I have a question about making this ahead of time. I’m traveling about 3 hours by car on Wednesday for Thanksgiving and have been asked to make dessert. I don’t want to impose on the oven time for Thanksgiving day. Could I make this on Wednesday and reheat? Any thoughts on how best to prep in advance? Also, I didn’t see anyone who had tried chocolate instead of the raisins. Any ideas or input about chocolate chips in place of the raisins? Thank you!
Hi Christina, this isn’t the best make ahead recipe. It will still taste good, but the texture may be a bit weird.
Can I sub heavy cream for some of the milk? I have quite a bit sitting in my fridge. :)
Hi, Lisa! Emma, managing editor for Simply Recipes, here! I think using entirely heavy cream would technically work, but the pudding would be SUPER rich! I’d suggest using half cream and half milk. Let us know how it turns out!
I don’t have whole milk on hand – will any of the following work for this recipe —> buttermilk, almond milk or heavy cream?
Hi Ebony, hmmm, I don’t recommend buttermilk, that would be too tangy for this recipe. You might be able to use almond milk. You should be able to use cream, though I think I would water it down a bit, otherwise the dessert will just be too rich.
I substituted almond milk because of my son’s allergy. I kept everything else and i think it tasted just fine.
I make bread pudding for fancy occasions only — too many carbs to do as much as I like — and have always used heavy cream. It’s fabulous! One might consider making the portion sizes a trifle smaller, but my experience is that people simply take more. In answer to what one puts into it — chocolate chips work nicely, and so do other dried fruits — I’m partial to cherries and chocolate chips, myself.
I didn’t add rasins, and I let it set overnight and only used the 1/4 cup of bourbon to sauce. It was amazing! My family loved it. Thank you.
I tried this recipe and it was amazing. I’m a bread pudding lover and this truly touched me. I will add a little less sugar next time as it was too sweet
I was wondering if I could soak the raisins as called for can I put the liquid in and not the raisins?
Hi Brenda, sure! Or you could just skip the raisins completely.
How do we think cranberries would work instead of raisins?
Thinking of this for Christmas. Maybe the orange flavored ones Trader Joe’s sells?
Hi, Mark! Emma, managing editor for Simply Recipes, here! I think that dried cranberries would be great in this recipe. Go for it and let us know how it turns out.
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!!!
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
I’m so glad you liked it Saundra!
I want to use cornbread for this recipe. Will it work??
Hi Esther, I don’t know! I haven’t tried making this with cornbread. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
Unless its a dense cornbread recipe you’ll end up with mush as it crumbles with the wet ingredients. Been there, done that!☹
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.
To clarify I mean with regard to the bourbon sauce. I know the raisins are soaked in bourbon, so if anything I know to do that. I assume the oven cooks it out enough. But please correct me if I’m wrong!
The oven cooking may cook out some or even most of the alcohol in the bourbon soaked raisins, but not all of it.
Hi Marie, I mention in the notes right above the recipe that you can make a sauce without the bourbon using vanilla extract. If you want the sauce Bourbon flavored, but without the alcohol, I suggest switching out the vanilla in those instructions with Bourbon Extract http://amzn.to/2lxrqh8
I always wanted to make bread pudding and I’m so glad I found this recipe. Very easy to follow. Mine came out perfect and I bake it for 45 minutes. Everyone enjoyed it. I would however cut down on the sugar and half, next time around. Just to be on the healthier side, if it helps. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will definitely use it every time I make bread pudding.
I made it for the first time this evening and I will give it another go with half the sugar. Way to sweet! Also, I had to bake mine for 55 min as opposed to 35-40.
I made this bread pudding today and it’s delish! Perfect!
I’m having trouble with the sauce though. The sugar wouldn’t go into solution. I whisked it on simmer for 15 minutes or more taking care not to simmer. I like the appearance, consistency and color of the sauce. I’m wondering if the 1/2 cup butter and the 1 egg is enough liquid for the sugar to go into solution? I was hoping that when I added the liquor, there would be enough liquid to allow the sugar to dissolve but it didn’t change. You can see the sugar granules in the sauce and it’s a little like chewing sand.
Any suggestions? Have you had this happen?
Great question! I just made the bread pudding last night and made two batches of the sauce. What I found is that it takes about 10 minutes, and if the sugar is not dissolving, the heat isn’t quite high enough. I used a infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the mixture. Water boils at 212F. The sugar didn’t dissolved until between 180F and 190F. The other thing that could be happening is the size of the eggs. I use “large” eggs which have more liquid in them than medium sized eggs. If you’re still finding it to be an issue, just add a tablespoon of water to the pot.
Thank you so much for your research, which is a little embarrassing to me…considering that I am a retired Stanford scientist! Haha. I was thinking more along the lines of a saturated solution but I should have realized that heat was in the equation! I was following protocol and not getting it too hot. Now that I think back, my sauce was only warm. Now I can move forward in confidence. Thank you!
Did you put the full cup of Bourbon in your batches yesterday?
Nope, just half cup in the sauce. That’s the amount that worked best for me!
Cover with aluminum foil or leave uncovered while baking?
Hi Karen, leave it uncovered.
Thanks, this recipe was AMAZING! Btw I left out all alcohol being that I had kids eatting. I followed everthing else to the T, just threw the raisins into the mix of sugar. For my topping I drizzled a can of condensed milk. It was to die for!!
