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Christmas breakfast ideas

Christmas breakfast can take many different forms, from the very casual when you have young kids who are hyper-focused on opening presents, to more leisurely adult brunches. Here are Christmas breakfast recipes that have worked well for our family at various stages along the way.

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Dutch baby apple pancake

This is a tradition in our house. It wouldn't really feel like Christmas without one of these gorgeous puffed pancakes. They are traditionally made in a cast iron skillet, but I like to make mine in a cazuela.

Aebleskiver pancakes with berries

My friend Sue taught me how to make these stuffed Danish goodies that are a cross between a pancake and a popover. They are crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside and can be filled with your favorite sweet or savory filling. You will need a special pan to make aebleskivers. Either a traditional cast iron aebleskiver pan or you can use a non-stick version that I find works very well.

Sue's company bacon

My same friend Sue who taught me to make ableskivers, changed my life when she taught me how to cook bacon in the oven. It is the easiest method for cooking bacon that I know. There is no stovetop mess, no standing over a grease-spitting stove, and it is a great way to make a massive amount of bacon if you are cooking for a crowd. You can use Sue's method to make plain bacon or take it up a notch with her recipe that calls for a sprinkling of brown sugar and cracked pepper. Yum!

Spinach and goat cheese quiche minis 

These little morsels of goodness are  the perfect thing for a holiday brunch. They are easy to make, crustless and gluten free. They can be eaten warm or at room temperature with a fork and knife or just popped in your mouth with your fingers.

Potato quiche minis

Here is another version of my quiche minis, and in fact my favorite of my two quiche minis recipes. Potatoes, eggs and Spanish smoked paprika are a fabulous and satisfying combination.

Tutu's Hawaiian banana bread  

This recipe has been in my family for years. I got the recipe from my mom and she thinks it originally came from the Halekulani hotel in Waikiki. I make this banana bread in muffin top pans so there is extra surface area. These can be made the day before your holiday breakfast.

Minted fresh fruit salad 

My friend Carol taught me this trick years ago. Chop up your fruits and toss it with some fresh mint. Done. You have a delicious fruit salad with no other dressing. I've used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, watermelon and cantaloupe for this salad. It never fails, when I serve it to someone for the first time they always ask "what makes this salad so good?"  If you want to go the extra mile and make a more adult fruit salad, you can drizzle it with a little Chambord.

Persimmon, grape, pomegranate & burrata salad


I generally serve this winter salad for dinner, but it also makes a great brunch item. This mostly fruit salad takes just a few minutes to assemble, makes for a gorgeous buffet platter and always garners a boatload of complements. I finish the salad with a balsamic dressing and a drizzle of honey.

 Watermelon, tomato and strawberry salad 

If you have access to summer fruits I also have a summer version of my fruit and burrata salad. They are both made starting with a layer of burrata, then a layer of fruit, topped with a layer of fresh herbs and nuts and a drizzle of dressing. You can't go wrong with either burrata salad.

Mango & yogurt breakfast jars


This is a winner recipe for a make-ahead breakfast that can easily be enjoyed while opening presents. I use my homemade honey yogurt, but Greek yogurt can be substituted. I layer fruit, yogurt, quinoa and granola in 8-ounce mason jars. If you don't have access to good mangos, you can use a variety of fruits. These delicious and convenient jars won't last long and your family will want you to keep them stocked in the fridge for breakfast and snacks. I use these cute Italian mason jars to make mine.

Coconut oatmeal with mangos and yogurt 

This recipe makes oatmeal very special. I cook the oatmeal in coconut milk, add some toasted coconut and top it all off with chunks of mango, some yogurt and a sprinkling of almonds.

Homemade apple sauce 

Homemade applesauce has been an all time family favorite going back to the days when I would give all my kids an apple peeler and line them up at the kitchen sink, some on step stools, to make a big batch. Applesauce makes a great holiday meal brunch item, served alone or on top of oatmeal.

Beverages for an adult holiday brunch

Roasted cranberry sparkler

Add a spoonful of roasted cranberries to a glass of champagne for a festive holiday drink and an upgrade from your standard mimosa. The cranberries may be roasted a few days in advance and stored in the fridge.

Ramos Gin Fizz

I was first introduced to these tasty brunch cocktails as a young adult at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu.  These cocktails have a very interesting history going back to 1888 in New Orleans. Read my post for the backstory and tips on how to make a great Ramos gin fizz.

 The best bloody Mary

 To me, a bloody Mary is all about the mix and the garnish. I'm happy to drink mine without alcohol if the mix and garnishes are great. Here is my recipe for a homemade, fully loaded and well-spiced bloody Mary. Be aware, these bloodies are practically meals in themselves.


Have a wonderful holiday!


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