How to Make Delectable Bread Pudding: An Easy Way!

Bread pudding is a magical dish wherein stale bread magically transforms into a decadent dessert. It’s somewhat similar to an overnight French toast casserole in its basic idea: take stale bread, coat it in a rich custard, bake it up, and voilà--sweetness is served. But in the case of bread pudding, cubing the bread into smaller pieces and coating it with a far richer mixture ensures a custardy texture and a taste which, though it would certainly work at a brunch, is much more firmly planted in dessert territory.

Piece of Bread Pudding Covered in Icing
Note: In general, there are two types of bread pudding. The gooey kind, and the solid kind. Having trouble discerning the difference? Although quite different in taste, the texture of different types of macaroni and cheese actually makes a good comparison. The gooey type of bread pudding has a texture more like the gooey, cheesy macaroni and cheese from a box mix; a more solid type of bread pudding will resemble the texture of the casserole type of macaroni and cheese which is baked and can be served in wedges. This recipe yields a pudding which is firm enough to slice, but still soft in the middle.

Top View of Gooey Brown Bread Pudding

Recipe notes

Regarding carbohydrates

Like its cousin French toast, this dish is often made with day-old or slightly stale bread. The dry texture actually acts to your advantage, working like a sponge to soak up all of the tasty flavors of the texture. While a slightly dry texture is important, the type of bread is up to you. For a traditional approach, use a crusty artisan-style bread or a French style bread. If you’re feeling inventive, quick breads such as banana or zucchini would work, as would sweet breads such as babka. Nontraditional items such as doughnuts or cinnamon rolls work, too: for instance, this recipe employs a glazed cinnamon loaf. Keep in mind when using sweeter loaves that you may want to reduce the sugar by ¼ cup to keep it from becoming too sweet, and that some breads may already have spices. Because of this, the spices are listed as optional in the recipe.

Cross Section of Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Veins, Drizzled in Icing

Got too much bread?

Consider using the rest to make homemade croutons or even homemade dessert croutons!

Glaze? On bread pudding?

This is a playful glaze, which is firm enough so that it can be used to top the pudding and then slices cleanly. How do you attain that unique texture? The secret is cornstarch. The addition of cornstarch makes it slightly more solid, which makes it easy to serve the dessert in slices. It is almost like a fancier version of the glaze that comes in cinnamon roll tubes. It’s not, strictly speaking, necessary, but once you’ve had it with, you might not go back to the unadorned version.

Close Up on Sugary White Glaze

Bread Pudding

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups cubed bread (approximately 1-inch cubes)

Vanilla Milk Glaze

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Step 2:

Slice your bread into cubes. The volume of the cubes should be 5 cups or so (a little less is ok, but too many and your bread pudding will be too dry).

Pices of Bread Cubes

Step 3:

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Set to the side.

Step 4:

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and butter over low heat until melted and the milk is about to, but has not quite started to boil. The butter should completely melt by this point.

Step 5:

Combine a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to incorporate and so your eggs don’t scramble.

Step 6:

Add the rest of the milk mixture and stir until incorporated.

Step 7:

Stir in the vanilla and whatever spices you’d like to add.

Step 8:

Place the bread crumbs in the bowl and stir gently to coat.

Wooden Spoon Stirring Bread Cubes with Sugary Sauce

Step 9:

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.

Pyrex Pan Containing Bread Pudding Mixture Atop Striped Table

Step 10:

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding has slightly begun to shrink from the sides of the bowl and the top looks pleasingly golden.

Close Up of Golden Brown Bread Pudding

While it cools, make the glaze if you’ve chosen this delicious step.

Step 1:

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.

Step 2:

Pour the milk in the pan and whisk to remove any lumps.

Step 3:

Heat on medium until the mixture has come to a boil.

Step 4:

Let boil for 1 minute, but no more than two, whisking the entire time.

Step 5:

Remove from heat and pour on top of your casserole. Let set before serving.

Icing Being Poured from Bowl onto Bread Pudding

This is a well-bread pudding indeed! Learn how to bake bread in Artisan Bread Making- though we doubt you'll let these loaves go stale.

What type of bread do you like to use for your bread pudding?

17 Comments

William Martin

Sounds like an easy thing to make. I am looking forward to giving this a try. I do enjoy a good bread pudding.

Reply
Iryna

Thank you for the step-by-step guide.
I make mine with whole wheat bread and frozen fruit on hand. My recipe also has more eggs.
I am intrigued to try the glaze. It sounds very yummy!

Reply
Patricia Toomey

Looking forward to trying this bread pudding, and I’ll add some raisins or currents.

Reply
Hunny13

Looks delish! My recipe uses a considerably higher egg-to-bread ratio which results in lovely little pockets of egg custard distributed throughout the pudding. Another variation which has become the family standard is using a high-quality artisan-style sour dough bread. Heavenly 🙂

Reply
sally miller

My favorite bread pudding is at KFC and one of the workers told me they use leftover biscuits. It also has the glaze. I’ll definitely have to try this one.

Reply
Anna

Some of you mentioned more eggs they would use, how many more eggs if I may ask ?

Reply
gladys lewis

Found this recipe looking for uses of leftover yellow cake. Recipe does not use leftover cake nor does it suggest it as a substitution. I was very disappointed.

Reply
Nat

Hi Gladys, I was on the look out for that too. Did you come across a good recipe for leftover cake?

Reply
jerry

Gladys and Nat: I would imagine it would depend on how much leftover cake you had as to what you could do with it. A variation on a tres leches cake could be good, or cake pops. Trifle? You should go ahead and adapt the bread pudding recipe for use with cake–maybe slabs instead of cubes, and less sugar.

Reply
ijeoma

This is a wonderful recipe! I used leftover cake I ‘leveled out’ from a 3tier wedding and a birthday cake(mixture of red velvet,coconut,vanilla and chocolate) but I had some leftover bread so I cubed that in too! Oh!the colour!the taste! It was just perfect!

Reply
Jessie Oleson Moore

I bought a cinnamon swirl bread. I got it at a bakery.

Reply
Erin

I came to this site via a link for using up stale cake (like a few others). Whilst the recipe doesn’t explicitly say so, it seems pretty obvious you can just use cake in place of the bread. I used a spiced honey cake I’d accidentally overcooked, trimming off the burnt edges and then cutting the cake into large cubes. Reduced the sugar in the custard down to 2/3 cup since the cake was bringing a lot of sweetness already, and I added a diced apple amongst the cake pieces to cut the richness a little. Sprinkled extra nutmeg on the top before baking, and skipped the icing which seemed like it would be sugar overkill. Baked in a tube pan so it would be nice and deep. Came out perfect – custard set (certainly didn’t need more eggs), top golden, cake moist and apple softened but identifiable.

Reply
Erin

Correction – that should say reduced the sugar in the custard to ONE third of a cup, not 2/3.

Reply
Emily Smith

Does anyone have a very old recipe for cold biscuit pudding. My husbands grandmother made this and it is his all time favorite. I would love to surprise him with it.

Reply
Marianne

For Biscuit Bread pudding look up Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC Bread pudding). This is what the famous food chain does with their day old biscuits. The pudding is very good!!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *