Hosting brunch doesn't have to be stressful! A build-your-own bagel bar simplifies hosting a breakfast party, and only you'll know how easy it is.

By BH&G Holiday Editors
Updated June 17, 2019
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Gather friends for a laid-back bagel brunch. Use our fun (and affordable!) ideas for throwing the ultimate summer brunch—including a free party kit filled with delicious brunch recipes and printable invites. We're also sharing our best bagel-theme recipes, including self-serve toppers and spreads. Plus, get our best tips for setting up the perfect DIY coffee bar!

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Build Your Brunch

This is the easiest recipe for morning entertaining: Buy a stack of bagels, set out a spread of toppings, and brew some coffee. All you'll need is one large platter and a few mugs! To throw this brunch on a low budget, add purchased cream cheese and inexpensive toppings to individual jars and bowls for an upscale look; your guests will never know!

The Spread

Fill your bagel bar with both savory and sweet toppings, including a few quick stir-together cream cheese toppers. Toppings like sliced deli meats and homemade smoked salmon, everything bagel seasoning, thinly sliced fresh fruits and veggies, capers, and fresh herbs will help each guest build their ideal breakfast bagel. And rather than purchasing individual packages of flavored cream cheese, pick up a large tub of original and create your own flavorful spreads by adding your own ingredients.

Try these creative cream cheeses:

  • Berry + Cinnamon: Cream cheese, finely chopped berries, honey, and cinnamon.
  • Garden Veggie: Cream cheese, finely shredded carrot, chopped sweet pepper, chopped green onions, garlic, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Onion-Chive: Cream cheese, chopped green onions, snipped fresh chives, onion powder, and garlic.
  • Maple-Spiced Pumpkin: Cream cheese, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice.

DIY Bagel Pizzas

Use grilled biscuit dough or bagel halves to create individual bagel pizzas for each guest. If you're hosting the gathering outside, have each guest prep their own mini "pizza" with whatever toppings they like, then add it to the grill for a few minutes.

Creative Coffee Cart

A self-serve coffee station means everyone can fix their coffee just the way they like it. Have a pot of hot coffee ready to go when guests arrive, and make sure to include a selection of homemade flavored creamers, half-and-half, and sweet stir-ins like honey. While some guests take just a dash of creamer or sugar, others might be looking for something more flavorful.

Jam On

A delicious fruity jam is the perfect bagel topper and makes a sweet take-home party treat. Whip up a batch or two of our homemade jam and jelly recipes and stash each one in a small mason jar. Set out a few during breakfast, then after brunch, send each guest home with their own jar.

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