christmas

101 Make-Ahead Holiday Breakfast Recipes

updated Dec 1, 2023
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Cranberry vanilla morning buns on cooling rack with one bun torn off to the side.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Whether it’s a small, intimate celebration with my family at home or a gathering with the extended family, my favorite way to kick off a holiday morning is with an extra-special breakfast.

But since I’d much rather enjoy my time with my family than spend it in the kitchen, I make a point to stick with a breakfast that can be cooked through (or at least totally prepped) the day before. That way, the most you’ll need to do that morning is warm everything up, slide a tray of bacon into the oven, and make a pot of coffee.

From cinnamon rolls and coffee cake to egg bakes and french toast casserole, here are 101 different make-ahead holiday breakfasts for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s morning celebrations.

Muffins, Scones, and Quick Bread

The beauty of these breakfast baked goods is that they all keep well for days. And if you really want to get a head start, most can even be stashed in the freezer.

1 / 30
Nutella Swirl Banana Bread
A simple recipe for homemade banana bread swirled with a generous amount of Nutella.
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2 / 30
Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread
Streusel-topped apple bread perfect for fall.
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3 / 30
Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake
From the warm lemon flavor to the impossibly moist, pillowy texture to the ultra-luxe lemon icing, this version is even better than the one from Starbucks.
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4 / 30
Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon and Christmas just makes sense. With that logic, these muffins were made for the yuletide.

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5 / 30
Cranberry Orange Scones

These tender and buttery scones - chock-full of juicy cranberries and zippy orange - will be the baked good you'll want to make for Christmas morning, all winter, and beyond.

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6 / 30
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
A squidgy loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread full of warm baking spices and a generous amount of chocolate chips.
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7 / 30
Pecan Pie Muffins
Fluffy pecan pie muffins are the perfect, festive morning treat.
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8 / 30
Ultra-Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
A scoop of sour cream gives this one-bowl banana bread that ultra-moist, slightly under-baked texture we all know and love.
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9 / 30
Cranberry Orange Muffins

These super-simple cranberry orange muffins are a make-ahead breakfast that was made for busy mornings. They only require one bowl, and it only takes 15 minutes to prep these bad boys — the oven does most of the work.

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10 / 30
Chocolate Chip Scones
Meet the ideal breakfast treat: they're complete with the tender texture you love in scones and the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate that comes with a great cookie.
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11 / 30
Bakery-Style Muffins
This is a crumb-cake-meets-muffin combo that's directly inspired by the classic bakery breakfast cake.
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12 / 30
Whole Grain Gingerbread Muffins
They have just the right amount of dark sweetness and warm spices.
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13 / 30
Spiced Pear Muffins
These muffins will also make your kitchen smell amazing.
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14 / 30
Banana Muffins
These one-bowl banana muffins are made entirely with pantry staples, and will be ready to devour in just 30 minutes.
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15 / 30
Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
These gluten-free lemon poppy seed muffins are even better than their gluten-full companions.
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16 / 30
Double Chocolate Muffins
These double chocolate muffins walk the line between breakfast and dessert. Greek yogurt add tenderness and protein.
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17 / 30
Pumpkin Banana Bread
Ripe, speckled bananas and earthy pumpkin give each spiced slice of this fall quick bread a moist texture and natural sweetness.
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18 / 30
Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins
A duo of shredded sweet potato and apple makes these muffins incredibly tender.
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19 / 30
Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Muffins
Mixed with chocolate chips and topped with a buttery, cinnamon-spiced crumb topping, these banana crumb muffins rival anything you'd buy at the bakery.
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20 / 30
Copycat "Baker's Muffins" from City Bakery
These pull-apart muffins are a bit like monkey bread and full of cinnamon-sugar goodness.
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21 / 30
Cranberry-Orange Quick Bread
The orange-scented quick bread is studded with tart cranberries and perfect with a mug of hot tea.
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22 / 30
Pumpkin Bread
Inspired by the pumpkin bread at Starbucks, this version is even better and uses a full can of pumpkin puree.
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23 / 30
Stuffed Apple Pie Scones
These buttery, double-decker apple cinnamon scones are streaked with a layer of sweet apple butter.
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24 / 30
Carrot Quick Bread
Swap carrots for zucchini in this easy quick bread with a tangy yogurt glaze.
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25 / 30
Fresh Cranberry Scones
If you're all about all things cranberry this season, these scones deserve a place at the top of the list.
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26 / 30
Carrot Cake Muffins
Turn your favorite, spice-packed cake into a morning muffin.
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27 / 30
Apple Muffins
These tender muffins are studded with chunks of fresh apple and showered with plenty of cinnamon-sugar.
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28 / 30
Carrot Cake Scones with Spiced Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
A simple carrot cake-inspired scone recipe made with fresh shredded carrots and a spiced cream cheese glaze.
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29 / 30
Ina Garten's Triple Chocolate Loaf Cakes
With its crackly top and walnut-and-chocolate-studded crumb, Ina Garten's triple chocolate loaf cake might just be her best chocolate dessert yet.
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30 / 30
Applesauce Muffins
These muffins are naturally sweetened and have the most incredible soft, tender texture.
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Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns

It would be a total treat to wake up to any one of these on Christmas morning.

