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This easy bread pudding with bourbon cream sauce is a rich and comforting dessert. Day-old bread and plump raisins are soaked in a classic mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, and melted butter and then baked until golden. It's a simple recipe you can enjoy for breakfast too, and it's ready in just 55 minutes!
This easy bread pudding is our take on the cozy old-fashioned dessert. It's creamy, sweet, and ultra-comforting, and the rich bourbon cream sauce makes it extra special.
If you've never tried an old-fashioned bread pudding recipe, it's a real treat. It's a bit like a cross between french toast and rice pudding but in the form of a decadent casserole.
It's a great recipe to make when you're hosting because it can be prepared up to a day ahead of time. You can also easily double it if you're serving a crowd. It's typically served for dessert but works well as a sweet breakfast, too.
It's truly the best bread pudding recipe, and it's a wonderful dessert with warm flavors that tastes especially delicious around the holidays. We love it best right out of the oven, and tastes just like our grandma used to make!
What is bread pudding?
Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert made from stale bread and a mixture of milk, eggs, and butter. The bread is soaked in the liquid and then baked until golden. While it's more commonly made sweet and enjoyed as a dessert, it can also be made savory and served as breakfast strata.
Easy bread pudding ingredients
This easy bread pudding recipe uses a simple, universal list of ingredients. If you have some day-old bread laying around, it's perfect for this recipe!
Here's everything you need for the bread pudding:
- White bread – any day-old white bread is perfect for this recipe. It can be sourdough, crusty french bread, regular sliced bread, or even challah or brioche. You can tear it or slice it into bread cubes.
- Raisins – plump raisins are a classic bread pudding ingredient. You can also use other dried fruit like dried cranberries, dates, or even apricots.
- Eggs – eggs are an integral part of what becomes the custard.
- Whole milk – whole milk helps give this pudding its creaminess, but any milk or non-diary alternative will work.
- Granulated sugar – granulated sugar dissolves easily and adds the right amount of sweetness. You can also use cane sugar if you'd like.
- Melted butter – melted butter adds moisture, richness, and flavor.
- Cinnamon + sea salt
Here's what you need for the delicious bourbon cream sauce:
- Heavy cream – heavy cream makes this sauce incredibly rich and creamy.
- Flour – for thickening the sauce.
- Sugar – granulated sugar makes this sauce sweet.
- Bourbon – you can save your really good stuff because any kind of bourbon works for this recipe.
- Sea salt
How to make easy bread pudding
This easy bread pudding recipe makes a delicious sweet dessert, and the leftovers taste great for breakfast or as a snack with coffee. Here's how to make the bread pudding in just three simple steps:
- Prep the bread: Tear the bread into pieces directly into your prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle with raisins.
- Make the custard: Whisk the eggs, whole milk, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and sea salt together. Pour it over the bread and press down so all the bread gets soaked with milk.
- Bake it! Bake it in the oven until the edges are browned, and serve warm or at room temperature with the bourbon cream sauce!
- How to make bourbon cream sauce: Place the cream in a pot and sprinkle with flour. Bring it to a boil, then lower it to a simmer (until it starts to thicken). Remove it from the heat and add the sugar, bourbon, and sea salt. That's it!
Bread pudding variation ideas
There are lots of ways you can add to this basic bread pudding recipe. Here are some of our favorite add-ins:
- Give it some crunch – if you like a satisfying crunch, nuts are a wonderful addition. Walnuts and pecans are our top nut choices.
- Switch up the dried fruit – raisins are a classic bread pudding ingredient, but other dried fruit like dried cranberries, chopped dates, or even apricots work too.
- Make it boozy – add a few tablespoons of bourbon to the milk and egg mixture for more boozy flavor!
- Chocolate bread pudding – swap the raisins for chocolate chips for all the chocolate lovers in your life.
When to serve bread pudding
Serve this easy bread pudding with bourbon cream sauce as a sweet dessert after a delicious meal. It's one of those ultra-cozy desserts that taste great warm, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can also swap the bourbon cream sauce for a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
It tastes great with coffee too, so you could easily serve it as part of a festive brunch spread alongside other breakfast dishes.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Yes! This recipe is great for making ahead of time. You can prepare the bread pudding and then cover it and place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking it. You can also prepare the sauce up to 3 days ahead. Store it in the fridge in a jar or sealed container and then warm it on the stove with a splash of more cream before serving.
How long do leftovers last?
Store any leftover bread pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How do I know when it's done cooking?
Your bread pudding is done baking when the edges are browned and the center is still jiggly, but set. Since everyone's oven is a bit different, it's best to keep an eye on it.
- 4 cups white bread (torn into pieces)
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (more to grease the pan)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch sea salt
Bourbon Cream Sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ tablespoon flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish with butter. Place the torn bread into the baking dish and sprinkle the raisins over the top.4 cups white bread, ½ cup raisins
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs, whole milk, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and lightly press down on the bread with a spatula to make sure the bread is covered with the milk.2 large eggs, 1 ½ cups whole milk, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pinch sea salt, 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the edges are browned. (The center will still look soft.) Serve warm or at room temperature with the bourbon cream sauce over the top.
Bourbon Cream Sauce
- Put the heavy cream in a small pot and sprinkle with the flour. Whisk until it is combined then bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute, or until it has thickened. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the sugar, bourbon, and sea salt.1 cup heavy cream, 1 ½ tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons bourbon, ⅓ cup sugar, ¾ teaspoon sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.