Okay, so I think making a special effort on Christmas morning for breakfast is a common tradition. Most families I’ve met do it and have been doing it for years. However, I bet we could all learn a couple new tricks and tips to make the Christmas breakfast just a little bit more special! Here are some easy ways to make your already pretty awesome breakfast just a little bit more awesome, maybe a bit easier, or add another recipe to the normal haul!
Alright, this is how it’s gonna go down — I’m going to go through breakfast classics and give you some tips to make them that much better and how to make them easier/quicker. I will also throw in a few recipes to get you going if this is your first year doing a Christmas breakfast! Let’s get moving!
Table of Contents
Who doesn’t love eggs? Some like them scrambled, other’s like ’em overcooked and dry as styrofoam (you do you), either way, they are essential to most breakfasts. Let’s first talk about how to make the perfect scrambled eggs:
How to Make the Perfect Scrambled Eggs
If you usually make scrambled eggs or want to for the first time this year, here are some tips to make the best scrambled eggs and make them something special.
Stir constantly. If you have ever gone to a nice hotel or a really nice restaurant for breakfast, you may have noticed their scrambled eggs have a pretty small curd. This is because you should move the eggs around constantly while cooking to prevent drying them out, which in turn creates a smaller curd.
Don’t season early. If you season your eggs while they are cooking they will turn grey. Wait until they are nearly or completely done to season them.
Cook gently. Eggs are precious little protein sacks (appetizing, right? 🙂 ), so they should be treated as such. Be sure to use gentle heat which means don’t use a preheated pan and don’t let them sit on high heat for a while (more about this in the video below).
Scrape the bottom of the pan when stirring. Use a rubber spatula to stir and make sure you are completely scraping the bottom while stirring. Eggs will stick to the bottom and cook, so you must scrape the bottom clean with each stir to make sure egg isn’t sitting on the bottom overcooking.
There are a ton more tips, but here is a video from Gordon Ramsey on Master Chef showing how to make the perfect scrambled eggs (bonus points for a visual guide):
Make it Extravagant: Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict is a classic and sorta fancy dish. It is traditionally made with a poached egg smothered in hollandaise sauce (a creamy, salty and slightly lemony sauce) sitting on Canadian bacon all on top of a toasted English muffin. If you are ready to tackle this, here is a guide to poaching eggs and here is a recipe for traditional eggs benedict.
Now, I love eggs benedict, but I hate poaching eggs and don’t particularly like the texture of poached egg whites. We’re also gluten-free and I have yet to find any satisfying English muffin substitutes. So, to make eggs benedict the cheater’s way, follow this recipe. Basically, you switch out the English muffin for crispy home fries (or cut up leftover fries reheated), the hollandaise is kicked up a notch and very hard to mess up, the eggs are soft boiled and peeled instead of poached, and that’s it! I personally love the taste and textures of this recipe more than the traditional one, it is a lot simpler, and I can get a large portion turned out fairly quickly.
Make Bacon Easier — Cook It in the Oven
Now, cooking bacon is not for everyone, and I am one of those people. I hate the popping grease, I hate how long it takes, I would just rather not deal with it. So, instead, I pop mine into the oven and all I have to do is wait for the timer to go off, and boom… perfectly cooked bacon without all the hassle. Plus I can step away from the bacon and do other things while it is in the oven, it’s a win-win!
Now my Aunt who shall remain nameless heard of this trick, and though you put the bacon straight on the oven rack, I cannot emphasize enough that you SHOULD NOT DO THIS! The bacon should go on a baking sheet (preferably lined with foil). Now we cook ours at 400°F for 15 minutes. If this is your first time doing it, I would check it periodically until it is done to your preference. Here are detailed instructions for cooking bacon in the oven.
How to Up Your Bacon Game
Bacon is fantastic, most won’t argue that (except Derek because he’s the type of weirdo that prefers sausage), but adding a bit of seasoning, some sugar, and other additions can make it that much better and special for Christmas Morning.
Candied Bacon: Here is one recipe for candied bacon that is pretty simple, but you can step it up a notch by adding cracked black pepper for a bit of spice or maple syrup for some extra sweetness and flavor.
Sweet and Spicy Bacon: This is another gourmet bacon recipe that is kinda like candied bacon but with a bit of a spicy kick from some cayenne.
