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Chef sifting powdered sugar onto french toast
A light dusting for a delicious dish
Courtesy of Denny’s

Breakfast from the Biggest Breakfast Chef in the U.S.

Stuffed French toast? Say less.

Sharon Lykins is a chef and the VP of Product Innovation of Denny's, where she's been cooking for nearly 17 years.

April 11, 2024 3:26 pm

We reached out to the head chef at Denny’s, one of America’s biggest breakfast food chains (sure, they do lunch and dinner too, but they’re famous for serving that first meal of the day ALL day), to get her favorite breakfast recipe. What did Chef Sharon Lykins, the company’s VP of Product Innovation (who’s been cooking for Denny’s for almost 17 years), choose as her fave? Strawberry Stuffed French Toast. Today, she’s sharing her at-home version.

“It’s elevated French toast,” said Chef Sharon. “It is decadent, yet soft and light. Hand-dipped in rich egg batter, grilled to perfection, then filled with a ricotta and cream cheese blend. A sure crowd-pleaser!” -NPH

Plate of french toast with filling and strawberries
How can one say no to this? Trick question: one cannot.
Courtesy of Denny’s

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Servings: 4

Copy Ingredients

For the batter
  • 6 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (2 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) whipping cream
For the topping
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered with stems removed
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. water
For serving
  • 16 slices brioche bread (approx. diameter of 4”) OR 8 slices cut in half
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

Copy Directions

  • For the filling
    1. With an electric hand mixer, blend all ingredients (except the whipping cream) together until smooth. Set aside.

    2. In a separate bowl, use whisk to whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

    3. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture.

    4. Cover and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 15 minutes.

  • For the batter
    1. Whisk together all ingredients until thoroughly blended.

    2. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until time to cook.

  • For the topping
    1. Wash berries and remove stems.

    2. Cut berries into quarters. Set aside about 12 of the quartered berries to top the toast when finished.

    3. Toss remaining berries, water and granulated sugar together in a bowl and allow to sit. The moisture from the berries and the sugar will begin to form a syrup.

    4. Once the berries begin to form a syrup, place them into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water 1 Tbsp. at a time if needed. For a variation, cook a half cup of strawberry jam and a tablespoon of water in a saucepan on low heat until the mixture becomes the consistency of pancake syrup.

  • To complete the dish
    1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. In a pan on the stovetop, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. (For best results, use a nonstick frying pan.)

    3. Dip 8 slices of bread into batter, covering both sides of bread, and place into pan.

    4. If you like a more custard-type texture, allow bread to sit in batter a few seconds longer to absorb more egg mixture.

    5. Cook on both sides until golden brown.

    6. Place toast onto an oven-safe plate and place into the warm oven to maintain heat.

    7. Repeat until all bread is cooked.

    8. Place 2 slices of cooked French toast onto each serving plate.

    9. Use a large soup spoon to divide filling equally on top of each slice of toast.

    10. Place a second piece of toast on top of the filling to make a “sandwich.”

    11. Top each serving equally with quartered berries followed by a drizzle of the blended strawberry puree.

    12. Finish with a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar and serve.

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