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Caramel Bread Pudding

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Caramel Bread Pudding puts a spin on the classic dessert. Decadent bread pudding is raised to the next level with a drizzle of caramel bourbon sauce. Perfect for dessert or even an indulgent breakfast!

Caramel bread pudding with raisins in a bowl.

Caramel Bread Pudding

Treat yourself to this mouthwatering Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. Raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, paired with flavors of bourbon and caramel make for a perfect fall dessert. Perfect for the upcoming holidays or just to top off a cozy meal with the family, this dessert is too dreamy to miss!

Key Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • loaf of white bread: Brioche and challah bread are great for this dish too. Each piece of bread will be cut into 1-inch cubes and laid out to dry overnight.
  • raisins: This is an optional addition but adds a great texture and flavor to the bread pudding.
  • eggs: You’ll need seven for this recipe.
  • whole milk: Half and half can be used instead if needed.
  • sugar: Granulated white sugar.
  • light brown sugar: Dark brown sugar can be substituted.
  • butter: This will need to be melted then set aside to cool.
  • vanilla extract: For that classically sweet and warm flavor.
  • salt: Just a pinch.
  • ground cinnamon: Nutmeg and allspice are great spices to add in as well! 

Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  • sugar: White granulated sugar is called for but brown sugar could also be used for a rich butterscotch flavor.
  • water: To help dissolve the sugar and thin out the sauce.
  • butter: Salted and cut into pieces
  • bourbon: You can choose your favorite brand.
  • heavy cream: This will provide a rich, creamy base to the sauce.
Top down view of ingredients needed for caramel bread pudding.

How to Make Caramel Bread Pudding

For the Bread Pudding:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish.
  2. Add the cubed bread to the casserole dish and sprinkle the raisins throughout.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, granulated white sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until fully combined. Pour the liquid mixture evenly over the bread. Make sure all of it gets soaked but that there is not too much liquid to make the bread soggy. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Once those 30 minutes are up, uncover the bread pudding and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. It should spring back when pushed in the center and look nice and golden brown.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  1. While your bread pudding bakes, move onto the caramel sauce by whisking together the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Let the sugar caramelize for about 10 minutes or until it turns a golden color. Be careful not to stir the caramelized sugar or it will start to crystalize and ruin the caramel. To avoid that, simply shake the pan every couple of minutes to avoid sticking.
  3. Once caramelized, add in the butter and whisk vigorously. Pour in the bourbon and continue to whisk as it starts to bubble up and cook off the alcohol. Usually about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the heavy cream and continue whisking for another minute. Remove from heat and let the sauce thicken up.
  5. Remove the bread pudding from the oven, drizzle with the caramel sauce, serve, and enjoy!
Collage showing how to make caramel bread pudding.

Tips and Variations

  • After drizzling your bread pudding with that decadent caramel sauce, sprinkle a bit of sea salt over top to bring out that salted caramel flavor!
  • Make sure your bread has had time to dry out (or use bread that’s beginning to go stale) before letting the liquid soak into it. You can pre-bake the bread to pull any moisture out. If bread isn’t dry or too much liquid is added, the bread pudding will end up soggy and mushy after baking.
  • Dried cranberries or chocolate chips are great add-ins for surprise flavor. 
  • Highly recommend serving with a dollop of fresh whip cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This dessert can also work as a breakfast option, served with a large mug of steaming coffee.
Salted caramel bourbon salt being poured on bread pudding.

Storage and Reheating

Refrigerator: You can store this Caramel Bread Pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. As for the caramel sauce, that can be stored in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Reheating: You can reheat a serving of this bread pudding in the microwave or the oven until warmed through. The caramel sauce is best reheated briefly on the stove or in the microwave before drizzling on top of the bread pudding.

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Small bowl of salted caramel bread pudding.

Caramel Bread Pudding

Yield: About 12 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Caramel Bread Pudding puts a spin on the classic dessert. Decadent bread pudding is raised to the next level with a drizzle of caramel bourbon sauce. Perfect for dessert or even an indulgent breakfast!

Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • 20-ounce loaf white bread, (each piece of bread cut into 1-inch cubes then laid out to dry overnight)
  • ½ cup raisins, optional
  • 7 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted then cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the Bread Pudding:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  2. Add the bread to the casserole dish along with the raisins and toss gently to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Pour it evenly over the bread ensuring that all of it gets soaked. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until it springs back when pushed in the center.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  1. In the meantime, make the caramel sauce by whisking the sugar and water together in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Let the sugar caramelize for about 10 minutes or until it turns a golden color but do not stir (or the sugar will start to crystalize and ruin the caramel). Simply shake the pan every two to three minutes.
  3. Add the butter and whisk vigorously. Pour in the bourbon and continue to whisk as it starts to bubble up and cook off the alcohol, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the heavy cream and continue whisking for another minute. Remove from the heat and let the sauce thicken up.
  5. Serve the bread pudding with the caramel drizzle on top.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of bread pudding. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*Photos courtesy of Karla Rae Photography.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 11g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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