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.
This easy bread pudding recipe can be made ahead, in fact, it’s even better that way! I was honored to have some friends and local bloggers over for lunch today. Cheryl, Becky and Christina are always inspiring, so I knew the bar was high and thought it was the perfect opportunity to serve one of my favorite desserts.
Table of Contents
Best Bread Pudding Ingredients:
- Butter – Any great dessert recipe starts out with 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 – The fresher, the better. Your custard will thank me for it.
- Sugar – It is a dessert recipe after all. Regular, granulated sugar dissolves nicely into the custard mix when you whisk all the ingredients together.
- Cinnamon – I love cinnamon for its sweet, warming scent. Use Ceylon Cinnamon if you can find it, that’s what is considered true cinnamon. It has a sweeter, fruiter flavor.
- Brioche – This is the secret to the best bread pudding. It all starts with great bread. 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 – Yes, I mean the full-fat heavy cream. It 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. Sometimes I like to change it up and make a bread pudding with rum sauce.
- Banana – The finishing touch. If fresh berries are in season, those would work beautifully, too!
How to Make An Easy Bread Pudding Recipe:
- 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 9×11 baking dish or individual dishes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place dish/dishes in a larger bakeware dish filled halfway with water.
- Cover and bake 50 minutes for 9×11 baking dish or 35 minutes for individual dishes.
- 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 and warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour bourbon sauce over bread pudding and serve with banana.
Tip: 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.
Is Bread Pudding Supposed to Be Moist?
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!
How Can You Tell if the Custard is Done Cooking?
The most accurate test – insert a knife into the middle of the bread pudding. If it comes out clean, you know it’s done!
How Long Can the Custard Bread Pudding Sit Out?
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 Long Does the Custard Bread Dessert Last?
The easy bread pudding recipe and bourbon sauce will last for 3-4 days, covered and stored in the fridge.
How Do You Reheat Bread Pudding?
- 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.
It truly couldn’t be easier. I can make dessert for 6 in about 10 minutes, 15 with the sauce. I refrigerate it until dinner, put it in the oven and voila! My Salted Caramel Sauce is also incredible with this easy bread pudding recipe.
More Sweet Bread Recipes You’ll Love:
- Overnight Monkey Bread
- Easy French Toast
- Apple Fritter French Toast
- Crème Brûlée French Toast
- Sweet Bread
- Cinnamon Bread (Christmas Bread)
- Easy Cranberry Bread Recipe in Just 5 Minutes
- Cinnamon Roll Bread Recipe
Easy Bread Pudding Recipe
- 1/4 c butter
- 2 cups milk (2% Vitamin D)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 loaf of brioche (about 7 slices) cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/3 c butter
- 2 c brown sugar
- 2 c heavy cream
- 1/4 c 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 degrees.
- 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.
Happy Holidays, friends!