What’s your favorite way to say “thank you” to your mom? Do you take her to get her nails done, treat her to a massage, or send her flowers? Do you order her favorite lunch, bake her cookies, then offer to do her laundry?
This Mother’s Day, shower your mom (or any maternal figures in your life!) with gestures of your appreciation—starting in the morning with a good, old-fashioned breakfast in bed. Serve her whatever she likes best, be it , ricotta pancakes with maple syrup, or breakfast tacos, with a heaping mug of coffee or tea, of course. If you can’t be with Mom this year, but live nearby, drop off a batch of warm scones or cinnamon rolls and a spring flower arrangement. And of course, many of the moms and motherly figures in our lives are further away, but you can still treat them to something special by mail (cookies are shippable, you know!)
Here are 19 of our favorite Mom-approved recipes—make any or all of them, and she’ll be as pleased as punch:
“How to turn two ingredients into perfect biscuits, in less time than it takes to drink your coffee,” writes Genius columnist Kristen Miglore. “Extra genius points: The formula is so simple, you’ll probably never need to look it up again. Serve them with butter and jam. Or honey. Or dress them like a Mainer, as Hamel recommends: Split them and dribble with cream before topping with berries and whipped cream (Are you counting? That’s 3 creams!). Or embed a sugar cube doused in orange juice in each biscuit before baking, a Southern trick for a sweet, melty core that Hamel also likes. Or add herbs or bacon or cheese.”
“Ooey-gooey and finger-lickin good,” recipe developer Erin McDowell describes. “If you want someone to fall in love with you, make these cinnamon rolls and a really good cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Then sit back and act like it was no big deal while they melt in front of you.”
“This sandwich (like my pork torta) is inspired by a favorite sandwich at ‘the fancy sandwich shop,’ aka Mike and Patty’s in Boston,” recipe developer fiveandspice writes. “They make what they call a breakfast sandwich, and what I call an anytime sandwich. It’s called the green madame, which is kind of an open faced croque madame, with sautéed greens layered in. I decided to try out the idea with some spring alliums; roasted, rather than sautéed, because I thought it would give them some nice, crispy charred bits (it does).”
“This recipe comes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, and appeared in the Times in 1966,” Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser says. “Forty years later, readers are still making the pancake with no less bliss. What keeps cooks faithful to one recipe is often some confluence of ease and surprise. Eyre’s pancake possesses both. A batter of flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg is blended together, then poured into a hot skillet filled with butter and baked. Anyone confused? I didn’t think so. The surprise comes at the end, when you open the oven door to find a poufy, toasted, utterly delectable-looking pancake. It soon collapses as you shower it with confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice, slice it up and devour it. It’s sweet and tart, not quite a pancake and not quite a crepe. But lovable all the same.”
“Crepes are a regular Saturday morning cooking with bedhead kinda thing at our house,” community member Ms. T shares. “Probably because it’s the one breakfast food my husband knows how to cook without asking for guidance.”
“I make these late and often—this is my back-pocket 10-minute meal after a very long day or a longer party,” recipe developer Kenzi Wilbur says. “They’re fast, good food you can eat with your hands. And because tacos often spill at random, you’re allowed to be slightly animalistic about the whole affair—a very good perk, because no one has the energy for manners in the middle of the night. I felt odd making these in a well-lit kitchen and styling them for a camera—they are at their best when cooked by dim, early morning kitchen light, and hastily—but you’ll rectify that for me tonight, won’t you?”
“These pancakes, adapted from Tim Byres of Smoke Restaurant in Dallas, are so tall they’ll make ordinary pancakes look like they’re standing on their tippy toes,” recipe developer Sarah Jampel writes. “They’re so pillowy that I not only dream of them but on them. They’re so crispy that you’ll actually use that knife on your table. The entire top and bottom of these pancakes is what the edges of the standard sort might look like—if you’re lucky (and it’s your birthday, and you’re having a good hair day).”
“This is a riff on shakshuka, the Israeli dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce,” says contributor ieatthepeach. “I love the combination of tomato, mint, and chili, especially with eggs. This is my go-to weeknight meal, because it’s fast, cheap, and flavorful enough to feel really special. You can cook the eggs to whatever doneness you prefer; I like the yolks just barely set, so that they’re still a little runny but don’t dilute the sauce too much.”
“My mom, who churned out many a tasty scone in her day, wasn’t so hot on the idea of rhubarb in scones, ‘too tart, honey.’ Boy was she ever wrong,” contributor Midge writes. “Rhubarb’s tang is the perfect foil for the super rich scone (I subbed heavy cream for the milk and upped the salt in my mom’s recipe, hence the naughty). You almost don’t need jam, but if you went that route, strawberry would be a natural, and clotted cream for the full-on experience.”
“Crusty, hot, and melty chocolate sandwiches make a decadent snack,” recipe developer Alice Medrich writes, “but cut into daintier portions and nestled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, they make a dynamite dessert for company. They’re fun too.”
Additional ideas from the editors:
If yours is the kind of mom that sources fair-trade espresso and stocks “barista blend” milks, bring the fancy coffee shop straight to her bed this Mother’s Day. Start her day off right with this slightly floral, lightly sweetened lavender “latte.”
If you’re not familiar with father-son duo Marcus and MJ Hill, they are basically the experts on bringing Mom breakfast in bed. Their recipe features oats cooked in a mixture of milk and blended strawberries, giving them fruity flavor and a pretty pink hue. Top with a sprinkle of brown sugar and some more fresh strawberries for a sweet treat the whole family will love.
Quiche is a perfect option for holidays because it’s easy to make and impressive to look at. This one feels extra-refined thanks to sweet roasted squash, leeks, and sage, adorned with crispy baked prosciutto.
You can wake up extra early…or you can prep these English muffins up to three days in advance and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. The aroma of freshly griddled-then-baked English muffins will fill your house and prove exponentially more irresistible than the store-bought ones.
Here’s another recipe you can prepare well in advance so breakfast in bed is as easy as slice-and-serve. If you’ve never made Gravlax, or cured salmon, at home, it’s surprisingly simple and super-rewarding. Serve with cream cheese and bagels or the more traditional Danish rye bread.
This traditional German breakfast falls somewhere between a Dutch baby and American pancakes. Sweet apples bake directly into the pancake, creating pockets of custardy batter. Like most handed-down recipes, it’s composed of super-simple ingredients, tastes so much better than the sum of its parts, and should be made with lots of love.
These scones have all the moist tenderness of banana bread with the crunch and munch of perfect scones. If your mom is like me and wishes every baked good has a crispy edge, these scones are like the banana bread equivalent of corner brownies. Serve them to Mom with a cup of coffee and softened butter, or chocolate-hazelnut spread for an extra-sweet treat.
Tight on time? Overslept your alarm? You can still make Mom a hearty breakfast in no time. Especially if you start with these “magic” scrambled eggs from Lady & Pups’s Mandy Lee. They’re ultra-creamy and done in seconds, thanks to one unexpected pantry pull—cornstarch.
Serve creamy scrambled eggs alongside these Genius hash browns that also take just minutes to cook. They capture the essence of the best diner hash browns, all in the comfort of your kitchen. Mom’s breakfast will be ready before the coffee’s even finished brewing.
What are your favorite Mother’s Day traditions? Tell us in the comments below!