Recipe courtesy of Nighthawk Breakfast Bar

Drunken French Toast

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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6 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature

1 tablespoon honey 

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

1 1/2 cups whole milk 

1 1/4 cups heavy cream 

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

8 eggs 

3 tablespoons pear brandy 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

3 cups crispy rice cereal

4 slices challah bread (1 inch thick)

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting 

Vermont maple syrup, for serving 


  1. Mix the mascarpone, honey and cardamom in a bowl with a rubber spatula until well combined; do not overmix. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Combine the milk, cream, granulated sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the pear brandy and the cinnamon and vanilla; whisk to combine. Pour the rice cereal onto a cookie sheet or large plate.
  4. Dip a slice of challah into the egg mixture and let soak for 1 minute, turning to coat evenly. Let the excess drip off, then place the challah onto the bed of rice cereal; turn to coat completely. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  5. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the melted butter onto the skillet and place a slice of coated bread on the butter. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip, add another tablespoon of melted butter and cook until golden, another 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  6. Transfer the cooked slices to a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. The center of the French toast should remain somewhat soft inside.
  7. Cut each slice into 1 inch pieces and stack on a serving plate. Drizzle with the remaining pear brandy (1 1/2 teaspoons per portion), dust with confectioners' sugar and top with a scoop of the mascarpone mixture. Serve with maple syrup on the side.

Cook’s Note

The mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead.

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