Decadent Bread Pudding Recipe for a Sweet Treat

The aroma of freshly baked bread, the warmth that fills the room as it comes out of the oven – there’s nothing like it. And while I love devouring a fresh loaf of bread just as much as the next person, sometimes you end up with a few slices that have gone stale or are no longer fresh enough to nibble on. That’s where this Southern-style bread pudding recipe comes in.

Bread pudding is an old-fashioned Southern dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. It’s often made from leftover or stale bread, and the magic happens when it is infused with warm milk, sugar and eggs, creating a velvety custard texture. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker, this recipe is easy to make and sure to impress.

With every spoonful of this bread pudding, you’ll savor an explosion of flavors – luscious bread soaked in a creamy vanilla custard with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, topped off with buttery brown sugar sauce. It’s a perfect indulgence after a hearty meal or just as an afternoon snack.

So join me in making this irresistible dessert and experience the taste of authentic southern comfort food at home. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Bread Pudding
Southern Bread Pudding

Bite into a warm, comforting dessert of Southern bread pudding, and let the sweet, rich flavors explode in your mouth with every bite. This dessert is perfect all year round, but it’s especially satisfying on chilly nights when you need a little warmth and comfort.

The custardy bread, infused with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, is the perfect base for this sumptuous Southern delight. And the best part? It’s made from ingredients that you already have in your pantry! All you need is some stale bread, eggs, milk, sugar and some basic spices.

This pudding recipe gives you the perfect balance of flavor and texture that will make it an instant hit at any gathering. The crispy top layer contrasting with the creamy interior makes this dish irresistible. With its soft center and crispy edges drenched in a luscious bourbon sauce, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back for more.

The recipe is easy, versatile and foolproof. You can use any bread you have in your pantry – from a loaf of French bread to good old-fashioned white bread or even king’s Hawaiian rolls. And if you’re feeling adventurous or need to satisfy a craving for something different, feel free to add your favorite ingredients like chocolate chips, peanut butter cups or strawberries.

If you’re looking for an authentic New Orleans-style dessert that’s equal parts comfort food and indulgent treat, look no further than this old fashioned Southern Bread Pudding recipe. The simple yet delicious taste will transport you to the South every time!

Ingredient List

Here are 11 unique photo captions for your Southern Bread Pudding recipe:
Here are 11 unique photo captions for your Southern Bread Pudding recipe:

Before starting any recipe, it is essential to gather all the necessary ingredients. In this Best Southern Bread Pudding Recipe, we need the following ingredients:

Ingredient List:
For the Bread Pudding:

  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf stale French bread, cubed (the staler, the better)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Make sure to buy fresh and good-quality eggs as they play an essential role in bringing a rich flavor and texture to the pudding. Also, remember that it is ideal to use stale bread as it readily soaks up the custard mixture’s flavors. If you don’t have French bread, feel free to use white bread or even make bread from scratch. Don’t skimp on the butter, as it adds an undeniable richness and flavor to the dish. With these high-quality ingredients assembled, let’s move on to the recipe how-to!

The Recipe How-To

It’s finally time to get into the kitchen and make this delicious southern bread pudding.

Step 1: Prepare the Bread

The best bread for a southern bread pudding is stale French bread. It has the perfect density and texture to absorb all of the custard mixture. I recommend cutting the bread into 1-inch cubes and allowing it to sit out overnight to get stale.

Step 2: Assemble the Pudding

In a bowl, combine 4 beaten eggs, 3 cups of milk, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk well until all ingredients are combined.

Take your cubed bread and place it in a large mixing bowl. Pour your custard mixture into the bowl with your cubes of bread, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly with the mixture. Then add in half a cup of raisins, if desired.

Step 3: Bake the Pudding

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Next, grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour your bread pudding mixture into the dish and spread it out evenly.

In a separate bowl, mix together ½ cup of melted butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until you have a smooth sauce. Drizzle this sauce generously over your pudding, making sure to cover all areas.

Bake your southern bread pudding for around 45-50 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

Once ready, carefully remove your pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for around 10-15 minutes before serving. This dish is delicious served warm or cold, plain or topped with whipped cream or ice cream!

Beware: You might not have any leftovers!