1 / 14
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Pillowy pumpkin rolls are swirled with a gooey spiced brown sugar and pumpkin filling, then topped with maple cream cheese icing.
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2 / 14
Easiest-Ever Sticky Buns
These easy buns start with store-bought pizza dough and are rolled, sliced, and snuggled into a cast-iron pan in a pool of brown sugar-caramel sauce with lots of chopped nuts.
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3 / 14
Sticky Ginger Buns
These buttery, not-too-sweet, pull-apartable morning buns are bursting with spicy ginger flavor.
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4 / 14
Kat Lieu's Tangzhong Milk Bread Five-Spice Cinnamon Buns

These buns remain plush and tender for days, which means you can make them days before and still have a irresistibly flavorful breakfast on Christmas morning.

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5 / 14
Cranberry Vanilla Morning Buns
These yeasted morning buns are filled with a sweet-tart cranberry compote and drenched in a simple, vanilla-rich glaze.
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6 / 14
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Using your sourdough starter gives these buns a perfectly chewy texture and adds just the right amount of tang to offset the sweetness.
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7 / 14
Cinnamon Roll Wreath
You can use any cinnamon roll recipe that you like here — or even recipes for sticky buns, sweet buns, or any other kind of filled breakfast roll.
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8 / 14
Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
These soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls are packed with gingerbread flavor, thanks to molasses and warm spices in the dough and a velvety maple cream cheese glaze.
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9 / 14
Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Rolls
These fluffy sweet rolls boast lemon poppyseed flavor three ways: in the dough, in the filling, and in the tangy cream cheese glaze.
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10 / 14
Spicy Sticky Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
These buns go beyond cinnamon by adding star anise, cardamom, and coriander, for a filling that's extra-special.
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11 / 14
Easy Cinnamon Rolls
Just seven ingredients, and no yeast or rise time, means that these gooey, fragrant cinnamon rolls are truly the easiest, fastest of all time!
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12 / 14
Easy Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns from Scratch
These buns are fluffy, tender, and full of cinnamon-sugar — you'll never miss the gluten!
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13 / 14
Sweet Potato Cardamom Buns with Pistachio and Orange
These fluffy buns are sweet enough to please the pastry-lovers but much less sugary than your average cinnamon roll.
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14 / 14
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns
A little roasted purée in the mix gives the dough a beautiful burnished-orange color, just the right amount of moisture, and a hint of earthy sweetness. Plus it makes these buns delightfully squishy.
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Coffee Cake and Other Baked Goods

You can never go wrong with coffee cake, especially when there’s streusel involved.

1 / 10
Classic Coffee Cake

This rich, buttery cake is topped with giant, cinnamon-scented crumbles, perfect for any occasions.

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2 / 10
Banana Coffee Cake
With a cinnamon-walnut streusel, this banana bread-coffee cake mash-up is a match made in heaven.
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3 / 10
Carrot Cake Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
Spiced with fragrant cinnamon, studded with carrots and walnuts, and finished with both a crumble topping and a cream cheese drizzle, this updated twist brings together all the things I love about carrot cake and marries it with a classic coffee cake.
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5 / 10
Streusel-Topped Blueberry Coffee Cake
This tender breakfast cake is packed with juicy blueberries and capped with a sweet cinnamon streusel.
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6 / 10
Marbled Coffee Cake with Nutty Crumb Streusel
A double layer of streusel makes this one-bowl coffee cake recipe swirl with delight.
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7 / 10
Pear and Cinnamon Crumb Cake
Inspired by classic coffee cake, this version is topped with spiced pecans and brown sugar crumbs, also gets a ripple of pear and cinnamon streusel through its center.
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8 / 10
Christmas Kolaches
Made with a simple yeast dough and a filling made from dried fruit, they taste like a much-less-sweet version of a classic breakfast pastry.
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9 / 10
Cheese Danish
The dough is quite easy to work with, and assembling this danish is easier than it looks.
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10 / 10
Sugar Buns
Consider them the ideal pastry for a fast-and-fancy breakfast treat.
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Vegetarian Breakfast Casseroles

Not only do these hearty casseroles feed the whole table, but you’ll start the day with a helping of veggies.

