I am of the opinion that bread pudding is a totally acceptable Thanksgiving dessert. I’m not a big Christmas person – Kramer and I have our own Christmas tradition, which includes staying in the city, seeing a movie, getting Chinese food, seeing another movie, then grabbing a drink at any bars that might be open. I love being in Brooklyn during Christmas because it totally empties out and everything seems a lot calmer. This year, our movies are going to be The Hateful 8 and possibly Star Wars (again, because I already have tickets to see it twice opening weekend). So, yeah – we’re not usually eating in or having some big traditional dinner on Christmas. But I still adore bread pudding, so I usually make it around Thanksgiving, instead, which I believe is a far superior holiday. There are no presents to wrap or worry about, there’s no religion to argue about – there’s just lots and lots and lots of delicious food. Thanksgiving4Life. While I obviously love pie (check out my recipes on MUNCHIES this week!), I also have room in my heart (and my stomach) for bread pudding. Specifically, eggnog bread pudding from The Sugar Hit’s new cookbook.
I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this recipe and it’s going to be either my permanent go-to or at least the base for all bread pudding endeavors going forward. Bread pudding is so easy to make, there’s no reason to not have a giant tray of it at your next get-together. All you do is take stale, leftover bread from your freezer or the back of your fridge, pour a custard-y mixture of eggs, milk, and spices over it, maybe add a little bourbon or brandy if you’re feeling saucy, then let the bread soak up all that goodness for a few hours, bake, and top with a really, really easy caramel sauce before devouring in front of friends and family without any shame. I made this bread pudding specifically as a part of the Blogsgiving Dinner I’m participating in this year, so be sure to go check out the ol’ Pinterest board for tonnnnns of recipe ideas, and thanks to the lovely Cake ‘n Knife and Feast + West for hosting this event! I’ve definitely already started my Thanksgiving dinner spreadsheet (you all do that, right?) so I’m excited to add some of these to my increasingly neurotic but incredibly delicious list.
I doubled this recipe because I had a bunch of random, leftover bread to use up in my freezer.
I like to really pack the bread in there because I want my bread pudding to be dense – this is up to you.
Pour your egg mixture over your bread, and allow it to sit in the fridge for a few hours.
Ready to bake!
While your pudding bakes, make your caramel sauce.
Then drizzle that shit over everrrrrrything.
This is the good stuff – I promise you that.
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup brandy or bourbon
- 1 small loaf of brioche (about 7 ounces)
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the raisins and brandy or bourbon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the alcohol to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow the raisins to steep while you prepare the rest of the bread pudding.
- Slice the brioche thickly and place it in a 9x9 inch baking dish - it's okay to really pack it in there. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over your bread, then scatter your raisins and brandy over everything. Cover the pan tightly in plastic wrap and allow to soak for at least 15 minutes, but the longer, the better - I let mine soak for about 3 hours in the fridge.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from the pudding and scatter the pecans over the top, if you're using them (pro-tip: you can also use some chocolate chips, if you're feeling outrageous). Place the pudding in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until set but still a little jiggly.
- To make the cinnamon caramel sauce, put 1 cup of granulated sugar and ¼ cup water in a saucepan over high heat, stir once to combine, then do not stir again until the sugar dissolved. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a dark amber color, about 5-8 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the cream, a bit at a time as it will bubble up.
- Once the cream has bubbled down, add in the cinnamon and stir to combine. Return the pan to the heat and cook over medium until everything comes together, about 30 seconds. Set the caramel aside until the pudding is done.
- When the bread pudding is ready, pour your caramel sauce over it and allow it to cool for 5 minutes or so before slicing and serving. This is delicious warm, or straight from the fridge, cold. You can top it with whipped cream or ice cream, or just go for it as is. Honestly, you'll love it any way you try it.