Lemon and poppy seed French toast with boozy berry compote

French toast has never tasted this good!

Under 1 hour

Makes 8 slices


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  • 1 box (500g) PnP vanilla cake mix 
  • 2 tsp (10ml) lemon essence 
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) poppy seeds 
  • 3 eggs, whisked 
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) castor sugar 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence 
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) each butter and oil



  • 1 cup (250ml) water 
  • 1 cup (250ml) frozen or fresh blueberries 
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar 
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) rum or vodka 


Whipped ricotta: 

  • 1 packet (180g) ricotta cheese 
  • ½ tub (87,5g) PnP medium-fat cream cheese 
  • Juice (60ml) and grated peel of 1 lemon 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) honey 



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions.  
  3. Mix in lemon essence and poppy seeds. 
  4. Spoon into a 20x12cm loaf tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Cool completely, then cut cake loaf into 8 slices (about 2cm thick). 
  6. Simmer compote ingredients, except the liquor, in a pot over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until berries break down and water has reduced by half. 
  7. Add vodka in the last 5 minutes of simmering. 
  8. Set aside to cool. 
  9. Combine whipped ricotta ingredients and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside. 
  10. Whisk eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla together until combined. 
  11. Dip cake slices into egg mixture, coating well. 
  12. Fry in batches (one or two at a time) over medium heat in butter and oil until golden, about 5 minutes a side. 
  13. Serve warm with generous dollops of whipped ricotta and a drizzle of boozy berry compote. 


Browse more dessert recipes here.


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