This bread pudding is incredible all on its own, but add the creamy caramel sauce and you have PERFECTION. Best bread pudding EVER.
Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce
Typically, I am a chocolate person when it comes to dessert. I’m actually usually not even a fan of bread pudding… that was until I went to my favorite Basque restaurant here in Meridian. I asked the server what her favorite item was on the menu and she said, “the bread pudding, hands down.” I admit, I was hesitant, especially because there was chocolate on the dessert menu, but I gave it a shot. Now it is my favorite dessert of all time. And I do not say that lightly. Every year on my birthday, my best friend takes me there just so we can get the bread pudding to-go. I had to come up with a copycat recipe because it is just that good. Not to pat myself on the back… but I nailed it.
What is Bread Pudding
Until I was in my 20’s, I literally thought bread pudding was a type of pudding. It’s not something we made when I was growing up so I wasn’t very familiar with it. In my mind I even imagined it like tapioca pudding, but with bread. In reality, bread pudding is just bread that is soaked in custard and then baked. Pretty simple right? You would think so, but oftentimes it can be too dry, or too soggy. The consistency you are looking for is moist, yet spongy, kind of like a good French Toast.
What’s In Bread Pudding?
As mentioned above, bread pudding uses very basic ingredients including:
- Bread (some may argue stale bread, but that’s up for debate)
- Milk and/or cream
- And for this recipe… Apples
How To Make Bread Pudding
- Tear or cut bread into small, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Whisk together milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to make a custard. Combine with the bread and then add to a 9×13 baking dish.
- You can bake immediately, but personally, I like soaking the bread overnight.
- Bake for about an hour or until set.
- Serve with caramel sauce and whipped cream.
What Bread Is Best?
There is a lot of debate on what kind of bread is best for bread pudding. Croissants are my favorite to use but you can use any number of breads with great results. You just want a bread that is will absorb the custard well. Dry, dense breads or crumbly breads don’t work well. Here are some other options:
- Brioche (another VERY popular choice)
- French bread
- Leftover cinnamon rolls (I haven’t tried this yet but I bet it’s amazing)
The Caramel Sauce
This caramel sauce is like liquid gold. Delicious, smooth, creamy, sweet liquid gold. It is a modified version of our Mom’s Christmas caramels and it’s amazing. I could bottle this stuff up and slurp it with a straw. It’s foolproof too. I have made this this sauce at least a dozen times and it comes out perfectly every time. You can add pecans to the caramel sauce to add a little crunch, but why mess with perfection?
It’s Even Better The Next Day
Like many delicious desserts, bread pudding still tastes incredible (if not even better) the next day. After you have enjoyed the first time around after baking, cover the remaining dessert tightly and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it again. To re-heat, just pop each serving in the microwave for 45-60 seconds and enjoy.
More Traditional Dessert Ideas:
For a list of all our delicious desserts here at Favorite Family Recipes, click HERE.
How to Make Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
For the Bread Pudding:
For the Bread Pudding:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together until frothy.
- Tear croissants into bite size pieces - about the size of a quarter. Add to liquid mixture and stir gently until croissant pieces are soaked. Add sliced apples and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into a buttered 9x13 pan and allow to soak overnight.
- Tightly cover pan with foil and bake for 60 minutes.
- Remove covering and test doneness by inserting a knife in the center of the pudding. If knife does not come out clean, recover and bake for 5 minute increments until the center shows no liquid custard.
- Remove from oven and allow to set for 5-10 minutes before serving.
For the Caramel Sauce:
- While bread pudding is baking prepare the caramel sauce.
- Combine 1/2 cup whipping cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a heavy, medium-sized sauce pan.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil until it turns a light caramel color (about 6-10 minutes), stirring constantly (keep an eye on it, it will foam up near the end and you may need to reduce the heat).
- Remove from heat and add remaining 1 cup whipping cream. It's ok if the caramel clumps up a little as you pour the cream in, keep stirring and it will smooth out.
- Keep sauce warm and serve over bread pudding. Top with whipped cream and serve.
Adapted from BYU Magazine’s Chef John McDonald. You can find the original recipe here.