Bread Pudding Recipe

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Nothing beats homemade Bread Pudding with fresh raspberries, fresh whipped cream, and a delicious vanilla sauce. With an easy prep time and tons of ideas to customize, this Bread Pudding recipe will quickly become your favorite!

Bread Pudding is one of those recipes you’ll want to whip out whenever you’re serving a brunch or fun breakfast. Learn all my tips and tricks to make a super flavorful, custardy, and creamy treat.

Up-close photo of Bread Pudding.

Bread Pudding 

For years and years I hated bread pudding. I tried it every now and again, wondering what I was missing, because everyone else seemed to be obsessed. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I finally had a bread pudding that converted me to a fan. At the restaurant I was working at, we threw a special brunch for Easter and that day, a raspberry croissant bread pudding was served. After hearing about it ALL day and with a bit of convincing from co-workers, I reluctantly tried the bread pudding.

It was insanely good! And I’m pretty sure at the time I claimed it was the best thing I’d ever eaten! For years I’ve tried to replicate that bread pudding and I’ve come close, but never got it exactly right until now. I’m so excited for you to try this bread pudding recipe!

Overhead image of the bread pieces being prepped for Bread Pudding.

First off, we’ll talk process, then ingredients, and finish with some tips for this bread pudding recipe.

How to make Bread Pudding

  • Toast the bread. Bread Pudding is best with stale or day-old bread, but you can make it with fresh bread as well. Whatever you’re using, you want to dry out the bread to ensure it will soak up the custard without becoming soggy.
  • Make the custard. For this custard, we’re keeping it simple; you don’t even have to warm everything through or scald the milk. Simply whisk together milk, cream, sugars, extract, salt, and orange zest. Toss this custard with your dried out bread cubes.
  • Chill the bread pudding. After everything is combined, the bread needs some time to absorb the custard and to get nice and cold before going into the oven. Cover and chill for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Bake. Remove the bread pudding from the refrigerator and bake.
  • Serve with whipped cream and a vanilla sauce. While this recipe is delicious on its own, there’s nothing like a spoonful of whipped cream and vanilla sauce drizzled on top!

Overhead image of the vanilla sauce being poured over Bread Pudding.

What is the best bread to use?

Arguably brioche and challah are the classic choices for bread pudding. While both would work really great in this recipe, I’m hooked on croissants! The bread pudding I fell in love with years ago had croissants, and it’s my go-to choice for my Bread Pudding. When choosing the bread you use, there are a few things to look for:

  • Available as an UNSLICED loaf or croissants: you don’t want pre-sliced or cubed bread because you need to be able to tear the bread to the exact dimensions needed (in this case, 1-inch pieces).
  • Sturdy bread: Since the bread will be soaked in a custard, you want to make sure the bread won’t disintegrate. We toast the bread and use large pieces, which helps avoid a soggy pudding.
  • Taste: Obviously, Bread Pudding relies on bread as the main ingredient, so you want to make sure the bread itself tastes delicious.

Overhead image of the Bread Pudding all prepped and ready to be baked.


Most bread pudding recipes include (obviously) bread, eggs, and some kind of milk/cream mixture. I include a few secret or unique ingredients that really take Bread Pudding over the top!

  • Orange zest: while it might seem unassuming, the orange zest brightens this dish immeasurably. It, along with the raspberries, help to cut the richness.
  • Vanilla extract: A good vanilla extract adds a lot. If you happen to have a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and use in the custard for an even better vanilla flavor throughout the pudding.
  • Coarse sugar: An optional addition but adding a couple of tablespoons coarse sugar to the top of your bread pudding adds a fun crunch and flavor.
  • Honey-roasted almonds: Another optional addition, but these honey roasted almonds (found at most grocery stores), sprinkled on the baked bread pudding adds another delicious flavor element.

Overhead image of the vanilla sauce that is drizzled over this Bread Pudding.

Recipe tips

  • Fresh berries: Avoid frozen berries, as they tend to dye the bread pudding and make it soggy. While raspberries are our go-to choice, blackberries and blueberries are delicious as well.
  • Homemade whipped cream: Making whipped cream is so easy to make and much more flavorful than store-bought (I’ve written an entire post on how to make whipped cream).
  • Rip the croissants: instead of cutting up the bread with a knife, ripping the croissants allows for more ridges to soak up the custard.
  • The right size pan: It really depends on how you like your bread pudding. For a softer, more custard-like texture from top to bottom, use an 8×8-inch pan. If you want to focus on a crispier top layer, use a 2-quart shallow baking pan. My family definitely prefers the shallow pan!

Overhead image of Bread Pudding, ready to eat, topped with whipped cream and mint.

Serve this bread pudding with…

More brunch favorites

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Bread Pudding

5 from 3 votes
Nothing beats this homemade Bread Pudding with fresh raspberries, fresh whipped cream, and a delicious vanilla sauce.
Print Recipe

Bread Pudding

5 from 3 votes
Nothing beats this homemade Bread Pudding with fresh raspberries, fresh whipped cream, and a delicious vanilla sauce.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword bread pudding, bread pudding recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Chilling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 393kcal


Bread Pudding

  • 5 and 1/2 cups day old croissants, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use fine sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (finely grated)
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries, halved
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons coarse sugar and 1/3 cup honey-roasted almonds

Whipped Cream (Optional)

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Tear croissants into 1-inch pieces and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake, tossing halfway through (and reducing oven temperature if bread is getting too golden) until pieces are very dry and slightly toasted, 15-25 minutes. (This step is very important because the dry croissant pieces will absorb the custard without disintegrating.) Let cool, then transfer to the prepared 2-quart baking dish. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Whisk until combined and smooth.
  • Place the toasted croissant pieces in the baking dish (See Note 1). Sprinkle halved raspberries across the top of the croissant pieces. Pour the liquid over the croissants and press the pieces down to submerge in the liquid. This will help avoid burning croissants. 
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the foil and gently press the croissants down into liquid. If desired, sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons coarse sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until custard is firm and set (bake time may vary, depending on the size pan you use). If needed, tent the pudding with foil to keep the top from burning. If desired, sprinkle almonds on top.
  • While bread pudding is baking, prepare the whipped cream and vanilla sauce (optional, but delicious additions).
  • Whipped cream: Add the ingredients to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on high speed until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Vanilla sauce: Combine all sauce ingredient,s except vanilla, in heavy-bottomed pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes or until mixture thickens and then comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Top individual servings of warm Bread Pudding with whipped cream and vanilla sauce. Best eaten same day as prepared.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Pan size can reflect how you prefer the final product. I like something more shallow, with more surface area than an 8x8-inch pan, but that size will work -- it will be more creamy/custard-like. The larger the pan, the crisper the topping will turn out.
Nutrition Facts do not include whipped cream or syrup (just the base bread pudding recipe)

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 393kcal


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.


The best homemade bread pudding recipe with fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and a delicious vanilla sauce. Tips & tricks plus a few
The best homemade bread pudding recipe with fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and a delicious vanilla sauce. Tips & tricks plus a few secret ingredients! via #bread #pudding #recipe #easy #quick #kid #friendly #dessert #breakfast #brunch #shower #croissant #custard


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  1. 5 stars
    This bread pudding is seriously devine. It Is the hit at every brunch I bring it to. Throwing my niece a baby shower next week and this is at the top of my list to make. Thanks so much!

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