Who Invited the Vegan?: Sugar Shack Vegan French Toast

Sugar shack season is upon us! And what a wonderful excuse to share an incredibly simple Sugar Shack French Toast recipe. For those unfamiliar, a sugar shack is where the magic happens when it comes to maple syrup making. Within these shacks, sap is collected from maple syrup trees and boiled into maple syrup.

In late winter and early spring, the sugar shacks open to the public for a brief while to celebrate all things maple syrup. Maine, for example, has a yearly Maine Maple Sunday the fourth Sunday of March when sugarmakers open their doors offering free tastings and demonstrations.

Maple sugar and syrup have a long history of use by abolitionists. During the American Civil War, abolitionists used maple syrup to avoid supporting the sugar cane produced with slave labor in the south. Today some vegans use maple syrup to avoid the bone char derived from animal bones used in some sugar cane refineries during filtration for decolorizing. Though I respect the ethical avoidance of processed sugar, I agree with Vegan Outreach that focusing on processing and trace ingredients can make veganism seem exceedingly difficult and instead focusing on the most obvious animal ingredients is more fruitful.

Vegan toast with strawberries and powdered sugar.While I knew making vegan pancakes was a breeze, I was a little more intimidated to try making french toast. After browsing a few recipes with my girlfriend, I’m pleased to share that cooking vegan french toast is also a breeze sure to please your brunch buddies, vegan or non. See recipe below!


Sugar Shack Vegan French Toast

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/3 cup soy/rice/almond milk
  • 4-6 slices of bread

If you’re feeling fancy

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon


  1. Blend or beat bananas and soy milk together. If using vanilla, mix in now.
  2. Over medium heat skillet with a tablespoon of Earth Balance.
  3. Coat slice of bread on both sides with batter.
  4. Cook bread until golden brown sprinkling cinnamon on both sides while cooking if desired.

The mixture will vary depending on size of bananas so may need more soy milk. For toppings I like to use powdered sugar and sliced strawberries and of course maple syrup!

Do you have a question regarding vegan ethics or eating you’d like answered? Is there a particular topic you think should be brought before the Persephone community? Shoot an email to or comment below.


By Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie J. Hagen lives in Brooklyn and is a Contributing Editor for Autostraddle and writer for The Line Campaign. Follow her on twitter @jamiejhagen and visit her personal website for more of her work.

9 replies on “Who Invited the Vegan?: Sugar Shack Vegan French Toast”

Just wanted to follow up and say that I made this for breakfast and it was seriously delicious!! I ended up using three bananas because one to two did not yield enough batter. My boyfriend loved it and I will be making this semi-regularly, as a special treat! And the best part? No cholesterol and no animal suffering!

It’s great to see this article (and I think that it’s funny, in a good way, that it links to an article on bacon wands – it’s nice that this site is being inclusive in terms of the range of recipes offered)!

Your point about nit-picking over traces of animal ingredients is a good one – it’s such a stereotype, although I don’t bother about bone char or know anybody who does. It seems to me that the point should be to avoid animal products wherever it is reasonable to do so, but not to spend your life obsessing about it. That said, I know several strangely defensive omnivores who (on hearing that I am vegetarian/now vegan) say stuff like, “but what about gelatin? And animal testing for medications? Etc.? You can’t avoid those, so why don’t you just eat meat?! You need protein, anyways!” It really isn’t all or nothing, though.

Also, sugar shacks are awesome. I remember making maple syrup popsicles in the snow one time in Quebec – I seriously need to go back.

Seriously – I’ve never understood the people who get so wound up about the imperfections inherent in veganism. It’s not like we’re not aware of them, we just think it’s worth doing what we can the best that we can. It’s doesn’t have to be all or nothing – even just being a weekday vegan like my friend J makes a huge difference!

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