There is nothing like waking up at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas, tearing open presents, sharing in the joy and the excitement of all the new toys, lounging around in your pajamas and new slippers from Santa…. and then realizing that you have a whole crowd of people waiting for you to serve them with a spectacular and special holiday breakfast. Cereal just ‘aint cutting it on Christmas morning.
Growing up we always had Belgian waffles. It was our Christmas morning tradition, and quite delicious I might add! Now that I have my own family and we are figuring out what traditions we like I am falling in love with overnight breakfast bakes. They are perfect for busy mornings and yet still feel like a special treat. Especially when you make one that also could easily double as dessert. Seriously, I don’t know how cinnamon rolls slipped through as a breakfast food but somehow it is socially acceptable to eat frosted cake for breakfast. And I decided to add in some apple pie filling, because why not? It’s the holidays!
This meal really couldn’t be any easier to put together. It is all prepared the night before and then in the morning all you have to do is place it in the oven to bake. The result is one tasty, warm and gooey breakfast that the entire family is sure to love. It is good enough to serve to company when family and friends come to visit and takes away any stress you might feel in hosting breakfast!
You probably already have the basic ingredients in your kitchen, and the two main ingredients are found in pretty much every grocery store. Frozen cinnamon rolls and apple pie filling.
I really love Rhodes Rolls, so of course I had to use their cinnamon rolls in this recipe. And I chose to use sugar-free apple pie filling because there is already a lot of sweetness in the recipe (and I had it in my pantry. :) )
The night before, cut the frozen rolls into fourths and spread evenly among the bottom of a greased baking dish. Spoon the apple pie filling over the cinnamon roll pieces.
In a mixing bowl combine milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the cinnamon rolls and apple filling and then cover with plastic wrap. You can put the frosting that comes with the rolls in the fridge to be used later. Place the baking dish in the fridge as well to sit overnight where the rolls will begin to thaw and rise. Your prep work is now done!
In the morning remove the plastic wrap and bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. When done the top of the rolls will have the slightest little crisp while the bottom is fluffy and gooey. And I know you may be looking at this picture and think that it looks burnt, but don’t worry. It isn’t. When you cut the rolls into pieces you expose the “inside” of the rolls with all the cinnamon and it carmelizes into a super yummy topping with a deep, rich color. It isn’t crunchy or burnt or anything except tasty.
While the breakfast bake is still warm drizzle with the cream cheese frosting or your favorite maple syrup. Or both! Remember, it is the holidays!
Serve with a big glass of cold milk and some tasty berries on the side. This breakfast is perfect for Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, or just when you want to serve your family a special treat. I hope you enjoy it as much we all do!