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Our Best Ideas for Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a culinary treasure that transforms stale, leftover bread into a delightful and heartwarming dish. Most bread puddings are made by soaking bread in a custard mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar. The soaked bread is then transferred to a baking dish and baked until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. The result is a warm, comforting dessert or savory dish with a soft center and a crispy top.

Its beauty lies in its versatility: from the type of bread used, be it rustic sourdough, fluffy brioche, or buttery croissants, to the flavors used. Sweet ingredients can be added, from rich chocolate to lush fruits to aromatic spices, while savory versions might boast cheeses, herbs or even meats. Whether you’re looking for a show stopping dessert or an interesting new Thanksgiving side dish, there’s a bread pudding recipe that’s just right. Start with this simple, basic bread pudding recipe. Made with rich brioche or challah and soaked with a traditional vanilla-cinnamon cream mixture, its the perfect starting point for customizing with your own flavors (or enjoying as-is, of course!)

Get the Recipe:Best Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Caramel Bread Pudding

Savor the taste of fall with a rich bread pudding that’s infused with pumpkin and warm autumnal spices. Folding a homemade caramel into the pumpkin custard is the secret trick here, though you can swap in a store-bought version if you prefer.

Get the Recipe:Pumpkin Caramel Bread Pudding

Raspberry-Lemon Bread Pudding

This bread pudding recipe is so simple, you can even get the kids involved. Laden with a delightful combination of zesty lemon and tart raspberries, these mini bread puddings can even be made in individually-sized coffee cups.

Get the Recipe:Raspberry-Lemon Bread Pudding

Crème Brulée Bread Pudding

The pleasures of a creamy crème brulée with a crackled sugar topping are universal. This same great flavor and texture can be incorporated into a simple bread pudding recipe, along with a few spicy secret ingredients: smoked paprika and crushed barbecue chips.

Get the Recipe:Creme Brulee Bread Pudding

Panettone Bread Pudding

A great bread pudding recipe can turn even the blandest of bread into a delectable dessert, so why not start with something you’d eat on its own? Elevate this classic dish by using sliced panettone, a blend of eggs, milk, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon, finished with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Get the Recipe:Creme Brulee Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding

This double-chocolate bread pudding is an indulgent treat that doubles down on the chocolate flavor with a combination of cocoa powder and chocolate chips. With its creamy texture and heavy hand of chocolate goodness, it’s the perfect dessert for those who believe there’s no such thing as too much chocolate.

Get the Recipe:Chocolate Bread Pudding

Instant Pot Bread Pudding

Pressure cooking ups the creamy, custardy nature of this classic brunch staple. If you prefer a crispy crust for contrast, just pop the baking dish under the broiler with some sugar on top.

Get the Recipe:Instant Pot Bread Pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding

You can have all the delicious flavor of classic French toast without having to worry about soaking and frying individual slices of bread. This bread pudding recipe soaks challah bread in a cinnamon custard before baking in the oven to keep things simple and easy.

Get the Recipe:French Toast Bread Pudding

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Two classic desserts come together in the ultimate mashup: a gooey, creamy bread pudding with bananas, rum and pecans. Typically, bananas foster gets torched at the end, but this version tastes much better with extra syrup drizzled on top.

Get the Recipe:Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Thought this decadent dish coudn’t get any better? We give classic bread pudding two easy upgrades by subbing in flaky, butter croissants—and incorporating both milk and semisweet chocolate.

Get the Recipe:Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding

This bread pudding recipe masterfully combines the soft, buttery richness of brioche with the tart burst of raspberries and the lusciousness of semisweet chocolate chips, resulting in a dessert that’s both indulgent and refreshing. The method of baking in a water bath ensures an evenly set, velvety custard.

Get the Recipe:Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding

Microwave Bread Pudding

Short on time? No problem. This bread pudding recipe has all the gooey, cinnamon-speckled flavor of the classic dish but adapted to make just two servings and bakes in the microwave.

Get the Recipe:Microwave Bread Pudding

The Best Bread Pudding

Toasting the challah adds flavor, but more importantly, it helps the cubes to soak up and hold onto more of the deliciously rich custard (a high ratio of cream to milk makes it that way). And if that wasn’t enough, we use not 1 but 2 vanilla beans to amp up the custard—plain old extract just doesn’t do it justice. For a pleasing textural contrast, we top the pudding with turbinado sugar before baking to get a sweet crunch with every bite.

