cheese
¼ cup vegan cream cheese
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1.Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
2. To prepare the casserole, whisk together the coconut milk, nondairy milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes and use your hands to mix everything together, making sure the bread is thoroughly coated. Stir in the strawberries.
3.Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread it out evenly. Cover the dish and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
4.In the morning, preheat the oven to 375°F. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 60–70 minutes, until the top is golden and crispy.
5.While the casserole bakes, prepare the Maple Cream Cheese by stirring the cream cheese and maple syrup together in a small bowl or cup until smooth (you may need to melt the cream cheese a bit to avoid lumps).
6. To serve, drizzle the Maple Cream Cheese over the casserole.