a breakfast platter of bagel chips, lox, cucumbers, dill, red onions, and capers for an everything bagel and nova panzanella
Photo by Heami Lee

40 Recipes to Make Your Mother Proud for Once

Mother's Day might look different this year, but here are some ideas for your upcoming Zoom brunch (which is a better gift than flowers).

Guess what! Mother’s Day is this Sunday! You didn’t know that?! Same! [*laughs nervously*] It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s totally fine. This year, Mother's Day might look different for those of us who are used to getting to spend IRL quality time with our moms. (And as usual, we know that Mother's Day isn't for everyone, in which case, why not treat yourself to a pizza?)

Whether you're able to see your family or simply having Mother's Day brunch over Zoom, your mom is probably too cool for crappy pancakes and limp bacon, anyway. In the absence of overpriced breakfast buffets and long lines at just about every trendy brunch spot, you can make a special Mother's Day meal at home—which is, by the way, where you can always have bottomless mimosas on the menu.

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If you can't see each other (and since it's probably too late to send flowers), send a brunch-vibe playlist—try Bruce Springsteen's "The Wish" if you really wanna make her cry—or pen her a heartfelt letter about how much she means to you despite how terrible you are sometimes, like Lil Wayne did that one time. Whether it's for Mother's Day or anytime you need a special brunch pick-me-up, these recipes will make your morning.

Mochi French Toast Recipe

If you thought French toast was A Lot, chef Lucas Sin has somehow figured out how to kick it up like, two more notches. His French toast is stuffed with mochi ice cream and finished with even more ice cream and syrup—not your everyday French toast, but a special occasion French toast.

Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese Migas Recipe

Migas is a dish that's usually made with eggs and leftover corn tortillas. In this definitely-not-traditional riff on migas, we tore apart an everything bagel and covered it with all the usual fixings.

Homemade Bagels Recipe

Homemade Bagels Recipe

If it's your first time making bagels, maybe Mother's Day isn't the best time to mess around with it. Or hey… is it? Because even if they don't turn out perfect, Mom will appreciate the extra effort.

Perfect Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Waffles are a good food, and fried chicken is a good food. Put 'em together and celebrate your mom and the genius who thought to combine them in the first place.

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Jalapeño Popper Monkey Bread Recipe

Monkey bread is the kind of food that keeps you coming back for "just one more bite." That's the even more the case with this savory, jalapeño popper-inspired cheesy bread.

Crab Eggs Benedict Recipe

There's not much to say about eggs Benedict, other than that it's a brunch classic for a reason. We love this crab version, especially because you can't mess up the easy blender hollandaise sauce.

Traditional Shrimp and Grits Recipe

It takes some time and some patience to make the creamiest grits you've ever had—just like all the time and patience your nice old mom put into raising you.

Balsamic Baked Pears Recipe

A little sweet, a little savory, and a little tart. These baked pears are perfect as a brunch appetizer.

French Toast Toad-in-the-Hole Recipe

Two of the best breakfasts mashed into one because it’s Mother’s Day, and mom shouldn’t have to choose between her faves.

Cinnamon Buns Recipe

None of that popping cinnamon rolls out of a cardboard tube stuff today. Mom deserves warm, gooey cinnamon buns from scratch, with plenty of icing.

Waffles and Caviar Recipe

Waffles and Caviar Recipe

Make Mother’s Day brunch both swanky as hell and whimsical, by swapping the traditional buckwheat mini-pancakes for waffles to serve your average, everyday caviar on.

Creamed Eggs Recipe

Dry scrambled eggs will not impress mom. Creamy, perfectly slow-cooked eggs, however, get you that coveted favorite child slot.

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Maple Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy Recipe

Take the extra step of making these maple cheddar biscuits from scratch, and your breakfast spread will seem even more impressive.

Perfect Waffles Recipe

Every other chump will be making pancakes on Mother’s Day, and every mom will pretend they’re great when they probably suck. Waffles—really good waffles—are the move.

Chorizo, Potato, and Egg Burrito Recipe

Just like not all moms are wine moms, not all moms want French toast and eggs Benedict. Nothing wrong with a high-quality breakfast burrito to celebrate the low-maintenance mother figure in your life.

Eggs Blackstone Recipe

Eggs Benedict might be the obvious brunch choice, so go for eggs Blackstone instead, which swaps out the traditional hollandaise for a rich, creamy cheese sauce.

