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Seriously. This bread pudding with bourbon sauce is perfection on a plate.
We all need a go-to dessert that’s easy to put together and tastes amazing. Luckily, this bread pudding is both. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is; it’s perfect for holidays, birthdays, potluck dinners or for when you want to impress a guest-like your boss or your in-laws. It’s also easy to transport when you want to take something special to a get-together.
Every time I make this bread pudding it gets rave reviews. Everyone always says it’s the best bread pudding they’ve ever had and that I must have spent a ton of time and effort putting it together. The fact that it’s super easy can be our little secret, ok?
The recipe is based on one from the Bon Ton Cafe-a New Orleans institution known far and wide for their amazing bread pudding. The original is truly incredible but I love to experiment and enjoy tweaking recipes and putting my own spin on them. I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe and the end result is a luscious bread pudding that’s absolutely amazing. The whiskey sauce is incredible too. In fact, I’m pretty sure it could make cardboard taste good!
Best Ever Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf stale french bread, if it's fresh, leave it out overnight so it will get dry, cut into 1-inch cubes (yes, the quality and dryness of the bread really matter!)
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp good vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean, sliced and scraped
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 3-4 Tbsp Bourbon or whiskey (your choice–I like to use Jack Daniels which is a whiskey)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup bourbon (add slowly, adjust to taste)
Place 1 cup raisins in a small bowl and cover with 3-4 Tbsp. bourbon. Heat in microwave for 10 seconds, stir. Repeat. Bourbon should be very warm but not bubbling. Cover the bowl and the raisins soak until plump (about 1 hour). The raisins should have soaked up most of the bourbon so don't worry about removing them.
Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Use softened butter to cover bottom and sides of 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish.
Place cubed bread in a large mixing bowl and pour heavy cream and milk over the bread.
Mix the bread, milk, and cream with your hands until no large pieces of bread remain and milk and cream have been absorbed.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, add sugar, salt and vanilla extract, mix well. Pour over the milk, cream, and bread mixture.
Stir in raisins and any remaining whiskey (optional)
Pour mixture into buttered baking pan. Bake until the liquid sets and the top starts to brown. and the edges of the pudding are browning and pulling away from the pan (40-50 minutes).
Remove from oven and allow to cool as you make the sauce. Or, if making ahead of time, allow bread pudding to cool to room temperature, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until needed (up to 2 days).
You can make the sauce while the bread pudding is cooking or while it cools. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk the sugar and beaten egg into the melted butter.
Over low heat, stir the mixture constantly until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. Remove from heat.
Whisk in the bourbon to taste. If you aren't eating immediately then you'll need to whisk it again just before you serve it.
Cut bread pudding into squares and drizzle whiskey sauce over individual servings.