Get the Recipe:The Best Bread Pudding

Red Velvet Bread Pudding

Classic red velvet cupcakes get extra moist and flavorful when baked into a creamy bread pudding. You can start with cupcakes and frosting made from scratch as instructed below or use frosted cupcakes from the bakery.

Get the Recipe:Red Velvet Bread Pudding

Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding

This chocolate bread pudding infuses traditional Mexican bolillo rolls with the rich taste of Mexican chocolate, creating a dessert that’s both comforting and inventive. The addition of raisins provides a delightful burst of sweetness, while the ground cinnamon adds warmth and depth.

Get the Recipe:Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bread Pudding

Turn chewy soft pretzels into an ooey-gooey, salty-sweet bread pudding, then take it over the top with an effortless caramel sauce.

Get the Recipe:Salted Caramel Pretzel Bread Pudding

Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

This bread pudding recipe seamlessly melds the tangy, robust flavor of sourdough bread with rich, melty dark chocolate chips, creating a delightful texture and depth of flavor. Complemented by the zesty and sweet orange sauce, each bite offers a balance of sweetness and citrus.

Get the Recipe:Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

This savory bread pudding perfectly marries the flavors of pancetta, leeks, and earthy cremini mushrooms, enhanced by the aromatic hint of fresh tarragon and the deep notes of sherry. The creamy texture, achieved by the infusion of heavy cream and rich chicken stock, is beautifully contrasted by the crusty bread cubes and is topped off with the nutty meltiness of Gruyere cheese.

Get the Recipe:Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

Caramel Bread Pudding for Two

Just two small croissants make enough decadent bread pudding for two people, with no leftovers!

Get the Recipe:Caramel Bread Pudding for Two

Tastykake Bread Pudding

This bread pudding ingeniously transforms the beloved Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets into a delectable dessert, melding their distinct sweetness with a traditional vanilla cream mixture. The icing, with its hint of optional scotch and the blend of brown sugar and butter, drapes over the pudding to provide a velvety finish.

Get the Recipe:Tastykake Bread Pudding

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

It’s not likely that you will have a ton of leftover chocolate croissants on hand, but if you do, you can always make bread pudding with them. The flaky croissant layers readily soak up the vanilla custard to create a warm dessert streaked with melted chocolate.

Get the Recipe:Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Breakfast Bread Pudding

We’ve all heard of breakfast for dinner, but what about dessert for breakfast? This recipe takes the classic bread pudding technique and gives it a savory edge, full of protein-rich eggs and cheese to give you the best start to your day.

Get the Recipe:Breakfast Bread Pudding

Sausage and Leek Savory Bread Pudding

Brioche is the secret to this savory dish: The fluffy, eggy bread soaks up the cream and broth to produce a moist, custardy interior. Sausage, leeks and Gruyere are a go-with-everything combination, so this dish will fit right into any spread.

Get the Recipe:Sausage and Leek Savory Bread Pudding

Sweet Roll Bread Pudding

If you haven’t got the time (or the patience) to cube bread, use this genius hack to save yourself the trouble. Hollowed-out sweet Hawaiian rolls make the perfect platform for gooey custard, especially when finished with some ripe summer berries.

Get the Recipe:Sweet Roll Bread Pudding

Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

If you‘ve ever thought that your bread pudding needed a bit of something extra, why not swap in cake doughnuts for the bread? In the unlikely scenario that you happen to have leftover cake doughnuts, this over-the-top bread pudding recipe can use them up in a delicious way.

Get the Recipe:Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

The surprise element in this recipe is the decadent chocolate chunks throughout. When paired with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top, the chocolate elevates this dessert to a whole new level of indulgence.

Get the Recipe:Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

Leek Bread Pudding

This savory bread pudding brings together the tangy essence of sourdough and the mild, earthy flavor of sauteed leeks. The creamy custard, punctuated with grated Parmesan, and seasoned with thyme offers a rich depth of flavor, perfect for gracing the holiday table.

Get the Recipe:Leek Bread Pudding

Guava Bread Pudding

When it comes to flavoring a bread pudding, the options are limitless. This recipe has a combination of tropical guava and golden raisins and is finished with a silky marshmallow and vanilla cream sauce.

Get the Recipe:Guava Bread Pudding

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