Victorian Era Breakfast Recipes: 11 Morning Meals From The Past

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Breakfast is probably — no, definitely — my favorite meal of the day. In fact, I see no problem with enjoying some yummy eggs or piling up a plate of pancakes for lunch or dinner, too.

That is why I was so happy to stumble on these scrumptious Victorian breakfast recipes!

I have always loved looking into the past for some kitchen inspiration, like the delicious recipes from the southern United States in the 1920s.

Obviously, things were much different back in Victorian-era England. Still, they certainly knew how to make a good meal that would fill one up for a long day of work. Some of their ideas might seem a little strange to us, but I guarantee that you’ll find more than a few things you’ll want to whip up in the morning.

Take a look at these Victorian breakfast recipes, including a few by Queen Victoria’s own chief cook!

Let us know in the comments if we missed any timeless recipes from the era that you’ve enjoyed.

And don’t forget to SHARE these dishes with your loved ones!

Thumbnail Sources: Wikimedia Commons / Donald Roberts, Detroit, Mich., Alvis , Flickr / Paul Townsend

1. Bread Steaks

Bread steaks

This recipe likely came in handy in times when meat was hard to come by, though they still needed to have something that would stick to their bones.

6 rounds of bread
1 egg
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
3 oz. of bread crumbs

Remove the crust from the bread and then soak in milk. In a different bowl, beat the egg and mix in the herbs and spices. Dip the pieces of bread into the egg mixture, then roll in bread crumbs. Fry in oil or fat.

Can be served with fried onions, tomatoes, or mushrooms.

2. Egg Fritters

Egg fritters

These delicious fritters remind me of Scotch eggs, but with their own unique spin on what to do with the yolk.

6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 lb. sausage meat
1 oz. butter
Seasoning to taste

Slice the hard boiled eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks. Mix the yolks with the meat, butter, and seasoning. Form into balls. Place the balls into the egg whites, cut into quarters, and fry.

3. Quick Waffles

Quick waffles

The folks at Hearth & Home recommend adding a couple tablespoons of sugar before cooking, even though that isn’t in the original recipe.

4 cups sweet milk
1 cup melted butter
6 cups sifted flour
6 eggs
4 tsps. baking soda

Mix together the butter, milk, and flour, then divide the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the yolks and add to the flour mixture. Whip the whites until they’re frothy and fold into the mixture as well. Stir in baking soda and cook in a waffle maker.

4. Cinnamon And Allspice Pear Butter

Pear butter

This delicious spread would be perfect on the waffles or any other bread on your table.

15 to 25 small pears
4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Core and slice the pears into quarters, then toss into a large pot. Add enough water to cover. Allow to heat but not boil, just enough so that you can still handle them to remove the peels. Return the pears to the pot and allow to boil down for 30 minutes to an hour.

Mash the pears when soft, then add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar. Continue stirring until it has reduced by half. Store in tightly sealed jars.

5. Crumpets


If you can’t find bottomless muffin tins for this “true English muffin,” you can use clean tuna cans with both ends removed!

1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsps. unsalted melted butter
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 3 Tbsps. water
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt

Scald the milk, then add melted butter and the lukewarm water. Mix in the yeast and sugar. Stir over heat until frothy. Allow to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size. Butter muffin tins without bottoms and arrange on a buttered skillet. Spoon the batter into the rings and cook for about two minutes on each side. Remove the ring and cook again for about three more minutes.

6. Cheese Turnovers

Cheese pastry

These were perfect for making sure any of their kitchen’s puff pastry didn’t go to waste after they were done using them for desserts.

2 oz. cheese
1 oz .butter
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. milk
Some scraps of puff pastry
Salt and pepper to taste

While the butter melts in a pan, grate the cheese and beat the egg yolks. Add seasoning to the egg, then stir into the pan with the cheese until thick. Remove from heat.

Roll out the pastry scraps and cut into rounds. Add a teaspoonful of the cheese mixture to the middle, then wet the edges and fold over. Bake for 10 minutes, or cover in bread crumbs and fry.

7. Bacon (Or Ham) With Macaroni

Ham macaroni

This sounds more like something you’d whip up for supper, but Victorians clearly didn’t care what time of day it was when it came to pasta.

1/4 lb. long macaroni
1/4 lb. bacon (or ham)
1/2 pint of stock or milk
Seasoning to taste

Boil the macaroni in your milk or stock until tender. Fry bacon or ham, then slice into small pieces. Mix the meat together with the macaroni and season to taste.

8. Swiss Eggs

Swiss eggs

The cream and soft Gruyère in this recipe give it that extra kick of smoothness that would be perfect with toast.

4 eggs
3 Tbsps. cream
2 oz. grated Gruyère cheese
1 oz. butter
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt half of the butter in a shallow dish, then layer some of the cheese and eggs with seasoning. Pour in the cream, then add remaining cheese and butter. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

9. Sausage Eggs

Scotch eggs

This meaty recipe is a delightful reversal of the egg fritters folks also enjoyed back in the day. Plus, it reminds me of traditional Scotch eggs!

4 hard-boiled eggs
1 raw egg
1/2 lb. sausage
3 oz. bread crumbs
Fat or oil for frying

Divide the sausage into four equal parts, then dust your hands with flour and flatten the sausage in your palms to create patties. Place the egg inside the meat and then wrap it completely. Beat the raw egg and brush this over sausage, then fry for about five minutes. Slice in half and serve.

10. Sweet Thick Milk

Sweet milk

Queen Victoria’s own chief cook, Charles Elmé Francatelli, would whip this easy recipe, which he claimed was “most excellent for children’s breakfast.”

3 oz. corn flour
1 qt. of milk
1 oz. sugar
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Mix all of the ingredients over heat, stirring constantly as it boils, until thick.

11. Pumpkin Porridge

Pumpkin porridge

Another recipe from Charles’ royal kitchen. The chef admits that pumpkin was harder to come by back in the day, though thankfully we don’t have to worry about that today! The recipe is for a single serving, so multiply for each person.

8 oz. raw pumpkin
2 oz. butter
1 qt. water
1/2 pint buttermilk

Boil the water, then add the pumpkin and butter. Allow to cook until the pumpkin becomes pulpy. Add the buttermilk and stir in porridge, cooking for 15 minutes while making sure it doesn’t boil over. Season with salt and nutmeg.

Did we miss any delicious morning recipes you’ve heard about from the Victorian era? Let us know below, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!