Classic old-fashioned bread pudding topped with a butter vanilla caramel sauce. A delicious dessert that’s made with simple ingredients from your pantry!
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Easy Holiday Dessert
During the holidays, I’m all about easy dessert recipes with little work involved. This homemade bread pudding is a go-to of mine, as well as no-bake banana cream pie, chocolate lasagna, and my raspberry jello pretzel salad.
If you’re looking for a simple holiday dessert idea, this easy bread pudding recipe is it. It’s made with ingredients you can find in your pantry and is especially perfect if you have leftover bread laying around.
Never tried bread pudding? It’s similar to overnight french toast and is made with stale bread cubes coated in a mixture of eggs, milk, and heavy cream. It’s then topped off with a sweet butter vanilla caramel bread pudding sauce, which in my opinion, is the best part.
If you really want to go over the top, you could even add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Seriously so delicious and a dessert that everyone will go crazy over!
Easy Bread Pudding Ingredients
Classic bread pudding is simple to make and even better with stale bread. The bread is baked in the oven with a sweet sauce that covers it. The bread is the key ingredient in making this dessert one of the best!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- French bread: Cubed loaf of bread that is day-old bread. Leave out leftover bread to dry hard and crunchy. This will soften and have a moist texture once baked.
- Eggs: This will hold together the bread when baking.
- Milk: Soaks into the bread giving it that creamy moisture. When baked it is similar to french toast.
- Heavy cream: Gives the mixture a sweet creamy flavor.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness and balances out the vanilla sauce ingredients.
- Vanilla extract: Balances out the flavors and gives that savory flavor we all love!
- Ground cinnamon: This is a warm spice that brings in the french toast flavor and texture when baked.
This recipe is a great way to turn leftover bread into a delicious dessert with little work. You can even use leftover hot dog buns! Sometimes I’ll even do a variety of different types. There are plenty of different types you can use, like:
- French bread or French baguette
- Italian bread
- White bread
TIP: Leave the bread out overnight to stale (so that it doesn’t get soggy!). If you don’t have time to allow it to stale overnight, simply toast it in the oven for about 5 minutes.
How to Make Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a simple dessert that comes together quickly. Pour the caramel sauce over top of the bread pudding in the baking dish. This is the best bread pudding!
- Whisk: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Boil. Combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Once it comes to a full boil, cook for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Then stir in the vanilla.
- Combine: Stir together the mixture with bread cubes together in a buttered 9×9″ pan. Let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Bake: Bake in oven at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set and no longer runny. If it starts to brown too fast, tent the dish with foil.
5 star review
“This is my mother in law’s absolute favorite! We always make it for her for her birthday.”-Demeter
If you want to spruce up the recipe a bit, try adding one of the following to the bread pudding. Add a little savory or sweetness to the bread pudding for extra flavor.
- Raisins: Add in about 1/2 cup before baking.
- Nuts: Pecans are my favorite. Add in about 1/2 cup. You could include both raisins and nuts if preferred.
- Chocolate chips: If you love all things chocolate, you can mix in about 1/4 to 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.
- Powdered sugar: Before serving, sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar. You might want to go lighter on the caramel sauce if adding powdered sugar so that it’s not too sweet!
This is a favorite in England since the 13th century. It started when most families had a deep bowl that was called a pudding basin that was used to collect scraps of stale bread. That is when it started making bread pudding.
I like the edges to be crispy and the center to be soft (but not soggy). You’ll know it’s done when the edges are golden and the center is no longer runny.
If you prefer a softer center, you can remove it a little early from the oven, or add an extra 1/2 cup of milk.
Bread pudding can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. If you prefer it warm you do not need to refrigerate the bread pudding before serving it.
Just a bit! The bread pudding is usually baked and even broiled to firm up the topping. Once the bread pudding is cooked through, the dessert will be puffy and moist with a soft custard inside. It is a delicious dessert everyone loves!
More Delicious Desserts
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Bread Pudding Recipe
- 6 cups cubed french bread , left out overnight to stale
- 3 large eggs , beaten
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Butter Caramel Sauce:
- ¼ cup butter , I used salted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9×9" pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Combine with bread cubes and let sit 5-10 minutes. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until center is set and no longer runny. Tent with foil if it starts to brown to fast.
Butter caramel sauce:
- Combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar and heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium-heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Once it comes to a full boil, cook 1 minute and then remove from heat. Then stir in the vanilla.
- Drizzle over bread pudding. Serve while warm.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Yes. Awesome 👍🏼. Thanks for sharing ☺️
This is the time of year that we make bread pudding all the time! My family loves it! The caramel sauce is everything!!
I love the vanilla caramel sauce, it takes this bread pudding to the next level! thank you so much for sharing this amaing recipe
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your review :)
I surprised my husband with this- it’s his favorite dessert. Thank you, he loved it! Easy to make too!
This needs to happen at my house very soon!!
I would like to start the day with this! Looks so inviting!
Oh man that looks so delicious! I have never had bread pudding before; this looks seriously amazing!
I love bread pudding, it’s so good, the perfect comfort dessert!
This is my mother in law’s absolute favorite! We always make it for her for her birthday.