Cranberry Bread Pudding is a decadent yet easy Christmas Dessert. Buttery rich bread pudding with fresh cranberries topped with a warm orange vanilla sauce.
CRANBERRY BREAD PUDDING
If you are looking for the best Christmas breakfast for a crowd, you are going to love this easy and sweet Cranberry Bread Pudding. It comes together quickly, with no fancy ingredients or kitchen equipment needed. You can make it the night before and pop it in the oven to bake while everyone is waking up. And that buttery warm orange vanilla sauce is so good, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.
All you need to make this delicious Cranberry Bread Pudding is a loaf of stale bread and some pantry ingredients you’ll have on hand from holiday baking. We used fresh cranberries in this recipe, which are easy to find during Thanksgiving and Christmas. You could easily swap them for dried cranberries too.
Serve this as an easy Christmas breakfast with powdered sugar over the buttery sauce. Turn it into a decadent, extra sweet dessert by adding a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream. Swap out the vanilla orange sauce with other favorite dessert drizzles like Salted Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Ganache.
Tips for Making Cranberry Bread Pudding
- The best types of bread to use are thick bread to hold up in the creamy sweet custard sauce, like brioche bread, French bread, a crusty bread like Italian bread or sourdough.
- To use regular sandwich bread or Texas toast, bake it first until it is toasted and be sure to cut into larger bread cubes.
- If you have super crusty bread, toss the bread cubes in ½ cup heavy whipping cream for a few minutes to soften and then layer soaked bread, cover with custard mixture, and bake as usual.
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How To Make Cranberry Bread Pudding Ahead
You can prepare Cranberry Bread Pudding the day ahead of time. Assemble your bread pudding in the casserole dish and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking, adding 10-15 minutes baking time as needed. Make the vanilla orange sauce the same day.
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VARIATIONS ON CRANBERRY BREAD PUDDING
- Eggnog: For more holiday flavor, make this a Cranberry Eggnog Bread Pudding with 2 cups eggnog for 2 cups milk in the pudding. Use all eggnog instead of milk in the sauce to make a richer creamier sauce.
- Orange Flavor: Make Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding by amping up the orange flavor with orange juice in the pudding milk mixture. Add dollops of orange marmalade over the bread mixture before covering with custard.
- Apple Cinnamon: For a fall harvest treat, bake Cranberry Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding with diced apples and make cinnamon custard with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
- Cream Cheese: Beat together 1 block cream cheese, 1 egg, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Add dollops of cream cheese mixture between and on top of the cubed bread layers before baking.
- Spices: Add holiday spices to the milk mixture like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- Mix-Ins: You can sprinkle in chocolate chips, toasted pecans or walnuts, butterscotch chips, caramel chips, or dried cranberries.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Bread Pudding
- Grease slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Divide bread cubes and fresh cranberries in 2 parts. Layer starting with bread cubes and ending with cranberries.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk butter, eggs, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest until combined.
- Pour cream mixture evenly over bread and cranberries.
- Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low for 3-5 hours, until an inserted knife comes out clean.
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HOW TO STORE CRANBERRY BREAD PUDDING
- Serve: Serve Cranberry Bread Pudding and vanilla sauce warm and keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: Cool Cranberry Bread Pudding to room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheat in preheated oven of 350 degrees.
- Freeze: Once cooled, cover pan of Cranberry Bread Pudding tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or place in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in oven until hot.
Cranberry Bread Pudding
- 16 ounces sandwich bread , day old, cubed
- 1 cups fresh cranberries , (if frozen, thawed)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 8 large eggs
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Vanilla Orange Sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cranberry Bread Pudding
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Layer in the bread and cranberries evenly (½ bread, ½ cranberries, rest of bread, rest of cranberries).
- In a large bowl whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest.
- Pour over bread mixture.
- Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until custard is gone and the top is slightly browned.
Vanilla Orange Sauce:
- 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.