Maple Bourbon Jalapeno Bacon: For an extra spicy kick, try this recipe.
On a completely unrelated side note, every time I make bacon or pancakes, this song runs through my head.
Pancakes + Waffles
I’m sure most people know how to make pancakes and waffles, I mean it is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some tips, mix-ins to make them extra special, and a few topping ideas. Oh! and if you are gluten-free (GF), I will include my recommendations for GF mixes.
Tips + Tricks
- Make buttermilk pancakes and waffles for an easy twist. If you usually make regular pancakes, simply add in buttermilk in place of water or milk to any pancake or waffle mix/recipe. However, if the mix is already a buttermilk mix and doesn’t call for buttermilk as an ingredient do not add it, it probably has buttermilk in it and can make it way too strong and sour.
- You can make buttermilk out of vinegar and milk. For one glass of milk add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and mix well. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before adding to your mix.
- Have everyone eat at the same time. Preheat your oven to 180°F, and place finished pancakes and waffles on a lined baking sheet as they finish cooking. They will stay warm as you finish the batch.
- Heat up the syrup. Cold syrup..well… cools down the pancakes. Gently heat the syrup in a saucepan or in the microwave until warm for a restaurant level experience.
- Don’t overmix. Pancakes should be a bit lumpy and at most stirred 10-15 times. Overmixing will cause them to be flat and the gluten may become overworked. If you are using a gluten-free mix and it says to stir it thoroughly, follow the directions since there isn’t any gluten to overwork.
- Include fun sauces, syrups, and toppings. For an easy way to amp up the pancakes and waffles, have an assortment of toppings to choose from. More ideas on this below.
- Make fun shapes. Nothing says Christmas like a Christmas tree pancake. There are several easy ways to get simple shapes out of your pancakes.
- Use a food safe squirt bottle (or ketchup bottle) to give you a pancake pen of sorts making it easier to pipe out shapes.
- Picking easy shapes is a must. Nailing something simple will look better than failing something difficult.
- If you have metal or silicone heat safe cookie cutters, spray them with cooking spray, and place on your cooking surface. Spoon in enough batter to fill the mold about a 1/8-1/4″ and wait for the pancake to bubble on top and brown on the bottom side. Remove the hot cookie cutters with tongs and gently flip over the pancake. Cook fully on the other side, and serve!
- Use a measuring cup or cookie scoop for uniformity. If you’re looking to impress, use a measuring cup, small ladle, or cookie scoop to get even pancakes.
- Here are some more waffle specific tips!
Here are some easy topping ideas for pancakes or waffles. Offer an assortment for an extra special treat.
- Fresh berries
- Sliced bananas
- Cooked cinnamon apples
- Whipped cream
- Icing sugar
- Flavored maple syrups (more on this below)
- Lemon curd
- Chocolate sauce
- Chocolate chips (good on the inside and outside!)
- Peanut butter
- Fruit compote
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped candy bars
- Ice cream
There are probably a ton more, like I could do a whole post on toppings, but there’s a start.
There’s so much more you can put into a pancake besides chocolate chips. You can also add multiple mix-ins for something super yummy. One of our favorites is a spoonful of peanut butter, a mashed up banana, and a handful of chocolate chips!
- Chocolate chips
- Mashed banana
- Peanut butter or peanut butter chocolate chips or chopped Reese’s
- Nutella (in big swirls)
- Chopped nuts
- Spice it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice
An easy way to add a lot of flavor to pancakes and waffles is to offer flavored and infused syrups. At most grocery stores you can find real maple syrup, fruit flavored syrups (blueberry, strawberry, and more), and possibly some infused ones. However, you can make infused ones at home too.
Here is a whacky list of infused syrups from blackberry and thyme to Thai iced tea.
Infused syrups are really easy to make too. Simply heat a cup of maple syrup and a spice like cinnamon (ground or in sticks) for a few minutes until it is fragrant, then serve or store.
How to Make Them More Extravagant
Here are a few pancake and waffle recipes that are a little different and perfect to try out for something exceptional on Christmas.
- Try these cinnamon roll pancakes for something super sweet.
- If you like more adult flavors and want something a bit tangy, super fluffy, and new, try these ricotta pancakes. They are amazing topped with fresh fruit.
