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Decorative picture of baked bread pudding in a casserole from top
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5 from 3 votes

Bread and Butter Pudding

Learn how to make bread pudding with a few simple ingredients. This recipe is made of buttered bread slices soaked in sweet custard and sprinkled with raisins between and on top of the bread layers. It's baked until the top is golden brown and crispy and the bottom soft and full of flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chill1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: bread and butter pudding, bread pudding, bread pudding recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 466kcal

Ingredients

  • 14 oz stale white bread* - about 8 slices
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup raisins**
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  • Grease a 10x7x2-inch (26x18x5cm) casserole with butter and set aside. You could also use a 9-inch (23cm) pie dish, brownie pan, or anything else you have that is 2-inch (5cm) high and about the same size. It doesn't matter if the baking dish is square, oval, or round.
  • Butter the bread slices on both sides and arrange them in the pan, overlapping each other.*** Sprinkle the raisins between the bread layers and on top and press them lightly into the bread that they don't burn during baking. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, whipping cream, ¼ cup (50g) sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pour over the bread evenly. Cover the baking dish and let soak in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Dot the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoon (25g) of sugar.
  • Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. The milk needs to be fully soaked up by the bottom bread layer. Cover loosely with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent heavy browning if necessary. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Video

Notes

The bread used for this recipe is stale white bread. I tried the recipe also with brioche and challah bread, and it worked perfectly. It also works well with leftover donuts. If using donuts, I recommend skipping buttering them. To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free soft white bread.

** Depending on your taste or who you serve this bread pudding to, you can either use unsoaked or soaked raisins. If you would like to use soaked raisins, soak them in ½ cup (120ml) bourbon, dark rum, brandy, or cognac the day before you plan to make this recipe. Drain the raisins and if you like, add 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the liquor to the milk mixture. If you don't like raisins, you could substitute them for chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or nuts 1:1 or skip altogether.

*** Instead of using sliced bread, you can chop it into 2-inch (5cm) cubes. Then skip the part of buttering the bread if you would like and transfer it to the baking dish. Then sprinkle with raisins and distribute them well between and on top of the bread cubes. Proceed with the recipe as described.

Expert tips
  • Make sure to use only stale bread. If the bread is too soft and fresh, it won't soak the milk mixture very well. This is true for every bread you use, no matter if you use simple white bread, brioche, or challah. Whatever you use, let it sit uncovered at room temperature for a day or 2 to let it dry out a little.
  • After pouring the milk mixture over the bread, lightly press down on the bread that it can soak up the liquid.
  • You know that it is done baking when you insert a knife in the middle, and it comes out dry. You can also use two forks and pull the 2 most centered slices lightly apart to see if it looks unbaked and the liquid isn't soaked up or if it's done.
  • The tops should be lightly golden and crispy. If you notice that the tops brown too much too fast, cover it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the tops from burning.

Dairy-free
To make lactose-free, dairy-free, or vegan bread pudding, substitute the milk and heavy cream for your favorite milk substitution such as oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or lactose-free milk 1:1. As a butter replacement, you can use margarine if suitable or skip it altogether. 

Make ahead and freezing
You can prepare this recipe one day in advance. Instead of storing the prepared and covered dish for 1 hour in the fridge, you can store it overnight. Before you bake it, dot with the remaining butter on top and sprinkle with sugar. Then bake as directed in the recipe. 
It's also possible to freeze the prepared bread and butter pudding. After chilling it in the fridge for 1 hour, place the casserole (must be oven and freezer safe) in a freezer-safe bag, or wrap tightly with foil, and freeze it for up to 2 months. Place in the fridge overnight to thaw. Once fully thawed, dot with butter, sprinkle with sugar, and bake.

Reheating
You can reheat leftovers in the oven or the microwave. If reheating in the oven, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, reheat it in the microwave (using a microwave-safe dish) for 2-4 minutes, checking often. Before reheating, it should be fully thawed.

More questions?
Make this recipe perfect every time. So be sure to check the full post above. I included easy step-by-step photo instructions, a video, and also a couple of variations.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 762IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 3mg