In a perfect world, moms would be celebrated every day. So many are amazing, strong and loving people who deserve to be recognized for all that they do, not just for their families, but for their communities, friends, workplace and so much more. A big blowout bash might not be doable on a daily basis, but every year, on the second Sunday in May, it's time to pull out all the stops! Mother's Day 2023 is Sunday, May 14 — which means there's plenty of time to plan a show-stopping meal for mom.
As far as presents go, flowers are good, candy is nice and of course a card is essential. But to show mom just how much she is appreciated, a homemade gift that comes from the heart and is always a little extra meaningful. But, let's be honest, does mom really need another knickknack to clutter the cabinets or a drawing for the fridge? Crafts are a cute and caring gesture, but a beautiful homemade brunch prepared with lots of love (especially one that she doesn't have to cook or clean up!) is sure to make a huge and lasting impression.
Does mom get excited for eggs? A little mad for muffins? Go bonkers for bacon? Crazy for crepes? These classic and creative dishes have some something for every taste and preference. So, whether mom has a sweet tooth, craves all things savory or likes a little of both in her brunch, these recipes are sure to make her day extra special and put a smile on her face. Some are breakfast-in-bed-friendly; others are a little messier.
Mother's Day Drinks
This fizzy alcohol-free spritzer is slightly bitter, a touch sweet and perfect for sipping during a festive spring holiday.
This fabulous drink calls to freeze the blood orange juice into cubes and simply add one to each Champagne flute right before guests arrive. Then pop a bottle and top off each glass. Here’s to winning Mother's Day brunch.
This citrusy and floral-flavored simple syrup makes an excellent addition to cocktails and alcohol-free drinks. It adds sweetness and bright flavor to any beverage.
Two ingredients and you're on your way to a gorgeous brunch beverage. Fresh fruit juice and Prosecco create a tasty drink that's ideal for a celebration.
This is a delicious variation on the espresso martini. Although not true to the classic, it displays a great way to manipulate texture and add complexity to a nonalcoholic cocktail.
Sweet treats for brunch
A Dutch baby is a total showstopper. You can make the batter and the compote the day before so that on Mother’s Day, there is not too much to do and you can spend the day celebrating mom!
This festive recipe makes extremely fluffy pancakes. It also doesn't require any ingredients you don't already have at home which makes for quick, last-minute Mother's Day fun.
This recipe is a great way to use bread that is going stale and also make a fabulous breakfast dish that can be prepped the night before and finished in the oven in the morning. Plus, the flambé moment is a fun trick that's sure to impress your mom.
French toast might just be better than pancakes and waffles. It's a controversial idea, but after trying this decadent recipe, that skillet may be getting packed away for good. Indulge in a classic breakfast treat with toasty walnuts and a tartly sweet berry sauce.
Breakfast is a breeze with these sunny citrus- and maple-topped pancakes. They are baked in a sheet pan so everyone can enjoy them at the same time! Serve them for an easy family brunch or as meal-prepped breakfast to be warmed up throughout the week.
Al Roker gives his wife's Dutch baby recipe a sweet makeover. "One of the things my wife, Deborah, loves to make is a Dutch baby. If pancakes and popovers had a baby, it would be a Dutch baby!" he says. "Hers is savory with lots of cheese. I decided to switch it around and make her a sweet version, taking out the cheese and replacing it with vanilla and lemon."
Start Mother's Day on a sweet note with delicate crepes. Fill the paper-thin pancakes with chocolate-hazelnut spread then top with blood oranges. Oh, and don't forget the bourbon-scented whipped cream!
Top tender waffles with a strawberry cream sauce to make a delightful brunch for Mother's Day. Adding yeast to the batter makes these waffles incredibly light and tender. The fresh strawberries and cream sauce add a perfectly sweet and fresh finish.
French toast is wonderful because it's fluffy, decadent and completely crave-worthy. In lieu of maple syrup or honey, enjoy a smear of the date caramel, which is the perfect pairing for this breakfast star. This delicious version also happens to be dairy-free.
These make-ahead lemony "blini" with jam and whipped cream cheese are perfect for a Mother's Day brunch menu.
Fruit parfaits get a decadent flavor and texture boost with rich whipped cream and crunchy cookies. These are especially great for entertaining as they can be assembled ahead of time and are also endlessly customizable.
There are so many ways to tackle a soufflé pancake. This method is the most straightforward and doesn't call for any special equipment. Have a bit of patience and these delectable airy treats will be on the plate in no time!
