31 Christmas Breakfast Ideas for the Merriest Morning
Happy Hollandaise! From luscious eggs Benedict and cheesy, sausagey strata to gingerbread pancakes cut into the cutest little gingerbread people, your Christmas morning breakfast can be as fun as opening presents.
Gingerbread Pancakes with Spiced Cranberry Syrup; photograph by Olga Ivanova
Christmas morning is filled with excitement. The kids run over to see if Santa ate the cookies they left him. Even the carrots for the reindeer are gone. Everyone stays bundled in matching family PJs most of the day. And then, the main event: opening the presents. Ribbons are untied and tossed. Wrapping paper is torn off packages and strewn about. The joy on everyone's faces is palpable! But even once the last present is opened and the End-of-Christmas Blues looms ever closer, you can still keep the holiday spirit alive with a fantastic Christmas breakfast. We combed through our vast collection of Christmas breakfast recipes and cherry-picked some edible cheer that will light up faces the same way Santa does. Happy Christmas morning!
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Pancakes, waffles, and French toast
What breakfast list could be complete without pancakes, waffles, and French toast? But these recipes are no ordinary morning meals. From gingerbread pancakes cut into the cutest gingerbread people you ever did see, to apple pie French toast, Christmas breakfast will never be the same again.
Not only do these pancakes taste like Christmas morning, but if you use gingerbread cookie cutters on the cooked pancakes, they look like Christmas morning, too. Get the kids involved for a fun, interactive breakfast experience. And don't waste the scraps! They taste just as good as the gingerbread people cut-outs. A simple spiced cranberry syrup is the perfect tart topping for this sweet dish.
You can file this one under "ridiculous recipes." By "ridiculous," we mean this recipe is chocolate doused in syrup and cloaked in marshmallows. Not only do these pancakes meet the requirements for three of the four main food groups observed by Santa's elves (candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup), they also score low on the difficulty scale — they're about as easy to make as regular pancakes.
The batter for these desserty pancakes features grated apples, and the caramel apple topping is made with more apples, plus doctored up, ready-made caramel sauce. The double dose of apples, and a super sweet syrup offer up a special Christmas morning meal. You'll want to go for a long hike afterwards, and it will be worth it!
It's so easy to win with waffles, especially when gingerbread is involved. There are only so many days in the year that we can taste the merry melody of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, so go ahead and call this waffle Gingerbread's Hail Mary of Sonorous Seasonings for the Season. But keep it on your annual holiday playlist — you'll want to taste this tune again next year.
These sweet, lightly cocoa-flavored waffles have a deep red color, perfect for Christmas morning. Serve with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles if you want to go all out.
These cinnamon-spiced waffles are topped with a homemade praline syrup and plenty of chopped pecans. The deep cavities of a Belgian waffle are perfect for filling with those decadent toppings.
This clever recipe saves you tons of time on Christmas morning! Rather than cooking individual slices of French toast on a griddle, prep and bake all the slices at once on a sheet pan. Plus, everyone's breakfast is warm at the same time!
This make-ahead recipe has you soak slices of French bread in the egg-cream mixture overnight. Mix up a sweet syrup on the stove and pour that over the bread just before baking. Serve warm topped with a homemade apple pie filling. Any apples will do! And sure, put a scoop of ice cream on top, for breakfast. Why not!?
Bread puddings, stratas, and other breakfast casseroles
From savory egg stratas to the most indulgent sweet bread puddings, these breakfast casseroles are always crowd pleasers
This make-ahead breakfast casserole uses frozen hash browns to make prep a breeze. Pull the unbaked casserole out of the fridge in the morning and bake it off while you're playing with your newly opened gifts. The recipe can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, or using vegan bacon.
This wildly popular Yummly original recipe sandwiches a sweetened cream cheese filling between two layers of deliciously soaked bread cubes for an all-star dessert, er, breakfast. It's part cheesecake, part French toast, and part bread pudding. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, it'll taste great reheated in the microwave the next day.
If you're looking for a compelling breakfast casserole, let us introduce you to the Christmas breakfast strata. It's not just the Christmas color scheme that makes it the optimal option: The bacon, eggs, cheese, and bread also make it hard to turn down. Just trust us; this one will make a hero out of any home cook.
Whether you call it French toast casserole or you call it bread pudding, this one checks off all the holiday breakfast boxes. Not only will it perk up anyone suffering from gift fatigue with the sugar-laced bread, this recipe calls for pumpkin in addition to the typical holiday spices. It can also be prepped while Santa is stuffing stockings and then baked while the kids are opening presents. That's what we call a Christmas miracle.
Picture a cheesecake, baked in a classic cheesecake pan — the springform, of course — but filled with all your favorite breakfast foods. Eggs, bacon, gooey cheddar cheese, not-yet-toasted bread, and one especially interesting technique for adding cream cheese. In order to get giant bursts of cream cheese in your bites, you freeze cubes of cream cheese before folding into the batter. Brilliant.
Here's a fabulous vegetarian option that'll have even the meat eaters fighting for another serving. The green flecks of spinach and red sun-dried tomatoes add an especially festive touch to this perfect-for-Christmas breakfast.
Omelettes, frittatas, and other egg-cellent options
Eggs! Fit some protein into your Christmas morning with one of these eggy ideas. They’re festive without being fussy.
