Year after year, people resolve to start eating breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, it kick starts your metabolism, it helps you focus throughout the day, and it helps you make better eating choices later on. That’s a lot of pressure on one meal! Instead of starting a healthy breakfast routine by jumping head first into the deep end, ease in by bribing yourself to eat breakfast with these irresistible baked goods.
1. Lemon Muffins with Chia Seeds and Honey Glaze
These muffins are like the ever-popular lemon poppy seed muffin, but with an extra boost of omega-3s. Blogger Lindsay from Pinch of Yum describes these muffins as “stuff it in your face ASAP and eat every crumb off the floor embarrassingly, wildly delicious,” which we think makes them a pretty solid gateway breakfast. Chia seeds are great for breakfast, but work your way up to chia oats and chia pudding with these muffins. These muffins also have Greek yogurt in them. Baby steps. Just don’t dawdle when you’re making these muffins, or the chia seeds will start soaking up the moisture of the muffins and they’ll get crumbly.
- ¼ cup zest and ⅓ cup juice from 2 large lemons
- ½ cup sugar
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons oil
- ½ cup thick plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup milk or cream
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the lemon zest and the sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Rub together with your fingers for a few minutes to release the lemon oils from the zest. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the lemon juice, vanilla, eggs, oil, yogurt, milk, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and honey. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
Pour batter into greased muffin tins; you should be able to get 8 large muffins. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
For the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, honey, and milk together until smooth. Heat the butter over medium heat until melted; add the glaze mixture and stir until bubbling and warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and glaze muffins immediately by dipping muffins upside down into the glaze or spooning the glaze over the tops. Glaze should set quickly.
2. Irish Scones
Just barely sweet and plenty fluffy, Irish scones are different from the often dry, crumbly scones of the States. Though there are as many ways to make real Irish scones as there are Irish mammies, these are the result of The Kitchn’s co-founder’s travels throughout Ireland, accumulating scone recipes from everyone she met. Unlike dense, flaky scones, these won’t demand a liter of tea, coffee, or juice to get down your gullet; they’re easy eating, and they simply invite the companionship of your favorite breakfast beverage and a smear of jam or butter.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ to ¾ cup milk, cream, or a combination
- A few tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs
- ½ cup grated cheese
- ½ cup currants or raisins
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven. This helps the scones crisp a little on the bottom as well as the top.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture just holds together. Working the mixture as little as possible, add ½ cup milk and mix until it forms into a soft, slightly sticky ball. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.
Place the dough on a very lightly floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough to a 1-inch-thick slab. Slice the dough into triangles with a floured knife or bench scraper, or dip a biscuit cutter in flour and cut out the individual scones.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and arrange the scones on it. Bake 8 minutes, turn the scones over, and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, or until just barely brown.
Serve with butter, preserves, and freshly whipped cream.
3. Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs
For mornings you can’t decide between doughnut holes and muffins and cinnamon toast, make these breakfast puffs from Smitten Kitchen. They’re baked rather than fried as most doughnut holes are, which makes up for the fact that they’re dipped in (delicious) brown butter, and if you can make them in a mini muffin pan, they’re the perfect size to get your breakfast going one bite at a time.
If you don’t have buttermilk, make some with a ½ cup of milk and a ½ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. If you don’t want to make buttermilk, don’t add the baking soda (just use the baking powder). Baking soda is activated by the acidity of buttermilk and is otherwise useless.
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing muffin cups
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 2 standard-size muffin tins or 1 to 2 miniature muffin tins, or line cups with paper liners.
Prepare coatings: In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until brown bits form on the bottom and it smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the ⅔ cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare puffs: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in ⅓ of flour mixture, followed by ½ of the buttermilk, repeating again and finishing with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined.
Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling only ¾ of the way. Bake standard sized muffins for 20 to 25 minutes and miniature muffins for 12 to 14 minutes. When finished, puffs will feel springy to the touch and a tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer them in their pan to a wire rack.