I make the no knead artisanal bread and when I have scraps I like to cube it up and bag it for the freezer. Perfect for croutons or…. BREAD PUDDING! Decided I had enough saved up so I made this today. Only this is that I don’t keep bourbon around so thought about trying it with Grand Marnier. Wow! This was the easiest and best bread pudding I have made.
In my mind this looks completely awesome, but I want to sort out one thing before I start on this one:
The recipe says “add the bourbon soaked raisins”. Does this mean JUST the raisins or the bourbon also?
Hi MrM, After soaking a cup of raisins in 1/4 cup of bourbon for an hour or two, the raisins will have soaked up all or most of the bourbon. So, either way. You can add just the raisins, or the raisins and whatever bourbon is remaining after soaking.
Is it possible to prepare the bread pudding the day before without cooking?
Liked that this recipe didn’t have many ingredients and I love bread pudding. I prefer a moist bread pudding and many other recipes are very dry. I cut the sugar in half, so only one cup and found it almost too sweet for my taste. Also I had to bake it almost 30 minutes more and on higher temp because it was very mushy and not browned at all. I think that’s because my french bread didn’t absorb the milk, so I guess more bread next time or less milk. I guess I’ll have to try it again as I wasn’t very impressed. Didn’t try the sauce either because I figured I’ll try it first to see if I liked it without the sauce, so I don’t waste ingredients.
If your bread pudding was mushy,it’s probably because the bread you started with wasn’t dry enough. If my bread isn’t old, I always bake it a little beforehand to dry it out. I’ve made this recipe a few times and it comes out pretty tasty, sauce included although I never use the suggested amount of whiskey.
I just made this tonight and the bread pudding is amazing! Unfortunately, I think using a whole cup of bourbon for the sauce was wayyyyy too much. The alcohol flavor is just too strong!
I totally agree with the amount of bourbon for the sauce… over kill… it’s a lot of milk also… I made it and it was pretty good but it seemed like it was so much milk… it came out a little soggy but I’m gonna tweek the recipe and try it again!!
This is truly a delicious recipe. It was my first time making bread pudding. I looked at several recipes and decided on this one. Its perfect. I was absolutely delighted. Had it with breakfast; including the sauce! YUM!
Is the bread supposed to be airy or is it supposed to be a soft solid loaf? The bread I used is a french loaf but the bread looked like the bread you would find inside a baguette. What is the consistency of the bread you are supposed to use is my question?
Hi Carter, the bread I use for this recipe is French loaf, which is heavier than a baguette, but lighter than a standard loaf of sandwich bread. You can use whatever, but just make sure that it is at least a little stale. Bread toughens after a day or two and you need that extra structure or when you mix it with the liquidy pudding ingredients, it will fall apart.
Hi, I was wondering if instead of using bourbon could I replace it with kahula?
Hi Stephanie, great question, I have no idea. If you try it with kahlua, please let us know how it turns out for you!
Yes you can! Traditional New Orleans bread pudding is made with bourbon but. Actually prefer using rum. You can choose whichever you like. I have also made it and used no alcohol just about 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and that is good too!
Do you soak the raisins in the vanilla? or use the vanilla as the replacement in the sauce? or both? Trying to make a non-alcoholic version and can use some advice on replacements. Thanks!
This will be the second time making this wonderful recipe. Just wanted you to know that I too made a few substitutions because of my husband being a diabetic. Splendid instead of sugar and 1/2 cup less in both recipes. I did add chopped pecans also with the soaked raisins. After the first and second helpings we poured the remainder sauce over the leftovers and covered for the refrigerator. The next day we just microwaved individual serving for several minutes depending on the size and it was wonderful!
I am making it now but will not bake it until tomorrow. It has to travel for several hours so I will pour the sauce over the baked pudding and will reheat it in the oven when we get to our dinner party. I promise you it will be a hit with my husband’s family! I will let you know how the Michigan natives like what the Southern Belle brought them. I am from South Carolina but we live in Ohio.
Can stale hot cross buns be used in a bread pudding
Hi Dave, I’m guessing they would work fine!
Totally swooning over that bourbon sauce!!
I make bread pudding using a base recipe fairly similar to this one. (It’s the best use ever for stale bread, except for stale challah, which is always for French toast in my book.) But I’ve never done the bourbon sauce. Time to up my game!
A few suggestions:
I whisk all the ingredients (except for the bread, of course) in a large bowl, so the bread sucks up the spices as well.
I also use about half milk, and a quarter whipping cream, and a quarter half ‘n’ half. Depends on what I have in the fridge.
For the bread, French bread is fine, but Challah, egg bagels, that Hawaiian bread and others also work.
Like others, I have cut back on the sugar.
(It’s a forgiving dessert, so adjustments for personal tastes and available ingredients will likely work).
There are tons of sauces available out there, so poke around until you find something you like.
For those concerned, the baking process probably cooks off most of the alcohol, so I really wouldn’t worry too much about that. Simmering raisins in oj is a wonderful alternative – really, really good in oatmeal cookies, BTW
Suggestions are made IMHO
The raisins soaked in O.J. for oatmeal cookies sound delish. Thank you for that too. I’ll be trying them soon.
This is No Doubt THE BEST Bread Pudding EVER!!!!! Every on at my work requires me to bring it to every function we have… I love to add chopped apples to it also & on occasion I have substituted packaged cinnamon rolls instead of the bread. Great option.