- Try these trending Japanese souffle pancakes. Here is a recipe for gluten-free Japanese souffle pancakes, and here is a regular recipe for them. They are a little time consuming and need to be eaten right after they are done. So if you are making them for more than two people, get an electric griddle so you can make them all at one time (one with a lid is even better).
Out of the pancake and waffle mixes I have tried, these have been my favorite.
- Bisquick is a solid, plain GF pancake mix and should be accessible to most in the US.
- Trader Joe’s Buttermilk mix is also very good, but a little too light and fluffy (which I know sounds weird, but you’ll see what I mean).
- Surprisingly, Walmart’s Great Value Pancake and Waffle Mix is amazing for pancakes. If you follow the directions they come out almost diner style and they are ah-mazing. The waffles were a little less ‘surprisingly good’, but they were still good. For a full review on this, check out this post.
Drinks are something I feel are overlooked a lot at breakfast (or is it just me?). Here are some simple kid-friendly and adult beverages to whip up on Christmas morning.
- Serve specialty coffee and flavorings. If your family is full of coffee drinkers, get a special roast for Christmas morning or make it fun with some flavorings (like Monin or Torani flavorings). Here is a recipe for Easy Hot or Iced Turtle Lattes.
- If tea is more your style, get something holiday flavored. There are a lot of holiday-themed teas and specialty flavors. We always get the holiday box from Teavanna and break it out on Christmas and enjoy it for the rest of the year too.
- Make mimosas. Mimosas aren’t just for brunch or a girls day! Add a bit of cranberry juice for a holiday-themed mimosa,
- Here is an Orange Julius copycat recipe (no egg).
- Make some smoothies for a healthy start to the day. You could also make not so healthy smoothies and skip the greens.
Fruits and Veggies
Besides the normal potato side dishes to accompany breakfast, try a simple fruit salad or some of these veggie dishes:
- Asparagus and hollandaise
- Roasted on the vine tomatoes
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Roasted squash
- Fresh avocado
A fresh fruit and yogurt parfait could also be great!
Special Dishes for Christmas Breakfast
If you’re looking for something new this year, try one of these recipes:
- Quiche Lorraine. I like this recipe but use swiss cheese instead.
- Stuffed French Toast. Take French Toast to the next level and stuff it with sweetened cream cheese, Nutella, and more! Here is my mother’s french toast recipe.
- Crepes. For a super fancy breakfast make some crepes. Here is a base recipe, but you can make them sweet or savory and fill them with whatever you please!
- Japanese Souffle Pancakes. Here is a recipe for gluten-free Japanese souffle pancakes, and here is a regular recipe for them. They are a little time consuming and need to be eaten right after they are done. So if you are making them for more than two people, get an electric griddle so you can make them all at one time (one with a lid is even better).
- Ricotta Pancakes. If you like more adult flavors and want something a bit tangy, super fluffy, and new, try these ricotta pancakes. They are amazing topped with fresh fruit.
- Breakfast Sandwiches. For something really easy, add some bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese to a bagel/English muffin/toast.
Pre-Made Gluten-Free Breakfast Foods
Alright, to make a long post longer (I’ll definitely need to add a table of contents), here are my recommendations for pre-made gluten-free items.
- Doughnuts. For easy doughnuts, I would recommend Katz doughnuts. Their powdered sugar ones are delicious and taste a bit like funnel cake (the other flavors are equally good too). Kinnick doughnuts are also great and come in similar flavors, they are also a bit quicker to heat up from frozen than Katz.
- Pie Crusts. If you are making a quiche or have another pie crust need, I recommend Wholly Wholesome (it is a bit too flaky, but they are cheap and satisfy the need).
- Bagels. Trader Joe’s everything, plain, and blueberry bagels are some of the best textured GF bagels I’ve ever had. Here is a recipe to make them from scratch but it is a little involved.
- Bread. If you haven’t found your favorite gluten-free bread yet, I recommend Udi’s. Some people don’t like it, but for me, it is the closets GF alternative to sandwich bread.
- Biscuits. I really like using the recipe on the back of Great Value’s All Purpose Flour. They are easy to whip up and have a pretty good texture and flavor. Full review here.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope your Christmas breakfast is full of joy and cheer! 🙂