Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is the PERFECT dessert for the holidays made with day old bread, half and half, sugar, and vanilla, and only 45 minutes to bake!

We know how important finding the perfect dessert is once the holidays come around, and you can be prepared this year with Ultimate Apple Crisp, Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies, and Classic Gingerbread Cake!

Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Bread Pudding is an old fashioned dessert that always makes its way to our table on the holidays. It’s made out of cubed bread with a sweet vanilla half and half and egg custard. You can serve bread pudding topped with a sauce, like vanilla sauce (recipe below) or praline sauce (pictured).

One of the things that’s’ great about this dish is that you can make it all in one bowl, then pour into a baking dish and bake. It’s REALLY simple to make, and tastes like heaven in a bowl.

You can add more flavor to your pudding with things like chocolate chips, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. This bread pudding recipe is more traditional with raisins.

Try serving this for dessert at a Christmas or Easter party and it will be gone within minutes! Plus it’s the perfect way to use up leftover bread from the night before.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best bread for Bread Pudding?

This bread pudding recipe works really well using challah bread or old hamburger buns. You can also use french bread or brioche. What you’re looking for is a bread that will hold up to the custard mixture without dissolving, similar to when you add broth to stuffing.

How do you dry bread for Bread Pudding?

The easiest way is to leave the bread out the night before and let it get a little bit stale. If you’re more pressed for time, cut the bread into cubes and lay them out on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then toast the bread in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool before adding it to the bread mixture.

Can I make Bread Pudding ahead of time?

You can make this old fashioned bread pudding ahead to save you time later. Just bake the pudding, then let it cool completely before wrapping it tightly and refrigerating. Then when you’re ready, uncover and move the baking dish back to the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can also prep bread pudding the day before and refrigerate before baking, then cook it when you’re ready. This actually helps the recipe, because it gives the bread cubes a chance to absorb the moisture and flavor, a key step to real old fashioned bread pudding.

Should Bread Pudding be covered while baking?

You don’t have to cover this bread pudding recipe while baking, but if you start to see the top burning too quickly you can cover with tinfoil for the remainder of the time. If this happens, check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to make sure it’s not cooking too hot.

How do I know when Bread Pudding is done?

Bread pudding is a lot like other baked goods. If you put a toothpick in, it should come out clean. It should also look more set and less raw, and golden brown on top.

Baking pan with bread pudding

Vanilla Sauce for Bread Pudding

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk everything but the vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat constantly for 10 minutes until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and add in the vanilla. Serve over the pudding.

Easy Bread Pudding

Praline Sauce for Bread Pudding

  • ½ pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Add the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar to the sauce pan and bring to a boil then reduce to low heat, add in the pecans and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.

Tips for Making Bread Pudding

  • Add a splash of bourbon to your pecans for added flavor in the praline sauce. You can also add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to either sauce.
  • Make whiskey sauce by adding ¼ cup whiskey to the praline sauce recipe, and reducing down for a few extra minutes before serving.
  • Make a savory bread pudding by cutting out the sugar and adding cheese, herbs, or garlic instead.
  • We don’t recommend using skim milk for this recipe because the fat is really important for getting a good set with the custard.

How to Store Bread Pudding

  • Serve: Bread Pudding and its sauces can be left at room temperature for up to two hours.
  • Store: Bread pudding will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days when tightly sealed. It has a lot of moisture, so it’s not recommended to store it on the counter.
  • Freeze: Freeze Bread Pudding, wrapped tightly and without any sauce, for 2-3 months. You can cut it into squares and wrap them individually to thaw one serving at a time. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Bread Pudding in bowl with whipped cream and caramel sauce

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Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is the PERFECT dessert for the holidays made with day old bread, half and half, sugar, and vanilla, and only 45 minutes to bake!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , more for greasing pan
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins , optional
  • 4 large eggs , beaten
  • 6 cups day old bread , cut into 2 inch cubes


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk melted butter, half and half, vanilla, sugar, salt, raisins (optional) and eggs together. 
  • Add in the bread until well combined then put into the 8×8 pan, then let sit for at least 60 minutes.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Keyword: bread pudding
Bread Pudding Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Bread Pudding

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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      1. Perfect!
        I love the taste, texture, and everything about the result 🙂

        Thank you for sharing! 🙂


  1. This bread pudding was very good and tasty, of course I did add cinnamon sugar on top before baking. It was very moist and also baked it for 35 minutes and it was perfect. Thank you.

  2. Easy peasy! Great use for leftover hamburger rolls, which we always seem to have. Very dense, rich, and just plain delicious!

  3. I only had about half the amount of bread so i halved the recipe and used a bread dish to bake it in. My mom used to make bread pudding all the time but she passed and i never got her recipe so i never attempted to make one until.i came across yours. This was so easy and quick to make. I added some chocolate chips as i didn’t have raisins. Oh how delicious. I finished nearly half of the pudding. I didn’t add any sauce but its so moist it didn’t need it. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Delicious…made it with cinnamon bread..and used dried cranberries instead of raisins…best ever bread pudding & easy peasey to throw together. ?

  5. This bread pudding is the best I have ever tasted. My husband loves bread pudding and is never satisfied with what I make. I made your bread pudding and he was raving.