Homemade bread pudding recipe with day-old bread

homemade bread pudding in white plate

Homemade bread pudding recipe with day-old bread

Introduction to bread pudding and its history

Bread pudding, a timeless and comforting dessert, has a rich history that spans across cultures and centuries. Dating back to ancient times, this delectable treat was born out of necessity. In an effort to reduce waste and make use of stale bread, resourceful home cooks discovered the art of transforming this seemingly mundane ingredient into a culinary masterpiece.

Throughout history, bread pudding has taken various forms and names. It has been known as "poor man's pudding" or "poor man's cake" due to its humble origins and affordable ingredients. In medieval Europe, it was a popular dish among peasants and was often flavored with spices, fruits, and even alcohol.

As time went on, bread pudding gained popularity worldwide and found its way into different cuisines. In English cuisine, it became a staple dessert, often served with a warm custard sauce. In the United States, it evolved into a comfort food, with regional variations like New Orleans' famous bread pudding soaked in a rich bourbon sauce.

What makes bread pudding truly special is its ability to transform stale bread into a luscious and indulgent dessert. The texture of the bread becomes soft and velvety, while the custard mixture infuses it with flavors that meld together beautifully. From sweet to savory, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating unique and delicious bread pudding recipes.

Why Opt for Stale Bread in Bread Pudding?

Have you ever questioned the use of stale bread in a bread pudding recipe? It may seem counterintuitive when fresh bread appears to be the obvious choice. However, there are several reasons why stale bread is the secret ingredient to a mouthwatering bread pudding.

First and foremost, stale bread possesses the perfect texture for absorbing the custard mixture. Unlike its softer and moister fresh counterpart, stale bread has a dry and slightly firm consistency. This allows it to soak up the custard without turning into a mushy mess. The end result is a pudding with a divine balance of creamy custard and tender, yet slightly chewy, bread cubes.

Moreover, using stale bread helps alleviate food waste in the kitchen. We've all experienced moments where a loaf of bread has been forgotten, only to be discovered a few days later on the brink of spoilage. Instead of discarding it, you can rejuvenate that stale bread by turning it into a delicious bread pudding. It's a win-win situation – savor a delectable dessert while reducing food waste.

Stale bread also adds an extra punch of flavor to your bread pudding. As bread ages, its flavor deepens and intensifies, and the slightly dry and crusty exterior of stale bread brings a subtle nuttiness and complexity to the pudding. This enhances the overall taste with a rustic and comforting element that is hard to achieve with fresh bread.

Lastly, using stale bread results in a superior texture for your bread pudding. The dried-out bread cubes maintain their shape during the baking process, creating pockets of softness and a slightly crispy top. This delightful contrast of textures adds another layer of enjoyment to every bite.


4 cups of day-old bread, cut into cubes

2 cups of milk

 1/2 cup of sugar

 4 eggs, 

 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract,

 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.


- Gather the ingredients: Get stale bread, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and optional add-ins such as raisins, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts. - Prepare the bread:

 Cut stale bread into small cubes or tear into bite-sized pieces. 

- Soak the bread: Mix milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices in a bowl, then add the bread and optional add-ins. 

- Let it rest: Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb flavors and moisture. - Preheat the oven: Set the oven to 350°F (175°C). 

- Grease the baking dish: Lightly coat with butter or cooking spray. 

- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish: Spread it evenly. 

- Bake to perfection: Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and set.

 - Serve and enjoy: Let it cool slightly, then serve warm with optional toppings like whipped cream, caramel sauce, or powdered sugar. Achieve a golden brown top and a firmly set pudding by baking for an estimated duration of 40-45 minutes.


Bread pudding allows for endless creative possibilities and variations. 

- Dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, and apricots provide sweetness and chewy texture. 

- Soaking dried fruits in rum or brandy before adding to the pudding infuses a rich, boozy flavor.

 - Chocolate chips or chunks add a gooey, chocolatey texture to the pudding. - Adding nuts like pecans, walnuts, or almonds brings satisfying crunch and nutty flavor.

 - Experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, or citrus zest for refreshing twists. 

- Consider savory versions by adding ingredients like bacon, cheese, and herbs for a unique dish. 

- Encouragement to let creativity flow and experiment with various ingredients for delightful results.

Tips for achieving the perfect texture and consistency

Achieving the perfect texture and consistency is crucial when making bread pudding. The success of this delectable dessert lies in finding the right balance between a tender, moist interior and a slightly crispy, golden-brown crust. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect texture and consistency in your homemade bread pudding: 

 1. Choose the right type of bread:

 Stale or day-old bread works best for bread pudding as it absorbs the custard mixture without becoming too soggy. Opt for bread with a denser texture like brioche, challah, or even a baguette. Avoid using bread with a high water content, such as ciabatta, as it can make your pudding too mushy.

 2. Cut the bread into cubes: 

Cut the bread into uniform cubes to ensure even soaking and cooking. Aim for cubes that are about 1 inch in size, as this will allow the custard mixture to seep into the bread, resulting in a moist and flavorful pudding.

