How-to Cozy Brunch

By: Elisabeth Allie | January 2 2024

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, doesn't it feel good to just put on some fuzzy slippers and . . . relax? Everyone needs a moment to slow down and reconnect with the things that really matter. But that doesn't mean you need to leave all those warm holiday feelings of togetherness (and delicious food) behind! In fact, now's the perfect time to gather friends and loved ones for a casual brunch, and savor the simple pleasures of a delicious homemade meal made with the best ingredients.

We know that food has the incredible ability to create moments where everyone can share stories, laugh and create bonds that last a lifetime, especially when you use quality ingredients that taste better and are easy to use. Read on for our best stress-free entertainment ideas, including a Pajama Party Buffet Brunch, a Cozy Potluck Brunch, and an Easy Brunch made with our baking mixes! Also, as someone who has actually cooked at a bed and breakfast (and thrown a few brunches in my time), I have advice on how to keep the food piping hot without a lot of effort.

Pajama Party Buffet Brunch

Cozy Oats Extra Thick


Oats Bar with Toppings
Waffle Bar with Toppings
Smoothie Station
Scrambled Eggs
Bacon or Breakfast Meat of Choice

What could be better than rolling out of bed and eating a leisurely yet sumptuous brunch? Inviting all your friends over to join in, of course! Encourage guests to come over in their comfiest jammies and help themselves to a buffet brunch featuring all their favorite toppings. Here are three tips to take the stress out of a buffet:

  1. Set your stage: Gather your casserole dishes, food warmers, toppings dishes and whatever tabletop appliances you'll need beforehand and place on a large table or countertop; if possible, arrange it so that people can reach the food from both sides
  2. Have essentials within reach: Set up a stack of plates (real or paper), napkins and utensils at the front of the line, and don't forget serving spoons for all your dishes
  3. Make as much food ahead of time as possible: This is the best way to avoid stress on brunch day: cook up your oatmeal and bacon or breakfast meat ahead of time to reheat, chop and portion out your toppings, and crack and scramble all those eggs into a large container for the fridge.

Waffle Bar with Toppings

Bob's Red Mill OatsOur premium-quality whole grain oats make the ultimate cozy oatmeal, with quality you can see and taste. They're not only delicious and incredibly versatile, but also a good source of fiber. You can easily cook up a batch in about 10 minutes large enough to feed a crowd—find our quick and simple basic prep here—and offer toppings like brown sugar, fresh and dried fruit, sliced nuts and creamy peanut butter. Don't forget the savory toppings! We also love to top our bowls with chili crunch, sauteed spinach and a fried egg.

Did you know we have 36 varieties of oats to choose from? Our Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats are an excellent choice for a crowd. These classic oats are hearty and delicious, plus people with celiac or a gluten intolerance can enjoy them, too! Or fuel your loved ones with our supercharged Protein Oats. Grown from a special hull-less variety, it’s one simple ingredient—whole grain rolled oats—with up to 60% more protein* than regular oats.

While we love pancakes, there's something special about hot, crisp waffles fresh off the griddle. Plus, the little pockets hold toppings so well! We've taken our 40+ years of experience with our high-quality ingredients and expertly blended them to create our line of convenient, delicious pancake and waffle mixes. Read on to learn more!

Smoothie BowlFor irresistible waffles that are incredibly easy to make, reach for our Homestyle Pancake & Waffle Mix. Made with our famous flour and real buttermilk and eggs, you just need to add water and oil for mouthwatering waffles that taste just like homemade.

Have friends with special dietary needs? No problem. Our Gluten Free and Paleo Waffle & Pancake Mixes are made with trusted pantry staples and are a breeze to use. Heat up your waffle iron and cook them off as folks arrive, or make a batch ahead of time and keep them warm on a baking sheet, covered in foil, in a low oven.

Coffee and mimosas are classic brunch drinks, but we also love a good smoothie station! While we have dozens of recipes for protein-packed smoothies, we suggest you start with a versatile base like this Smoothie Bowl with our Almond Protein Powder, made with the highest quality blanched almonds, finely ground to a creamy powder that blends up perfectly. Have guests sprinkle on power-packed add-ons like Organic Chia Seeds, Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts or our crunchy Homestyle Granola.

Other smoothie add-in faves: toasted coconut, avocado, cocoa powder and crushed nuts.

Cozy Potluck Brunch

Scrambled Egg Muffins


Scrambled Egg Muffins
Cherry Sweet Rolls
Cheesy Polenta Casserole with Gorgonzola
Fines Herbes Quiche
Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake

Making and eating meals together creates a sense of community and strengthens relationships, so why not throw a Cozy Potluck Brunch and let your guests join in on the fun (and share some of the work)? But first, some ground rules:

  1. Have a sign-up sheet: Get on Google Sheets or something similar and create a spreadsheet, so everyone can post what they're bringing (and you can avoid menu overlap)
  2. Offer suggestions: Post recipe suggestions or categories (sweet, savory, fruit, beverages), and (IMPORTANT!) encourage everyone to make their dishes at home beforehand, so you don't have six people crowding around your stove
  3. Make it easy: Not everyone has the skills or time to cook, so make sure to list cups and napkins, drinks, and other non-food essentials guests can bring

For a complete protein-packed breakfast in portable form, choose Scrambled Egg Muffins! These savory cornbread muffins are made with Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour and our stone ground Medium Grind Cornmeal and filled with creamy scrambled eggs, ham, corn and cheese. They're especially delicious with a drizzle of warm maple syrup.

Cherry Sweet Rolls Need something sweet? These Cherry Sweet Rolls are made with buttery brioche dough wrapped around sweet-tart canned cherries (no fuss, no muss). The moderate protein content of our Organic Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour creates unforgettably fluffy, tender rolls. Top them off with a cherry cream cheese frosting for some extra "wow."