No one would ever guess that these sticky-sweet cinnamon rolls are vegan! The sweet potato purée in the icing adds earthy notes to the rolls while pecans add a nutty crunch. Warm cinnamon and sugar tie the whole treat together.
This blueberry French toast is an amazing way to celebrate Sunday. It can be assembled on Friday or Saturday and left in the fridge until ready to cook. It actually tastes even better because all that yummy goodness has time to really soak into the bread.
Can't decide between cinnamon rolls and pancakes for breakfast? Have both! Warm cinnamon and brown sugar get swirled into fluffy pancakes for the ultimate morning mash-up.
One of Will Coleman's most vivid childhood memories is the smell of cinnamon, vanilla and butter browning in the skillet. "Here, I've put my spin on my mother's French toast and created a praline sauce packed with hints of caramel, warm spices and crunch from the nuts," he says.
Tangy lemon curd adds bright flavor to this coconut milk-soaked French toast. Top it off with toasted coconut and a sprinkle of sugar for a next-level breakfast. To make this dish even quicker, use jarred lemon curd to save time or swap in mom's favorite jam.
Fit to serve a crowd, this flavorful flapjack recipe is truly a one-sheet wonder, delivering warm-out-of-the-oven breakfast treats right to the table. They're super moist and gently sweet, and the toppings can be tailored to your taste buds — chocolate-blueberry, banana-pecan, strawberry-coconut and more!
Fold chocolate chips into waffle batter for a sweet and delicious breakfast (that can also double as a dessert). The decadent chocolate waffles are topped with a rich and creamy cheesecake mousse, fresh mixed berries and a drizzle of strawberry sauce.
These vegan banana doughnuts are baked, not fried, making them perfect for a healthier breakfast or light dessert. To jazz these up, add chocolate chips into the donuts or decorate the tops with sprinkles.
Most breakfast recipes call for eggs. But ground flax seeds mixed with water are a great replacement for an egg in pancakes or baking. These vegan pancakes are so good because they are fluffy, moist and so tasty. Plus, they make the whole house smell so nice and heavenly.
Siri Daly designed this recipe with Mother's Day brunch in mind. "I created this delicious bread pudding for moms (or anyone) that loves decadent casseroles starring buttery bread and rich, dark chocolate," she says. "Make sure to allow a full hour for the croissants to absorb the cream and eggs, as this will help create a lusciously moist bread pudding."
Who says dessert is only for after dinner? This pie-inspired waffle brings the warm spices and sweet fruit flavor of all-American apple pie to the breakfast table. Velvety caramel milk jam takes the indulgence level over the top.
There's nothing better than a classic fluffy pancake to start the day. All they need is a bit of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup to finish them off. Amp up plain pancakes with chocolate chips, peanut butter, broken candy bars, crumbled cookies, crushed candy canes, chopped crisped bacon, cooked sausage or any other tasty add-ins.
These pancakes have a delicious blend of sweet and citrus flavors. They are fluffy and chocolaty with just the right amount of zest. Thanks to the special ingredient, mascarpone cheese, they just melt-in-your-mouth tender.
These strawberry shortcake waffles, a breakfast and dessert mashup, invoke huge smiles and intrigue. Use bananas instead of strawberries. The result is a waffle that tastes like banana cream pie!
Skip the griddle and make a puffed pancake, or Dutch baby, in the oven for a super easy and satisfying breakfast that's worthy of company. This recipe is extra easy because the batter can be made ahead and held for a few days in the fridge. Plus, the pancake cooks in one pan, and is visually impressive. While the pancake bakes, prepare the warm apple topping to save some time.
Even though eggs are often used in sugary foods like cakes and cookies, it's uncommon to think of an egg as something other than savory. But the mild flavor of eggs makes them perfect for sweet preparations as well. Here, crisp apples, warm cinnamon, fragrant vanilla and brown sugar take this omelet in a sweeter direction for an unexpected, but delicious breakfast.
This vanilla-based cake is packed with Greek yogurt to create a moist texture, granola to add texture, and a hint of cinnamon for warm flavor. The cake is most delicious enjoyed warm out of the oven, topped with your favorite fruits and additional yogurt and granola to create a balanced, light cake perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Muffins, breads and granolas
These delectable muffins can be made lickety-split and are so scrumptious. Plus, you can feel good about the ingredients: Cocoa powder provides health-boosting flavanols to enhance brain power, focus and memory, and bananas provide potassium, fiber and natural sweetness.
