Ricotta, Cinnamon and Honey Breakfast Casserole

Last April, Tom and I spent two weeks eating our way through Italy. For me, there’s no greater joy than that. Almost everything we tried was delicious – simple cacio e pepe, house-made boar sausage, fresh pecorino cheese, pesto focaccia, tagliatelle with a mountain of shaved truffles… It was everything a food-loving girl like me could ask for and more.

Though we visited some of the major cities and monuments, one of my favorite stops was Cinque Terre – a group of 5 small towns near the Italian Riviera connected by a hiking trail. The hike was tougher than we expected, but you’re gazing at the Mediterranean Sea, while wading through vineyards and olive branches. One of the most beautiful vistas I’ve ever seen. Thank goodness we had a good breakfast that day. A sicilian style pastry that resembles a donut, stuffed with ricotta cheese and drenched in honey syrup. Absolutely amazing. Now, I wish I could eat a ricotta-stuffed, honey-drenched donut every morning, but a girl’s got a figure to maintain. So I tried to take the same flavors and make a breakfast dish that was easier and healthier, but still retained some of the magic of Cinque Terre.

Ricotta, Cinnamon and Honey Breakfast Casserole

Ricotta, Cinnamon and Honey Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is similar to a baked, stuffed french toast. Stale baguette soaked in a batter of milk, eggs and cinnamon, then layered with fresh ricotta and honey and another layer of soaked baguette. Bake until the top is golden and crisp and the insides are custard-like. A drizzle of honey, agave nectar or maple syrup to finish it off and I could almost recall my perfect hike before heading off to work.

26 Comments

  1. I love that you’re reliving a holiday place through food. It truly is the best sensory connection :)

    We haven’t got so much Ricotta here in Czech Republic, but a good deal of Quark. I’m determined to try your recipe this weekend…will see if the Quark does a decent enough job!

  2. wow this looks and sounds amazing. i will have to try this very, very soon!

  3. This looks fantastic! I have company coming to town next weekend and I think I may have found our breakfast!
    Such simple, yet perfectly complimentary flavors…beautiful.

  4. I made it today with the quark (tvaroh in Czech) and it turned out sooooo good. Only used a smidge of maple syrup on top. Perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Sounds (and looks!) delicious. I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas and this seems like a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I guess I don’t have to mention the fact that this looks amazing. And Italy is such a great place and has exquisite cuisine. I will definitely try this one out with the agave nectar. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. What a fabulous trip. It is exactly my my dream, I love all things Italian. Especially the food, simple yet perfectly flavorful.
    I am really excited about this recipe!
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. sounds delish!

  9. Oh yum, this looks tasty. I wonder if adding toasted pecans or walnuts would work … hmm …

    thanks for sharing!

  10. Amazing recipe! It does taste like Italy. I made it on Sunday and added pears I roasted with lavendar and dukk a (thyme, sesame seeds, fennel, anise, coriander, sumac, cumin, salt, lemon salt).

  11. MARONE A MIO! That looks amazing! I am happy to have found your site, funny that it was on a day I posted about a yummy bread dish. Can’t wait to peruse around. Chow!

  12. Tried it out the very next day of seeing this recipe. It was delicious. I just had it again for breakfast with a cup of tea. It tastes better the next day! Sooo yuuuummy!
    Thanks got the recipe.

  13. Love this! Easy, rustic and very homemade looking. Can’t wait to try this! We have a great recipe fro a very fast banana nut bread pudding. U will never guess what we started with to cut time in half! contact us at TwiceBakedTwins@aol.com

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  15. I love making delicious, comforting breakfasts in the morning! I’d love to make this! You should consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Breakfast Casserole Recipe Contest! You could win a whole bunch of things from Melitta Coffee!

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  17. I love Cinque Terre. My husband and I hiked the coast a number of years back while eating our way through Italy. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  18. The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places on earth. So beautiful!
    Love this recipe–I’m hosting brunch here in a few weeks and think it will definitely be on the menu. Thank you!

  19. Hello :)

    this casserole looks really appetising and I will surely make it soon. However I have a very silly question, because as I’m not familiarized with american measures, i never new if the ounces related to ricotta stand by fluid ouncez or weight ounces. I would appreciate if you could enlight me.

    Really nice blog by the way, congratulations!

  20. Hi Caterina – They are for weight :)

  21. This looks awesome! I have leftovers of all this stuff from previous recipes so am going to try it out!

  22. Pingback: Ricotta French Toast Casserole | Bulldogs And Brown Sugar

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