Ham or lamb. Hot cross buns. Deviled eggs. And candy. Lots of candy. You really can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true traditional Easter brunch, but if you’re looking to liven it up a bit this year, here are some fresh ideas.
Plan and prepare ahead
First and foremost, save yourself from the Easter morning mayhem by doing as much as you can in advance. Decorating, table setting, even meal preparation can be done the day before. There are so many delicious overnight brunch recipes including baked French toast, casseroles/strata, desserts, fruit salads. For food that can’t be made in advance, you can prepare as much as possible ahead of time – chopping ingredients, making dough, etc.
On Easter day, a buffet is the easiest way to go. Guests won’t mind serving themselves and having a designated table for food will declutter the dining room table. Here’s a short list of menu ideas:
- Omelet Quiche
- Vegetable Frittata
- Cheesy Egg and Potato Breakfast Casserole
- Lemon and Blueberry Scones
- Individual Baked Egg Muffins
- Fruit Salad
- Berry Trifle
For a more casual brunch, consider creating a couple of Charcuterie Brunch Boards – one savory version with hearty meats and cheeses, one a lighter sweet version. Here are some options:
- Bagels and Lox
- Build-Your-Own Waffle/French Toast/Pancake
- Fruits and Nuts
- Peachy Caprese Salad
- Sweet Pastry
Think spring decor
Your tablescape will dazzle guests with a pastel palette full of fresh flowers, pretty pastries, colorful napkins and your best china.
A bouquet centerpiece can be creatively and playfully displayed. Even grocery store flowers will look lovely when paired with a creative container: an Easter basket, floral or silver teapots, a large glass vase filled with water and fruit (i.e., whole or sliced lemons or limes).
You can create an easy DIY vase by placing a medium-sized vase inside a larger glass vase. The interior base will hold water and your floral arrangement. The space between the interior and exterior vases can hold jelly beans – either filled with random colors or layered by color. Other candies – marshmallow peeps/bunnies, little malted robin’s eggs – can be used as well.
As a complement to the centerpiece, each guest could have a mini vase or teacup of flowers at their own place setting. Or – a sweet craft made by children (see the “Include the kids” section below.)
Fresh fruit bouquets are also popular. These are widely available for purchase, or you can make your own with wooden skewers and a base container of your choosing.
A festive fruit tray can be created by using Easter-themed cookie cutters to cut cute rabbit and chick shapes out of slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, etc. Add a side of lemon dip (simply mix an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip, 5 oz. of nonfat Greek yogurt and 3.5 oz. of lemon pudding mix) and your tray is complete.
Make a drink station. This, too, can be largely set up the night before – at least the containers, cups and napkins. In addition to coffee and tea, you can serve fruit-infused water, fresh non-alcoholic drinks, mimosas, and/or Easter brunch punch.
Include the kids
You can enlist the help of your children the day before the party. These sweet crafts are decorative and edible, and will help your children enjoy taking part in the hosting responsibility:
- Marshmallow peep houses – These can be created as an Easter version of the gingerbread house. This delicious and decorative project uses graham crackers and frosting as a base. Gather an assortment of pastel candies and let the children create these miniature displays – one for each guest.
- Quick and easy bird nest cookies – You only need a handful of ingredients:
- 1 can chow mein noodles (approximately 2 ½ cups)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup peanut butter chips
- Mini candy eggs or jelly beans
Melt the chocolate and peanut butter chips in the microwave, stirring frequently. Once the mixture is smooth, add chow mein noodles, stirring until they are completely coated.
Spoon heaping tablespoons on a wax-lined tray. Using the spoon, press into each heap, forming a nest shape.
Add eggs to nests and refrigerate for 10 – 15 minutes.
Include the adults
Easter egg hunts aren’t just for kids! In addition to the traditional children’s hunt, turn the tables and let the kids hide eggs filled with cash, lottery tickets, gift cards, grown-up candy (liquor-filled chocolates, boozy-flavored jelly beans, chocolate miniature bottles), etc.
Enjoy the day
Even if your Easter morning starts way too early for a weekend with excited children looking to see what the bunny brought and/or a sunrise church service, planning ahead can make the whole day special and fun. And while it might not be totally stress-free, the memories will be worth the work.