New Orleans Bread Pudding

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min.

Makes

12 servings

Updated: Sep. 14, 2023
For an extra-special treat, try this sweet and buttery New Orleans bread pudding. The cowboys we serve it to say it tastes like home. —Linda Wiese, Payette, Idaho
New Orleans Bread Pudding Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brandy or unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10 slices day-old French bread (1 inch thick), cubed
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine raisins and brandy. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and set aside. Brush a shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle with sugar and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Stir in remaining 7 tablespoons melted butter and reserved raisin mixture. Gently stir in bread; let stand until bread is softened, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
  4. For sauce, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually add water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Serve with bread pudding.
New Orleans Bread Pudding Tips

Can you use fresh bread to make New Orleans bread pudding?

Fresh bread can be used to make New Orleans bread pudding but it does need to dry out a bit so the recipe doesn’t turn out soggy. Cut the fresh bread 3-4 hours before beginning the recipe and place it on a pan, uncovered, to dry out on the counter.

You can make other swaps in this bread pudding recipe. No brandy on hand? No problem! Feel free to substitute bourbon or whiskey. And if raisins aren’t your cup of tea, substitute chopped pecans or skip them altogether.

Can you make a different kind of sauce to go with New Orleans bread pudding?

When it come to sauce for bread pudding, the sky is the limit. The delicious sauce in the recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as is, or spike it by subbing bourbon or brandy for the vanilla extract. You could also copy the sauce from our bread pudding with bourbon sauce. A caramel sauce, like in our apple bread pudding with caramel sauce, would work well here, too.

Can you make New Orleans bread pudding ahead of time?

Bread pudding can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 8 hours before it’s baked to give you a little extra time in the morning. Remove it from the fridge while the oven preheats. You may need to add an extra 10-15 minutes of bake time, so keep an eye on it.

You can also bake the bread pudding and store it covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days before serving. Warm individual servings in a pan with a pat of butter over medium heat on the stove until crisp and heated through.

If New Orleans bread pudding has you thinking about some great Louisiana cooking, check out this jambalaya.

Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager

Nutrition Facts

1 piece with 5 teaspoons sauce: 353 calories, 15g fat (9g saturated fat), 105mg cholesterol, 347mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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