Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Cherry Stuffed French Toast

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

 Now, this sounds tasty: "crusty French loaf slices hide the surprise creamy chocolate chip pocket in French toast, topped with a warm, tart cherry sauce. Mmm."

And who do we have to thank for this sweet contribution to society? Beverly Weaver Rossell of Morgantown, Indiana, that's who: her recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Stuffed French Toast is a finalist in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off! Now, I should note: it wasn't strictly necessary for me to add googly eyes to the picture, but it was awfully fun to do.

Here's the recipe.

Chocolate-Cherry Stuffed French Toast

  • 1can Pillsbury® refrigerated crusty French loaf
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (from 13.66-oz can)
  • 1 LAND O LAKES® Egg
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup Hershey's® milk chocolate baking chips (from 11.5-oz bag)
  • 1/2 cup Fisher® Roasted and Salted Almonds, chopped
  • 1 jar (12 oz) Cherry Preserves
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
Garnish, if desired
  • Flaked coconut
  • Fresh mint leaves


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with Crisco® Butter Flavor No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place dough, seam side down, on cookie sheet. Using sharp knife, cut 5 diagonal 1/2-inch-deep slashes on top of dough. In small bowl, beat together coconut milk and egg. Lightly brush top and sides of loaf with egg mixture; refrigerate remaining egg mixture.
  2. Bake 24 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer loaf to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and almond extract with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and almonds; set aside.
  4. Using sharp bread knife, cut thin slice off each end of loaf; discard. Cut loaf into 8 thick slices. Cut each bread slice crosswise down center to within 1/4 inch of bottom to form pocket. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons cream cheese mixture into each pocket. Press gently to close.
  5. Dip stuffed slices in reserved egg mixture. Spray 12-inch skillet generously with Crisco® Butter Flavor Cooking Spray. Cook slices over medium-high heat about 4 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, in small saucepan over medium heat, stir together cherry preserves and butter until mixture is warm and butter is melted. Serve French toast slices topped with warm cherry mixture. Garnish with coconut and mint.