Get the secrets to an easy bread pudding recipe you can make ahead. The custard bread pudding sauce is incredible, but the real secret is all in the bread.
Top it off with the best bourbon sauce to give it that special touch you can share with all your friends!
I used to be intimidated by bread pudding. Maybe it’s because I judge a restaurant on it. I don’t like to waste my calories on dessert unless it’s really worth it.
A restaurant can have the best salad or steak, but will quickly get nixed from my list if the dessert disappoints.
I found that many bread puddings are dry, masked with sauce. Over the years I have made it in an array of ways and finally perfected every last detail.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter – Use unsalted for all sweet recipes as you can always add a pinch of salt to your liking to balance out the flavors.
- Milk – I prefer 2%, but whole or 1% will work. I would avoid using skim milk.
- Eggs – For binding.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar dissolves nicely into the custard mix.
- Cinnamon – Use Ceylon Cinnamon if you can find it, as it is higher quality, and it has a sweeter, fruiter flavor.
- Brioche – This is the secret to the best bread pudding. Brioche is my favorite, but any egg bread works well if you need a substitute. It soaks up all of that yummy custard.
- Brown Sugar – For sweetness and that extra molasses-y flavor.
- More Butter – Because why not? 🙂
- Heavy Cream – Heavy whipping cream creates a silky and luscious bread pudding sauce that is out of this world.
- Bourbon or Whiskey – My favorite is Maker’s Mark for a flavorful bourbon sauce for bread pudding. But any of your favorite brand of Bourbon or Whiskey will work.
- Banana – The finishing touch. If fresh berries are in season, those would work beautifully, too!
How to Make
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add milk.
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar and cinnamon.
- Slowly incorporate warm milk mixture into eggs and sugar. Fold in bread cubes and immediately transfer to baking dishes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven as directed. Place dish/dishes in a larger bakeware dish filled halfway with water. Cover and bake.
- While the bread pudding is baking, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Whisk in heavy cream and bourbon until silky smooth.
- Pour bourbon sauce over bread pudding and serve with sliced fruit.
- Let it soak. I mentioned that I actually prefer making it in advance because I like to soak the brioche in the mixture for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
- Use a traditional 9×13 baking dish or individual serving bowls. Either way, it’s delicious!
- Serve with homemade whipped cream.
- Try this Mascarpone whipped cream.
- My Salted Caramel Sauce is also incredible with this easy bread pudding recipe.
- Creme Fraiche Substitute
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! That’s the beauty of an easy custard bread pudding recipe. Make sure to bake it in a water bath. This keeps it moist. You won’t find a dry bread pudding here!
The most accurate test – insert a knife into the middle of the bread pudding. If it comes out clean, you know it’s done!
This easy bread pudding recipe can sit out on the countertop for up to two hours. I especially like it served hot from the oven, but room temperature is also divine, as the flavors have a chance to meld together.
After the two hour mark, cover and place in the refrigerator.
How to Store
- Room Temperature – Bread pudding can sit out at room temperature while serving for up to two hours. However, it’s best served warm!
- Refrigerator – The easy bread pudding recipe and bourbon sauce will last for 3-4 days, covered and stored in the fridge.
- Freezer – Bread pudding stores well for up to three months wrapped tightly in your freezer!
How to Reheat
- From the Baking Dish – Cut out a large square and place in an oven-safe dish. Cover and place in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
- In an Individual Dish – Simply cover and place in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
- For the bourbon sauce for bread pudding, place in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and warm through.
Easy Bread Pudding Recipe
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups milk (2% or Vitamin D)
- 2 eggs large
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 loaf of brioche (about 7 slices) cut into 1 inch cubes
- ⅓ cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup bourbon or whiskey
- 1 banana
- Over medium heat, melt butter and add milk.
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Slowly incorporate warm mixture into eggs and sugar.
- Fold in bread cubes and immediately put into baking dish/dishes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, then preheat oven to 350℉.
- Place dishes in a larger bakeware dish, filled halfway with water.
- Bake covered 50 minutes for 9×11 baking dish or 35 minutes for individual dishes.
- Melt butter and brown sugar on medium heat. Whisk in heavy cream and bourbon or whiskey.
- Serve with banana slices.
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.