Make-Ahead Easter Brunch Recipes to Sweeten the Holiday

Our make-ahead brunch menu features easy, delicious recipes everyone will love.

With the hurry-scurry of egg hunts and activities, Easter morning can be hectic. But bake, slow-cook, and prep these Easter menu ideas in advance and you'll have more time for the fun—and for sleep the night before. Featuring seasonal ingredients and holiday all-stars like carrots and ham, these Easter brunch recipes include ideas for appetizers, entrées, and desserts that are sure to please. All you'll need to do on Easter morning is put on a pot of coffee and relax.

pink gold table setting
Carson Downing

Make-Ahead Easter Brunch Menu

Build your Easter brunch menu with these easy recipes for the most relaxed holiday meal you've ever made. No one will guess you've prepared everything ahead of time.

Appetizer: Peach-Prosciutto Cornmeal Muffins

Fresh or frozen peaches are the star of these salty-sweet Easter muffins. Stir together the cornmeal batter and add the peaches and chopped prosciutto before baking. You can make these the night before, or keep the baked muffins in the freezer for up to three months. When you're ready to serve, thaw them overnight in the fridge, then all that's left to do is warm them.

Main Dish: Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole

Monte Cristo, a mash-up of powdered sugar-dusted French toast and a ham and cheese sandwich, is the inspiration behind this casserole recipe. If you don't feel like baking a whole roast leg of lamb or a spiral ham, this showy dish can more than handle the spotlight as a centerpiece. Build it the night before the holiday meal, refrigerate, then pop it in the oven as you enjoy your appetizers.

Main Dish: Cherry-Cola Ham

Here are the top three reasons we can't get enough of this best make-ahead brunch recipe:

  • It requires just 20 minutes of prep time before an overnight shift in the slow cooker.
  • A splash of soda offers just enough sweetness to balance the salty pork.
  • It can feed a big crowd (like really big: our Cherry-Cola Ham makes 20-24 servings!).

Dessert: Coconut-Pecan Coffee Cake

With chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, and a moist sour cream crumb, we're deeming this coffee cake more dessert than bread. Regardless of what category you think this make-ahead Easter brunch recipe lands in, you'll be convinced once you see the scrumptious ingredient list—and the fact that it can be made up to a day before and cooled on a wire rack.

Test Kitchen Tip: Present the coconut coffee cake on a pretty round white platter, then, for a final flourish at the table, dust it with powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Dessert: Zucchini-Carrot Cake

No Easter brunch feels complete without cake. And why not a spring carrot cake? Our festive honey and cream cheese-frosted version contains shredded zucchini and chopped pecans for more nutrition and flavor. The result is a delicious confection that tastes like a mix of zucchini-nut bread and carrot cake. The photo-worthy marzipan carrots and fresh mint leaves push this cake into must-make territory. Prepare and bake the cake on Saturday, then frost and "plant" the decorations Sunday morning before your brunch guests arrive.

Drink: Carrot Mexican Mule

While the kids sort through their Easter basket treats, the over-21 crowd can sip carrot-infused mules. To mix this cocktail recipe for six ahead of time, muddle a dozen rosemary springs and 12 fresh-sliced jalapeños in a pitcher. Pour in 1 ½ cups of carrot juice, 1 ½ cups of silver tequila, and a ½ cup plus one tablespoon of lime juice. Stir well and refrigerate up to a couple of hours. When cocktail-o'clock rolls around, strain the mix into six ice-filled copper mugs and top them off with ginger beer. Cheers to a picture-perfect Easter!

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