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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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240 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Silvia

    Can you make the bourbon sauce and reheat the next day?

  • Frances Merrell

    I made this two years ago and it was AMAZING! I’m not a raisin fan, but highly recommend bourbon soaked golden raisins. This year, I need to travel 2 hours for Thanksgiving and want to take this. Looking for tips. Also, I plan to use half & half instead of milk.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Cheryl

    Wow this Bread Pudding recipe is easy to make and the results are Amazing. My family and I really enjoyed it and it will be made for the Holidays or any time we grave a comfort dessert. Thank you Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jo Butler

    Turned out very well but wayyyyyy too sweet, and then the sugar mixed with the oil to make a sugar sauce at the bottom (a bit too much for our taste) may try next time with only 1 cup of sugar.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Matthew Butler

    I’m new to baking, so I’m slowly learning the basics. This was so easy to make and filled the house with the most amazing aroma. I’m a really big fan of bread pudding so it felt good making my own and having it turn out so well. The only sugar I had was bakers/caster sugar left over from making rock cakes and wasn’t sure if it would make a difference, either way it tasted amazing.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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