Sweet mascarpone-ricotta filling is sandwiched between fluffy pieces of brioche bread to create a Cannoli Baked French Toast Recipe that will wow you with just one bite! Top it with powdered sugar and thank us later!
What Is a Cannoli?
A staple in Sicilian cuisine, cannolis are popular Italian pastries that taste like heaven on Earth. They’re made out of shells of fried pastry dough that have been shaped into tubes and filled with a sweet ricotta cream. They come in all sizes and flavor variations and are served cold or at room temperature. No matter how they’re prepared, they’re always delicious!
Why You’ll Love this Cannoli French Toast
For this recipe, we took the sweet flavor of cannolis and stuffed it into everyone’s favorite make-ahead breakfast! This baked french toast is:
- Easy to prepare ahead of time
- Quick to clean up
- Great for holidays
- Perfect for breakfast, brunch, and dessert!
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Baked French Toast Recipe
Just like cannolis, this recipe consists of two parts. The first component is the actual french toast. The second is the cannoli filling. Then, we’ll put them together to create a little flavor magic! Here’s what you’ll need:
For the French Toast Bake
- Brioche Bread – Because it is so thick and fluffy, brioche bread works best for french toast bakes. However, French baguettes or Challah bread would work almost as well.
- Eggs – Eggs work to lock in the moisture of the french toast and provide shape and structure to the bread thanks to their high protein content.
- Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar mixes well with the rest of the ingredients and helps create a sweet flavor perfect for the cannoli filling.
- Whole Milk – Technically, any milk will work, but we prefer whole milk for it’s creamy taste and thicker texture.
- Ricotta Cheese – Ricotta cheese is soft enough to blend easily and is added to the egg mixture for this french toast to create a creamier texture and even sweeter flavor.
- Vanilla Extract – Don’t forget the vanilla! It’s crucial to help bring out the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
- Kosher Salt – It might seem like a strange ingredient to add, but salt helps balance out the sweetness of the sugar and ricotta and elevates the taste of this dish.
- Mini Chocolate Chips – Semi-sweet, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate chips all work great for this recipe. Pick your favorite, or try them all!
For the Cannoli Filling
- Mascarpone Cheese – An Italian cream cheese, mascarpone has a high-fat content and a dense texture that helps create a thick, sticking filling.
- Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese – Similar in taste to mascarpone, ricotta has a slightly thinner texture and lower fat content. As a result, it thins out the filling just a bit to allow for easier spreading.
- Vanilla Extract – Once again, vanilla is important to creating the best flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Crucial for topping, no cannoli is complete without a little extra sugar.
How to Make Cannoli Baked French Toast
- Whisk the eggs, milk, ricotta, sugar, salt, and vanilla together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the cannoli filling.
- Create a cannoli sandwich by spreading about 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto 1 slice of bread and topping it with another. Then, slice your sandwich into 4 pieces.
- Repeat step 3 until all of the filling and bread have been used. Arrange the pieces in a baking dish.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread pieces. Cover the dish, and let it refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, top the bread pieces with mini chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit.
- Top your baked french toast with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
How Long Does This Recipe Last?
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Don’t try to freeze your baked french toast, though! The mascarpone and ricotta will not thaw well, and the bread will become soggy.
More Crave-Worthy French Toast Recipes
- Your new favorite brunch recipe, Cinnamon Sugar French Toast is rich, decadent, and melts in your mouth!
- Made with indulgent Nutella and chocolate chunks, this Nutella Stuffed Croissant French Toast is what breakfast dreams are made of.
- With a crispy outside and soft, creamy inside, these Cinnamon Roll French Toast Roll-Ups just can’t be beaten!
- This Baklava French Toast is the best mash-up you never knew you needed.
Cannoli Baked French Toast Recipe
- 1 loaf sliced brioche bread
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, ricotta, sugar, salt and vanilla.
- In a decond bowl, add all the ingredients for the cannoli filling. Mix until smooth and creamy!
- Take one slice of bread and spread 2 tablespoons of the cannoli mixture. Place another slice or brioche on top. Cut into four pieces. Arrange facing up in a buttered baking dish. Repeat until all of the bread has been used.
- Pour custard over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight! This will help the custard really soak into the bread.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove cover from the baking dish. Top with mini chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it is golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar!
Can I put this together early in the morning if I’m doing a late brunch?
Yes, the longer it soaks, the better!
I had a lot of the filling left over. Have any other recipes I could use this left over filling?
Yes! You can make these Phyllo Cups!
I made it for Easter morning-super easy and so delish! I had a ton of filling left over too-does it freeze well? If not, my kids will just eat it out of the bowl no doubt!
Yes, you can freeze it! Otherwise, it’s amazing on toast or for little mini appetizers!
First time making and it came out perfect. Not too sweet, nice touch of chocolate, definitely reminds me of a cannoli. Thank you for all the recipes. K. Girgis