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? I do. But eating this is the closest to the Bon Ton Cafe’s bread pudding without traveling to New Orleans! Delicious! We did cut the sugar in half (as long as reducing the sugar doesn’t affect the chemical balance of a recipe, I usually do) and was forced to use a bit less Bourbon – mainly because my husband was protectively hovering over his good stuff. Still scrumptious with a terrific kick from the awesome sauce. All the substitutions mentioned in the comments change the recipe into another dish entirely. There are loads of different bread pudding recipes, and I’ve got a collection of my favorites that I rotate throughout the year and for various events. But THIS is THE one to make for a classic Bon Ton Cafe experience!
I normally get my sister to make bread pudding for me simply because i like hers but that is an effort. I have to go get bread for her. I decided to search for a recipe of my own for my bake club at work and this is what i found. It was a hit. I also made it for my christmas party this past weekend and they loved it. Both times someone asked for the recipe. Not to mention i love it as well and it is super easy. I use challah bread it is great…. Bon temps…
Made this for 2014 Thanksgiving and we loved it. The bourbon sauce is totally awesome….soooo good. The only thing is that my grown children don’t like raisins so instead I used canned peaches (I sliced them) & chopped pecans and it still came out a winner. I made extra sauce becoz it was so good. Since I am not a big fan of anything too sweet, I decreased the amount of sugar to half of what is on the recipe. This is so much better eaten on the day that it is made while the pudding is still hot , fresh from the oven & the sauce is still warm. I made the mistake of reheating the sauce the next day in the microwave & it changed the consistency & the look of the sauce but it was still good to the taste. I am definitely making this again soon before the Xmas holiday. Thanks for a wonderful classic recipe. I want to post the photo but don’t know how.
Delicious! However, I have a couple of edits that folks might consider. I can do without the sauce. I like bourbon but it tasted quite potent so my advice is to leave it off altogether. The bread pudding tastes wonderful sauce-less. Also, I thought the bread pudding tasted better after it had been chilled for a few hours. The recipe mentioned that it tasted best when served warm. I disagree.
I did everything the author told us NOT to do, and this recipe STILL came out exceptionally well which speaks volumes of the quality of this recipe. I had half a of a plain French baguette (yes, not a French loaf) that was incredibly old (almost a month old and rock hard) and a half of a week old sesame baguette. Also, I know how much of a snob I am going to sound like, but the bourbon in my house is too expensive to use in a sauce, normally I keep some cheaper knob creek handy but was clean out, so I drained the last of some brandy which came to 3/4 cup and topped it of with cheap spiced rum. Also, was out of allspice (yeah, I need to do some shopping apparently) so I substituted with nutmeg and mace.
Let me tell you something. I had a bunch of people over for a dinner party and this is what I served for dessert, and a fight damn near broke out over the last piece. Also, the fancy gravy boat that I used to serve the sauce, was licked CLEAN! This recipe is a keeper!
I will absolutely make this again, and I will definitely use bourbon because I LOVE BOURBON more than brandy/rum, but I think I will stick with the baguettes. I think the french loaf would be too soft and turn into one solid mass, and I prefer my bread pudding to have some semblance of the bread chunks in it after baking, which this definitely had.
Also, so you all don’t think I’m a terribly cheap hostess for serving my dinner guests month old bread re-hashed into dessert with a hobo mix of brandy/rum sauce, we DID enjoy the fine bourbon in some Manhattans along with dessert ;)
I made this recently, but with a salted caramel variation. I used a loaf of challah, and didn’t use raisins or bourbon. I added a bit of gran marnier to the milk, and then, before baking, I drizzled it with some homemade salted caramel. I didn’t bother with the bourbon sauce, but just served it with some additional salted caramel. YUMMM.
This is the “Bread Pudding” recipe I remember my Grandmother made when i was a child. She used Cognac instead as she was taught baking in Austria, but the results were nearly the same. Always served on special occasions and flambeed with the brandy sauce.
Recipe was very good but I would cut the sugar down to 1cup and use 3cups of milk. I’m going to make it again!
This is definitely something served during mardi gras, and while I think it’s quite tasty (taste is quite personal, yes?); too liberal on the bourbon, need to soak the bread in HEAVY cream overnight, forget the milk.
If you want a top notch bread pudding, try the Glass Onion in Charleston, SC.
This is the bread pudding recipe to end all bread pudding recipes! Made a few substitutions due to some dietary restrictions– I used almond milk and sugar substitute (Truvia, with quantity adjustments)– but it was still absofreakingdelicious! You are a goddessl, and I thank you! Oh, one more thing: For the sauce I used the bourbon in which the raisins had soaked overnight. Didn’t want to waste it. Sauce turned out great, too! :)
Question regarding the bourbon sauce: I only have powdered sugar and was wondering if it would be possible to make a bourbon glaze that I could just pour on top and wouldn’t need to be reheated (i.e. if the pudding sits out at a potluck where it couldn’t be served warm).
I try the recipe and I cut the sugar to half cup I used cherries because I had no raisin and it was excellent would try this again
I am so glad you resurrected this recipe from the archives. I made this today as our St Patties day dessert and, man, is it delicious. This is really the first bread pudding that I’ve liked. Most are so bread-y and compact but this one has a generous amount of custard so it’s soft and loose. It’s so good that it can stand alone. That said, the bourbon sauce was delightful, it sure packs a punch of bourbon! Wow-wee! So good!
This recpie is delicious . I am not a big fan of raisins so I will sometimes use blueberries instead. When I make this knowing there will be kids eating it, I always make a carmel sauce for a kid friendly version and that is also yummy.
Like to try this recipe but make a smaller portion. Can you half this recipe and still get the same results?
