This strawberry stuffed French toast is made with whipped mascarpone, fresh strawberries, and thinly sliced Italian bread, and is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Guys, the calendar did a thing.
It changed from February to March.
That's right-- it's SPRING!
Technically it's not spring until March 19th, but I'm rolling with it. Today was warm and sunny, and things are looking up.
Summer (and my vegetable garden) will arrive any day (or week, or month). And I'm beyond ready.
To celebrate spring, I decided to revisit this strawberry stuffed French toast recipe. It was one of the first recipes published on Champagne Tastes, and even though it was delicious as it was, I knew it could be even better.
Over the years, I've been practicing my French toast skills. In other words, I've been eating and cooking massive amounts of French toast.
I love classic French toast (like this coconut French toast), French toast casseroles (like this apple French toast bake or this pumpkin French toast bake), and of course, I've been testing different versions of stuffed French toast, like this pumpkin stuffed French toast.
This (updated) strawberry stuffed French toast is perfect for brunch, can be (partially) prepared ahead of time, and feels oh-so-fancy even though it's actually pretty easy to make.
Can I Add Rhubarb to This Stuffed French Toast?
You sure can!
Originally, this recipe included rhubarb. And it's delicious with rhubarb, but guys-- it takes so much longer to make this when you add rhubarb.
And that means that I rarely made this stuffed French toast. So now, it's a little simpler, faster, and easier.
That said, if you're a rhubarb fan and want all the rhubarb, you can have it!
Start With Toasted Bread
French toast is best with stale bread.
If your bread is soft and fresh, start by toasting it in the oven for about five minutes. If your bread is stale, skip this step.
Does It Matter What Kind of Bread I Use?
You can use whatever soft loaf of bread you want, but make sure to use thin slices of bread. You'll be serving two slices of bread together, so it's better if they're thin.
I use a pre-sliced Italian loaf from the grocery store bakery.
How to Make Mascarpone Whipped Cream
This French toast is stuffed with strawberries and mascarpone whipped cream.
To make the mascarpone cream, simply add mascarpone, whipping cream, and a little powdered sugar to a cold bowl. Use an electric mixer, and beat on high until it's creamy.
It should look like the photo below.
I Can't Find Mascarpone. Can I Use a Different Cheese?
I usually find mascarpone cheese with the gourmet cheese at the grocery store, but where I live, Kroger carries it and Walmart doesn't.
If you can't find mascarpone, you can swap it for either cream cheese or ricotta (or homemade ricotta!).
Make the Stuffed French Toast Sandwiches
Spread a layer of whipped mascarpone on half the bread.
Make sure to leave a thin border of plain bread. The custard will soak into the border and help seal the French toast sandwiches together.
Top the mascarpone with sliced strawberries.
Spread mascarpone on the remaining bread slices, and then top the other slices to create sandwiches.
Set the sandwiches aside while you whisk together the French toast custard.
Set the sandwiches inside a casserole dish, and pour the custard over the sandwiches.
Let the sandwiches sit for about ten minutes. While they soak, preheat a skillet or pan.
Cook Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
Melt butter in a large cast-iron pan or a pancake skillet. I use a 12″ cast-iron skillet.
Use a slotted spatula to transfer the sandwiches from the custard to the pan. Try to drain off a little of the custard liquid before setting the sandwiches in the pan.
Grill the strawberry stuffed French toast for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden and delicious.
Serve this stuffed French toast with extra strawberries, the remaining mascarpone whipped cream, and some honey or maple syrup.
Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup over your toast, and dig in immediately to this decadent spring breakfast!
Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
- 8 slices thinly sliced Italian loaf Or use another thinly sliced bread
- ½ cup mascarpone, room temperature Or substitute ricotta or cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier (optional) Or substitute another citrus or floral liqueur (like St-Germain)
French Toast Custard:
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 quart strawberries, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- (Optional) honey or maple syrup, to serve
- If bread is soft and fresh, place a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. If bread is stale, skip this step.
- Chill a glass (Pyrex) bowl in the freezer until it’s cold to the touch.
- Remove it from the freezer, add the mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar, and Grand Marnier (if using). Use an electric mixer to whip on high until it's smooth and creamy. Chill until you're ready to use.
- Make mascarpone whipped cream up to 1 day before serving.
Make French Toast Sandwiches:
- Spread mascarpone whip on 4 of the slices of bread, leaving a small border. Top the mascarpone with sliced strawberries.Spread more mascarpone on the remaining slices of bread, and set them on top of the other slices (mascarpone to mascarpone) to create sandwiches.
Soak the Bread:
- Whisk together all the French Toast Custard ingredients.
- Set the French toast sandwiches in a casserole dish, and pour the custard over the sandwiches. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
Make the French Toast:
- While the French toast soaks, heat the butter in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. (I use a 12" cast-iron pan or a pancake skillet.)
- When they've soaked for 10 minutes, use a slotted spatula to remove the sandwiches from the custard. Drain off as much of the liquid as possible.Set each sandwich on the hot pan, cooking 3-4 minutes per side or until both sides are golden.
- Serve immediately, along with the remaining mascarpone and sliced strawberries. Top with honey or maple syrup if desired.