Breathe new, buttery life into a cake that's gone slightly stale
Credit: Photo by Claire Bock via Getty Images

At my last birthday, the desserts were dark chocolate mocha brownies and Guinness cupcakes with Irish cream frosting. However, there was also a supermarket sheet cake with my name on it in multicolored frosting for the ritual candle-blowing. I was greeted the next morning by drained bottles of prosecco, empty cupcake wrappers, and a vacant refrigerator, but almost an entire cake.

I thought of just having a slice for breakfast. After all, what are doughnuts and Danish but breakfast cake? Somehow it seemed a bit, well, immature to just chow down on a slice—knowing me, not even bothering to put it on a plate. Then the idea struck: Why not turn the cake into an actual breakfast? Bust out that last egg in the fridge and the little plastic tubs of maple syrup snitched from some long-ago breakfast buffet and use them to make something special. And so birthday cake French toast was born, a breakfast that doesn’t say “morning after,” but rather “this party’s still going!”

Like regular French toast, birthday cake French toast allows you to breathe new, buttery life into baked goods that have gone slightly stale. With a scoop of ice cream istead on maple syrup on top, it also makes for an enticing dessert option.

Birthday Cake French Toast

Credit: Photo by Lissa Townsend Rodgers


2 slices birthday cake
1 egg
2 ounces Baileys, Rumchata, Frangelico, or other cream liqueur
1 ounce milk
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 ounces maple syrup


A word about the cake. Slices should be about an inch thick with the icing around the 1-inch side, not the flat, in-the-pan sides. You want a surface for the batter to soak into, not a sludge of melted sugar like a burnt rainbow. Put the cake in the freezer for 20-60 minutes to let the icing set up and keep the cake a bit more together in the pan.

1. Whisk egg, milk and 1 ounce liqueur and pour into shallow bowl or high-edged dish. Dredge slices of cake in mixture, letting rest for 30 seconds or so on each side.

2. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once heated, fry slices of cake until golden and carmelized on each side—about 2 minutes.

3. Warm up the maple syrup—not hot, warm. Slide a teaspoon of the frosting into the syrup and stir until melted.

4. Top the cake-toast (toast-cake?) with the syrup and any melted frosting from the pan. Pour the other ounce of liqueur into your coffee and toast to the fact that you’re not another year older, you’re another year awesomer and living life to your dessert-for-breakfast fullest.