 3. Soak the bread adequately: 

To achieve the perfect balance of flavors, it's essential to soak the bread cubes in the custard mixture for an adequate amount of time. This allows the bread to absorb the flavors and moisture, resulting in a rich and indulgent dessert. Let the bread soak for at least 20-30 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator, for a more intense flavor. 

 4. Use the right custard ratio: 

The custard mixture is what gives bread pudding its creamy and luscious texture. It's important to strike the right balance between eggs, milk, cream, and sugar. A common ratio is about 2 cups of milk or cream to 4-5 large eggs, along with sugar and any desired flavorings such as vanilla extract or cinnamon. Adjust the ratio based on personal preference, keeping in mind that a higher ratio of eggs to liquid will result in a firmer pudding. 

 5. Add mix-ins for extra flavor and texture: 

While bread pudding is delightful on its own, adding mix-ins can take it to the next level. Consider incorporating ingredients like chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruits, nuts, or even a drizzle of caramel sauce to enhance both the taste and texture of your pudding.

 6. Bake at the right temperature and time: 

The baking process plays a crucial role in achieving the desired texture and consistency. Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C) and bake the bread pudding in a water bath to ensure even cooking and prevent excessive browning. Bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is set, usually around 40-50 minutes. Remember that the pudding will continue to set as it cools, so slightly underbaking it can result in a softer and more custard-like texture.

Crafting and Presenting a Divine Bread Pudding

After preparing and allowing your bread pudding mixture to soak, it's time to transform it into a mouthwatering dessert that will leave everyone craving more. To ensure an even bake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Next, gently pour your bread pudding mixture into a greased baking dish, whether it be a traditional rectangular or square dish, or individual ramekins for a personalized touch. Ensure an even distribution throughout the dish to savor every bite with its rich flavors and textures.

For an enhanced experience, consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of caramel sauce before baking. The aroma of these additions will tantalize your senses and entice your taste buds.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden brown and the pudding is set. You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center - a clean toothpick signifies a perfect pudding.

Once baked to perfection, allow the dish to cool for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the pudding to set, making it easier to portion and serve.

When serving the bread pudding, there are various options to elevate its deliciousness. A classic choice is dusting the top with powdered sugar, adding a touch of elegance and sweetness. Alternatively, drizzle warm caramel or vanilla sauce over each serving for a luscious and indulgent experience.

For an extra indulgence, pair your bread pudding with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The contrast of warm, gooey pudding and cool, smooth cream creates a divine combination that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Whether enjoyed as a comforting dessert on a chilly evening or served as a delectable treat for a special occasion, this bread pudding will surely impress and satisfy any palate.

Serving suggestions and accompaniments for your bread pudding

When it comes to serving your homemade bread pudding, there are endless possibilities to enhance its flavors and create a truly delectable experience. Here are some serving suggestions and accompaniments that will take your bread pudding to the next level.

1. Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream adds a luscious, creamy element that perfectly complements the warm and rich bread pudding. It adds a lightness to each bite and creates a delightful contrast in textures.

 2. Caramel Sauce: Drizzling a generous amount of caramel sauce over your bread pudding adds a touch of sweetness and a heavenly caramelized flavor. The smooth and velvety sauce will create a decadent dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

 3. Fresh Fruits: Adding fresh fruits, such as berries or sliced peaches, to your bread pudding not only adds a burst of vibrant color but also brings a refreshing and juicy element to each spoonful. The combination of the warm bread pudding and the juicy fruits creates a harmonious balance of flavors.

 4. Ice Cream: Serving your bread pudding with a scoop of your favorite ice cream takes it to another level of indulgence. The cool and creamy ice cream pairs beautifully with the warm bread pudding, creating a delightful contrast in temperatures and adding an extra layer of deliciousness.

 5. Nut Toppings: Toasted and chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts, sprinkled on top of your bread pudding can provide a satisfying crunch and an added depth of flavor. The nuttiness complements the creamy and sweet bread pudding, creating a delightful combination of textures.

 6. Chocolate Ganache:

For all the chocolate lovers out there, drizzling a velvety chocolate ganache over your bread pudding will elevate it to a heavenly dessert. The rich and silky chocolate adds a luxurious touch and creates a dessert that is truly irresistible.


To summarize, repurposing leftover bread into a delightful dessert not only reduces food waste but also provides a satisfying way to indulge in comfort food. The ultimate solution for using up stale bread is bread pudding, which offers a warm and custardy texture.

Impress your loved ones by following this easy homemade bread pudding recipe, which transforms stale bread into a mouthwatering treat. The combination of bread soaked in a flavorful custard base, enriched with spices, and dotted with dried fruits or chocolate chips, creates a delicious dessert with a hint of nostalgia.

One of the highlights of bread pudding is its versatility. You can personalize it to suit your taste by incorporating your favorite fruits, nuts, or even a drizzle of caramel sauce. This dessert can be enjoyed either warm or cold, making it perfect for any occasion.

Beyond its delectable taste, bread pudding also brings a comforting and nostalgic feeling to the table. The magical conversion of old and forgotten bread into an indulgent dessert adds to its appeal.

Instead of discarding your stale bread, try transforming it into a homemade bread pudding that will leave everyone yearning for more. Embrace the art of converting ordinary ingredients into extraordinary culinary delights and relish the satisfaction it brings.