Breakfast/ Caramel/ Dessert/ easy/ Holiday/ no mixer/ quick

Bread Pudding

June 11, 2014

This classic casserole, made from bread soaked in a creamy vanilla custard, is perfect for breakfast or brunch and is simple to make. It’s my favorite bread pudding recipe!

the BEST bread pudding

Some call it bread pudding, others call it baked French toast. Whatever you want to call it, though, it’s a dreamy breakfast or brunch for your guests. It’s easy to make, and you’ll never need to throw away old bread again.

What is bread pudding?

It’s layers of bread mixed with a delicious, creamy custard made from eggs, sugar, and either cream or milk. Using heavy cream alone will give the richest and, in my opinion, most delicious results, but you can use milk, half-and-half, or a combination.

Type of Bread

The bread can’t be fresh, and it should sit at room temperature for a day to let it dry up a little. I like to use Challa, but you can also use French bread, brioche (delicious!), or Panettone (an Italian bread).

Bread to Custard Ratio

While most recipes for bread pudding are quite similar, it’s the bread to custard ratio that differs the most. In some recipes, the casserole will still be filled with visible custard after baking, but in others, the bread will soak up most of the liquid. It also depends on how much time you let the bread soak prior to baking. While most recipes suggest anywhere from a few minutes to overnight in the fridge (good if you want to make it ahead and bake in the morning), I find it enough to let my bread soak for an hour. In my recipe, the casserole won’t be full of custard after baking, but if you find that you prefer more, simply make extra custard next time with the same amount of bread.

Baking Time

Baking time is key in making this breakfast perfect. When the custard is no longer runny, and when there is no custard leaking from the top when you press down on the bread, then it’s done. Over baking will make the bread dry.

Creme Brulee Bread Pudding

For special occasions, I like to caramelize the top of the bread pudding like in creme brulee. This might slightly burn the edges of the bread, but don’t worry about it – the end product won’t taste burnt at all. Since bread pudding is very soft, the caramelized top gives it the perfect crunch. You can also add crunch by adding pecans or other nuts (this recipe includes nuts). The brulee top is only optional, and without it, you’ll still have a delicious, classic bread pudding. Either way you decide to create this sweet morning treat, your guests will thank you!

4.88 from 8 votes
Bread Pudding Recipe
If you like your bread pudding full of custard after baking, make the same amount of custard in this recipe and use less bread (or use the same amount of bread and use more custard), because the bread will soak up most of the liquid. Refer to above post for more info.

  • 450 g/16oz/16 slices 2-inch thick/one loaf day-old bread*
  • 1 cup pecans (or raisins, chocolate chips, cranberries, etc.)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups heavy cream (or milk, half & half, or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch pan, and set aside.
  2. Cut bread into 2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, mix together bread cubes and pecans. Place the mixture evenly in the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar. Add cream and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. Pour cream mixture over bread mixture in the pan until completely covered. Gently press down the bread cubes to fully cover with custard. It's best to let the casserole sit for 1 hour, covered, at room temperature, but if you're in a hurry, bake it right away.
  4. Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until custard has set and the top is golden brown. If the top is browning too fast, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Don’t over bake or the bread will be dry. Let the pudding cool slightly before serving.
  5. Bread pudding can be served warm or cold. It is best the same dat it's made.
Recipe Notes

*For the bread I prefer Challah, but you can also use French bread, brioche, or Panettone.
*The recipe can be halved to fit an 8x8-inch pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.




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  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 10:56 am

    What a great idea!!! That looks delicious!

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks Anne 🙂

  • Reply
    June 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    This looks so so good, Shiran! I found you on Instagram and just had to visit your site. So glad I did. I will def be using brioche ;). Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      June 15, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Thank you for the sweet words! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Amazing! I made this using some leftover pumpkin rolls I’d made for Thanksgiving. I also added cranberries. So delicious!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Thank you Dawn! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 I also added cranberries once and it was amazing!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    It looks like what I grew up on in New Orleans. Mom always used sweet French bread. I’ll be making it over the holidays…Cheers !

