If you are anything like me, for a special occasion like the Kentucky Derby, you are ready to kick off the festivities early. Here is a delightful little brunch item to start the day off right that is sure to please your guests and coat their delicate stomachs before a long day of julep consumption! Enjoy!

Derby Days Breakfast Buttercups

A delightful mixture of ham, egg and cheese, enveloped in a light and fluffy bread tart.


  1. 10 medium eggs
  2. 10 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  3. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  4. 10 thin slices deli Swiss or cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
  5. 5 thin slices deli Black Forest ham (about 5 ounces), halved crosswise
  6. Salt and pepper

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place eggs in large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, roll bread as thinly as possible with a rolling pin and press into 10 cups of 12-cup muffin tin (grease with butter or cooking spray beforehand), leaving 2 center cups empty. Brush bread cups with melted butter and bake until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Top each cheese slice with ham slice. Make cut from center to 1 side of each stack. Fold each ham and cheese stack into cone and press into toasted cup. Crack 1 egg into each cup and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Return muffin tin to oven and bake until egg whites are barely set and still appear slightly moist, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: Skip the block of cheese and have the deli counter slice your cheddar extremely thin to avoid overflow issues while cooking. Boar’s Head Vermont Cheddar works nicely.

Variations: Make without ham for a slightly more vegetarian option.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 10

Meal type: breakfast, brunch

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Recipe and photo courtesy of: Cook’s Country (March 2011)




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