Blueberries are the stars of these fruity muffins. Look for plump, firm blueberries at the market and make sure you back in as many as possible. You can use frozen blueberries as well as fresh.
Homemade granola with that toasted, baked deliciousness — it's just so perfect and comforting. It's great with plant-based milk or a dollop of coconut yogurt. Happiness in a bowl.
Anthony Contrino loves a good muffin — and these are one of his favorites. "The base is lightly sweetened with some brown sugar and applesauce to allow the apple butter to shine through," he says. "But the real hero is the sweet, crispy streusel topping which balances the flavor and adds some texture."
This is a nostalgic bread with a twist that's also visually appealing, fun to eat and freezes beautifully. Wrap a fresh baked (or frozen) loaf in white parchment paper and tie with a ribbon or twine for a lovely Mother's Day surprise. The chocolate-hazelnut bread is also fantastic as a substitute for French toast bread!
This recipe makes for a perfectly balanced, sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy granola, and it’s flexible to accommodate your favorite mix-ins. It's easy to make (and only takes 30 minutes, 20 minutes of which are inactive while the fragrant granola bakes) and is tasty with yogurt, on parfaits or smoothie bowls.
"Blueberries are a classic add-in when it comes to muffins and I've always loved blueberry muffins, but find a lot of recipes a little too sweet. With this recipe, I combine honey with sweet, juicy blueberries to let the fruit really shine," says Samah Dada.
What's more fun than a muffin? A slice of cake! And this breakfast-ready version has it all: sweet, refreshing orange flavor, peppy poppy seeds, crunchy almonds and a heaping helping of protein-rich yogurt to keep it on the virtuous side. Glaze the cake and serve it up with a side of fruit salad or as a breakfast bread in a nice brunch spread.
Dylan Dreyer reveals the story behind her favorite banana bread muffins. "My weather producer, Molly, from the NBC station I worked at in Boston brought in the most amazing banana bread muffins one day. I just had to have the recipe!" she says. "I love how they're so full of bananas. Chocolate chips weren't in the original recipe, but I love bananas and chocolate, so I added those in! When I'm trying to be healthier, I swap out half the oil for applesauce and lighten up on the sugar a little bit!"
Show Mom you care with a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread. With a few spices or freshly chopped herbs, this base recipe can be transformed into a thousand different types of bread.
Have you ever scrolled through social media and been totally blown away by gorgeous, vibrant smoothie bowls of all colors? They look totally complicated, but we promise, they can be super easy to make at home. The base for all of these fruity smoothie bowls is simply frozen coconut milk cubes. The possibilities for mix-ins is pretty much endless! Garnish these bowls with deliciously spiced Saffron-Cardamom Granola for a real brunch treat.
These buttery, tender biscuits are perfect for breakfast, brunch or as a holiday side dish. Serve them with ham and brie for sandwiches or whipped cream and sautéed caramelized apples for dessert, or with this luscious maple butter hot out of the oven. They're also a great way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes.
From the outside, it's a modest muffin featuring bits of sausage, cheese and green onion. The magic though — and the irresistible Insta-worthy moment — is what happens when you cut into it. Pouring out like liquid gold is the bright orange yolk from a hidden egg inside. Made possible only when the egg is soft-boiled just perfectly before being tucked into a light biscuit-muffin batter and baked. This breakfast treat is unforgettable.
Savory brunch recipes
Joy's zucchini-carrot waffles (with or without the spicy maple syrup) is a recipe your mom will love a whole brunch! The waffles are moist and flavorful, and the grated veggies lend a colorful confetti that brings a sense of celebration to each bite. The fresh herbs steal the show, and you can use whatever aromatic green gems tickle the taste buds.
This crowd-pleasing breakfast boat — loaded with bacon, eggs and cheese — won't take you long to whip up but will keep you satisfied for a while.
This dish is special enough for Mother's Day breakfast, but it can also pull double duty as dinner. It's customizable to suit everybody's tastes.
Crispy bacon, mashed potatoes, melty cheese and chopped scallions give these waffles all the flavor of a classic loaded baked potato. Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour help keep the dish on the lighter side. One bite and you may never go back to eating sweet waffles again!
Frittata is the quintessential Italian food, not only for breakfast or brunch, but topped with a salad, it makes a great lunch or a light dinner. And if there are any leftovers, turn them into great hero sandwich for picnics.
This pretty asparagus tart is ideal for any spring celebration. It's bursting with fresh, seasonal flavors and can be served for brunch, lunch or dinner. The best part is it can be prepared up to two days ahead.
