Bread Pudding

DessertChristmasBourbon

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

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.

How to make 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 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

206 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Alex

    Any idea how much weight your loaf was? I have some bread left over but i suspect its probably half of what you have there. But it’d be helpful to know so I can scale the other ingredients properly

  • Lequilla Brown

    #simplyrecipes Thanks for the recipe I made it for our 3rd year anniversary on tonight & my husband absolutely love it.. I’ve tasted bread pudding once or twice before & I didn’t care for it but I must admit not to toot my own horn but it was so delicious that I ate my whole slice. ❤️

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Rebecca

    It’s very very good ! I make bread pudding once in a while and when I do , my kids and my husband devour it ! Lol great recipe

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Alicia Luchini

    I made the bread pudding and share with my neighbors. We all love this recipe. Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Vernette

    It’s delicious! I added golden raisins and the peaches and cherries chopped up from a cup of fruit cocktail in its own juice. I also used left-over plain old white bread, Italian hard roles from Publix’s bakery and half a loaf of cranberry/walnut bread (a yeast bread, not quick bread, and not sweet.) I made two 9×11 pans and one 8×8 pan the first time which required tripling the sauce. I also soaked the golden raisins in a little brandy and grand marinier, adding enough hot water to cover. I did this because that’s all I had in the house. The raisins went into the pudding. I made a simple custard sauce for a sauce, but it would be good without any sauce. Once it’s been refrigerated, I would reheat individual portions in microwave – not that much is left over! The best thing is you can use whatever yeast bread you have that isn’t too strong-flavored. My old highschool used to make a bread pudding like this in the cafeteria, using left-over bread and sweet rolls. Those were the days. Cafeterias aren’t like this any more.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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