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

Bread Pudding

March 23, 2022

This classic bread pudding recipe is made by soaking white bread in creamy, rich vanilla custard. It’s the ultimate dessert that everyone is guaranteed to love. And the best part? It’s so easy to make!

the BEST bread pudding

Bread pudding is a simple, classic dessert that always tastes good. Truth is, I actually love to make it for breakfast or brunch whenever we have guests over (or simply whenever I have a craving for it). What I love about this recipe is how simple it is to make and it allows me to use up bread that may otherwise go bad.

Let’s talk about how to make this custard-based bread pudding dessert absolutely perfect.

What is bread pudding?

Bread pudding consists of layers of white 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 flavor, but you can use milk, half-and-half, or a combination depending on your personal preference.

How to make bread pudding

  1. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish. Grease the pan and set aside.
  2. Cut bread and combine with add-ins. Cut bread into 2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, mix together bread cubes and any add-ins you want to use. Place the mixture evenly in the pan.
  3. Make the vanilla custard. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add cream and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour over bread. Pour cream mixture over bread in the pan until completely covered. Gently press down the bread cubes to fully cover with custard. For maximum flavor, allow the bread to soak for 1 hour, covered, at room temperature.
  5. Bake. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 325°F/160°C or until the custard has set and the top is golden brown.
  6. Serve. You can serve the bread pudding warm or at room temperature. To reheat, cover and place in a 200°F/93°C oven for 15 minutes.

Baking tip: If the top is browning too fast, cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking until the custard is set. Don’t over bake or the bread will be dry.

What type of bread should I use?

The best type of bread to use for bread pudding is white bread. I love using enriched breads, like challah, brioche, Panettone, or even croissants. You’ll get the best results if your bread is slightly stale. Or, you can cut it up and toast it in the oven until slightly crispy.

Bread to custard ratio for bread pudding

While most recipes for bread pudding are quite similar, it’s the bread to custard ratio that typically differs. In some recipes, the bread pudding will still be filled with visible custard after baking, but in others, the bread will soak up most of the liquid. I don’t like too much extra custard, so my recipe calls for a ratio resulting in my custard being soaked into the bread. 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 (a good tip if you want to make it ahead of time and bake in the morning), I find that allowing my bread to soak up the custard for 1 hour is enough.

Try this variation: 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.

To caramelize the top of your bread pudding, simply sprinkle the top with granulated sugar and use a torch to caramelize it. If you don’t have a torch, place the bread pudding under a broiler for a few minutes until the sugar caramelizes.

More custard-based recipes

4.88 from 8 votes
Bread Pudding Recipe
Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 5 mins

This bread pudding recipe is simple and amazing. Made with creamy, rich vanilla custard, this bread pudding is simply perfect.

  • 450 g/16oz/16 slices 2-inch thick/one loaf day-old bread*
  • 1 cup (100g) pecans (or raisins, chocolate chips, cranberries, etc.)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (960 ml) heavy cream (or milk, half & half, or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Grease a 9×13-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 bread pudding sit for 1 hour, covered, at room temperature, but if you're in a hurry, you can bake it right away.

  4. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. 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 8×8-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.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    I used a yellow bundt cake that I baked and cubed it up and used it instead of bread,, Slendor instead of sugar, heavy cream, eggs, vanilla and it came out great 👍

    • Reply
      Stephanie @ Pretty.Simple.Sweet.
      June 1, 2023 at 1:40 pm


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