Traditionally, the main ingredient in an old fashioned bread pudding is stale bread, but we’ve been known to buy a whole loaf just to make this dessert. Who has time to let it go stale first? Don’t worry -- it’s good with fresh or stale bread. Then all you need to do is whisk a few eggs together with some cream and spices, and let the cut up bread soak in it a while before baking.
We did include a recipe for a simple caramel sauce, but store bought works fine as well. Using store bought caramel sauce is also a helpful shortcut if you’re just looking for a quick, hands-off dish. We totally understand the need for simplicity sometimes. We even keep a jar of the stuff in the pantry just in case the need should arise.
Having a spare jar of caramel sauce around does make it almost impossible not to use up any leftover bread to make this dish. Take that as your warning. We are pretty sure you’ll be using any excuse to make this again and again.
Bread pudding is best served warm, but room temperature will do as well. Try serving it with a side of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce over the top. Maybe even consider adding a cherry, or preserves. Really, any number of typical French toast toppings would be a great addition to this dish.
Try serving your old fashioned bread pudding with a caramel tea such as Spicy Caramel Apple herbal tea, Caramel Almond black tea, or Stargazer Maté Chai. If you are looking for a brighter tea that still lends itself well to this sweet treat, try the Comfort Blend black tea with its notes of cinnamon and orange.
Old Fashioned Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 eggs
- 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, plus more
- 4 cups bread, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla until well blended.
Add the bread pieces to the bowl and toss well to coat. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if desired).
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Toss the bread again and scoop it out into the prepared baking dish. Discard any liquid remaining in the bowl.
Sprinkle the top of the bread mixture with additional brown sugar and place in the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges crisped.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
In a small pot, melt butter over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching.
Add the brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream, and remove from heat. Set aside.
Once the bread pudding has cooled slightly, drizzle with prepared caramel sauce. Server with any leftover caramel sauce on the side.