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Easy Christmas Brunch Recipes Redux

Updated on July 31, 2017

Last week I shared with you the concept of preparing a Christmas brunch in place of the traditional formal Christmas Dinner. (In case you missed that previous hub, you can find it here.) To me, this is the perfect gift to give to yourself. Formal dinners require so much "pomp and circumstance". (SIGH!)

On the other hand, a brunch has so many (might I say all?) components that can either be prepared ahead of time, or simply warmed in the microwave oven. In the Carb Diva home, this is my gift to ME. Merry Christmas!

So, let's begin with something warm to drink.


Coffee Bar

Here are a few suggested combinations that your guests can make on their own. You provide the ingredients, they build the masterpiece. Don't worry about "recipes" or precise measurements.

Keoki Coffee

  • Hot coffee
  • Brandy
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Tuscan Coffee

  • Hot coffee
  • Brandy
  • Sugar
  • Lemon peel

Irish Coffee

  • Hot coffee
  • Irish whiskey
  • Sugar
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Parisian Coffee

  • Hot coffee
  • Grand Marnier
  • Orange peel
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Or, you could do this:


A wassail is a traditional English toast--drinking to a person's health. However the current meaning refers to the hot punch made from fruit juices infused with spices and served during the holidays. To make wassail, combine the following in a large pot:

  • 3 quarts apple cider
  • 1 quart cranberry juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 3-inch long cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve hot from the stove or keep warm in a crock pot. Or perhaps...

Hot Spiced Wine

If you prefer something with a "kick", this spiced wine might be just the ticket. Bring to a boil:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 4 or 5 pieces of 3-inch long cinnamon sticks

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 quart rose wine. Heat through. DO NOT BOIL. And then there is this idea...

Hot Brandied Wine

This hot wine has a bigger "punch" because it does not have any water added. If you like the taste of red wine, you will like this hot spiced wine. Combine:

  • 1 quart red wine, such as a burgundy
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 orange slices
  • 6 whole cloves

Simmer for 10 minutes, but do not boil.

Fun Fruit Side Dishes

We are admonished to include more fruits in our diet. What about?...

Bubbling Brown Bananas

  • 4 medium bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place bananas in small, lightly greased shallow baking dish. Combine orange juice, rum, and spices. Pour over bananas; sprinkle with brown sugar. Dot with butter.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes or until bubbling.

Fruit "Pudding"

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 can pie filling (apple, peach, apricot, berry.....anything but pumpkin pie or lemon filling. You want something that has chunks of fruit within).
  1. Place butter in 12x9x2-inch baking dish. Set oven to 325 degrees F. Place pan in oven and allow heat of the oven to melt the butter (watch closely and remove as soon as butter is melted--don't allow to brown or burn!). As soon as butter is melted, remove from oven.
  2. In bowl mix together 1 cup of the sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Pour mixture over butter in pan. DO NOT STIR!
  3. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of sugar over the batter. DO NOT STIR!
  4. Spoon the pie filling on top. DO NOT STIR!
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Sturdy Side Dishes

Breakfast Strata

isn't this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
isn't this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? | Source

But wait, there's more! We need something more than drink and fruit. Let's dive into some hearty main dishes.

The first one is a Breakfast Strata with Bread, Eggs, and Meat all in one dish!

French Toast Muffins


But, if you want to be really decadent--think savory cheesecake. Cheesecake--it's not always a dessert. Here a savory bread crumb crust serves as the base for a filling of smoked Gouda cheese and smoked salmon.

Bread crumb crust

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch spring form pan with butter. Sprinkle in bread crumbs, tap and rotate pan to cover bottom and sides evenly with crumbs. Shake out any excess crumbs. Wrap bottom and sides of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set aside.

Smoked Salmon Filling

  • Three 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Beat in sour cream, flour, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir in smoked salmon, smoked Gouda cheese, and onion.
  3. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top.
  4. Place cheesecake into large roasting pan; pour in boiling water to reach one-inch up sides of cheesecake pan. This is a bain marie.
  5. Bake 40 minutes or until center is barely set.
  6. Remove cheesecake from bain marie; set on wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve cheesecake with crackers, toasted baguette slices, grapes, sliced apples or sliced pear.

What is a Bain Marie?

According to the Culinary Arts Food Dictionary and Glossary of Cooking Terms:

A bain-marie (pronounced "bane mah-REE") is a container filled with hot water that is used during the cooking process, as with baked custards like cheesecake or creme brulee.

The steam from the water fills the oven and keeps the custard moist, so that it doesn't crack while it bakes.

Easy (Cake Mix) Fruit Kuchen

Apple Kuchen

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 package yellow* cake mix, dry
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 can (20-ounce) pie sliced apples (not pie filling) drained, or 2 1/2 cups sliced pared apples (Golden Delicious are a good choice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks or 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut butter into dry cake mix. Mix in coconut. Pat into ungreased 13x9-inch pan, building up edges slightly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  3. Arrange apple slices on warm crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on apples. Blend sour cream and egg; drizzle over apples. Bake 25 minutes.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. *NOTE - Spice cake can be used in place of the yellow cake mix.

Pear Kuchen

  • Substitute two 16-ounce cans sliced pears (drained) for the apples and Devils food or German chocolate cake mix for the yellow cake mix.

Peach Kuchen

  • Substitute one 29-ounce can sliced peaches (drained) for the apples and white or sour cream white cake mix for the yellow cake mix.

Apricot Kuchen

  • 2 cups sliced fresh apricots can be used in place of the apples, and carrot cake mix used in place of the yellow cake mix.

© 2015 Linda Lum


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    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish - Thanks. Please let me know if you try any of these recipes. Would love your feedback.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Amazing ideas. Yum yum.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Thelma - I have not yet tried it, so if/when you do, please let me know if it tastes as good as it looks. Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Oh my! That bacon strata looks yummy. I will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing the ideas. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill - A belated happy birthday to your Bev. Thanks for stopping by--I hope after the cake is gone and you've had your fill of chips and dips that you might try one or two of these recipes.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's Bev birthday, so this is quick....thanks for sharing more ideas with us all. I'm full of chips, dip and cake today. :)

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Dirt Farmer - I must admit that I have not tested that recipe yet, but I certainly intend to do so this week. Thanks for stopping by.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      What lovely ideas! The strata looks particularly delicious.