Hoping to find the best bread pudding recipe? You’re in luck!
This Mixed Berry Bread Pudding uses the best bread, the creamiest custard and your favorite summer berries (frozen berries work great too!).
Whether you love bread pudding for a great dessert, indulgent snack or exciting breakfast, this recipe will be a tried and true favorite for years to come.
What is the secret of a good bread pudding?
Actually, there is more than one secret; there are two:
- To make good bread pudding you need the right kind of bread: ideally, one that is aerated and rich. Challah and brioche are the best options. Croissants also work out pretty well. 😉 In a pinch, choose an airy bread like ciabatta.
- Secondly, a good bread pudding has a super creamy custard. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the recipe below: We’re talking about heavy cream and lots of eggs! 🙂 I like that this recipe uses whole eggs, so each serving actually has one whole egg in it! A rich and delicious dessert with a bit of protein thanks to the egg mixture.
How to make bread pudding?
Bread pudding is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make because it’s so easy, yet it’s a beautiful process.
Home cooks simply line a buttered casserole dish with great bread, pour a creamy custard over it, and bake!
Sometimes alcohol is added to the custard mix. Otherwise, the custard is usually a pretty simple mix of cream, eggs, and sugar. You’ll see that this recipe has just the right ratio of ingredients.
Lastly, other ingredients may be added as well. This version uses mixed berries, which is just too yummy and special.
If you enjoy eating with the seasons and improvising, you can also change this recipe by subbing out the berries with other ingredients you have:
- In the fall, you can use diced apples and one teaspoon of cinnamon.
- At Christmastime, you can use cranberries and orange zest; and about ten minutes before the pudding is done baking, sprinkle the top with pecans.
- In the spring, you can use rhubarb and strawberries.
Looking for an Instant Pot version of bread pudding? This wonderful recipe allows you to use your bread of choice.
If you like boozy puddings, the alcohols most often used in bread puddings are Bourbon, rum, and whiskey. Or use up to a quarter cup of your favorite liqueur.
Here is how to make an authentic New Orleans bread pudding with Bourbon:
- Soak 3/4 cup raisins in 1/4 cup Bourbon whiskey for 1 to 2 hours.
- Add the soaked raisins to the main custard recipe below with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon allspice.
- Assemble and bake the pudding as usual (omitting the berries).
- Stir in a couple more tablespoons of Bourbon whiskey to this Easy Caramel Sauce.
- When the pudding is done baking, serve with Bourbon sauce poured over the top.
Bread pudding is delicious topped with vanilla ice cream!
You can also drizzle it with homemade Easy Caramel Sauce (find that recipe here).
Feeling extra decadent and love chocolate? Sprinkle fair-trade chocolate chips over the surface of the pudding when it’s freshly out of the oven. The chocolate chips will melt and be decadent with the berries and rich cake!
If you have food sensitivities, you might wonder which ingredients will sub for allergy-friendly alternatives.
You can make lots of replacements with this recipe, but be aware that most substitutions won’t compare with the original recipe. 😉
Here are some substitution insights:
- If you use a different bread than what’s indicated, the recipe will turn out, but won’t be quite as “pure” tasting and decadent.
- Enriched, airy breads do better than dense or whole grain loaves.
- Do not replace the cream with milk unless you’re hoping for a “healthy” tasting meal instead of dessert.
- You can sub the cream with cultured sour cream or part coconut cream, part rich coconut milk.
- I haven’t made this recipe with maple syrup or honey, but those will probably work fine, in place of the sugar options.
- You can omit the lime juice (but it’s really good) or substitute with lemon juice.
Let me know if you have further questions about making substitutions in the Comments section below.
Mixed Berry Bread Pudding
Looking for the best dessert recipes? You’re in luck! This Mixed Berry Bread Pudding calls for airy bread, creamy custard, coconut sugar, and your favorite fresh or frozen berries. Serve warm or cold for breakfast, or with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce for an easy, amazing treat! Bonus: I've included seasonal variations so you can make this bread pudding recipe year round!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice challah into 3/4” thick slices.
Cut just half of the slices into cubes.
Butter a 2-quart casserole dish (see my suggestion below).
Line the bottom of the dish with challah slices, filling in any gaps with bread cubes.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, 3/4 cup sugar, lime juice, vanilla, and sea salt.
Mix by hand until sugar is mostly dissolved, about 60 seconds. (Do not use an electric mixer on high speed or the eggs and cream will become too aerated.)
Pour about half of the egg and cream mixture over the bread slices.
Allow them a minute or two to absorb the custard.
Top with berries, reserving about 1/4 cup berries for the top of the pudding.
Top berries with bread cubes to almost the surface of the baking dish. You may have some bread left over.
Pour remaining custard over all.
Using the back of a spatula or your fingers, press down on the bread cubes until they’ve each been saturated in the custard.
Top with remaining berries speckled over the top surface.
Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over each berry and the pudding surface.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until pudding is golden brown with a few dark spots tinging the top and fully puffed in the center.
Allow to cool 1 hour minimum before serving.
Serve warm with vanilla custard for a comforting snack, warm or cold for breakfast, or with ice cream for dessert!
I like this 8-inch dish with lid for easy storage after baking!
Do me a favor? Come back and comment after you’ve made this dessert! I’d love to hear, and so would other readers, how you enjoyed this recipe!
What are some other easy, tasty desserts you can make at home? Most of these desserts can be assembled in about 10 minutes:
- Chocolate Avocado Mousse (Paleo, Egg-free)
- Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free, Grain-free)
- Instant Pot Rice Pudding (Gluten-free, Egg-free)
- Chocolate Cheesecake Pie (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Egg-free)
- Sourdough Nut Butter Cookies
- Snickerdoodles (Paleo, Egg-free, Nut-free)
- Pumpkin Cookies (Paleo, GAPS Diet)
Looking for more ways to use up frozen or fresh mixed berries? Try these!
...without giving up the foods you love or spending all day in the kitchen!
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