Classic Bread Pudding. This easy, decadent bread pudding recipe comes together with sweet brioche bread baked in a cinnamon custard. This pudding bakes up soft and tender with a delicious crisp topping. Drizzle with some homemade vanilla syrup for the ultimate dessert!

Vanilla syrup pouring over the top of a piece of bread pudding with raisins.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Brioche: a sweet brioche loaf is perfect for making bread pudding. If you can’t find a brioche, then challah is a great option also. These breads are rich thanks to the eggs in them and sturdy, making for the best bread pudding.
  • Raisins: these are optional. Raisins seem to be a point of contention with some people. Personally I love raisins and they add an extra depth of flavor to each bite.
  • Sugars: a combination of white and light brown sugar is used in this recipe.
  • Milk: whole milk creates a creamier custard. You can use whatever milk you prefer, just keep in mind that the higher percent the creamier the pudding will be. You can also substitute a small portion for cream if you like!
  • Eggs: this is going to create the custard, giving us a rich and decadent dessert!
  • Vanilla: this can be vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
  • Spices: a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg are my favorite. Feel free to add a small amount of cloves and ginger if desired.
  • Butter: use unsalted butter to allow you to control the butter in the dish.

How to make Classic Bread Pudding:

  1. Dry out the bread by cubing and baking in the oven at 250℉ until bread is dry. This helps prevent soggy pudding.
  2. Prepare custard by combining sugars with egg and milk. Season with spices and vanilla.
  3. Pour melted butter into the baking dish. Add the dried bread and pour the custard mixture over the top.
  4. Bake until pudding is set. You should be able to shake the dish and the center will barely jiggle.

To create a crisper crust, after the bread pudding has finished baking, increase the temperature to 400℉ and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Baking dish filled with cubed bread and raisins to bake for bread pudding.

How to make Homemade Vanilla Syrup:

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Combine sugar and cornstarch and add to the water. This will sweeten and thicken the water. Let this cook until nice and thick.
  • Remove from heat, stir in milk or cream.
  • Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Continue stirring while the butter melts.
  • Let this sauce cool briefly before enjoying. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Homemade vanilla syrup in a saucepan for drizzling onto bread pudding.

How to add alcohol to this Bread Pudding Recipe:

It’s very common to have rum, whiskey, or brandy, included in bread pudding.

  • Add alcohol into the egg mixture, 2-4 tbsp depending on preference.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp into the vanilla syrup.

Additions:

If you’re not into raisins, you can always add something else to your pudding! Some options would be:

  • Toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)
  • Dried Cranberries or blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips
Overhead view of a serving of bread pudding with a fork.

More Desserts featuring Cinnamon:

Vanilla syrup pouring over the top of a piece of bread pudding with raisins.

Classic Bread Pudding

Classic Bread Pudding. This easy, decadent bread pudding recipe comes together with sweet brioche bread baked in a cinnamon custard. This pudding bakes up soft and tender with a delicious crisp topping. Drizzle with some homemade vanilla syrup for the ultimate dessert!
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Ingredients

  • 6-7 cups brioche or challah bread, cubed (20 ounce loaf)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract , or vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted

Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Equipment

  • 3 qt baking dish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250℉.
  • Cut the bread to 1/2 inch cubes, and spread into a single layer onto a large baking sheet. Bake at 250 for 10-15 minutes to dry out. 
  • In a small bowl combine the sugars, add in the eggs and milk, whisk together. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Pour melted butter into the bottom of a 2 1/2 qt baking dish, make sure to coat the sides and bottom of the dish.
  • Add the bread into the dish, stir in the raisins, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Allow this to sit 15-20 minutes to let the bread soak up the mixture. 
  • Increase oven temperature to 350℉
  • Bake at 350℉ for 55-60 mins. Pudding should only have a slight jiggle in the center when the dish is shaken.

Vanilla Syrup

  • In a small saucepan bring water to a boil. 
  • In a small bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch. 
  • Add the sugar mixture to the boiling water. Whisk together until the sugar dissolves completely in the water. 
  • Reduce heat to low and continue to cook 4-6 minutes while the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove the sauce from heat, whisk in the cream or whole milk. 
  • Stir in vanilla and butter, stirring while the butter melts. Allow the sauce to cool for several minutes before serving over the bread pudding. 
  • Store the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Notes

  • Bread pudding can be served warm, room temperature or cold. If desired to serve cold, allow the pudding to cool to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours before serving. 
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. To reheat leftovers, preheat oven to 350℉, cover the bread pudding with foil and bake for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. 
  • Freezer options: wrap well with foil and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven for best results. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 558kcal, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 260mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 57g, Vitamin A: 617IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 163mg, Iron: 1mg
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Photography by KJandCompany.co