Ask the Readers: How do I make a fresh-baked breakfast without spending an hour each morning to do so?

Stephanie emailed me yesterday with this question:

I just read your Baking Day entries. I have a question that I hope you can answer. I see where you are baking things to last for a couple of weeks and was wondering if you have any suggestions about how to save time when someone like me has a very picky husband and 15-year-old son who only like fresh stuff (pancakes, muffins, etc.)?

Do you have any suggestions on how to make my "fresh baked" things any more time-saving? Would the pancake batter or muffin batter still taste the same if I refrigerated it the night before and just put it in the oven the next morning at 4:30 a.m. (my husband leaves for work at 5:30 a.m.)?

First off, I'd encourage you to perhaps discuss with your husband/son the possibility of making some fresh stuff and some frozen and re-heated stuff each week. Maybe that's not an option, but maybe you could come to a happy medium that works for everyone?

Secondly, there are many batter recipes which can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, and then used in the morning. I'd experiment with some of your favorite muffin, pancake, waffle, and french toast batter recipes and see how they work. You might even try make a double batch up and using it for two mornings. (See some muffins recipes here to get started with ideas.)

Other recipes which work well being made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight are coffee cakes, french toast, and breakfast casseroles. You might also consider using your crockpot.

To further speed up the preparation of these recipes the night before,
if you have a block of 30 minutes sometime, you might consider putting
together baking mixes with the dry ingredients from your favorite
muffin, pancake, coffee cake, and waffle recipes. If you know you like the recipe
and you'll be making it a lot, you might as well mix up a bunch to have
on hand!

Personally, if I were in your shoes and my husband left for work at 5:30 a.m., I'd likely come up with a plan where some mornings we'd do cold cereal, some mornings we'd do toast and eggs, some mornings we'd do something like waffles or coffeecake that I'd made up the night before. This way, we'd be having a nice variety of breakfasts–some which were fresh-baked–but I wouldn't have to get up an hour ahead of time or more to get them on the table!

Those are just a few of my ideas, I'd love to hear other readers' helpful input on Stephanie's question. Perhaps some of you are in a similar situation and can give some practical advice as to what has worked for you? Or if you have any delicious recipes which can be made overnight and refrigerated, please do share those as well!

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  1. Gabrielle Blake says

    A few ideas–bacon fried up on the weekend can be stored in the fridge and heated in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Tastes great.

    Frozen muffins heated in a toaster oven taste more fresh from the oven.

    The dry ingredients to baked items can be made ahead of time to save some time in the mornings.

    I use the soaked oatmeal idea and have oatmeal in 3 minutes in the morning served with butter and maple syrup.

    Breakfast casseroles and stratas can be made the night before and put in the oven in the morning.

  2. Natalie from Nashville says

    How about taking defrosted muffins and “toasting” them on a buttered griddle? My favorite breakfast cafe at the beach does this, and it’s a hit!

  3. says

    I make a double batch of waffle batter on the weekends. (My husband leaves incredibly early too) I prepare all the waffles with my waffle iron and freeze them idividually on plates for an hour or so in the freezer. This way they won’t stick together in a ziploc bag. The way I make them taste fresh (after being frozen)…..I make pumpkin waffles. I add 1/2 can of pure pumpkin puree to the batter with a little cinnamon and nutmeg to your liking. This not only smells great, it adds wonderful vitamins too. Somehow, when you pull one or two out and reheat them in the toaster, it seems fresh. Maybe its the smell combined with warm pure maple syrup over the pumpkin waffle. It’s great, easy and fast for all of us when we are in a hurry. It takes awhile to make them all on a Sunday afternoon, but so worth it when my husband needs something warm for breakfast. Pumpkin waffles and fruit – a healthy warm meal!

  4. Stephanie says

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and ideas! I can’t wait to sit down and really read through these well. You all are so helpful and I greatly appreciate it!



