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Bread Pudding | The Recipe Critic


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This Bread Pudding is a classic dessert that uses your leftover bread and a delicious vanilla sauce to make the best breakfast dessert you’ve ever had! It’s frugal and cheap to make, but the flavor is out of this world divine.

I love dishes that use leftovers and make a completely new and delicious dish out of. To me, there is nothing worse than wasting food in the kitchen! We make an effort to eat all of our leftovers, but sometimes you don’t want to eat the same meal 3 times in a row! So if I make Air Fryer Chicken Breast, I want to turn that chicken into Shredded Chicken Tacos and some epic Chicken Salad the next day!

Bread pudding in a white pan with vanilla sauce on top.

Easy Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts! I know what you are thinking, it’s just bread with some eggs. But it’s so much more than that! It’s wisely using up the leftovers that you might have thrown away otherwise, and whipping up a delicious French toast-like breakfast casserole that is easy and delicious. It is so full of warm flavors and I love how the egg mixture makes the bread almost like a custard. It is perfect!

I love a good custard dessert, like creme brulee! And I also love French toast because it is really easy to make for my kids in the morning and I know they will be full until lunch. This is probably why I love bread pudding so much! It really is the best of both worlds (so is this Creme Brulee French toast that you have to try!). You are going to fall in love with how easy and simple this breakfast dessert is.

Ingredients

The best part about this recipe is that you are using ingredients you already have in your home, and you are using up stale bread that you would probably just be throwing away. Some people add raisins, chocolate chips, cherries, blueberries, or nuts! You can add whatever you like, I just kept mine the classic recipe. See the recipe card below for exact measurements.

Bread Pudding

  • Stale Bread: The bread needs to dry at least a day. Fresh bread cubes will get mushy and not hold it’s shape. If you don’t have stale bread, you can put it in the oven to dry it out a bit before making bread pudding.
  • Butter: The fat in the butter helps everything stick together and taste delicious!
  • Eggs: Eggs also help everything stay together and gives great texture and flavor. I always use large grade A eggs.
  • Milk: Think of French toast and how you add the egg and milk to make a nice batter for the bread. That is exactly what you are doing here.
  • Granulated Sugar: Helps to get a nice caramel and brown color to the dish, and of course adds sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: A little vanilla makes this bread pudding taste like a dessert!
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon goes perfectly with bread pudding and adds a warm spice.
  • Cardamom: This has a piney and fruity flavor that really brightens up the dish.

Vanilla Sauce

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: The perfect base for this sauce! It makes it so rich and creamy.
  • Whole Milk: Whole milk will help the sauce get thicker than if you were using a milk with less fat the sauce won’t be as creamy.
  • Sugar: Gives a sweet flavor and also helps the sauce thicken.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch will help the sauce to set up and thicken.
  • Vanilla Extract: This really helps to bring out all of the flavors in the sauce. And gives it it’s vanilla flavor!
Process photos showing butter being poured over bread cubes, the egg mixture in a bowl, that mixture being added over the bread cubes in a white pan, and the vanilla sauce in a pan.

Bread Pudding Recipe

It really doesn’t get much easier than this recipe. Bread pudding is simple to prepare and has so much flavor. It really is like the gooey insides of a cinnamon roll, but that’s the whole dish! This recipe makes an 8×8 inch pan, if you want it to fill a 9×13 inch pan you will want to double the recipe.

How to Make Bread Pudding

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prepare an 8” square baking dish by coating it with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  2. Cut: Cut your stale bread into about 2” chunks and place in a bowl.
  3. Mix: Melt your remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and pour it over your bread, mix to coat evenly and place in your buttered dish.
  4. Whip: In a separate bowl with a hand mixer, whip your eggs for about 3 minutes. Add in the remainder of your ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour: Pour your egg mixture over your bread, be sure to coat evenly, soaking each piece. Allow the liquid to soak into the bread for a few minutes before baking.
  6. Bake: Bake for 30-45 minutes, the bread pudding should be a golden brown color and spring back when gently pushed on with a spoon or fork.

How to Make Vanilla Sauce

  1. Combine: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine your whipping cream, milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, continually stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Whisk: Whisk in your cornstarch until there are no more lumps, reduce heat to low and continue cooking until your sauce thickens up, about 5 minutes.
  3. Cool: Once the sauce has thickened up to a consistency you like, remove from heat and whisk in your vanilla. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before drizzling on top of your bread pudding.
Bread pudding in a white pan with vanilla sauce on top and a metal spoon taking a scoop out.

Types of Bread to Use

You can literally use whatever you have on hand! You want to make sure it has had at least a day to dry out, but any bread will do. Just imagine the possibilities!

  • Croissant: Croissant bread pudding is out of this world delicious! Flaky and buttery croissant bread is probably one of my favorite breads to make bread pudding with.
  • Sourdough: Sourdough bread can be easier on the stomach and has a tangy sour flavor that makes bread pudding unique and oh so yummy! I love making sourdough bread, and if there is enough leftover I love making bread pudding with it.
  • French Bread: French bread is rich and chewy and perfectly golden delicious on the outside. It also makes a great bread for bread pudding!
  • Pumpkin Bread: Pumpkin bread pudding is my all time fall favorite. The sweetness of the pumpkin and the warmth from the spices is everything I want in a fall dish.

Bread pudding on a plate with fresh strawberries and blackberries and blueberries and a metal spoon.

Storing Leftovers

Leftover bread pudding is a treat! It reheats well and is just as yummy the next day. Follow these tips to get the most out of your bread pudding recipe.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store your bread pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • In the Freezer: Store your bread pudding wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer. Put it in the refrigerator the night before serving to let it thaw.


  • Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prepare an 8” square baking dish by coating it with 1 tablespoon of butter.

  • Cut your stale bread into about 2” chunks and place in a bowl.

  • Melt your remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and pour it over your bread, mix to coat evenly and place in your buttered dish.

  • In a separate bowl with a hand mixer, whip your eggs for about 3 minutes. Add in the remainder of your ingredients and mix well.

  • Pour your egg mixture over your bread, be sure to coat evenly, soaking each piece. Allow the liquid to soak into the bread for a few minutes before baking.

  • Bake for 30-45 minutes, the bread pudding should be a golden brown color and spring back when gently pushed on with a spoon or fork.

Vanilla sauce:

  • In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine your whipping cream, milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, continually stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Whisk in your cornstarch until there are no more lumps, reduce heat to low and continue cooking until your sauce thickens up, about 5 minutes.

  • Once the sauce has thickened up to a consistency you like, remove from heat and whisk in your vanilla. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before drizzling on top of your bread pudding.



Serves: 4

Calories1008kcal (50%)Carbohydrates129g (43%)Protein21g (42%)Fat46g (71%)Saturated Fat26g (130%)Polyunsaturated Fat4gMonounsaturated Fat12gTrans Fat1gCholesterol279mg (93%)Sodium626mg (26%)Potassium482mg (14%)Fiber4g (16%)Sugar90g (100%)Vitamin A1712IU (34%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium367mg (37%)Iron4mg (22%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast, Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword bread pudding




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