Substitutions and Variations

 Warm, gooey, and oh-so-satisfying.
Warm, gooey, and oh-so-satisfying.

The beauty of Southern Bread Pudding recipe is its versatility. You can easily adapt it to your liking with some simple ingredient substitutions and variations. Here are a few ways you can jazz up this classic dessert:

– Bread varieties: Stale bread is the key ingredient for making an authentic Old Fashioned Southern Bread Pudding, but you can experiment with different bread varieties for a subtle variation in texture and flavor. Try using French bread, brioche, or even croissants.

– Spices: Nutmeg and cinnamon are the classic spices that give Southern Bread Pudding its signature warmth and aroma. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try swapping them with other warm spices such as cardamom, allspice, or ginger.

– Raisins: Not a fan of raisins? Try swapping them with your favorite dried fruits such as cranberries or cherries for a colorful twist.

– Milk: Whole milk is the traditional option for making Southern Bread Pudding, but you can also use half-and-half or heavy cream for a richer and creamier texture.

– Eggs: The number of eggs used in this recipe can also be varied to tweak the pudding’s density. For a fluffier texture, add an extra egg or two. Likewise, reducing the amount of eggs will result in a denser pudding.

No matter how you decide to personalize your Southern Bread Pudding, always remember to stick with high-quality ingredients to achieve the best flavor and texture possible.

Serving and Pairing

 A classic Southern dish with a modern twist.
A classic Southern dish with a modern twist.

The Southern Bread Pudding Recipe is a dessert classic that is best enjoyed warm and with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The warm, smooth texture of the pudding pairs perfectly with the cool, creamy delight of the topping. This dish is perfect for serving at family gatherings or social events because it can be made in large quantities and can satisfy many people’s sweet tooth.

When it comes to pairing with drinks, coffee or tea are great choices as they complement the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors in the pudding. You could also serve it with a warm apple cider, which can highlight the coziness and coziness of this dessert.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try pairing your bread pudding with a small amount of bourbon. The addition of bourbon can give your dessert an added depth of flavor and create an intriguing combination of sweet and spicy notes that will tantalize your taste buds.

For those who prefer a less sweet dessert, reducing the sugar will not only make it less sweet but will also allow for more complimentary pairing options such as wine. Choose full-bodied reds like Merlot, Zinfandel or Port that have flavors that stand up to the nutmeg, cinnamon and raisin elements of the dish.

In summary, serving your southern bread pudding hot off the oven along with whipped cream or ice cream is heaven in every bite while pairing it with bourbon or tea is something adventurous to try. You can also opt to reduce the sugar quantity so there’s room for wine pairings for those who don’t enjoy overly sweet desserts.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect dessert for any occasion.
The perfect dessert for any occasion.

One of the best things about Southern bread pudding is that it is a perfect make-ahead dessert. You can prepare it the day before serving, refrigerate it, and have a warm and delicious dessert ready in no time on the day of the event.

To store the bread pudding, simply cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to take off the chill.

Reheating your bread pudding is also easy. You can use an oven, a microwave or a stovetop to reheat it.

If you choose to use an oven, preheat it to 350°F/180°C, cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and put it in for about 15-20 minutes. If you are reheating individual servings of your pudding, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for up to 10 minutes.

For a quick reheat option, use a microwave set at medium-high power level for 2-4 minutes depending on the portion size.

Stovetop reheating is not recommended as it may cause uneven heating and result in poor texture or taste.

One important thing to keep in mind when reheating your bread pudding is not to overcook it. Overcooked bread pudding tends to become dry and unappetizing. Just reheat until heated through.

Another great tip is that leftover bread pudding makes a scrumptious breakfast dish when reheated for just a few seconds in a skillet with a little bit of butter. Add some hot coffee on the side, and you have start your day on a sweet note!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Soft bread soaked in custard and baked to perfection.
Soft bread soaked in custard and baked to perfection.

When making Southern Bread Pudding, there are a few tips that can ensure perfect results every time. First and foremost, use the best bread you can find. A stale French or old-fashioned Southern white bread works well. Allow the bread to stale overnight to give it that perfect chew.

As with any recipe, accuracy in measuring ingredients is essential. Use measuring cups and spoons for all ingredients and be sure to level off measurements when required.