Is it really a potluck without a casserole? I don't think so. Of course, I'll take any excuse to make this indulgently creamy Cheesy Polenta Casserole with Gorgonzola, made with our authentic Yellow Corn Polenta. Flavored with onion and mixed with eggs, parmesan and rich blue cheese, it's coziness in a Pyrex pan.

We love versatile, cozy dishes like quiche! With our easy-to-use Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix, you can whip up a Fines Herbes Quiche whenever you need delicious comfort food. This version includes white onion, gruyere and fresh herbs, but you can also keep it simple and add whatever cheese, charcuterie, or veggies you already have on hand (note: I wrote extensively on this subject several years ago).

Finally, this Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake is sweet, crunchy and so easy! Made with our expertly blended Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and topped with a cinnamon-brown sugar streusel featuring Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats and our top-notch Almond Flour, it's bright with tangy blueberries and tart lemon zest.

My final tip for potlucks: make sure everyone labels their casserole dishes and takes them home afterward!

Easy Brunches Are in the Mix

Easy Classic Sausage Balls


Banana Bread 
Easy Classic Sausage Balls
Easiest Sheet Pan Pancakes 
Gluten Free Impossible Quiche
Gluten Free Skillet Cinnamon Roll

I cannot deny that there is one stressful aspect of brunching that's tough to sidestep—having to take all of your ingredients out of your cabinets and measure, mix and pour as you cook, destroying your kitchen in the process. I've been there! My countertops have been covered with that film of flour and goodness-knows-what even after I wiped them down! So this cozy brunch eliminates that step by with Bob's Red Mill's easy, excellent, delicious baking mixes. They're all made with high-quality pantry ingredients you could reach for yourself, but we've done the measuring and mixing to create the ideal taste and texture, so you can keep the dry ingredient explosions to a minimum.

Banana Bread Sheet Pan Pancakeshas had quite the resurgence in the last few years: we've all been making it! But I especially love this version, made with our Gluten Free Muffin Mix. All you need to add is water, bananas and eggs (optional: toasted walnuts) for tender, delicious banana bread in about an hour.

Easy Classic Sausage Balls are another cozy brunch favorite. Three ingredients—Gluten Free Biscuit & Baking Mix, breakfast sausage and shredded cheese—combine to make savory, juicy sausage balls to share! This baking mix is an especial favorite around the mill due to its versatility: made with our expertly crafted blend of gluten free flours, it's also perfect for biscuits, pancakes, waffles, coffee cake, casseroles and more.

Flapjacks on their own are pretty easy, but these Easiest Sheet Pan Pancakes take the (pan)cake! Made with Homestyle Pancake & Waffle Mix, this just-add-water marvel contains real buttermilk, eggs and butter. Just mix with water and pour into a baking sheet for fluffy, tender pancakes bursting with homemade taste in just 20 minutes.

Remember the quiche I mentioned earlier? We have something even easier: Gluten Free Impossible Quiche, made with our excellent Gluten Free Pancake Mix. This is the perfect dish to use up all the goodies hanging out in your fridge like cooked sausage, sauteed veggies and cheese. Note: make sure your veggies and meat are thoroughly cooked before you mix them in, to avoid a soggy quiche!

Gluten Free Skillet Cinnamon RollWhen it comes to "easy" brunch dishes, our Gluten Free Skillet Cinnamon Roll does take a little more time than the other menu options, but wow is it worth it! This giant, show stopping cinnamon roll is made with our Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix and finished with a delectable coffee glaze. I mean, making one giant roll is less work than lots of little rolls, right? Let me know.

Keep It Cozy and Warm

Now you've got a lovely, casual brunch planned and are looking forward to being surrounded by family and loved ones, enjoying the moment and sharing tasty food made with the best ingredients. But there's one more thing to consider, especially if you're having a buffet: how will you keep the food warm and tasting its best? I have three suggestions:

  1. Use hot water/your oven: If you're keeping, say, waffles warm in a casserole dish, fill the casserole with boiling water beforehand and let it heat up for 5-10 minutes. Then drain, dry and fill with your piping hot food. Keep covered to keep things warm as long as possible! You can also keep your oven set to 200°F and place your oven-safe dishes, covered, inside to stay warm without drying out. This method is great if you don't entertain often and don't want to invest in special equipment, but it can create a bottleneck of people coming into the kitchen to serve themselves from the oven.
  2. Bring out the small appliances: This can be anything from a preheated slow cooker to an electric three-compartment food warmer/buffet server. These are very convenient because you can place them on your serving table, set a temperature and walk away. However, you should have quality extension cords and either floor mats or gaffer's tape on hand to secure the electrical cords to the floor and avoid trip and fall accidents (definitely not cozy).
  3. Chafing dishes: These are my favorite! I have several of these chafing dish buffet sets on hand, and they are convenient for several reasons: they are heated with canned heat, so there are no electrical cords; you can cook dishes right in the foil pans and place them into the racks; they are very budget friendly; and if you clean them thoroughly, you can recycle the foil pans. Just keep tiny fingers away from the open flames, and make sure to extinguish them thoroughly when the party's over.

We hope these cozy brunch tips open up a world of casual entertaining for you and your loved ones. With a little planning and some excellent ingredients, you can create amazing memories and keep the warmth of the holidays going all year long.

Do you have any brunch tips to share? Post them below!


  1. Sylvia Daniels
    Almond Pancakes
  2. Collin Ansell
    Collin Ansell
    Have you made Bagels with the 1 to 1 Bob’s 1 to 1 gf flour? If so can you share the recipe. Thanks
    1. Ashley Morris
      Ashley Morris
      Hi Collin, we have not made bagels with that flour but we have with our Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour.

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