Hi Hal, I haven’t tried halving the recipe yet. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
I will be trying a GF version of this recipe this week-end and sampling raisins soaked in bourbon till then. It looks so good! Thank you for reminding me that it is best eaten the same day. As it disappears, I will know I have done the right thing! Whoopee!
Hi, This recipe sounds wonderful. Please, can you tell me something I am always wondering. Can the bourbon be subbed with irish whiskey ?Thanks.
I haven’t made it with irish whiskey, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
I’m making the sauce now and the bread pudding in the morning for out Mardi Gras brunch at my daughter’s house after the final parades tomorrow morning. (Then finally relax the rest of the day after so many parades!) I have made this many times and the sauce is fantastic. I also add sliced almonds to the pudding.
I made this about a year ago. Thanks for posting again. Incredible recipe, I could eat the sauce on shoe leather. So so good, as all of the other recipes on here. You’re the BEST.
I made this a couple nights ago mostly for my 85 year old mother who loves bread pudding. I never really thought much about Bread pudding but we all loved it! My 2 children (who are 23 & 20 respectively) both went back for seconds and they hardly ever agree on anything. They didn’t use the Bourbon sauce–it was too strong for their taste, so instead put vanilla ice cream on top. I did have the Bourbon sauce on mine and enjoyed but I do think I would cut the Bourbon in half next time. Thanks!
This was an awesome recipe!!! I saw where several people commented that they poured off some of the liquid…I didn’t. I don’t like a dry bread pudding. I like mine extremely moist. Next time though, I won’t use the whole cup of bourbon in the sauce. It tasted really alcoholie…lol. Maybe just 3/4 cup. Otherwise, loved it!!! Thanks!
i Love bread pudding, and made this one it was wonderful the only thing i changed was not using bourbon whiskey.Instead i used Crown Royal it totally rocked
So VERY GOOD!!!
A family favorite!
I used what I had in the house…….2 cups of white milk and 2 cups of vanilla almond milk… .replaced raisins for crasins….perfect still!
I just made my first batch of the bourbons sauce as presented here to go on some peach bread pudding carry out that was sold with an vanilla cream sauce. I am a huge bourbon sauce fan and for me it is the only suitable topping for bread pudding.
This is an excellent and easy recipe and my only recommendation is that you use a lower proof (80 or 90 proof) bourbon when making this sauce.
I just made some bread pudding for the last 2 weeks with this recipe, it turned out great, but the color of the sauce is nothing like yours, yours is translucent, mine is more like caramel color but much lighter. I wonder why that is.
But overall, people love it!!!
And the other thing is, looking at the Bon Ton Cafe bread pudding, their bread pudding looks like it’s much denser and it looks like it’s one big piece instead of small cubes like the rest of us made. So does the cafe make it with non-cubed bread then?
I’m craving bread pudding and have some left-over raisin walnut whole wheat bread. I think it would make delish pudding.
Did you ever have bread pudding with hard sauce at PAVA’s downtown? So sorry to see the restaurant go up in flames…I loved the place and the bread pudding.
I wonder, could you use cake (pound cake, gingerbread, etc.) to substitute for the bread?
You could, but there’s no need to, and it would probably change the flavor a bit. ~Elise
Wow,first time I ever made bread pudding.Do not know why it took so long.
I cut the bread up the night before in a bowl covered with a tea towel,checked it a few times tossed the cubes to dry out.
I think the raisins are the best,mmmm I would add more bourbon!
Added more vanilla and cinnomon just becasue I like it.
Truth is I would make the custard out of milk,eggs ect and add it all at once! It would seem to break up the bread less.
I cooked it 35 mins,checked it added 5 more and 5 agian.45 for me was max.
The sauce is very strong used less about 1/4.My husband drink what I did not use in his egg nog!!!
Hey I still feel asleep after I ate it.
Going to pass it along to my daughter.
Can I substitute raisin challah bread with french bread?
Sounds like it would work fine. ~Elise
What do you think of adding pecans to this recipe?
I like the bread pudding as is. But if you decide to add pecans to it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I just made this pudding for the first time and am VERY PLEASED! I made a few changes but the main one was using the new Captain Morgan’s “Tattoo spiced rum instead of the bourbon. It’s just that I am not a huge bourbon fan. It’s EXCELLENT! The spice in the rum can definitely be tasted and is a welcome compliment to the dish. I also used it in the sauce. I baked the dish in a 9 x 13” insulated pan and it took quite a bit longer to cook (over an hour at 350º) but the consistency is perfect. Keep a close eye on it and when it starts to rise in the center (like a pumpkin pie) that’s when it’s done. I used baking raisins and cooked them for 60 secs in the microwave with the rum and 2 tbls. honey, continuing to soak them for about an hour (the same time that I soaked the bread crumbs) prior to adding to the mix. Delicious! PS – I also think it’s a bit on the sweet side, but that’s the New Orleans style. One can easily cut back on the sugar by up to 1/2 cup overall.