  5. says

    Not sure if this has been mentioned, but I make huge batches of muffin mix, put it in the Reynold’s foil muffin cups and then freeze them. We just pull out how many we want, pop ’em in the oven, warm it up to 350 and bake for an additional 18 minutes or so, and they’re done. Easy and delicious. Our favorite is Morning Glory Muffins, which are pretty time consuming to make, but we can have them a lot more often this way!

  6. says

    Here is a crock pot recipe we use – esp. during holidays..

    Title: Breakfast Casserole

    This is great when you need a breakfast for a bunch – just put it in the crockpot overnight and get up to breakfast made in the morning.

    a.. 12 eggs
    b.. 1 32 oz bag of frozen hash brown potatoes — partially thawed
    c.. 1 LB of bacon cut into small pieces — fried and drained
    d.. 1/2 cup diced onions
    e.. 3/4 LB. diced or shredded cheddar cheese
    f.. 1 cup milk
    g.. 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
    h.. salt and pepper to taste

    As if you were making lasagna, layer your ingredients as such (bottom to top):
    1. potatoes
    2. bacon
    3. onions
    4. cheese
    5. potatoes
    6. bacon
    7. onions
    8. cheese
    Now, beat the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper together. Pour this over the whole mixture. Cook on low in crock pot on low for ten to twelve hours. When I made it, I bought the hash browns that had onions and peppers in it and didn’t add the onion. I thought it turned out good that way

    Number Of Servings:12 or more

    I realize your family has a problem with “frozen” items, but…The lady who gave me the recipe said she takes the left-overs and wraps it in tortillas & freezes them for breakfast burritos on busy mornings. We’ve tried it -freezing just the leftovers and when ready to eat, wrapping in tortillas and warming and can’t tell a difference between that and fresh! Good Luck!

  7. Robyn says

    I have the world’s best quicky, healthy, stick-to-their-ribs breakfast thing that I personally can’t live without; mini quiche. I make a custard with eggs or Egg Starts (the Costco version of Egg Beaters) and either half-and-half or heavy cream, seasoned with salt, white pepper, mustard powder and a little freshly ground nutmeg. Then I fill my silicone muffin pans (sprayed like mad with nonstick spray) with whatever yummy stuff I feel like; some kind of protein, a veggie or green, and some cheese, and fill to the top with the custard, and bake until it’s just set and the top is bubbly and puffed.

    My favorite combo is maple-glazed bacon, green chili and goat cheese, and husbo likes Canadian bacon, pepper jack and green onion, but I try to use up whatever little pieces of cheese or the last of the herbs that are hanging around in the frig. Great “refrigerator velcro”, as Alton Brown would say.

    I freeze most of them 2 at a time in individual baggies and stack in the freezer, and put a few days’ worth in the frig so they’re ready to go. I usually make enough to last a couple weeks at a shot, and then ‘wave them on a paper plate and run out the door; you can eat them like muffins while you’re driving to work. I’m a pastry chef, and I need PROTEIN to get me up and at ’em early in the morning, and last me until early afternoon, at least, and these do the trick. I work at Dean & Deluca, and the exec chef told me I should go into business making these, he LOVES them. They are Dee-licious, low in carbs (no crust), and easy-peasy to make ahead. No man in his right mind would refuse them!

  8. Kim Henderson says

    I make my husband breakfast biscuits & freeze them individually. The night before, I take one out of the freezer & put it in the fridge. Then, in the morning, he just pops it in the microwave for 35 seconds. Voila! Hot, filling and cheap! I make batches of about 40 – 50 at a time. Scratch biscuits, egg (which I bake on a cookie sheet w/a bit of milk – easy to cut into squares), cheese and either bacon or sausage.

  9. Emily C says

    Whole wheat batters taste better after sitting for a while in the fridge–you get fluffier pancakes and waffles.

  10. natalie says

    Make an egg, cheese and english muffin sandwich the night before and then just nuke it in the morning.
    Breakfast stratas are great, too.
    You layer a 13*9 pan w/english muffins or bread, mix 8 eggs, 1 cup of milk, about 1 cup shredded cheese and some veggies of your choice, soak overnight, bake in the am about 350 for 45 mins or until set.

