Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding is a rich baked dessert of buttery bread, chocolate, and custard. Topped with chocolate whipped cream and sauce.
Rich and creamy Classic Bread Pudding is always a hit Breakfast and Brunch Recipe whenever you need to feed a crowd. This indulgent chocolate bread pudding is filled with deep chocolaty flavor and the perfect delicious Dessert for a special occasion.
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Sabrina’s Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe
Bread pudding is a classic dish that can be enjoyed as a breakfast or dessert recipe and one of those dishes that can be easily altered with ingredients you have on hand. It starts with stale bread cubes that are baked in a custard mixture that gives it the creamy texture of pudding. Once the creamy bread and custard base are baked, the pudding is served with a warm sauce and often a scoop of ice cream if you are enjoying it as dessert!
This delicious bread pudding recipe takes all the basic elements of bread pudding and infuses rich, dark chocolate flavor into every layer. You layer chunks of dark chocolate between the pieces of Challah bread in the pan. The chocolate bread mixture gets covered in a rich egg and milk custard sauce that it soaks up. While the custard-soaked bread cubes bake, you heat a chocolate cream mixture to form a smooth, rich chocolate sauce. The baked bread pudding is then served with a generous pour of chocolate sauce and freshly made Dark Chocolate Whipped Cream.
- Challah Bread: You want to use a day or two-old stale bread and a rich bread with a thick texture like Challah bread or Brioche bread so that it can absorb the sauce without becoming soggy. Cut the bread into cubes about 1 inch square. If your bread isn’t stale, toast the Challah cubes in the oven for a few minutes to add a bit of texture.
- Dark Chocolate Chunks: You use dark chocolate chunks with the bread and to make a chocolate sauce. The whole chunks add bursts of chocolaty goodness in every bite while the melted chocolate chunk and heavy cream form a finishing sauce similar to a thin Chocolate Ganache.
- Custard Sauce: You make a simple custard with milk, egg, white sugar, and vanilla extract to soak and bake the bread in. It might seem like a lot of custard at first but as long as you use the right type of bread and it’s stale, it will soak up nicely for a creamy, delicious texture.
- Heavy Cream: You need quite a bit of heavy cream to make this bread pudding recipe. First you need 2 cups for the chocolate sauce. You’ll use another 2 cups for the whipping cream. While you can substitute whole milk for the sauce, you need to use heavy cream to make whipped cream.
- Cocoa Powder: The whipped cream gets a delicious chocolate flavor with a good helping of unsweetened cocoa powder. The darker the cocoa powder, the more intense and dark the chocolate flavor will be. You can add a bit of dark chocolate cocoa powder to the egg mixture to turn it into a dark chocolate custard sauce.
- Vanilla Extract: Another ingredient that is added to multiple layers is good old fashioned vanilla extract. There is vanilla in the custard and the whipped cream for a bit of warmth and depth plus the vanilla enhances the cocoa flavors for a richer chocolate taste.
How to Make
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Prep for Baking
Preheat the oven. Cut the bread into even cubes, about an inch big. Spray your baking dish with baking spray. Layer half the bread then half the chocolate. Repeat with the remaining bread and chocolate.
- Mix the Custard
Whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth and eggs are completely incorporated. You want a smooth mixture without too many egg white streaks.
- Soak the Bread
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread and chocolate, gently shaking so it’s even in the dish. Allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Bake the Bread Pudding
Place the dish in the oven and bake uncovered for about 60-70 minutes until the custard is completely absorbed and the top is golden.
- Make the Chocolate Sauce
Melt the chocolate chunks and cream in large heat safe bowl in a microwave for 60 seconds. When the time is up, leave the bowl alone for 2 minutes. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Be careful, it will be very hot.
- Whip the Cream
Beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed in a stand mixer to soft peaks. Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the cream then continue beating until it reaches stiff peaks. On low speed, mix in the vanilla until just combined. Chill the whipped cream until it’s time to serve.
- Top and Serve
Serve the warm bread pudding in slices. Top each slice with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
Can I make Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding in Advance?
Yes, you can absolutely make bread pudding ahead of time! Layer it in the baking dish and add the custard sauce. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.
Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding Tips & Tricks
- Prep your Bread the Night Before
- To make sure your bread is nice and stale, which is important so you don’t have soggy pudding, prep it the night before. Chop up your Challah bread into cubes then spread the cubes out in a single layer on a baking tray. Cover the trays with clean kitchen towels and leave out overnight so they dry out.
- Use Lots of Milk
- The egg and milk custard might seem super liquidy and you might be tempted to add less milk, but it is super important. If you don’t have enough milk to egg ratio in the custard mixture, you will end up with an eggy bread pudding that tastes like sweet scrambled eggs. You also need to whisk the eggs and milk really well until they are completely combined. Start with room temperature eggs, they will mix better.
What to Pair With Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding
Coffee: When you pair chocolate with coffee, the coffee brings out the cocoa for an even more intense chocolate flavor. Serve this Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with a glass of Cold Brew, a cup of hot espresso, or even a scoop of Coffee Ice Cream.
Brunch: If you want to serve Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding for a brunch dessert, you should balance it out with savory and salty dishes. Make some Oven Baked Scrambled Eggs and Breakfast Sausage for a filling, hearty protein-filled breakfast before enjoying this chocolaty treat.
How to Store
Store: You’ll need to store the bread pudding in the refrigerator after no more than 2 hours at room temperature. Cool it completely before wrapping the pan in foil or transferring to an airtight container.
Reheat: It’s best to reheat the bread pudding in the oven covered in foil so it warms up without drying out.
Freeze: Once it’s baked, you can store Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it cool to room temperature then wrap the pan with two layers of plastic then a layer of foil to protect from freezer burn. You can reheat it from frozen, just remove the plastic and put the foil layer back over top and bake in the oven until hot.
You want to use bread with a denser texture for bread pudding and it’s important that it is dried out and slightly stale, like day old bakery bread. The denser, crustier bread will soak up the custard without getting gummy or too mushy. Brioche and Challah add a rich buttery flavor but you can also use French bread or sourdough.
Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding can definitely be made in a slow cooker. Spray the insert really well then add your bread and chocolate. Pour the custard over everything and toss to coat. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 2 ½ – 3 hours until cooked through. Serve with sauce and whipped cream.
Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding:
- 16 ounces challah bread , day old-cubed
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chunks
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 8 large eggs
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 2 cups heavy cream
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Layer in the bread and dark chocolate chunks evenly (½ bread, ½ chocolate, rest of bread, rest of chocolate).
- In a large bowl whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Pour over bread mixture.
- Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes until custard is gone and the top is slightly browned.
Dark Chocolate Sauce:
- Add the chocolate chips and heavy cream to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave for 60 seconds.
- Let sit undisturbed for 2 minutes.
- Stir until smooth and mixed.
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
- To your stand mixer add the heavy cream on medium-high speed.
- Beat to soft peaks, add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar and keep beating to stiff peaks.
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Keep refrigerated until use.
- Slice a serving of the bread pudding onto a serving plate, top with dark chocolate sauce, and pipe on a dollop of chocolate whipped cream.