someone is taking quiche out of oven
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

The Favorite, No-Fail Brunch Recipes These Families Make for Mother’s Day Every Year

published May 5, 2023
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Mother’s Day is often loaded with expectation, whether it’s from the matriarch of honor or just your own self-imposed standards to serve up something spectacular. Restaurant brunch has become a scene, crowded and pricey — not to mention that a restaurant meal with toddlers isn’t always what one would call “relaxing.” Opting to cook at home for the one you love is an excellent way to skip the chaos (well, outside of the typical family shenanigans) and cozy up around the table with the mom figure in your life. Bonus: everyone can stay in PJs.

But if Mom typically handles the cooking, it can be a little intimidating to step into that domain. I chatted with a half dozen people (including my husband!) to get their tried-and-true Mother’s Day recipes. These no-fail favorites will set you up for success to celebrate at home. Just don’t forget to do the dishes!

Basic Quiche

Heather Wagner does not cook on Mother’s Day. She delegates kitchen duty to her husband. “He’s the kind of guy that’s really good at following directions and needs a recipe,” she says. “Having a general recipe where he can add what he wants but still has some direction works for him.” This quiche recipe includes the pie crust and custard base, but leaves the filling up to you. Quiche seems to be one of those dishes that work well for a big audience. Fillings are customizable, and few people can resist the buttery crust. “My 13-year-old son hates eggs but somehow likes quiche so it pleases everyone,” says Wagner. A single dish that pleases the entire family is one of the greatest gifts a mother can get. 

Get the recipe: How to Make the Perfect Quiche from Sally’s Baking Recipes

Credit: Yossy Arefi/Food52

Key Lime Pie 

This key lime pie is a pie for people who don’t know how to make pie. A graham cracker crust is much easier for kitchen newbies to make than a traditional pastry crust, the filling is simple to stir together, but doesn’t compromise at all on flavor. “It’s kid friendly,” Tom Melbourne says of the recipe. “Someone can crush crackers, someone else can squeeze limes. We bake it in the morning while my wife has some time to herself. Then we just put it in the fridge to chill for the day while we do whatever day’s activity she’s picked out.” Knowing you have a slam-dunk dessert ready and waiting to go takes a lot of pressure off of the day. Even if your partner burns the main course or one of the kids has a meltdown during the day trip, it’s nothing a little pie won’t fix.

Get the recipe: Key Lime Pie from Food52

Blender Hollandaise 

The Quayles are big brunch-at-home people. The whole family loves cooking together, and a substantial late morning meal is one of their favorite ways to celebrate. Miles, 18, loves putting together different versions of egg Benedict. His mom is a vegetarian, so he swaps in spinach or avocado for the typical Canadian bacon when making it for her. A croissant base adds a little something extra to the classic brunch favorite. The one component that he keeps classic? Hollandaise, made right in the blender. “It’s easy and so super quick!” On a day you really don’t want to mess up the meal for someone special, leaning on a tried and true favorite is the way to go.

Get the recipe: How to Make Hollandaise Sauce in a Blender

Credit: Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Lemon Cake 

Rebecca Eggert is new to cooking, and prefers to spend her time in the kitchen baking. This classic Ina Garten lemon cake recipe never fails to impress. “I make it all the time and it’s so good!,” says Rebecca Eggert. The buttery and bright pound cake is perfect for a casual backyard Mother’s Day celebration back at her parent’s house. “We usually just do a brunch in the morning and then some type of activity. Sometimes a hike, sometimes just hang out outside and talk,” she says. “It’s usually very simple and laid back!” Bonus: the recipe makes two cakes, perfect for a crowd, or serve one for brunch and save one for your mom to enjoy on her own. Sometimes all a mom wants is a homemade treat she doesn’t have to share with anyone else.

Get the recipe: Lemon Cake from Food Network

Credit: Beyond Frosting

Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake 

Not all moms get the day off on Mother’s Day. “Typically, I cook because I have my mother and mother-in-law to cook for. But it would be so nice to be pampered and have someone else cook for me for once,” says Devin Zettler. But she enjoys spending time cooking and baking, and the spring season has her reaching for strawberries. This strawberry cheesecake poke cake is soaked with both sweetened condensed milk and a homemade strawberry sauce, and topped with cream cheese whipped cream. It’s another recipe that is best to make ahead of time—perfect if you’re heading over to the in-law’s house and need to bring something ready-made.

Get the recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake from Beyond Frosting

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Glazed Roast Turkey

Turkey for spring? Groundbreaking. Larisa Kline’s mother’s favorite meal is Thanksgiving, so she and her sister go for the full spread to celebrate Mother’s Day, sides and all. “My mom absolutely loves this glazed turkey recipe and it’s been a staple ever since I first made it for Thanksgiving three years ago,” says Kline. Bringing it back for the spring is a fun way to celebrate the season, especially when rounding out the meal with another of mom’s favorites: strawberry rhubarb pie. 

Get the recipe: Expertly Spiced and Glazed Roast Turkey from Bon Appétit

Credit: What's Gaby Cooking

Broccolini Fontina Semi-Crustless Quiche 

Katelyn Roser celebrates Mother’s Day with a big family brunch. Making something simple but impressive is her goal for what she considers to be a really special occasion. This easy broccoli and fontina quiche skips making pastry, opting for a quick sprinkle of panko around the pan instead. She often plays around with the filling, using whatever vegetables she has on hand, adding fresh herbs for additional flavor. “The taste is really from the butter and cheese,” she laughs. “It tastes super elevated and fancy without putting in a ton of the work. It also has some real plate-appeal. Plus it feeds a good crew of people and easy to double the recipe.” You can do any veggies you have on hand. Adding herbs (basil, dill, or rosemary) is also a nice touch to make it taste more fresh. She serves it with a fruit salad and mimosas to round out her menu. 

Get the recipe: Broccolini Fontina Quiche from What’s Gaby Cooking

This post was originally published in May 2022.