Christmas morning Pancake Breakfast Casserole

Published 4:20 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

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The excitement of Christmas morning is usually a joyous and chaotic occasion, with wrapping paper and boxes strewn about and family members still in pajamas in a happy but sleepy-delirious state. At least that is what my cherished Christmas memories look like. Once the exhilaration of opening gifts has passed, hunger usually hits me hard! Thank goodness my mother is always ready with a breakfast casserole she prepared the night before, and warmed it in the oven while the morning activities commenced. 

Christmas morning breakfast casseroles are a southern tradition that was clearly established by an intelligent and efficient southern belle back in the day, and we are all immensely grateful to her. I typically prefer an egg, hashbrown and ground turkey style breakfast casserole, but I came across a delectable and sweet pancake casserole that children and adults alike will be delighted to dig into. 

The Food Network said what makes the breakfast pancakes extra special is baking them in a rich, creamy custard. You can cook and freeze the pancakes ahead of time, just defrost them before using them in the casserole preparation. Join in with me this Christmas and try a new breakfast casserole!

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the dish and serving)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup (for serving)
  • Blueberries (for serving)



  • Butter an eight inch square baking dish; set aside. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a microwave-safe small bowl or liquid measure and microwave for 30 seconds to one minute to melt the butter.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, three tablespoons of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, two of the eggs and the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Melt a little of the remaining butter in the pan. For each pancake, spoon 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown and small bubbles appear on the top, two to three minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about two minutes. If the pancakes brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low. Transfer the pancakes to a plate as finished. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding more butter to the pan as necessary. (You should have at least 12 pancakes.)
  • Whisk together the half-and-half, vanilla, the remaining five eggs and three tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  • Shingle the pancakes in the prepared baking dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the pancakes. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least eight hours up to overnight to allow the pancakes to soak in the custard.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap, and bake the casserole until it feels firm yet springy to the touch in the center and the custard is set, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with maple syrup, blueberries and pats of butter.

May your Christmas morning be sweet and pan-caky!