That…..was frickin’ AMAZING! Just got through with dinner, sat down to post this review (who the hell am I kidding? I couldn’t do anything BUT sit down). Everyone agreed; this is a phenomenal bread pudding! Easy to make, easy to bake, looks like a professional job when it’s done. I know that Elise is adamant bourbon be used, but we didn’t have any bourbon. We had an excellent dark rum, though, and I was inspired by the Rum Raisin ice cream my family used to enjoy on Sunday afternoons when I was but a wee lad. All agreed, this recipe works fine with rum substituted for the bourbon (can’t compare, don’t know which is better, but…). Also, I cut the sugar to 1/2cup, and added 2 Tbsp. of good quality clover honey. 2 cups of sugar seems a mite excessive in the sweet department. Perhaps it’s a regional thing. My family is entirely Irish by extraction, and bread puddings were a staple at Christmas. The puddings were never too sweet. Also, I used Cinnabon cinnamon bread, so I didn’t need as much sugar on that basis alone. Again, Elise, phenomenal!
My husband forgot to soak the raisins overnight and he is making this bread pudding for friends that are moving away tomorrow so we have to make tonight, is there a quick method?
Skip the bourbon for the raisins and pour over them boiling hot water. That should help them plump up in a few minutes. ~Elise
I really do not like bread pudding but…this recipe is the bomb and changed my mind completely. I took this to a function a few days ago and people are still raving. The bread pudding was DELICIOUS and the bourbon sauce was to die for. I followed the recipe for the bourbon sauce as it is written but tweaked, ever so slightly the bread pudding recipe. This is my new go to recipe and I will never betray it by using another. To whoever posted this recipe, you are truly appreciated. Thank you.
Best bread pudding I’ve ever made. I did have to cook it longer though. About an hour and 15 minutes altogether. In addition to the bourbon sauce I made a banana rum sauce. Next time, I’ll do both sauces again and some meringue.
Thank you for this recipe! It’ a keeper.
To Kristen’s post above, I used the bourbon from the raisins in the sauce instead of adding it to the bread.
Hello, Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it! This will probably seem like the silliest questions, but just wondering… when you soak the raisins, do you add the bourbon they’re soaked in to the bread? or just the raisins?
Just the raisins. But they will have absorbed most, if not all, of the bourbon. ~Elise
I just put mine in the oven. I omitted the raisins. I subbed 2 cups of milk for 2 cups of vanilla caramel coffee creamer. We’ll see how it turns out. I also used a whole grain French bread.
This was delish….i used fruit cocktail instead raisins and brandy instead of bourbon. It came out so nice and it was my first time making it.Thank You!!!!
Like many other users I tried this recipe for a dinner party (New Orleans themed), and it turned out simply marvelous! I did not deviate from the recipe in any way. Everything was right on. The Bread Pudding was a hit, as was the left over Bourbon! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Any idea how long this would bake in individual ramekins? I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!
No, I do not. But if you figure it out, please let us know! ~Elise
Made this for a Fat Tuesday dinner I went to last night and it was amazing. Stiff competition for the King Cake. I used 1/2 the bourbon in the sauce and it was potent which = delicious. Thanks for an amazing recipe -it was my first time making bread pudding and I’ve been wanting to do so for quite a while. : )
I tried this last night , but since I didnt have bourbon I did it with rum … It turned out quite good …
I made this last week and it was a huge hit! Bread pudding is my husband’s favorite dessert and he loved it. I made a couple changes — I used dark rum instead of bourbon, used only about 1/2 cup of rum in the sauce, and cut the sugar by 1/4 cup in both the pudding and the sauce. Yum!
This is a great recipe. I made a non-alcoholic version of this simply by not adding the soaked raisins to the custard and instead topping it off with rum raisin ice cream rather than the Bourbon Sauce! Delicious! Thank you!
I’ve made this a bunch of times with medium and dark rum and it is simply divine!
I *love* bread pudding. On business trips to New Orleans I try the bread pudding at every restaurant that serves it. Bon Ton Café serves the best in my opinion.
A previous comment by Becca asked if Jack Daniels is OK. The answer is *absolutely* because in fact, the last time I was there (maybe 2 years ago) that’s the very thing Bon Ton used!
Thanks for posting this recipe and all the great comments. Bon Ton gave me a copy of the recipe, but I misplaced it. I’ll be making it for Christmas dinner.
This looks fabulous! Do you think it would be possible to make the sauce ahead of time and reheat for serving? Just looking to cut down on day-of kitchen time. Thanks!
Hi Heather, I haven’t tried making the sauce ahead of time so I don’t know if there would be any issues (such as separation). I’m guessing you would be alright. ~Elise
Can I use Jack Daniels if I don’t have bourbon? Thanks!!
Yes, you can use JD. ~Elise
Elise, I love your recipes! Can I freeze the bread pudding before I bake it and then defrost and bake later? I have 100 coming for dessert next week and would love to have these made up ahead of time. Thank you!
Hi Michelle, I haven’t tried freezing it as you described, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you do it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I just double checked, and this recipe is almost word for word one given to me by an old boyfriend’s grandmother, and hers was to die for. The only difference is yours has more spices (plus) and more bourbon (BIG plus!) I have already told my family I’m making this for our Christmas dinner dessert this year. Can’t wait!
Note- I do think I might try the suggestion of a little less white sugar substituted with brown sugar.. I’m a big fan of brown sugar. Has anyone tried it to compare?
This was some of the best bread pudding I have ever tasted. I used rum instead of whiskey and it was incredible. I soaked the raisins for 3 weeks so you know they were potent. Thanks again.
Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m not a fan of bourbon, so I substituted brandy, and both the pudding and the sauce were perfect–rich, flavorful, and mouth-wateringly delicious.
I’m wondering how it would taste to add about 3/4 c. of brandy-soaked, caramelized apple chunks to complement the raisins, but I’m afraid that might be too much…
Living in New Orleans ruined me for life. I just can’t get excited about dining out since I left there. I seldom missed a week without a trip to the Bon Ton Cafe. Though I varied my entrees, dessert was always their bread pudding. This recipe is as close as it gets to the real thing. It is delicious!
