crumpets with jam, bacon, eggs, fruit and salmon on top

The festive period is often the perfect time to set aside a morning to kick back, relax and treat yourself to a lie-in followed by a lazy brunch. Something light and quick to prepare is all that is needed, particularly ahead of a larger meal later on in the day. Whilst deciding whether your eggs should be served sunny side up, softly scrambled or lightly poached, grab a tin of peaches from the cupboard, whizz them up and pop the cork on a bottle of Prosecco – you’ll have all you need to make a store cupboard peach Bellini (or two!) to ease yourself into a special day.

Alongside fresh eggs, two other great items to have to hand in the fridge to jazz up your Christmas brunch are a packet of smoked salmon and a packet of Italian Parma ham. The Parma ham can quickly be thrown into a pan and crisped up to go alongside your eggs. Or, try this recipe for scrambled egg muffins with smoked salmon & soured cream, which would be my number one choice; soft and creamy and piled high with plenty of butter on the muffin.

We almost always have a big Italian panettone cake at Christmas, too.  They are a sweet, light bread loaf, usually studded with candied dried fruit, and an Italian Christmas staple – although you may also eat something similar in Spain, Portugal or South America. In Eastern Europe, you’ll probably have a similar sweet holiday cake, called a Babka – a sweet yeast-based sponge cake, traditionally made in a bundt tin, which is usually served glazed with either plain icing or chocolate. At Christmastime, it may have some candied fruit on top or chopped nuts and usually a little rum. To serve, place your panettone or Babka in a warm place for about an hour before you want to eat it – a radiator is good.  The warmth will help to release of the oils and citrusy aromas. You could even use your panettone to make golden pan-fried eggy bread. A little tipple of Amaretto wouldn’t go amiss on the side!

If you are hosting brunch-time visitors or are catering for little people, get yourself a large platter and fill with these breakfast crumpies and all sorts of exciting toppings.  Some of our favourites at home are banana and Nutella, homemade jam, smoked salmon and cream cheese, crispy Parma ham and scrambled eggs, and even fresh figs with a squeeze of honey. Crumpies are essentially a cross between a crumpet and a Yorkshire pudding, made from a quick batter and baked in a Yorkshire pudding tin. If you haven’t tried them yet, you’ll be in for a treat this Christmas!

For more inspirational breakfast and brunch ideas, take a look here.

About the author

Ren Behan is a well-known food writer and mum-of-three based in Hertfordshire, UK. She grew up in a food-loving Polish household and now writes a popular family-friendly and seasonally-inspired blog at

Ren Behan