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The Best Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

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Christmas songs tell us that the morning of December 25th is the absolute peak of the winter holiday season. Families rock around the tree while tiny tots open presents with their eyes all aglow. But truth be told, I think what comes after the early-morning rowdiness is more special: gathering around a table with loved ones to share a mouthwatering feast. It’s the denouement, if you will, that follows the climax—the moment the energy and anticipation surrounding the season gives way to a comfortable, more relaxed pace.

Holidays call for something extra special, yet also simple enough so as not to pull you away from the revelry. Keep the prep work to a minimum by using up Christmas Eve leftovers in a savory one-pan hash. Or, make eggs the star of the show with an easy and elegant quiche, or a hearty shakshuka. For a sweeter option, treat loved ones to a croissant bread pudding or pecan-chocolate sticky buns that double as desserts. As SAVEUR’s resident breakfast correspondent, I’ve rounded up some festive recipes that not only fuel the day’s activities, but also evoke the spirit of the season.

French Toast

Grilled on the stovetop and finished in the oven, this take on French toast is more like a decadent souffle—as crisp on the outside as it is pillowy on the inside. Get the recipe >

Coffee Cake Recipe

The only thing that can improve upon a winter’s-morning cup of coffee is a slice of coffee cake to go with it. This version, smothered in a tangy orange glaze and chopped pecans, is an especially sunny, craveable take. Get the recipe >

Kaiserschmarrn

A coffeehouse staple in Vienna, this dish of torn-up pancake is all fluffiness and no fuss—which makes it the perfect choice for a busy holiday morning. Add a berry compote and a dusting of powdered sugar for a downright festive presentation. Get the recipe >

Rice Pudding with Raspberries

Lighter than most rice puddings, and not quite as sweet, this Swedish specialty is a Christmastime tradition. Short-grain rice, such as arborio, lends itself beautifully to a deliciously creamy consistency—and a comforting, satisfying breakfast. Get the recipe >

Spinach, Beef, Egg Hash

On a busy holiday morning, you need a recipe that comes together swiftly. This savory one-pan dish might only call for a handful of ingredients, but it’s guaranteed to be the star of the table. In place of the beef chuck, try tossing in any breakfast meats you might have hanging around in the fridge. Get the recipe >

Country Ham Danish

Brew a little extra coffee on Christmas morning (or use up any left over from the night before) to make a classic Southern gravy for these glorious savory pastries studded with ham and pecorino. Get the recipe >

Shakshuka for Christmas Breakfast Recipes

This simple dish of poached eggs and tomatoes spiked with spices and aromatics may be a brunch classic, but it also makes a gorgeous and filling main course any time of day. Get the recipe >

Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme

This classic Danish treatment proves apples belong as much in the savory realm as the sweet. Roast them with onions, caramelize them in bacon fat, and serve them under thick steaks of smoked belly bacon for a brunch dish that hits all the flavor notes. Get the recipe >

sourdough waffles

Have sourdough starter left over from holiday baking sitting in your fridge? Mix some of it into classic waffle batter to give it airiness and tang that non-yeasted versions simply can’t match. Get the recipe >

Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes with Lemon Crema, Breakfast

Granola and quinoa lend lovely crunch and earthy flavor to these substantial, fluffy pancakes. The zesty lemon crema dolloped on top will brighten up any cold winter morning. Get the recipe >

In Swedish, fika means “to have coffee,” but it also refers to the country’s tradition of taking a break, chatting with friends, and enjoying a pastry, like this yeasty spiced bread from cookbook authors Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall. It’s just the thing to munch while sipping a mug of joe on Christmas morning.  Get the recipe >

Baked French Toast with Cream and Eggs (Oeufs au Plat Bressanne)

This savory French toast is deceptively simple (and scalable), yet lavish enough for a festive occasion. As the dish bakes, the cream soaks into the bread and thickens into a rich sauce right on the platter, resulting in an impressive breakfast you’ll make again and again. Get the recipe >

Christmas Breakfast Recipes

Got some stale rye bread (preferably rich, nutty rugbrød) on hand? Soak cubes of your leftover loaf in a dark, malty beer on Christmas Eve, and you’ll be ready to make this tangy, earthy  breakfast treat the next morning. Get the recipe >

Espresso Waffles with Mocha Drizzle

Espresso powder and almond flour give a bittersweet edge to these waffles, which are glossed with a decadent sauce of coffee, condensed milk, and dark chocolate. Get the recipe >

Baked Egg Danish with Kimchi and Bacon

These savory Danishes swaddle kimchi, bacon, and baked eggs in rich, chewy laminated dough. If you have leftover ingredients from Christmas Eve hosting—think cooked mushrooms and greens, or grated cheese and herbs—go ahead and swap those in. (For the best texture, be sure to drain the extra liquid from cooked vegetables before adding.) Get the recipe >

eggplant and walnut frittata (badimjan kükü)

This hearty Azeri egg dish—which can be served in small pieces as an appetizer or side or cut into larger wedges as a main—is loaded with ground walnuts, onions, and eggplant, giving the meal a nutty, meaty consistency. Get the recipe >

Pecan chocolate sticky buns no-oven method from Bryan Ford

Baker and cookbook author Bryan Ford cooks these over-the-top sticky buns in a large cast-iron skillet—which not only makes for a rustic presentation but also guarantees gorgeously golden-brown edges. Get the recipe >

Gluten-free scone recipe

The sugar in these buttery, wheat-free scones offsets the smoky ham, cheddar cheese, and fresh chives, yielding the perfect example of how sweet and savory can go hand in hand. Get the recipe >

Manresa Quiche

The blue cheese in this velvety quiche makes the dish satisfyingly creamy—balanced perfectly by a nutty, buttery spelt-and-whole-wheat crust. Get the recipe >

Banana Split Gratin

Francis Mallmann’s thick, fluffy flapjacks, topped generously with cool crème fraîche, creatively use grilled bananas as a pancake ring. The caramelized pear pressed into the batter as it’s cooking makes for a sweet surprise. Get the recipe >

Croissant Bread Pudding Bourbon Sauce

Got a bunch of viennoiseries to finish before they go stale? This extravagant, boozy bread pudding makes the most of past-its-prime pastries by turning them into a decadent and boozy breakfast. Get the recipe >

Blackberry-Mint Scones

Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, of Ovenly bakery, call for frozen berries in their blackberry-mint scones, so you can make them even when berries aren’t in season—ideal for Christmas breakfast when fresh is harder to come by. Get the recipe >

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