This is exactly what I was looking for in a bread pudding recipe — and I didn’t have any bourbon so I didn’t make the sauce. I think you are unnecessarily steering people away from this recipe if they don’t want to use bourbon, because the bread pudding by itself is still excellent!
I make a pretty fantastic bread pudding but I’m always checking out ratios in other recipes. I am on the other hand committed to 1 flavor and I’ll never eat another flavor bread pudding again! Kaluah Caramel Chocolate Chip – yum!! I’d substitute the cup of whiskey in yours and skip the raisins all-together. I usually buy the individually wrapped caramel candies, dice about 15 of them and throw in about 3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips. The result is the ewiest gooiest mass of sweetness I’ve ever had. My mom is the best for passing this one down!
I made this for my boss’s Birthday today. Doubled the recipe to make 2 trays worth, but cut the sugar to 1/2 cup (1 cup total) and the bourbon to 1/4 cup (1/2 cup total) because of the other comments. Wow, it came out wonderful. My boss was so impressed and thankful. Now it is my turn-Thanks Elise for a wonderful recipe! This one is definitely a keeper!
I made this yesterday. I was worried because not all the bread (2 day old French) absorbed all the milk so I added about another cup of bread.
I worried for nothing—I was preparing this for an event where we knew very few people and I so wanted this dessert to be great. I wasn’t disappointed and neither where all the guests. It got Rave Reviews!!!
I can’t wait to make it again, Thank you so much
I tried making this recipe awhile ago and the bread sort of crumbled into one big mush. It was about a day old but I had not cut it at all. I would like to make it again and have the bread chucks stay cohesive. How long do you suggest I let it sit? Can the bread be too stale or do you think that week old bread would work?
I suggest using French or Italian loaf bread, one or two days old, then cut into 1-inch squares. ~Elise
I am thinking of substituting choc chips for the raisins – what do you think about that and what amount should I substitute?
Well, personally I’m not a big fan of chocolate chips (weird eh?) and because I’m not a big fan, I don’t make those substitutions and wouldn’t know what to tell you about how it would work out. I would say to go ahead and try it, do a straight substitution and see how it works out for you. ~Elise
When I visited New Orleans some years ago, I tasted the best bread pudding at a cooking school in the French Quarter. So when I got a craving for bread pudding, I looked on line and spotted your picture of a bread pudding that reminded me of the one I tasted in New Orleans.
Well, this will now be the only bread pudding recipe I will EVER use! This bread pudding was moist, soft, and delicious. Now,I did think it was a tad too sweet. I will adjust the sugar for my taste. Well, gotta go, it’s time for some more bread pudding.
Made this with leftover bread ends. Used 1% milk and did not make any additional sauce(I’m sure it was wonderful, I was just lazy). It got rave reviews and I’ll be making this regularly with all my bread bits. Thank you!
Terrific bread pudding, used this as the dessert to my Christmas dinner and it was fabulous. The leftovers were wonderful for breakfast the next morning! Really easy to make too….I LOVE your site!
This was the most amazing bread pudding I’ve ever made so thank you so much for sharing the recipe. My company LOVED it. They started picking at it before we even ate dinner. The sauce was wonderful, although I only added 1/4 cup of the bourbon. We all agreed that that was a good amount *for us*. Others may prefer the whole cup, of course.
I made the bread pudding for Thanksgiving and I was very pleased with the results. However, I noticed that there is a yellow layer on the sauce once it’s cooled. What can I do to avoid this next time? Also, there are small white pieces in the sauce too. What can I do to avoid that too? Is it egg?
The yellow layer is the butter, solidifying once it has cooled (which is why you want to serve it no cooler than room temp). The small white pieces are probably pieces of egg that curdled when you were preparing the sauce. You only cook the sauce until it has thickened, not simmered. Otherwise the sauce may curdle. ~Elise
I would suggest tempering the egg with a small amount of heated bourbon before adding it to the butter/sugar mixture. (Tempering is when you slowly whisk a hot liquid into the egg to heat it up without cooking it.) You’d lose the alcoholic content of that bit of bourbon, but you’d keep the taste. I’d probably try to have the butter/sugar already partially heated before adding the egg mixture, just to keep the temp somewhat consistent. This would also be a good trick to use if you want to make the sauce non-alcoholic.
I tried your recipe for dessert for thanksgiving dinner, and it was amazing. I didn’t make the sauce because I didn’t find any hard liquor at the store :), but the bread pudding was great without the sauce. I can’t even begin to imagine how good it is with. Next up I’m trying your pecan pie for my boyfriend’s birthday Dinner. Thank You!!!
This was too good! I didn’t use the full amount of bourbon in the sauce as I like a hint of liquor. The french bread did not absorb all the milk, so I poured off the extra before assembling and baking, end result was perfection. Thank you for all the fantastic recipes and photos!
Made this for a dinner party over the weekend. Outstanding! My crowd couldnt get enough of it. The bourbon sauce was a huge hit although I will admit to only putting in half a cup of Jack Daniels. I think the key is making sure you let it get crispy on top but dont over cook
Killer Bread Puding! I had to adjust the recipe a little. Diet Dr. Pepper for the Bourbon Whiskey–Don’t consume alcohol, Splenda for sugar–I am diabetic, and I added 1 cup of frozen blueberries–just for pazzaz. Wow!
