Breakfast Recipes That Taste Like Dessert

It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the perfect breakfast should provide you with plenty of nutrients to make you feel awake, alert, and prepared to take on any of your daily tasks. You may find yourself reaching for the healthier breakfast options, like protein-rich egg dishes and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, but sometimes, your dessert cravings come earlier than you were expecting. If you’ve got chocolate and candy on the brain but it’s barely past sunrise, then that’s OK — we’ve got you covered. Try these five breakfast recipes that will trick your brain into thinking it’s time for dessert.

1. Cannoli Stuffed French Toast

French toast

Cannoli stuffed French toast is a sugary twist on a classic | iStock.com

This combination of two sweet and delicious dishes is perfect for the breakfast-goer who wants the perfect sugary start to their day. Cannoli stuffed French toast by Two Peas & Their Pod is simple to whip up for any weekend morning and is sure to please anyone who loves the classic Italian dessert that it recalls. The use of semi-sweet chocolate chips and ricotta cheese will make you forget you’re not eating a real cannoli from a pastry shop in Italy — it’s that good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or milk)
  • 4 slices French bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Powdered sugar to dust for serving

Directions: Add the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Combine these ingredients and then add in the mini chocolate chips to combine.

In another, shallower bowl, add your eggs and heavy cream and whisk the two together. Take two pieces of the French bread and spread about a ½ cup of the sugary ricotta mixture on each slice. With your two remaining slices, sandwich the ricotta-covered bread, and gently press together. Take your sandwiches and dip each into the egg mixture carefully until they’re completely coated.

Melt your butter in a large skillet before adding your French toast. Cook each French toast for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown in color. Before you serve, cut each sandwich on a diagonal, and dust with powdered sugar as desired on the plate. Serve immediately while warm.

2. Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

overhead shot of carrot muffins on a wooden counter

Cheesecake streusel muffins are the perfect way to start your day | iStock.com

You’re familiar with cheesecake, and you’re familiar with streusel, but you’ve probably never had the two together in the form of a muffin for breakfast. These decadent cheesecake streusel muffins by Serious Eats are all you could ever ask for in a sweet breakfast — the muffins come alive with flavor from fresh lemon zest and vanilla, the cheesecake filling is way easier to make than a traditional cheesecake could ever be, and the streusel is the sugary and buttery goodness that brings the dish together. Make these for any occasion — no one will pass them up.

Ingredients:

For the muffins

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons zest (will take 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

For the cheese filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the streusel

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Directions: You’ll start this dish by preparing the muffin batter. First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust your oven rack to the upper-middle position. You’ll need to line your muffin pan (a 12-cup pan works well here) with paper liners so the muffins are easily removed after baking.

In a large bowl, add your softened butter, sugar, salt, and zest, and whip together until creamy in consistency. Crack your first egg in and combine, and then add your second egg and combine this one as well. Add in your vanilla and milk and whisk, and then add your flour and baking powder, and whisk once more. Take this batter and spoon it into your prepared baking cups.

You’ll make your cheese filling next. In the same bowl that you used for the muffin batter (you don’t even have to wash it), add your softened cream cheese and sugar and mix until creamy. Add your lemon juice, vanilla, and yolk, and whisk everything together. You will then add this filling to the batter. Take a tablespoon of cheese filling and dip it into a muffin, pushing this filling as deep into the muffin batter as possible using another spoon to help if needed. Most of the filling will stay at the top, but try to get it as deep in the muffin as possible.

Once your cheese filling and batter are together, you’ll put together your streusel. In the same bowl (unwashed is still fine!), add your flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter until the mixture is crumbly in texture. Press this streusel on top of your muffins.

Place your muffins in the oven and bake for about 18 to 21 minutes, or until the centers are set and the outsides are golden brown. Remove from the oven after baking and allow them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Red Velvet Pancakes

It doesn't get much more delicious than red velvet pancakes

It doesn’t get much more delicious than red velvet pancakes | iStock.com

Who says that red velvet food items are only for dessert? These red velvet pancakes by The Loveless Café are irresistibly sweet and decadent, and they’re simple to put together as well. You’ll love the classic red velvet flavors that you’re used to finding in cakes, and don’t skip out on the sweet cream cheese butter, either — it’s a way better topping than maple syrup for these pancakes. Breakfast has never looked or tasted so good.