Savory Mushroom Galette Recipe

This flaky cream cheese crust galette is far more foolproof to execute than a quiche, and lets be honest, quiche isn’t that great anyway.

Avocado Tostada Recipe

What you really want out of avocado toast is the avocado, right? So minimize the delivery method with a thin, crispy tortilla instead of a big hunk of toast in these avocado tostadas.

Croque Madame Recipe

Croque Madame Recipe

Eggs, cheese, ham: a classic croque madame is all of the best things about breakfast, in a convenient sandwich form, plus béchamel sauce.

Ponchiki (Russian Apple Doughnuts) Recipe

These ponchiki from Portland’s Kachka are best served warm, and with fresh raspberry jam.

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Perfect Croissants Recipe

You know what shows mom you love her? Learning how to laminate croissant dough.

Everything Bagel and Nova Panzanella Recipe

All of the flavors of the perfect bagels-and-lox situation, but in a salad, to keep things fresh. If you really wanna go all out for Mother's Day, you might even cure your own gravlax, too.

Fresh Carolina Cucumber Salad Recipe

These Appalachian-style quick-pickled, herby cucumbers from chef and historian Michael Twitty will add a little kick to your brunch buffet offerings.

Herb and Spring Vegetable Salad Recipe

A vibrant, über-seasonal salad to show Mom you’ve been listening all those times she told you to eat your vegetables.

Green Beans with Garlic-Lime Dressing Recipe

These garlicky green beans would be great as a side, or as a main dish topped with a perfect fried egg.

Lemon Blueberry Chess Pie Recipe

Chess pies are a Southern classic that start with a sweet custardy base. With a whole dang pint of blueberries, this version is perfect as an early summer dessert.

Strawberry Shortcake Galette Recipe

The best thing about galettes is that they’re supposed to look a little rustic, so you don’t have to stress too much with this strawberry shortcake-inspired take. But definitely don’t skimp on the homemade whipped cream.

Boozy Summer Trifle Recipe

Why not start and end the meal with a little booze? Mom will appreciate that. This boozy trifle is finished with a little bit of a semi-sweet sherry.

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Carrot Cake Recipe

Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe

If mom’s a little more into sweet than savory, you can’t go wrong with this classic carrot cake, with just a little coconut to kick things up a notch.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

This easy, springy upside-down cake isn’t too sweet, making it just right for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert.

Banh Chuoi Nuong (Vietnamese Banana Cake) Recipe

If you're like us and make a loaf of banana bread just about every week, then making one on Mother's Day won't exactly feel special. Save those bananas for this Vietnamese banana cake, which is like an easy bread pudding topped with caramelized bananas.

Peanut Butter Mousse Crunch Cake Recipe

This cake from pastry genius Dominique Ansel is basically like a giant peanut butter cup meets a Rice Krispies treat, except fancy enough for a holiday.

Carlota (Mexican Lemon Icebox Cake) Recipe

Popular in Mexico, a carlota is a light and springy icebox cake that uses a handful of pantry staple ingredients. Even better? Your freezer does basically all the hard work for you.

Frosé Recipe

Let Mom kick back, put her feet up, have full control over Netflix all day so she can binge watch Downton Abbey to her heart’s content, and keep the frosé flowing.

Lunch Box Recipe

This is essentially a big-batch beer cocktail with nothing more than Pilsner, amaretto, and orange juice—for the mom who does not think it's charming to call wine "mommy juice."

DIY Bloody Mary Recipe

Have you ever caught your mom muttering something like, "I guess if I wanted it done right, I shouldn’t have asked anyone else and just done it my damn self," under her breath? Right, so best to avoid assuming you know her preferred Bloody Mary preparation and let her do it herself.

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Mango Spritz Recipe

Mango Spritz Recipe

Ayesha Curry is—among many other seriously impressive titles like TV star and entrepreneur—also a busy working mom. We would bet she would co-sign on this mango spritzer with two types of wine on a day dedicated to celebrating her.

Absolute Baller Punch Recipe

Who among us would dare to not call the moms in our lives Absolute Ballers™? They kept our sorry asses alive this long, haven’t they? Toast them appropriately with a drink of the same name.

Mint Bols Old Fashioned Recipe

Mint Bols Old Fashioned Recipe

We are also very much not here for any of that tired "whiskey is a man’s drink" nonsense. Make your whiskey-loving mom a sophisticated mint-infused Old Fashioned.

Spirulina and Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe

Show mom that you want to keep her around for a long time with this aggressively healthy breakfast smoothie, if alcohol isn’t her thing.

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