This is holiday waffle bar guide is super festive, merry, make-ahead menu to serve on Christmas morning or as part of a holiday brunch!
Christmas morning breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the year. While we don’t have a traditional meal that we stick to in our family, the food we have on Christmas morning is always extra special and super tasty! Some years we have cinnamon rolls, some years it’s monkey bread, or sometimes we have biscuits and chocolate gravy. It just depends on what we are in the mood for!
This year, I wanted to come up with a Christmas morning breakfast menu that could be made the day before and easily assembled the next morning. I think it’s always fun to have a “make your own” buffet where everyone gets to customize their breakfast. I loved the Holiday Pancake Bar with eggnog and gingerbread pancakes I did a few years ago, but I wanted an option for something I wouldn’t have to cook and could just chill with the rest of my family. Enter the holiday waffle bar!
I gave this make-ahead holiday waffle bar a test-run at my parent’s house over Thanksgiving weekend. I borrowed two waffle irons, set them out on the buffet table, and made two different waffle batters the night before our brunch. I divided the batters into little cups that held 3/4 cup of waffle batter – or enough for one waffle – so that everything was portioned out and ready ahead of time. I planned on people just putting the batter from the cup onto the hot waffle iron – just like you would do at a hotel breakfast bar! Next, I utilized leftovers and leftover ingredients from our Thanksgiving feast for our selection of waffle toppings. Here are all the specifics of what I included:
- Batter for Brown Butter Pumpkin Waffles (recipe below)
- Batter for Double Chocolate Waffles (recipe below)
- Maple syrup
- Cranberry sauce (leftover from Thanksgiving)
- Pomegranate arils
- Candied bacon bits (I sprinkled some brown sugar on it while it cooked, then chopped it into pieces)
- Cinnamon pears (sauteed for 5 minutes in a little butter and cinnamon)
- 2 waffle irons
- 2 small rubber spatulas (for removing the batter from the plastic cups)
- 2 forks or tongs (for removing hot waffles from the irons)
- A small garbage can next to the buffet (for discarding used batter cups)
Everyone had so much fun making their waffles! It was nice to just take pictures of everyone making their waffle and putting their own unique combo of toppings on it. And I loved that mom and I weren’t tied to a hot stove in order to get breakfast on the table! The whole process was super chill, and once everyone had been through the waffle bar once, some went again to try the other flavor. I’m thinking this will become more of a tradition because we all enjoyed it so much!
I’d highly recommend using this menu for any of the following:
- Christmas morning breakfast
- Breakfast for dinner menu
- Santa breakfast for kids
- Ornament exchange brunch
- Breakfast for a crowd (you could easily do this for 10-20 people; just have a few more waffle irons set out!)
Are you ready to try this Make-Ahead Holiday Waffle Bar? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
This holiday waffle bar menu is a festive, make-ahead breakfast option that your guests can customize as they make a waffle! Pumpkin waffle recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups lowfat buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup white chocolate chips, finely chopped
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- Cranberry sauce (place in a serving bowl the night before)
- Nutella (place in a serving bowl the night before)
- Pomegranate arils (place in a serving bowl the night before)
- Maple syrup (place in a serving bowl the night before)
- Bacon pieces (make fresh the day of breakfast) *See note
- Cinnamon Pears (sliced thinly and sauteed in a little butter and cinnamon; make fresh the day of breakfast) *See note
- Other suggestions: cookie butter, almond butter, toasted nuts, salted caramel, jams, apple butter
Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the stick has melted, whisk the butter over the heat until small brown bits form at the bottom and the melted butter has a nutty fragrance. Be sure to whisk constantly so that the milk solids in the butter do not burn as they are browning. Transfer the brown butter to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices by stirring together with a whisk.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, pumpkin, and cooled brown butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in any residual flour on the sides of bowl. Divide the batter into small plastic cups, placing about ¾ cup of batter in each. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add egg yolks, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. Use a fork to blend together in the well, then gradually incorporate dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the egg whites, then fold in the white chocolate and cranberries. Divide the batter into small plastic cups, placing about ¾ cup of batter in each. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Spray two waffles with cooking spray and place them on your buffet table. Preheat the waffle irons. Put a small plate with a rubber spatula and fork next to each waffle iron. Place trays of the two batters in cups next to each waffle iron. Place out bowls with the various toppings.
Use the rubber spatula to spread one cup of batter per waffle iron, and cook until desired doneness is reached. Use the fork to remove the waffle from the iron onto a plate. Tops as desired!
- For the bacon pieces: I like to bake my bacon on a sheet pan covered with parchment at 375 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the bacon over and drain the grease from pan, sprinkle the bacon with a little brown sugar, then bake an additional 8-12 minutes until desired doneness is reached. Cool and chop into pieces for the waffle bar.
- For the cinnamon pears: slice 2 pears into thin pieces. Saute in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add some sprinkles of cinnamon, toss to combine, and serve warm.