Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (2024)

By Mark Bittman

Updated Feb. 28, 2024

Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes
Cook Time
30 to 45 minutes
Read community notes

This recipe is proof-positive that leftover bread can easily be converted to dessert without much work. There’s room for customization here: Consider adding fresh or dried fruit or a combination of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom. Bread pudding makes a great brunch dish, served with fresh fruit compote. Or add a handful of chocolate chips before baking for a decidedly more decadent outcome. Discover more ideas for the big day in our best Thanksgiving recipes collection.

Featured in: Turning Leftovers Into Dessert

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 2cups milk
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • ½loaf sweet egg bread like challah or brioche, cut into 2-inch cubes (5 to 6 cups)
  • 2eggs, beaten

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

198 calories; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 174 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until butter melts; cool. Meanwhile, butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill it with the cubed bread.

  2. Step


    Add eggs to cooled milk mixture and whisk; pour mixture over bread.

    Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (3)
  3. Step


    Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges of bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (4)



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Cooking Notes


5-6 cups of bread require more than 2 cups of milk & 2 eggs. You can't fit 5-6 cups of bread in a 4-6 cup baking dish. So,* 5-6 cups bread* 1 quart milk* 4 eggs* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract... in a 2.5-quart casserole dish.


Make sure to let the bread soak in the egg-milk mixture; about an hour or more is perfect. Then it will become a beautiful custard.


I agree that letting the mixture soak for a while improves the result. Also doubling the eggs, 4 rather than 2, makes for a better custards pudding.

Bernie Cleff

A little touch of bourbon goes a long way in making this a special desert
I learned this in New Orleans while on a photography assignment.


I like to save myself the extra step (and dishes) of heating the milk by sprinkling the sugar over the bread, whisking together the egg and vanilla with the milk, and pouring it on top (and dotting with butter if you're in the mood). Crunchy, caramelized bits of sugar is a feature as far as I'm concerned, so I like that it doesn't all dissolve and use raw sugar to maximize the effect.


I diced up a chocolate-chip challah loaf from WholeFoods. Didn't add any cinnamon or spices. Used 4 eggs instead of 2 and let the bread soak for an hour before baking, as per other reviews. This dish FLOORED me. So unbelievably easy. The warm chocolate chips melted into the vanilla-infused loaf and the creamy custard base...WOW.


Far too much milk and too few eggs.For 5-6 cups of bread cubes, I'd use 1 1/2 c heavy cream and 5 eggs.The issue with milk is that it will leave your pudding too gooey - meaning a layer of goo sitting on the bottom and no crispy top. No buen. Follow my tip and be happyPS Stoneware will also help. Aluminum and nonstick pans will not be your friends with bread pudding.


Oh goodness... Please don't judge me but I made this "Bread" Pudding with left-over cake. The cake was Melissa Clark's Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake which I didn't love (or didn't bake properly). I cut the botched cake into cubes and toasted it/dried it out in the oven. Then made this recipe. My, oh my, was this a glorious "bread" pudding!


Agreed. I make about a half recipe more custard and use extra yolks. Spices are usually cinnamon and nutmeg. The chopped granny smith is a favorite, as are raisins. Not much is better than bread pudding.


I like this recipe with all types of bread. Each kind of bread creates a slightly different taste. Depends if I'm serving it for breakfast or dessert which bread I use. My favorite is day old cinnamon rolls, especially if the cinnamon rolls have nuts and raisins. Fresh peaches added are nice too. Sometimes I use half-n-half instead of milk. If I'm making for breakfast I often prepare the night before, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Pop into the oven in the morning.


Made this again: 3 eggs, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, raisins, chopped toasted pecans, dash cinnamon, teaspoon vanilla, and teaspoon Tennessee whiskey. Let all soak before baking. So good! Next time I'll add a Tablespoon of Tennessee whiskey though. Thanks again, Mr. Bittman.


Try adding diced pears. I get many compliments as the pears seem to go well with the custard.


Delicious, thank you for another great recipe, Mark Bittman! This is a do-it-your-way recipe. I added an extra egg, used leftover good bakery buns, raisins and chopped Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and nutmeg.


I made this with left-over panettone; delicious.

Joan Abnett

Afraid I have always preferred good quality plain white bread for this classic. Some raisins go well, too! Straining the custard mixture gives a velvety smoothness, too.


Yummy recipe! Made it according to the recipe with a 1/2 loaf challah and it turned out well. Next time I'll add some additional flavors – cinnamon, 1.5x the custard and raisins. Will cut the bread into smaller cubes and try soaking it per some of the suggestions. Thanks!

Dorothy from RI

I used this recipe with week old homemade Irish Soda Bread. Outstanding as written but next time will try with two more egg yolks, just to see the difference.


Love this recipe! We used half almond milk and half heavy cream as well as an additional two egg yolks. Also, we added a couple tablespoons of cognac, two tablespoons of banana liqueur, a quarter teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cardamom. We sliced a banana and mixed that in with the bread and chopped up some dark chocolate to sprinkle on top before baking.


This is a great recipe. I make it with country bread with the crusts cut off, when we can't finish a loaf or two. I have been experimenting with more custard, as others have said. Today I used 3 eggs, about 2 1/2 cups milk, 3T butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and I liked the result. I also add some cinnamon and some orange zest. Good topped with fresh fruit and full fat yogurt.


Great taste BUT custard proportions are WAY off. Not a true bread pudding without increasing amount of custard (making 2nd time but increasing 50%). Baked in 1-1/2qt 10"x6" casserole dish, fit nicely. As noted by professional chefs on baking shows, bread must be soaked in custard before baking. I soaked about 20mins. My comments are the same as others who've made this recipe. Try adding Golden Raisins for added texture and pop of tart sweetness. Favorite secret ingredient used by many chefs!


can i use an old French bread loaf for this?


Absolutely! I use any stale bread I have around.


The pudding was not as custardy as I would have liked. Next time, I will increase the amount of custard mix.

I Love to Cook

I used plainer bread (actually combination of light soft rye bread and leftover bagel, but added a tad more sugar and it came out great! Light and tasty and perfectly cooked. I added some cinnamon to milk mixture to give it more flavor.


I had a few freezer bags of bananas muffins (banana bread) that my kid didn’t love so I defrosted and diced them up and used them in this recipe. 10/10 swap. I’ve also made this as written and it was perfect.


We did heavy cream and 4 eggs, plus the addition of peaches and pears. It turned out fantastic! Would definitely recommend adding fruit.

from public notes

Bourbon2 eggs plus 2 yolksHalf and halfDot butter on top

Helen S

2 c half half3 eggs


I added a splash of bourbon, let the bread sit in the egg-and-milk mixture in the fridge all day before baking, and made a super simple caramel sauce to go along with it - really delicious!


Made last night for a Valentine treat. Used cubed challah (around 7 cups), added chocolate chips & used Demerara sugar and two whole eggs & two yolks in the custard mix. Soaked two hours prior to baking.Serves 6—who are you kidding? Three of us ate the whole delicious thing!


I tried this recipe as written and was not happy with it. I agree it has too much milk and too few eggs, but I also don't think the size of the bread chunks is helpful. Half the size really allows more of the custard mixture to penetrate, but still retains enough surface area to get a crisp crust. I also added some dark rum and a little cinnamon. Much improved.

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Simple Bread Pudding Recipe (2024)
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