This versatile recipe combines two breakfast favorites into one recipe: crispy hash browns and baked frittata. It's a nice update to the classic quiche. Swap veggies for cooked bacon, any meat or none at all.
Sausage and egg muffin cups are ideal for holiday mornings and special (or not-so-special) occasions. They can be made ahead and then pop the cups in the oven in the morning. The savory cupcakes freeze beautifully. Tailor them to mom's taste with croissants, wheat bread or brioche, mix up the cheeses or swap the pork sausage with chicken or turkey sausage or even a vegetarian option.
Siri Daly grew up in the Midwest, where casseroles are king. "It wasn't until I was in college that we started to introduce breakfast casseroles at family gatherings, like Christmas morning. It's the easiest thing to prep the day before and pop in the oven the morning of and would make the perfect Mother's Day brunch. This particular one combines the flavors of bagels & lox with baked eggs. What could be better?!"
What's great about these potato-based waffles is that each one can be individually customized. This is a great basic recipe, but the optional add-ins make these waffles extra-special. Hash brown waffles also make a terrific dinner side with eggs, crispy chicken, or a fresh green salad on top.
This recipe is fantastic for a make-ahead brunch. Assemble the night before, cover, store in the fridge and bake at the last minute before serving. So, not only is it delicious, it's also very entertaining-friendly!
These smoked salmon toasts are so simple to prepare, yet they look elegant and impressive. The recipe only calls for five ingredients. Whipped cream cheese gets mixed with briny capers and fresh chives then spread onto crisp toast and topped with smoky slices of salmon. It's that easy!
This brunch recipe is so accessible because it's inexpensive and so easy to throw together with minimal ingredients. It's also great for using up of leftovers. The result is a hearty and luxurious breakfast dish that also happens to work well for dinner.
This fab frittata from Joy Bauer is loaded with fiber-rich veggies and protein … aka the ideal option for a satisfying, anytime-of-day meal. It's herbalicious and totally customizable. Don't like dill? Feel free to swap in chives, thyme, parsley or whatever other greens that are on hand, toss in any veggies that are lingering in the fridge, or experiment with fresh spring produce. And here's another fun idea: Pour the mixture into a muffin or doughnut tin to create mini frittatas. So many eggscellent options!
Shakshuka is traditionally a breakfast food made in a cast-iron pan. But there is just never enough for a whole family to enjoy together. This sheet-pan version makes enough for everyone — even with seconds!
All the elements in these breakfast sliders work so well together. The slightly sweet rolls complement the saltiness of the bacon, and the crispy bacon is a perfect combo with the fluffy eggs. Lighten it up with turkey bacon or make these even more indulgent with some melty cheese.
Vanessa Lachey has made the same breakfast casserole for special occasions ever since she and her husband, Nick, spent their first holiday together. The bottom layer varies from year to year. Sometimes it's biscuits; sometimes it's potatoes; sometimes it's crescent rolls — but it's always delicious and easy.
Here's one heck of an omelet hack: Joy Bauer makes six flavorful omelets … all at once … in the oven! "Just whisk a large batch of eggs, pour 'em into an 11- by 17-inch baking sheet, add any toppings and bake it off," she says. "Here, I divided my sheet pan into three sections: a medley of sautéed vegetables (aka whatever you have in your fridge), poultry sausage or savory bacon with melty cheddar, and last but not least, tomato, lox and onion. Once cooked, you can cut them into six large squares and dig in."
This supremely delicious (and supremely easy!) one-pot dish makes a great breakfast or brunch. Tostadas (tortilla chips are fine too) are layered with chorizo, cheese and a yummy sauce in a slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours. Then the eggs are added to poach in the mixture for the last 30 minutes. Most slow cooker dishes can sit on the "keep warm" setting for quite a while, but once the eggs are cooked, they should be served it right away.
Spinach-artichoke dip gets a breakfast makeover in this easy recipe. The cheesy popover cups are the perfect way to start the day. The eggs provide protein, the veggies add loads of vitamins, melty cheese gives them delicious creaminess and the crisp bread crust holds it all together.
Layered with sausage, two kinds of cheese, savory sun-dried tomatoes, leafy greens and a base of the tried-and-true hash brown potatoes, this breakfast casserole has it all. There's something in here for everyone! Assemble the casserole at night and pop it in the oven the next morning.