If there's an adult decision to be made on Christmas, let it be this slow cooker omelet. If you've already gotten sugar shock over the holidays, something savory is in order. Mix the eggs, milk, and accoutrements the night before, then pour it all into the slow cooker and set it on high as you make your way to the tree. The omelet will be ready just as everyone gets their Christmas Day second wind.
Anything is more fun to eat in miniature size. These omelettes are baked in muffin cups for individual servings. So rather than cook omelette after omelette on the stove, you can pop these in the oven and bake all of them at once. You're busy anyway! You've got presents to open.
Use a 9-inch pie pan or your favorite quiche pan (if you're a serious quiche lover) to bake up this savory pie. The recipe is for the filling, not the crust. Make Christmas morning a lot easier and purchase a storebought pie crust to line your pan before filling with the bacon, broccoli, and egg mixture.
Much like a baked omelette, this beloved egg dish is first cooked in a skillet on the stovetop, then transferred to the oven to finish cooking. There's no crust, just tons of egg and cheese and Christmas flair. The green and red colors poking out the top come from bell pepper, tomatoes, and parsley.
Whip up the spicy sriracha-flavored hollandaise sauce and top some English muffins, tomato, avocado, and poached egg with plenty of the sauce. When you're done eating this, there shouldn't be a drop of hollandaise sauce left on your plate that you haven't soaked up with a piece of bread.
Muffins, scones, and other pastries
Set out a pretty holiday linen-lined bread basket filled with these handheld breakfast pastries. Then bring the basket over to the tree for the perfect present-opening snack accoutrements.
If you really want to duplicate the delight from opening Christmas presents, this is the breakfast danish you want to serve. You really can't go wrong with a candy cane-shaped danish. It's utterly adorable, but simple to make using a can of crescent rolls to cut the prep time down. A berries and cream cheese filling make this the sweet slice you need to end the holiday season.
Treat your family to a sweet pecan-filled kringle to plow through. This traditional Danish pastry is made of layer upon layer of butter in the dough, resulting in a super flaky texture when baked. It's a popular choice for Christmas morning breakfast, and makes kids and adults alike very happy. This version uses a nut filling, and is topped with a heavy drizzle of icing. Brew some coffee to accompany your slice.
Blanched almond flour instead of all-purpose flour make these sweet breakfast buns gluten-free. And other readily-available healthy ingredients make them paleo-friendly. But you don't have to tell anyone when you serve them to the whole crew on Christmas morning.
Canned biscuit dough saves the day on Christmas by making breakfast a cinch! Roll out the dough, fill with spiced, sweetened apples, fold and twist, then stuff strips of the stuffed dough into muffin tins. They're fun, unique, and extremely portable if you want to chow down while sitting by the tree.
White chocolate, pistachio, and cranberry make a classic holiday flavor offering. Somehow, packing them into a scone makes them breakfast. We're OK with that.
Tangy cream cheese is swirled throughout the batter of these banana muffins, and topped with icing to add sweetness. Add chocolate chips if you love banana and chocolate together. Or buy specialty chips in red and green colors to fold into the batter.
Catch these if you can! They might not be gingerbread men, but your kids and guests will be chasing after these doughnuts. Not only do they have all the edible Christmas components (gingerbread, chocolate, red and green sprinkles), they're fairly easy to make as well. And if you're worried about overindulging, at least these doughnuts are baked rather than fried. Eat up!
Sweet yeast breads
These holiday breakfast showstoppers look fancy thanks to their pretty shapes, but the twisting, braiding, or rolling techniques are easier than you think! And setting one of these breads out on the table will wow your guests.
There is much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are eating braided breakfast bread on Christmas morning! Wild blueberries, almond paste, and ricotta are swirled together and then swaddled in dough for this recipe. To keep it simple yet swanky, you can use refrigerator pizza dough and either assemble it and bake it the night before or leave the baking for the morning for a warm-from-the-oven, post-presents restorative meal.
A basic sweet yeast dough, enriched with butter, milk, and eggs, is filled with everyone's favorite chocolate hazelnut spread, then twisted to make a beautiful star, and baked. Everyone will be wowed when you bring this out to the breakfast table.
Similar to the Braided Nutella Pastry, this baklava-inspired pastry is a sweet dough enriched with butter, milk, and eggs, and sweetened with honey and brown sugar. The flavors of baklava bring this recipe to life, using walnuts and pistachio for the filling, along with a honey and brown sugar syrup. Serve in wedges for a really pretty cross section.
While no kid would object to apple cake for breakfast, no responsible parent would serve their children cake for their morning meal, which is why we're calling this one "kuchen" (German for cake). Actually, it's more of a coffee cake than a sheet cake, but it's still dangerously delicious. The recipe calls for yeast, but the method isn't as complicated as typical yeast recipes — it's kind of like a yeasted quick bread. Perplexed? Don't worry. The assembly makes perfect sense. What makes even more sense is that you can make this on Christmas Eve so you can have a sophisticated and simple Christmas breakfast.
Forget visions of sugar-plums; sweet Christmas dreams are made of these cinnamon rolls. This is a traditional recipe, which means it uses yeast and requires rise time. You can do most of the prep on Christmas Eve and save the last rise for the morning so you can have fresh cinnamon rolls without the last-minute rush.
More Christmas recipes
Besides finding the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning, you probably need to find the perfect Christmas lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, and beyond. Continue the recipe search in the holiday articles below.