1 / 10
Veggie Supreme Egg Bake
This breakfast casserole is a delicious way to add more veggies to your day. Spinach, peppers, potatoes, and mushrooms all make an appearance!
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2 / 10
Make-Ahead Spinach and Feta Egg Casserole
Filled with leafy spinach and chunks of crumbled feta, and laced with fresh dill, this egg casserole just might remind you of spanakopita.
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3 / 10
Breakfast Burrito Egg Casserole
It's everything you love about a classic breakfast burrito layered into an egg casserole.
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4 / 10
Batata Casserole with Pecan Coconut Topping
This sweet potato casserole isn't as sweet as the traditional sweet potato casserole, so if you're more inclined towards mildly sweet recipes, this is going to be right up your alley.
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5 / 10
Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole with Cheddar & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This is a hearty vegetarian breakfast casserole filled with eggs, shredded potatoes, cheddar, and sun-dried tomatoes that can be made in advance.
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6 / 10
Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Bake
If what you’re after is a lighter breakfast for your family (you know, to balance out all those cookies), this veggie-packed egg bake is your solution.
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7 / 10
Sweet Potato & Spinach Breakfast Strata
Rosemary and chives gives this hearty breakfast bake the most wonderful fresh aroma.
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8 / 10
Brie & Mushroom Breakfast Strata
If you're looking for a breakfast casserole that feels kinds fancy, this is the one.
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9 / 10
Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyère

This hearty vegetarian breakfast strata is packed with Gruyère and spinach and baked until puffed and golden.

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10 / 10
Potato Breakfast Gratin with Red Peppers & Parmesan
A generous spoonful of yogurt keeps the eggs light and fluffy.
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Meaty Breakfast Casseroles

Get a head start by prepping and assembling any one of these casseroles the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is slide it into the oven (preferably with a tray of bacon!).

1 / 15
Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This classic combination of eggs, breakfast sausage, cheddar cheese, and bread bakes up hearty and satisfying. Christmas morning is bound to smell amazing.

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2 / 15
Easy Breakfast Casserole
An easy-assembly, crowd-feeding breakfast casserole loaded with the works: cheddar cheese, diced ham, bell pepper, shredded potatoes, and eggs.
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3 / 15
Breakfast Casserole
Nothing beats a homemade breakfast casserole fresh from the oven.
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4 / 15
"Ham and Cheese" Breakfast Casserole
Baked in layers, like a strata, with the bread on the bottom, then the pancetta, cheese, and herbs, this casserole is as beautiful as it is delicious.
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5 / 15
Bacon, Potato & Egg Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole is a simple, hearty dish of eggs and bacon, mixed with potatoes and vegetables, that can be prepared up to a day in advance.
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6 / 15
Caramelized Onion, Ham, and Provolone Breakfast Bread Pudding
This is a casserole for celebration. Baked in a springform pan, this casserole is easy to cut into elegant slices.
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7 / 15
Sausage and Greens Breakfast Casserole
A casserole for breakfast is something to look forward to when it has sausage, spinach, potatoes, and plenty of cheese.
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8 / 15
Black Forest Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Black forest ham, nutty Gruyère, sourdough, and pumpernickel give this take on the ham and cheese breakfast casserole an elegant update.
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9 / 15
Apple, Sausage, and Smoked Cheddar Breakfast Casserole
Smoked cheddar and chunks of apple make this hearty casserole feel extra special.
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10 / 15
Cheesy Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Sour cream makes this hashbrown breakfast casserole better than the rest, adding a richness that prevents the eggs from becoming too dry during baking.
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11 / 15
Slow Cooker Sausage and Spinach Breakfast Casserole
Thanks to the slow cooker, you can wake up to a hearty sausage and spinach egg casserole that will serve a crowd.
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12 / 15
Breakfast Polenta Squares with Spinach & Bacon
Meet the polenta breakfast bake — a no-stir, practically hands-off way to make a hearty breakfast that will last you all week.
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13 / 15
Chrissy Teigen's Everything Bagel Cream Cheese Breakfast Bake
Take Teigen’s advice and stick with day-old bagels for this recipe.
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14 / 15
Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Chèvre, Smoked Ham
Brimming with ham, cheese, and fresh herbs, this breakfast bake is tender and custardy on the bottom and crouton-crunchy on top.
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15 / 15
Make-Ahead Bacon & Leek Casserole
A recipe for a cheesy bacon and leek egg casserole that can be prepared ahead of time and is perfect for Easter brunch.
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Other Savory Make-Ahead Breakfasts

These savory options are guaranteed crowdpleasers.