If you want a richer flavor, use half-and-half instead of whole milk. You can also add a tablespoon or two of bourbon to the recipe to give it an authentic New Orleans twist.

When adding raisins or other mix-ins, sprinkle them over each layer of cubed bread instead of mixing them into the custard mixture. This will help to distribute them more evenly throughout the pudding and prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

Bake your bread pudding in a water bath for a moist and creamy texture. To do this, place your filled baking dish into a larger baking dish or roasting pan and fill the larger dish with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of your bread pudding dish.

Finally, don’t rush the baking process. A slow, low heat ensures that the pudding cooks gently without scorching or curdling. And let it cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Follow these tips for perfect Southern Bread Pudding every time, whether you are new to making this classic recipe or an experienced baker looking for new ways to improve your technique.


As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I have received numerous questions about my recipes, especially the southern bread pudding. In this section, I will share the most commonly asked questions and provide detailed answers to ensure you achieve the best results with your recipe. Follow along as I clarify these popular inquiries so that you can address any concerns you might have before making this delicious dish.

How do you make Paula Deen’s bread pudding?

For this delicious southern-style dessert, we will need to gather a few key ingredients. First, we will need three cups of granulated sugar, divided into separate portions. Next, we will need five large eggs, beaten, and two cups of milk. To add a touch of flavor, we will also include four teaspoons of vanilla extract, divided into two portions.

As the base for our dessert, we will use three cups of Italian bread, cubed and left to become stale overnight in a bowl. To add a sweet and crunchy topping, we will combine one cup of packed light brown sugar, half of a cup of melted butter, and one cup of chopped pecans. To bring everything together, we will also need 1/4 cup of softened butter.

What is bread pudding sauce made of?

To make a delicious vanilla sauce, I suggest combining milk, brown sugar, butter, egg, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a sturdy saucepan and whisking them together until the mixture is completely smooth. Place the pan over medium heat and continue whisking the ingredients constantly, letting the sauce become thick and coat the back of a spoon. This should take around 10 to 12 minutes. Once the sauce is the right consistency, gently stir in vanilla extract for a sweet, rich flavor.

How does Gordon Ramsay make bread pudding?

For this scrumptious recipe, you will need 50g of softened butter, as well as some extra to grease the baking dish. Grab 2-3 tablespoons of delicious apricot jam, and be sure to have on hand 6 pains au chocolat that have been sliced into 1cm thick pieces. Also, get 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of demerara sugar, and 35g of golden raisins. Lastly, you’ll need 500ml of whole milk and 120ml of double cream.

Should bread pudding be refrigerated overnight before baking?

To ensure the perfect texture and melding of flavors, it is recommended to place the prepared bread pudding in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Once ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After removing the plastic from the baking dish, place it in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top turns a beautiful golden brown and the mixture of milk and eggs sets.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Southern Bread Pudding recipe is the perfect treat for anyone who loves to indulge in sweet and comforting desserts. With its creamy texture and fragrant nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla flavors, this bread pudding will make you feel like you’re indulging in an authentic Southern dessert.

Whether it’s for a family gathering, potluck or just a comforting Sunday treat, this bread pudding recipe will never let you down. It’s easy to make, uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and can be customized to your liking as well.

So go ahead and try out this bread pudding recipe today. Trust me, once you take the first bite of this pillowy and cozy dessert, you’ll be hooked!

Southern Bread Pudding

Southern Bread Pudding Recipe

An elderly lady gave me this recipe a long time ago. She said it's what you make for dessert when you are poor. Through the years, various family members have made this with all different types of fruit. It always taste good.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 406.9 kcal


  • 4 cups day old bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 (8 ounce) can fruit (any kind)


  • Break bread in small pieces and put in a 9x12 baking dish. Melt the butter and pour over the bread.
  • Mix the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Drain all the liquid from the canned fruit. Discard the liquid. Add the canned fruit to the milk mixture.
  • Pour the entire mixture over the bread.
  • Cook in 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until top is nicely browned.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 262gCalories: 406.9kcalCarbohydrates: 53.6gProtein: 10.4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 148.9mgSodium: 328.4mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 34.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Fruit, Inexpensive, Sweet
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