Our Best Make-Ahead Christmas Day Breakfasts
Kick back and relax with eggnog French toast, cheesy bacon potato bake, blueberry coffee cake, and lots more Christmas breakfast recipes
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Article and featured recipes and photographs by Ashley Strickland Freeman
(Want more Christmas recipes and tips? Check out our big Yummly Christmas page!)
Picture this: It’s Christmas morning around 10 a.m. You’ve had a leisurely morning — you were up before the kids so you were able to enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee and catch up on the news. The smell of bacon and from-scratch cinnamon rolls wafts through the air as the kids bound down the stairs to see what Santa has brought them.
Wait. That’s not how your Christmas morning goes? Yeah, me neither. While I can imagine a neat and tidy version of the day (and man, wouldn’t it be wonderful to sleep in), I kind-of enjoy the chaos that actually ensues on Christmas morning.
Our morning looks a little more like this: Without fail, the whole family is up with the sun, if not before. I’ve somehow forgotten to program the coffee maker (and dump out yesterday’s grounds), and the first Christmas Day breakfast is a banana or a bowl of cold cereal until I can get it together to make something else.
This year I’ve vowed to treat the family — and myself — to a tastier, more relaxed breakfast. Doesn’t Overnight Eggnog French Toast, Cheesy Bacon Potato Bake, or Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Lemon Drizzle sound better than cereal? All of these make-ahead Christmas morning breakfast recipes can be prepped the day before or on Christmas Eve, so Christmas morning is spent hanging out by the Christmas tree opening gifts and relaxing by the fire. That’s my kind of Christmas morning, and it can be yours too. Just don’t forget to program the coffee maker.
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How to make Overnight Eggnog French Toast
In my opinion, one of the best make-ahead Christmas morning breakfasts is a French toast bake. It’s a breakfast dish the whole family loves, including the cook, who doesn't have to stand over the stove flipping slices of French toast. You can prep the afternoon or night before, refrigerate overnight, and pop the dish in the oven the next morning.
Convenience aside, my Yummly Original Recipe features a generous 2 cups of store-bought eggnog (one of my favorite holiday ingredients) whole eggs, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans, all with tender brioche bread or challah bread. Get ready for the kitchen to smell amazing when you pull this out of the oven. And don't forget the maple syrup.
How to make Cheesy Bacon Potato Bake
Make-ahead Christmas breakfast casseroles (also called breakfast bakes) are a time-honored comfort food tradition, and one I grew up with. This version I created for Yummly is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, since it includes cheese and plenty of bacon, just as the name promises!
The secret time-saving ingredient here is frozen hash browns. You’ll toss them with sauteed red bell pepper and onion, bacon and cheese, and an egg mixture, then refrigerate the dish overnight. In the morning, just bake until browned and bubbly. If your family loves hot sauce, you can add some to the custard as well as offering some at the table. (Looking for more ideas with frozen potatoes? Check out these easy breakfast tater tot casseroles!)
How to make Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Lemon Drizzle
This coffee cake that I created for Yummly is bedecked with a streusel topping and tangy-sweet drizzle, making it holiday-worthy. Plenty of butter and sour cream give the cake its rich, moist texture, and help it keep well if it's made a day ahead.
Pull out your mixer for the classic batter technique: Beat butter and sugar until creamy, then add eggs and sour cream. Mix in the dry ingredients until blended, and fold in blueberries. During baking, the brown sugar streusel may all stay on top of the cake or some may partially sink into the batter, but the cake will be delicious either way. The total time (4 hours) includes about 2 ¾ hours for cooling, but you can let that part happen overnight.
11 more make-ahead Christmas breakfast ideas
Looking for other ideas for Christmas brunch or breakfast? Luckily, we have a whole slew of make-ahead recipes, whether you’re looking for Christmas breakfast for kids, breakfast casserole recipes, options for special diets, or other easy Christmas breakfast ideas. Here are some of my favorites. Keep them in mind for brunch the rest of the year, too.
If you’re wanting to make Christmas Day breakfast in full the day before, I highly recommend this buckle. Studded with tart cranberries and crowned with a crumble topping, it’s similar to a coffee cake, and so festive.
If your idea of a healthy make-ahead Christmas breakfast recipe involves the Paleo diet, then you’ll want to know about this next delicious coffee cake option. But even if you don’t follow Paleo, this Christmas Day breakfast cake is a winner. It gets its sweet flavor from Medjool dates and honey; it’s made with almond flour (so the cake is gluten-free); and it incorporates holiday flavors of ginger, orange zest, and cinnamon.
Are you a fan of sweet make-ahead Christmas breakfast casserole recipes like my Overnight Eggnog French Toast? Then you should try this strawberry cheesecake casserole, too. I mean, cheesecake for breakfast? I’m sold. The instructions don’t include a make-ahead option, but you can assemble the bread, cream cheese, fruit, and custard casserole the day before and refrigerate it overnight. The next morning, pop it in the oven and bake as directed, allowing an extra 10 minutes or so.
Making a gluten-free French toast casserole is a simple matter of buying a loaf of gluten-free bread, and fortunately, grocery stores carry multiple options these days. Once you have your bread, you’ll cut it in cubes; toss with a vanilla, orange zest, and spiced custard; and bake. Think of it as a breakfast bread pudding.
Personally, I’m a fan of savory make-ahead Christmas breakfast casserole recipes, so I love the concept of this ham and cheese dish. It’s like a delicious breakfast sandwich in casserole form. What’s not to love?
Growing up, my family always served a hearty, kid-friendly make-ahead casserole similar to this one on Christmas morning. It includes pork sausage (such as breakfast sausage) and cheddar cheese in the egg casserole, with red pepper and green onion for a pop of flavor and seasonal color.
You can’t go wrong with the classic. Bacon and cheese quiche is always a winner, and it reheats beautifully — or is great cold from the fridge. You can make this up to 3 days ahead.
If you’re looking for quick Christmas breakfast ideas on a smaller scale (or want something to serve alongside scrambled eggs, say), try these moist and tender muffins. Similar in concept to banana bread, they’ll leave room for the other special meals planned for the day.
Those who are following the keto diet can still enjoy something special on Christmas morning. These grain-free breakfast cookies are made with a savory and satisfying combination of almond flour, cheddar cheese, bacon, and eggs. If you want to make them ahead, they keep five days in the fridge.
I’m a sucker for a delicious breakfast sandwich, and one of my favorite combinations is this one with croissants (or English muffins), ham, egg, and cheese. It’s an easy Christmas make-ahead breakfast recipe because it takes only takes 20 minutes total time and can be frozen up to 6 weeks.
I also love these make-ahead bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches between homemade buttermilk biscuits. (You can reheat them in the microwave!) Being a Southern gal, I fully believe everything’s better on a biscuit.
So now you’re set! I hope all these recipes ideas put a little more ho-ho-ho in your holiday breakfast. Merry Christmas!
Treat yourself to a good breakfast
While we think about serving special breakfast and brunch recipes during the holiday season, there's no reason we can't carry the concept into the new year. Here are some more ways to enjoy a delicious breakfast year-round. (And here's what to do with the rest of that carton of eggnog in December!)