    • Reply
      December 18, 2014 at 1:48 am

      There’s nothing like food that brings up good memories 🙂 It sounds great for the holidays!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I always make this for the new year! But I make s caramel sauce and add the pecans to it!

    • Reply
      January 3, 2018 at 9:27 am

      It’s the best combo ever! Happy new year!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Hi Shiran!!! I love love love your blog.. everything looks just fabulous.. just a quick question .. can this recipe be halved and made in a 9 inch pan?

    • Reply
      January 6, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Thank you so much! 🙂 Is it a 9-inch square pan? If so, it’s better to divide the recipe by 2/3 or 3/4. Half recipe works best for an 8-inch pan.

  • Reply
    Therese A Michaud
    July 31, 2018 at 9:18 am

    How do you carmelize the top?

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 9:09 am

      I’m using a torch, same as caramelizing creme brulee.

    • Reply
      September 17, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Do you cook this in a water bath?? Like a custard?

  • Reply
    November 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Thank you for an absolutely LUSCIOUS recipe. I’ve always struggled with the ratio of bread to custard, your recipe turned out beautifully. I made it for my mother todayand she was delighted! Many thanks to you (and I can’t wait to try your cheesecake recipe!)

  • Reply
    January 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Hi there I would like to make this, however we are quite boring no pecans or raisins but I would like to add cinnamon how much would you recommended? Thanks

    • Reply
      April 5, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      Hi, I added about 2 teaspoons of cinammon to the custard and it came out really nice. I’d recommend a bit more though if you like a strong cinammon flavour. Maybe 3 teaspoons.

  • Reply
    Allen Stone
    February 23, 2019 at 12:40 am

    I used a frozen round Challah and cut full length slices. Then I shingled the bread rotating from side ya side. Since I used a 2” deep, half hotel pan I increased the cooking time. Right at the end I sprinkled sugar on top and used a torch to caramelize it.
    For plating I would cut a sizeable portion and reheat in in a pan with butter making sure to brown the sides and spooning the melted butter over and finished heating it in the oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, maple syrup on the plate and fresh berries and mint leaves.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 7:48 am

    This is my FIRST recipe review… ever and it’s because this recipe made the best bread pudding! I have struggled with other recipes because they would ask for a loaf/cups of cubed bread (which can vary depending on how you cut the bread.) But because your recipe included the weight, I was able to adjust the recipe for the 6oz of unused brioche bread I had on hand. The ratio of bread to custard was perfect for my taste. I did however upped the decadence level by drizzling 1T of melted butter on top before baking. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 11, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    The first time I tried bread pudding was at a restaurant in Auburn, al and I have tried to make it serval times, but none tasted as good as it did that night until now. This recipe was the closet I have come. The only difference from this recipe is that I added bananas, sweetened blackberries, pecans, cinnamon, and bagel bread instead of French bread. After mixing everything I let it sit for about an hour or so then I baked it as instructed. I then made some vanilla syrup to pour over it.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Made my first ever pudding with this recipe, it’s so easy to follow and very delish! Did 2 cups of cream and 2 cups of milk. Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I like your suggestion to brûlée the top. Could you please give instructions on how to do that? Thank you.

    • Reply
      August 24, 2020 at 2:19 am

      You can sprinkle some sugar on top and using a torch, start caramelizing the top until nicely browned and bubbly.

  • Reply
    Hellie H
    October 20, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you for the recipe Shiran, I have finally made my first bread pudding and love it 🙂

  • Reply
    October 31, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Can I use condensed milk for this?

  • Reply
    November 1, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Shiran
    How about using the condensed milk?

  • Reply
    June 27, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Love love love this it’s my new go to for bread pudding 💖

  • Reply
    Janet Yang
    July 13, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Including metric weights in the recipe is very helpful.

    My favorite version of this recipe uses French bread and a 50/50 mix of whole milk and heavy cream, to make bread pudding that is a little less rich.
    Instead of pecans, I used ½ cup of dried currants and ⅓ cup of candied ginger, chopped.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    I just love your bread pudding i use old dougnuts for my bread pudding i think it adds a real sweetness to the recipe.

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