Chocolate Babka at Panera Bread

Dessert or Breakfast? You Choose

Some foods defy categories; others are easy to transform. Here are multitasking foods to have on hand for a morning meal…or a sweet treat…or something completely surprising

You may have heard of “breakfast-for-supper”—that special meal where you can enjoy mounds of maple-syrup-drenched pancakes or a fluffy, cheesy omelet in the evening. And why not? Many of us have more time to whip up a four-star morning meal when the day is through. Besides, it’s good fun to go against the grain sometimes. That’s one of the reasons Tom Gumpel, head baker at Panera Bread®, has been thinking outside the bakery box when creating some of our most recent offerings. Keep a few of these on hand for a quick-fix breakfast, a special snack, a creative dessert, or—yes—an impromptu breakfast-supper.

Pumpkin Pie Bagel

Infused with real pumpkin and pie spices and topped with a cinnamon-crunch streusel, this handheld baked goody is the season’s superstar—hands down.

For breakfast: Pair it with Panera’s Plain Cream Cheese Spread and a latte. Or top it with a nut butter for a bit of extra-belly-filling protein.

For dessert: Slather on some of Panera’s New York Style Cheesecake Cream Cheese Spread—a blend of sweet cream cheese and graham cracker bits.

Chocolate Truffle Babka

“Babka is a word that means ‘grandmother,’” says Tom. “And this sweet dough—swirled with rich chocolaty filling and topped with white icing—is something many grandmas share at family gatherings.”

For breakfast: Slice the babka thinly and toast it. Serve with a side of fresh strawberries and bananas to invoke the flavors of a banana split.

For dessert: Make an indulgent bread pudding using this babka in place of white bread.

Cranberry Orange Muffin

A topping of turbinado sugar serves as a sweet foil to the tangy cranberry and orange-zest flavors in this traditional muffin.

For breakfast: “I’ve been making this recipe since I was a kid,” says Tom. “The reduced-fat vanilla muffin mix, the whole cranberries, the real orange peel—these flavors are fantastic at any time of the day.” Enjoy the muffin with a cup of your favorite tea.

For a side dish: Crumble a few Cranberry Orange Muffins into your favorite standard stuffing recipe. You can substitute the muffins for some (or all) of the bread cubes. 

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Topped with apple chips, cinnamon, and toasted pecans, our organic steel-cut oats make the perfect crossover menu item.

For breakfast: Add fruit or a dollop of peanut butter, or mix in flaxseed for extra omega-3s.

For dessert: Slice a few apples into a microwaveable bowl. Add a little water, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some agave nectar, and microwave until the apples are soft, about 1 minute. Drain off any excess liquid; then stir the cooked apples into warm oatmeal. Serve with vanilla frozen yogurt or whipped cream for a better-for-you version of apple crisp.

Mini Scones Multi Pack

Keep this package of nine miniature scones in your freezer and you’ll always have an easy addition to dress up breakfast or feed family and friends who drop by.

For breakfast: Savor a scone with a light-roast coffee served black. The scones have enough cream and sugar to complement this brew nicely. 

For dessert: Warm the scones and serve them with small glass bowls of classic accompaniments, such as thick whipped cream, a berry-flavored jam, lemon curd, and whipped butter. Pair the dessert with a classic English tea like Earl Grey.