Bread Pudding

Authentic New Orleans bread pudding with French bread, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, spices, and served with a Bourbon sauce.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This bread pudding recipe is based on one from the famed Bon Ton Cafe in New Orleans. My friend Becca gave us the recipe years ago and now it’s a family favorite, especially around the holidays!

The sauce uses plenty of bourbon (Becca says the Bon Ton’s sauce has even more bourbon in it), but feel free to cut down the amount. We also give directions for making a kid-friendly bourbon-free version of the sauce.

My father always gets a dazed and happy look in his eyes when this bread pudding is mentioned.

Check out this quick video we made on how to make the bread pudding!

Bread Pudding Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Raisin Soaking time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes 8-10 servings

Need a kid-friendly sauce without bourbon? Use 1/2 cup of water mixed with 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 2 Tbsp of cider or white vinegar in place of the bourbon called for in the sauce recipe.

Get the raisins soaking in bourbon before you start anything with this recipe. You can even soak them a day or two ahead.

The bread you use should be a little dry. If the bread you are using is fresh, after you cube it, spread it out on a sheet pan and put it in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • 1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6-7 cups)
  • 1 qt milk
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked an hour or two in 1/4 cup bourbon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey (less or more to taste)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Soak bread in milk: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until all of the milk is absorbed.

3 Make egg mixture, pour over bread: In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon soaked raisins and gently stir to combine.

4 Butter baking pan, add bread mixture, bake: Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread milk and egg mixture into the baking pan.

Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.

5 Make the bourbon sauce while the bread pudding is cooking. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer! (Or the sauce will curdle. By the way, if your sauce curdles, just take it off the heat and blend it smooth in a blender.)

Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made.

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Bread Pudding

Showing 4 of 162 Comments

  • Brenda Williams

    I was wondering if I could soak the raisins as called for can I put the liquid in and not the raisins?

  • Bring D

    I have been making this bread pudding now for a few years..everyone loves it..it looks so elegant yet is very simple to make..i do agree with some comments about the sugar, I do cut down on the sugar and butter..i love making the sauce..its tricky but you learn how to master it and it is so good!!!

  • Saundra Zuroff

    I made this bread pudding over the weekend my family and friends loved it , i useded rasin bread along with the french bread , so good they All love the sause so much , next i am trying the vanilla just to say i did it . I use this site for my recipesall the time i have never been disappointed ever that you for sharing. Saundra

  • Esther Hand Tolbert

    I want to use cornbread for this recipe. Will it work??

  • Marie

    Is there a way to incorporate the bourbon so that the alcohol is cooked out? Would like to have the bourbon flavor but sans alcohol for my non-drinking friends.

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