1 / 6
No-Knead Breakfast Focaccia
A crispy, fluffy sheet pan focaccia featuring sunny side up eggs, crumbled bacon, and lots of cheese.
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2 / 6
Breakfast Hand Pies
These make-ahead friendly puff pastry pockets are stuffed with creamy scrambled eggs, melted cheese, and bacon.
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3 / 6
Croissant Breakfast Sandwich
Layered with scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, and Dijon, these croissant breakfast sandwiches can be made in advance and frozen for an easy weekday breakfast.
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4 / 6
Instant Pot Congee
The Instant Pot makes delicious congee with minimal effort. Enjoy it plain, or load it up with mix-ins and garnishes for more of a one-pot meal.
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5 / 6
Breakfast Meatballs

Step aside, bacon and breakfast sausage — breakfast meatballs will be your new morning meat of choice from now on. Serve over creamy polenta, cheesy grits, or buttered noodles.

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6 / 6
Breakfast Caesar with Jammy Eggs and English Muffin Croutons

This cool spin on the classic Caesar uses English muffin croutons to make this an ideal way to start the day - even Christmas morning.

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Sweet Breakfast Casseroles

These sweet breakfast bakes are even better when prepped in advance because it gives the bread ample time to soak up all that wonderful custard.

1 / 9
Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Don't get it twisted. We love making cinnamon rolls from scratch but we also love to spend quality time with our families during the holidays. That's why for this decadent casserole, we turn to store-bought cinnamon rolls.

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2 / 9
French Toast Casserole
This easy, make-ahead breakfast bake is a crowdpleaser every time. It boasts all the classic cinnamon and vanilla French toast flavors, wrapped up into a family-style casserole.
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3 / 9
Orange-Maple French Toast Casserole
Lean on the season’s abundance of sweet, ripe oranges to make this French toast casserole the hero of your holiday brunch.
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4 / 9
Overnight Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast Casserole
This French toast casserole comes jam-packed with cubed challah bread, blueberries, and warm spices, and is topped with a delicious cream cheese glaze.
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5 / 9
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Thick cubes of brioche are infused with rich custard packed with warm spices and a double dose of pumpkin, then topped with a brown sugar-pecan streusel.
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6 / 9
Apple-Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
Make this cinnamon and apple French toast casserole the night before and enjoy it fuss free in the morning. Apple butter in the custard is the trick!
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7 / 9
Make-Ahead Eggnog French Toast Casserole
If you've got a deep craving for eggnog, this is how to work it into your holiday brunch.
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8 / 9
Loaded Blueberry Cheesecake Breakfast Bake
This is 100% a holiday brunch casserole — toasted golden bread baked with cascades of juicy blueberries and deep, rich swirls of cream cheese.
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9 / 9
Blackberry Croissant Breakfast Bake
This bake does the impossible: It improves on flaky, buttery croissants by soaking them in a rich, custardy liquid and baking them with a slew of juicy blackberries.
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Oatmeal

Few things are more cozy on cold winter mornings that a hot bowl of oatmeal.

1 / 7
Rice Cooker Oatmeal
The rice cooker is your best friend whenever you want creamy, comforting oats but haven't got the time to stand and stir at the stove.
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2 / 7
Baked Oats
Blending oats with ripe banana, eggs, and a couple pantry staples then baking the mixture yields delicious oatmeal with a fluffy, cake-like texture.
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3 / 7
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
Thanks to a buttery cinnamon-sugar drizzle and cream cheese icing swirl, this slow cooker oatmeal tastes just like a cinnamon roll.
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4 / 7
Slow Cooker Creamy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
There's just 10 minutes of prep the night before, then the oatmeal cooks all night in the slow cooker so you can wake up to breakfast.
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5 / 7
Healthy Baked Oatmeal: The Easiest Make-Ahead Method
Baked oatmeal can easily be adapted to suit all types of diets without sacrificing texture or flavor.
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6 / 7
Raspberry Cookie Butter Baked Oatmeal
This baked oatmeal, studded with raspberries and flavored with warm, sweet cookie butter, has arrived to take everything you love about oatmeal to the next level.
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7 / 7
Masala Chai-Spiced Oatmeal
Infusing tea into oatmeal not only makes for a breakfast that’s equally as comforting as a steaming mug, but it also gives your bowl a little kick of caffeine.
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