  11. says

    I have a great recipe for Raisin Bran Muffins – the batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks so that you can make them fresh in the morning. It makes a gallon plastic ice cream “bucket” about 4/5 full. I’ll be glad to share the recipe with anyone – just e-mail me. (I think you can get my e-mail address by clicking on my name and looking at my profile.) blessings, marlene

  12. Kristin Gjertsen says

    I had to smile when I read this post. For many years, cooking breakfast for my husband was a daily problem. He is very choosy about what he will eat. If the eggs, bacon, sausage, or biscuits weren’t exactly to his taste, he wouldn’t eat them. If he wasn’t hungry, he would walk out the door leaving the food to get cold on the table and a wife who felt her labors weren’t appreciated. I finally got smart and realized that he wasn’t a morning person and this daily fiasco was not a criticism of my homemaking skills. I also knew that he loved meeting friends for breakfast at a little deli near his office. Now I send him out the door with a kiss and a smile and he eats breakfast with the guys before work.
    Spending $25 a week on breakfast out isn’t exactly frugal, but as my Momma used to say, “it is cheaper than marriage counseling!”

  13. Melodie says

    My husband doesn’t like me getting up before him. Makes him feel lonely waking up, I guess. And that’s fine with me. Only thing is, when he gets up, he’s hungry right away. So we always opt for cold cereal breakfasts. He doesn’t like waiting even a few minutes for eggs and bacon. Once we’re out of bed, we go right down to eat. And since I’m not really a morning person, it really helps me wake up slowly and gently the way I like to instead of groggily stressing out over cooking up a big meal first thing.

    All our fresh baked breakfasts are at dinner if and when we have them. Makes a nice dinner choice anyway. And the kids love it.

  14. Faith Dossett says

    I just wanted to let you know how inspiring MSM and Biblical Womanhood are to me. I’m a 59-year-young WAHGM (Work at Home GrandMother); I discovered Biblical Womanhood about 1-1/2 years ago, then MSM; I bought some ebooks for my DIL and we’re both hooked on you! We check your blogs daily and speak of you and your family as if you are our family. When I found out that you are pregnant, we were so excited. Keep up the good work!

  15. says

    This is what works for us. And now that the family knows what day it is, they know what breakfast they are eating.

    Muffin Monday – I made a big batch of banana chocolate chip and froze them. I prefer nuts over chocolate chips, but I’m not a breakfast eater and if a few chocolate chips sneaks bananas and whole wheat into my boys, I’ll sacrifice. Muffins vs. bread makes it portable if necessary.
    Toasty Tuesday – This has been thick slices of homemade toasted sourdough with butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. This is the easiest to make as the sourdough is usually on hand and surprisingly, for it’s simplicity, it’s one of the best.
    Waffle Wednesday – Again, I made a large batch, flash froze them, and we just pop in the toaster. The boys eat them plain, so they make great on the go food.
    Thinkin’ Oatmeal Thursday – Baked oatmeal, cut, flash frozen and just nuked for a minute. My boys like it with peanut butter on top.
    Flapjack Friday – Same deal. Made a lot and froze. Nuke and eat. I make these small and again, my boys eat them plain, so they are portable.
    Cereal Saturday and Cereal Sunday.

    Bye Bye Battle over Breakfast.

  16. Maranda says

    I really like the crescent wrap idea….have to try that! Anyway, I usually put a couple of the frozen biscuits in my convection oven for about 20 minutes, or just make toast. In the meantime, I use a small bowl, spray it with some Pam, crack an egg, stick in the microwave for about 45 seconds…Works like a charm! Also, I will usually buy the frozen sausage patties at Wal-Mart so I can just throw them in the microwave as well.

  17. says

    Well, I do not cook breakfast…..except on special occasions. The main reason is that it makes my job so much harder, so i would hold a family meeting and let them know your concerns and see what solutions they have. If my 15 year old was the complainer, I would let him be in charge of breakfast from now on, or at least a couple weeks, or they would get something simple like oatmeal or scrambled eggs and toast.

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