I plan to make this recipe this weekend, it looks and sounds delicious. One question: is there a difference between French bread and a French baguette?
Yes, French bread is larger, shorter and fatter than a baguette. ~Elise
Great recipe but needs a few changes: 1/2 or 1 cup less sugar. It was sickening sweet but is perfect with less sugar. I recommend less milk as well. Skim milk tastes just the same too. I don’t see the need for the sauce as the bread pudding is rich enough on it’s own. The amount of butter and sugar in the sauce is overwhelming. The little bit of bourbon in the raisins adds flavor, not intoxication… I ate this many times as a child in New Orleans and it was never considered inappropriate but maybe that’s just our culture. :-) Overall a good recipe if the butter/sugar richness is toned down. Thanks for the recipe!
Everyone has their own specific taste. Recipes are guidelines. If you like less sugar, then by all means, use less sugar. ~Elise
This recipe is awesome. I’ve made it twice now and I love it.
This is great really yummy recipe and a great alternative to just plain or chocolate chip. I used to make something similar years back without the booze when I was a chef at a rest home and loved bread pudding ever since.
Bread pudding is one of my familys favorite desserts this one looks great, can’t wait to try it. For thoses of you who don’t want the alcohol sauce a good one is 1 cup sugar 1cup thick cream,1/2 cup real butter, bring to a boil stirring constantly until thick about 5 min. add 1 teaspoon vanilla serve warm over the pudding. We use this in the deli I work at and everybody loves it.
I am a BIG fan of bread pudding. One day I had an flash of inspiration and tried using King’s Hawaiian Bread instead of french bread. May not be traditional but it is great. Have to hide it from my wife if I want any…
Thank you……thank you…….finally a great recipe for bread pudding that isn’t overpowered by cinnamon!! Most bread pudding recipes use far too much cinnamon, I have to cut it back by half (or more!) This one is perfect!
After eating a couple peices of this … my husband was waving his finger and slurring his words, “You know what I like about you…?” No really, just like everyone else, we loved this. Thanks so much for posting it. What a wonderful way to use bourbon. We practically bathed ours in the sauce on our plates.
A nice recipe, but is there a mistake with the amount of sugar? I used 1/2 cup of sugar, which most recipes call for, and it was plenty sweet. The thought of two cups of sugar makes my teeth hurt! The raisins add even more sweetness. In fact, I reduced the raisins to 3/4 of a cup, which was more than enough. I’m serving my bread pudding with raspberry sauce, just like my mother used to do.
No mistake, but you can certainly reduce the sugar if you want. ~Elise
I recommend pouring off excess milk after soaking. This has inspired me to try some variations like cherries and chocolate bits with brandy.
I just have to make this one soon …
What other whiskey can I use as a substitute?
This bread pudding is made to use Bourbon. If you want to use another whiskey, that’s up to you. ~Elise
When someone says “French bread” I think “baguette”, but they’re not the same? What’s the difference?
A baguette is long and skinny. A loaf is much shorter and fatter. ~Elise
Bread pudding is one of those great recipes that has endless possibilities. My favorite August variation involves adding fresh Italian prune plums along with a three or four tablespoons of Grand Marnier, or cognac with some orange zest. A quarter teaspoon of cinnamon is all of the spice that I use. I slice the bread instead of cubing it and arrange it and pieces of prune plums in a round dish in a circular fashion. Then I add the liquid ingredients and let it soak, putting a lid on it if the slices float. When it comes out of the oven it is puffed and looks like a golden rose. Thanks for reminding me in August, and thanks for your version of this recipe! I especially look forward to trying the bourbon sauce.
I LOVE bread pudding and I LOVE bourbon – so this is definitely the next bread pudding in my line-up.
I make a croissant bread pudding with a creamy amaretto sauce that’s pretty good too – especially with apricots or peaches. I guess I should post it – second in my line-up now.
How nice to have two bread puddings waiting in the wings!
Finally a Bread pudding that is easy to make and tastes great. This is what I’ve been looking for, I have a bunch of recipes where you have to cook it in a pan of water in the oven and all kinds of complicated stuff. This was so easy I whipped it up in no time. Great Recipe. Besides that, I got to drink the left over bourbon. I love your site, I use a bunch of your recipes.
Bachlor Cook, Frank
Bread pudding is my favorite dessert and this sounds wonderful … but not being able to substitute for the liquor makes it unusable for my household. As recovering alcoholics we dare not keep alcohol in the house. If I bring home a bottle of whiskey there’s a good chance it won’t last long enough to make it into the sauce (yes, even a half-ping). Any suggestions? What about bourbon or rum flavoring/extract? How much of the extract would I use, and what could I use for the rest of the liquid in the sauce?
Someone here mentioned a custard sauce – got a recipe for that? And to Louis who mentioned a lemon sauce – what proportions of water, sugar, and corn starch do you use? That sounds like a perfect substitute for my household. We love anything lemon-flavored.
What makes this bread pudding recipe particularly good is the Bourbon sauce, which must be made with Bourbon whiskey. There are hundreds of bread pudding recipes online, I suggest reviewing some of the ones you can find on other food blogs through Food Blog Search. ~Elise
Trying things at school with middle schoolers(grade 6-8) I’ve used white grape juice. Apple juice might work but use less. The lemon sauce is good too.
Do you think craisins would be an ok substitute for the raisins in this recipe? (Figured I’d ping the peanut gallery in case someone knew of a reason not to before experimenting) This looks fabulous – as always. Can’t wait to try it out!
