Southern bread pudding with simple white bread and raisins is a foolproof dessert that will remind you of how grandma used to make it.
A classic dessert with a homemade custard that soaks right into bread cubes leaves no room for discussing why this old-fashioned recipe became a holiday favorite decadent dessert.
This easy bread pudding recipe is a great way to use leftover stale bread; it keeps it simple with vanilla and cinnamon spices. Serve it up plain or glaze it with bourbon sauce; this holiday-favorite dessert recipe will surely become a family favorite.
Why you will love Southern Bread Pudding
This is an easy and simple bread pudding recipe. Once you know the basics, you can get fancy, make apple or pumpkin bread pudding, or test out additional fall flavors like nutmeg or allspice.
Perfect for eating warm out of the oven, use leftover bread to spoon this cinnamon, raisin, and sugary fall favorite. Although not diet-friendly, it’s worth every last bite to break the fast!
Bread pudding is an easy recipe; every bite is good down-home, from-scratch cooking.
This particular easy bread pudding recipe uses white bread; however, I have a fantastic, unique bread pudding that uses cinnamon bread, brown sugar, and an amazing custard glaze. Try out this donut bread pudding recipe that uses Krispy Kreme donuts!
- Bread – Common fresh bread used in this recipe is regular white bread (as shown- sandwich bread), French Bread, Italian bread, wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, Challah Bread, Brioche Bread, and even stale bread (day-old bread) for old-fashioned bread pudding. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.
- Butter – melted unsalted butter
- Raisins – While I prefer regular raisins, the sweet and tart golden raisins provide some nice color and texture to bread pudding and are OK to use.
- Other Ingredients: Eggs, heavy cream, white sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
- Alternative: Ground Nutmeg or pumpkin spice, a pinch of salt
- This is quick to whip up, about 10 minutes, but I let my bread sit for an additional 30 minutes before baking so that the bread can soak up the egg and (whipping cream or milk) mixture.
- Before serving, drizzle with vanilla glaze or caramel topping if you want some extra sweetness. There are also additional topping suggestions below.
How to Make a Southern Bread Pudding
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cut a loaf of bread into cubes with a bread knife.
- Place bread into prepared baking dish.
- Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with raisins.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add eggs and whisk until the egg mixture is combined.
- Stir in heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract, and mix well.
- Pour creamy custard mixture over bread cubes. Let the bread mixture sit for 30 minutes so the cubed bread can soak up all simple ingredients.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through and the top is a light golden brown. Serve warm bread pudding immediately for best results.
Bread Pudding Serving Ideas
While this classic Southern recipe is fine on its own, many people love to up the sugar content and dive into this dessert comfort food.
Try adding one of the following simple dessert toppings or bread pudding sauce before serving for a perfect dessert or Thanksgiving side dish!
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Chips
- Bourbon Sauce
- Custard Glaze (learn how to make custard glaze here)
- Vanilla Sauce
- A dusting of powdered sugar or brown sugar
- Serve alongside vanilla ice cream
- Cinnamon Sprinkle
Can bread pudding be made ahead?
Absolutely! Just assemble it and place it in the fridge. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking and bring the dish to room temperature.
Just note that as you soak the bread, the bread softens up more and more, and it turns more into custard versus holding a bread cubed shape. This is more of a personal preference.
Stale Bread vs. Fresh Bread
Stale bread gives less and can retain shape when the egg mixture is dumped. Fresh pieces of bread soak up the custard quicker and become softer. Either way tastes great.
How to store Bread Pudding
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
How to make stale bread
Prefer to use stiffer stale bread? Stale bread can be made by putting fresh bread in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350, adding it to a very light toaster oven, or simply leaving it out on the counter exposed to air for a day.
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