This dish easily feeds a large group, which is great for celebrations and holidays. The sauce can be made ahead and keeps well (refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a month). Once the sauce is ready, the dish comes together quickly and is warm and satisfying. Best of all, it is extremely adaptable: Add merguez or any other sausage, if preferred. Substitute the vegetables and add a dash hot sauce for a bit of a kick. No matter what goes into it, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
This lightened-up version of quiche from Joy Bauer amps up the nutrients with a delicious spinach crust that has loads of cheesy Parmesan flavor.
Inspired by the low-country boils of Charleston, South Carolina, this scramble is filled with tender shrimp, spiced andouille sausage and sweet corn. Hearty potato hash makes it a filling and comforting breakfast. A hint of Old Bay spice and fresh green onions round out the Southern-inspired flavors.
A herby shrimp and tomato sauce amps up the seafood flavor and adds extra freshness to these crab cakes. Use the largest lump crab available, so there is less shell to pick through and the pieces are large and luxurious. Substitute panko breadcrumbs for fresh breadcrumbs for an airier texture.
A Denver omelet is good, but this is better because it's a sandwich. This sandwich uses premium maple-cured black pepper bacon and gooey Gruyère cheese. Toasting the roll and sautéing the bell pepper in the rendered bacon fat is a great way to incorporate more salty flavor into your sandwich.
Siri Daly takes inspiration from her mom in this interactive recipe. "My mom is always posting her food creations on Instagram," she says. "Often times they are photos of open-faced sandwiches, like radishes on white bread with butter and salt, or variations of avocado toast. And while avocado toast is 100% delicious on its own, how much fun would it be to have a brunch gathering with friends and let them design their own?"
Forget everything you know about the typical breakfast sandwich. Bobby Flay makes crisp quesadillas filled with ooey-gooey melted cheese, spicy homemade hash browns and meaty mushrooms. He then tops the whole thing with a perfectly fried egg and serves it with a side of zesty tomato relish.
Eggs and potatoes are a brunch-lover's best friend, but not so much a brunch-maker's, especially when cooking for a crowd. Rather than make individual potato pancakes and poached eggs, take a note from the Swiss and make one big, communal potato cake (called a rösti in Switzerland and German-speaking countries) and top it with eggs poached in a muffin tin in the oven. That way everything's done at the same time and everyone eats at the same time — even the cook!
Breakfast is the meal that sets the pace for your entire day, so it's best to have something that will be filling for hours but won't take hours to make. These easy egg, spinach and avocado breakfast tacos are the perfect solution. They're high in protein and fiber and loaded with heart-healthy fats and nutrients.
Who doesn't love a good deviled egg? This is a fun and original spin on the classic dish, but still really yummy. Make sure to use the best, high-quality focaccia available for this one. Store-bought hot cherry peppers are OK to use here, but making them from scratch adds a whole new dimension of flavor.
"Quiche is one of the most versatile things you can make!" says Elizabeth Heiskell. "It's a meal that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and makes the most of leftover proteins and veggies."
Flatbreads are a great vehicle for cheese and eggs, making them an easy choice for breakfast pizzas. Since this ridiculously simple recipe uses only three ingredients (oil, salt and pepper don't count), be sure to use high-quality ingredients that pack a lot of flavor.
When you bake frittata in the oven, don't turn the oven up high. Keeping it at a low temperature gives it a creamy, custardy texture. This one is speckled with salmon, ricotta and chives. It's great served with leftover yogurt sauce and sliced tomatoes. Take care not to overcook the frittata — it's done as soon as the top is solid, but still slightly jiggly.
"I'm an avocado junkie!" says Adam Richman. "If you like the fruit too, then you'll love his baked eggs in avocado. They take only five minutes to make and are delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack!"
This strata, a savory bread pudding, from Bobby Flay is an excellent brunch dish to prepare for a crowd. "To start, it's nice to have something that can be served family-style — bring it to the table, and you're done!" he says. "No need to be tied to the stove flipping omelets for 20. Additionally, the strata is best when made in advance. Assemble it the night before your gathering, and simply transfer from the fridge to the oven the next morning."
Give classic bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches an elegant upgrade for Mother's Day. Add extra complexity with homemade sweet and salty bacon jam. Ditch the pan and try griddle-cooked eggs, swap the regular cheese for gooey Gruyère and finish it off with peppery arugula.
Who doesn’t love a corned beef hash? You can top it with eggs or you can have it just as a side on its own, but it's always a great way to use leftover corned beef. It’s spicy, meaty and delicious to serve not just on St. Patrick's Day, but Mother's Day too.