Don’t see why not, but I haven’t tried it myself. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
This recipe looks fabulous. My mom makes an amazing bread pudding which is basically like yours but substituting minced dried California apricots for the raisins, substituting ground cardamon for the cinnamon and serving it with a custard sauce. To die for!
I’ve tried this recipe two times, and love it. I do 1/2 cup less of white sugar for 1/2 cup of brown, and it works out great. Thanks,The lemon sauce is also very good.
I make bread pudding with lemon sauce. Everyone tells me it is “the best” — especially my grandson. The 19th is his birthday and that is what he is getting — a bread pudding. I use french bread (stale or you can toast it in the oven to get that effect, condensed milk, whole milk, brown and white sugar, apples (peeled and chopped small), cinnamon, all spice, a dash of ground cloves, and vanilla — and about eight eggs (slightly beaten). Oh, and don’t forget a pich of salt.
I add to that about a cup or so of pecans chopped. And bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until it doesn’t shake in the middle.
The lemon sauce is water, sugar, and corn starch cooked until thick. Pour some of this mixture very slowly into a beaten egg yolk; pour this back into the pot and cook until the desired consistency — add juice and zest from one (maybe two) lemons and about half a stick of butter. You talking about good!
I think this is a great recipe… the sugar is just right!! :) Thank you for posting it and giving us the pleasure of making it and sharing it with our friends and family.
This was a great recipe, but I think it uses too much sugar.
This recipe is the best bread pudding. I made it for a party and everyone loved it, and now everyone asks me for it. Thank you.
“Bon ton” is the creole interpretation of the french “bon temps”, which means “good times” as in the new orleans mantra : “laisser les bon temps rouler.” Let the good times roll.
Great info tidbit, thanks! ~Elise
I use leftover donuts (usually Krispy Kreme) or cinnamon rolls with French bread or white bread and then cut the sugar by half.
Is there any good substitute suitable for children? We are not familiar with bread pudding here and I have made one bread pudding once and loved it.
This one sounds delicious.
I would say that this is not a child-friendly recipe, given all of the bourbon in it. But you should be easily able to find other bread pudding recipes online. Try searching Food Blog Search for some ideas. ~Elise
I never put booze IN the pudding only in the sauce or the whipped cream which of course is then optional if you want it on your piece or not. This recipe would be great to use and can be kid friendly by simply eliminating soaking the raisins and not putting the sauce on the kids serving.
Ksklein, yes, you could easily make this recipe child friendly by substituting the bourbon with apple cider (or apple juice if cider is not in season), for both soaking the raisins and making the sauce.
It won’t nearly be as good though, make sure you make a separate adults only batch :)
I bet you could actually heat (or even flame – like in banana’s foster) the alcohol with the butter & sugar to get the same taste without it being alcoholic anymore. In this case, you’d want to temper that mixture into the egg…and then heat that for slightly longer to cook it through. Then adults could just add some extra liquor on top of their serving if wanted.
I have a bottle of dark rum. Can I substitute for bourbon whiskey? Or would that be too sweet.
Personally, I wouldn’t substitute. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
You could probably substitute any hard liquor but, on a personal note I wouldn’t try scotch, I don’t know what it tastes like because I can’t get passed that awful smell!!!
Great recipe!! I used spiced rum instead because it’s what I had on hand and it came out just as good. Tasted like the Caribbean bread pudding my Gran used to make. Thanks for sharing.
Do I bake the bread pudding covered or uncovered?
Many thanks for this recipe. My mother used to make a slightly different recipe to this but it is very close. I am 65 years old and tried a few time to remember what she used to do but my efforts were not too good. Glad to have this one. thankyou.
Bread pudding is also an traditional English dish which was often used as a cake in the east end of London where it was also known as Shorditch Wedding Cake because it was cheap to make.
I made it and brought it to work the next day. People loved it!
This recipe sounds delicious. I do have a question. About how big should the “1 loaf of french bread” be? pound-wise, weigh-wise?
No idea on the weight. I usually find French loaf to be consistent in size. (Just don’t use a baguette.) You’ll want 6-7 cups of the bread cut into approx 1-inch square pieces. ~Elise
why shouldn’t you use baguette?
The reason you would not want to use baguette is that you will have more crust and less soft interior as with regular French bread which usually has a softer exterior which makes the custard mixture absorb better.
Excellent recipe. For a different twist, try substituting the bourbon with a light rum…….magnifique!!!!!!!
I made this last night with mostly leftover stollen and about 10% french bread. I reduced the sugar by about 25% It was perfect! Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe!
This is the best bread pudding. It’s simple to make. It tasts great!
This was the first time I have ever made bread pudding and I must say the recipe was a hit! I brought it to a dinner party last night and everyone really loved it! Athough, since I didn’t have allspice I added one crushed clove. I also added a drop of almond extract too. I often have a french baguette that gets dried up and I toss it out. So, this is a wonderful alternative. Thank you so much for this really wonderful recipe!
Elise, you just solved a family riddle for me! My mother has long, long made bread pudding with “whiskey bon ton sauce” when she had left over french bread (which sauce, incidentally, is fabulous over ice cream and pie). However, we never knew was bon ton meant. She waved her hand once and said “I don’t know, I think it’s a form of french or something.” This is nearly identical to her recipe, so she must have been making the Bon Ton’s pudding and sauce all these years without knowing the origin. Thank you! (and its delicious).
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