When cool enough to handle, remove puffs from the pan and roll the top and upper edges in the browned butter, dragging right through the browned bits on the bottom. Let any excess butter drip off before gently rolling in cinnamon-sugar. Transfer puff to wire rack to set and repeat with remaining puffs. Eat warm.
4. Easy Breakfast Turnovers
For mornings when your eyes are barely open and you need something you can quite literally make with your eyes closed, make these Easy Breakfast Turnovers from Spiced. They employ frozen puff pastry (thawed) and, in a pinch, you can replace the easy homemade filling with something even easier: Good jam right from the jar.
- 1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- 3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup water + 2 tablespoons, divided
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups sour cherries, pitted and halved
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
Directions: To make the apple filling, toss the diced apples, lemon juice and sugar in a medium bowl until apples are well-coated. Grease a sheet pan with the ½ tablespoon butter and spread the apples evenly on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. Let apples cool before filling turnovers.
While the apples are cooking, make the cherry filling. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of water and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined. In a medium saucepan, heat remaining ½ cup of water on medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove mixture from heat and add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir until fully mixed. Add cherries and stir until coated well. Place filling mixture in the refrigerator until cool.
To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until a smooth icing forms.
Now, assemble the turnovers: Lay out one piece of puff pastry dough on the counter. Using a knife or pizza wheel, cut the piece of puff pastry into 4 equally-sized squares. Each square should measure approximately 4½ inches by 4½ inches. Repeat with remaining sheet of puff pastry dough.
Place approximately ⅓ cup of apple or cherry filling in the center of one of the pastry squares, leaving just shy of an inch border. Brush the border with the lightly beaten egg. Place another square of pastry on top and gently press edges together to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges. Repeat with remaining pastry squares. To make triangles, drop a few tablespoons of filling in the middle and drag one corner over to the opposite corner. There will be less filling in each but more turnovers.
Place filled pastry squares on a parchment-lined baking pan, and sprinkle tops of squares with coarse sugar. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 32 to 36 minutes, or until pastry squares are light golden in color. Remove from oven and allow turnovers to cool slightly before drizzling tops with icing.
5. Mixed Berry Dutch Baby
Do you like pancakes but not the process of standing over the stove, waiting to flip each one at just the right time? Do you have an oven-proof pan? If you don’t, get one and make this Dutch baby from Food & Wine. A Dutch baby, or German pancake, is a mix of eggs, flour, and whole milk that starts on the stove as one big pancake, moves to the oven to cook, and then comes out light and puffy and golden delicious. You can make the batter in a blender, which cuts down on whisking effort and aerates the batter more.
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 cups raspberries
- 2 cups blackberries
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderate heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the finely grated lemon zest, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the flour and milk and whisk until smooth. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a blender and give it a good, quick zip. Add 1 cup each of the raspberries and blackberries.
Melt the butter in the skillet and add the batter, spreading the fruit evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for about 22 minutes, until the edges are browned and puffed and the center is lightly browned in spots. Transfer the skillet to a trivet and dust the Dutch baby with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with the remaining fresh berries.
6. Weekend Casual Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
You can make these in a popover pan if you have one, a muffin pan, or you can just double-up some cupcake liners and put them on a cookie sheet like Joy of Joy the Baker did when she was missing her muffin tin. If you’ve never made popovers before, the batter will be very thin and eggy. This is good; the eggs help the popovers to rise, and they do this better when they’re not weighed down by too much flour. Don’t fret. It’s all good.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 12 foil cupcake liners on a rimmed baking sheet and generously spray with nonstick cooking spray or generously spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Generous greasing is important to popping. Set pan aside.
Place melted butter in a small bowl. Mix together ½ cup sugar and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon in a separate small bowl. Set both to the side.
In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk well, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and remaining cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients and whisk together until no lumps remain.
Divide batter between the greased foil liners. Between 3 and 4 tablespoons per foil liner. Don’t overfill — less than half full is perfect.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to cook until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Keep the oven door closed or the popovers will deflate.
Remove from the oven and generously drizzle each warm popover with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle with even more cinnamon sugar. Eat immediately.