Ingredients:

For the pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red food coloring

For the sweet cream cheese butter

  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: For the pancakes, you will be sifting together all of your dry ingredients except for your granulated sugar (the sugar will go in with the wet ingredients). Sift your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, stir them together, and set aside.

In a separate larger bowl, whisk together your eggs, buttermilk, granulated sugar, and red food coloring. Slowly add your dry ingredients a third at a time, and combine with your wet ingredients. Mix only until everything is incorporated, but do not over-mix the batter. Then, make the pancakes on a buttered skillet the same way you would ordinarily cook them.

For the sweet cream cheese butter, add your butter and cream cheese in a bowl and use an electric mixer to thoroughly combine the two — this could take from 3-5 minutes. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, add vanilla extract. Then, slowly add your powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until it is completely mixed. Serve over the warm pancakes.

4. Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter

Pumpkin scones

Pumpkin scones are the best way to start a fall morning | iStock.com

Scones are the perfect breakfast — they provide you with energy to get your morning routine completed, and they’re super versatile, so you can make them however you’d like. While there are plenty of recipes around for your average blueberry or chocolate chip scone, these pumpkin scones with cinnamon butter by Bon Appetit are simple, delicious, and sweet. The addition of cranberries make these a fall breakfast staple you won’t want to miss, but if you’re looking to make them once summer hits, we won’t judge you either.

Ingredients:

For the scones

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
  • ¾ cup chilled, unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh (or thawed from frozen) cranberries
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • ¼ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

For the cinnamon butter

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions: If you’re running low on time or want to prep the cinnamon butter a few days ahead, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days before being eaten. To make the cinnamon butter, simply mix the butter in with the rest of the ingredients until completely combined in a small bowl. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.

For the scones, grab a large bowl and whisk together your granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and flour. For the butter, you can either choose to quickly cut it in small pieces and add it to the mix, or grate it using the large holes on a box grater (your butter should be chilled so that this step is easier). Toss your small pieces of butter in your dry ingredients, and then toss in your cranberries. Mix in the egg, pumpkin, and buttermilk next to complete your dough.

Have a lightly floured surface prepared — this is what you will pat and cut your dough on. Transfer the dough to this surface and pat the dough into a disk that is 1½-inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges and then place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Stick your scones in the freezer for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re firm.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and brush your chilled scones with buttermilk and sprinkle raw sugar on top as desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve cinnamon butter alongside.

5. Strawberry-Yogurt Brulee

Strawberry-yogurt brulee is simple and elegant for breakfast

Strawberry-yogurt brulee is simple and elegant for breakfast | iStock.com

This recipe is perfect for those times when it’s a busy morning and you want something deliciously sweet for breakfast even though you’re short on time and resources. This strawberry-yogurt brulee by Fine Cooking looks almost like it’s sweeter dessert cousin, crème brulee, but the substitution of Greek yogurt and the addition of strawberries makes it ideal for a morning treat. This recipe is so simple that you’ll wonder why you’ve never thought of it sooner, and you can even get more creative and change up your yogurt and fruit selection to your liking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped strawberries, plus several slices for garnish
  • 5 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar

Directions: Add your yogurt, your strawberries, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a medium bowl and combine. Grab four 6-ounce ramekins and divide this mixture among them. Then, add your strawberry slices on top for garnish, and add about 1 tablespoon of sugar on each ramekin to cover the yogurt and berries. Using a kitchen torch, pass the flame over the ramekins until the sugar melts and turns brown. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can heat your oven to the broil setting and place an oven rack as close to the heat source as possible to “torch” the sugar — just be sure to watch your ramekins the entire time and only keep them in there for a few seconds. Serve immediately.

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