Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

5 from 8 votes

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This bread pudding is incredible all on its own, but add the creamy caramel sauce and you have PERFECTION. Best bread pudding EVER!

A slice of bread pudding on a plate topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream

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
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • And for this recipe… Apples
Bread pudding before it goes in the oven

How To Make Bread Pudding

  1. Tear or cut bread into small, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to make a custard. Combine with the bread and then add to a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. You can bake immediately, but personally, I like soaking the bread overnight.
  4. Bake for about an hour or until set.
  5. 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:

  1. Croissants
  2. Brioche (another VERY popular choice)
  3. French bread
  4. Leftover cinnamon rolls (I haven’t tried this yet but I bet it’s amazing)
  5. Challah
Cut up croissants and apples

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.

Bread pudding with caramel sauce and whipped cream

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

5 from 8 votes
This bread pudding is incredible all on its own, but add the creamy caramel sauce and you have PERFECTION. Best bread pudding EVER.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


For the Bread Pudding:

For the Caramel Sauce:


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 9×13 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 ½ 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.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 12gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 358mgPotassium: 385mgFiber: 4gSugar: 53gVitamin A: 988IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 199mgIron: 2mg

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Adapted from BYU Magazine’s Chef John McDonald. You can find the original recipe here.

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    I love any kind of apple dessert and this bread pudding looks amazing. Such a great twist on a classic bread pudding.

    1. I can’t wait to try this. Can I add pecans or walnuts to this? If so do I need to prep them a certain way?

    1. The caramel sauce is made with white sugar – follow the instructions carefully so it doesn’t burn. The sugar turns to a caramel brown color. Thank you for asking!

  2. I’m planning on making this recipe tomorrow but I have a couple of questions on the ingredients. The 12 croissants that are used in this recipe, are these mini-croissants or regular size croissants that are used for sandwiches? This recipe also calls for cream. There are different types of cream: Heavy Whipping Cream, Regular Whipping Cream and coffee cream. I doubt it is coffee cream so what type of cream did you mean for this recipe? Would very much appreciate hearing from you ASAP since I’m making this recipe tomorrow for a Christmas dinner party. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Terri, I used regular sized croissants for the bread pudding, and I used regular whipping cream. I will change it on my recipe so it is more clear. Thanks!

        1. We haven’t made it with another bread, so I am not sure! Sorry! Let us know how it goes if you try it!

  3. 5 stars
    I enjoy the older recipes from England and Quebec where we grew up. Hubby had come from a large family of 19 so meat pies and pigs feet with browned flour are 2 I remember with home made sausages and bread pudding with raisins. My English ancestors were better off financially and had orange mango salad and a few others one with marsh mellows and I think pineapple but I cant remember the recipe. If you can help I would appreciate to give to my Grand daughter to hopefully carry on. Our 1st Christmas together when we popped the poppers and wore the hats and read the jokes and saw small toys in them my Dutch daughter in law thinks we are all nuts…Merry Christmas

    1. Hi Maureen– Thank you so much for your comment. The recipe sounds delicious.. I wish we had a similar one that we could share with you! Does the recipe have whipped cream, do you remember?