Bourbon Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

I’m a Johnny-come-lately to the whole bread pudding scene, but I’m quickly becoming a fan. During a particularly delightful anniversary dinner out with my husband of 25 years, we broke our routine and ordered the bread pudding. It was amazing and delicious and I ended up begging the recipe from the chef. To my surprise, the chef was happy to share.

So that’s where I started….but it’s not what I ended up with. I’ve done numerous tweaks until this really is my own recipe now. All those years of thinking that bread pudding was boring and bland and just a little bit icky have come to an end. This is a deeply decadent dessert that I can’t wait to serve to guests.

Bourbon Bread Pudding

Start by cutting up a day-old baguette or some sourdough. I cut up a half a loaf of sourdough bread and I’m hooked on that extra little dimension of flavor the sourdough gives to the bread pudding.

In a bowl, whisk together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. whole milk (if you’re feeling really wild, use 1 c. milk and 1 c. whipping cream)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. Bourbon
  • 1/4 t. salt

Pour this mixture over the bread in a large container. Cover and put in the fridge for a few hours.

egg and milk coat bread for bread pudding

Prepare ramekins by greasing them with butter and dusting them with sugar. (Sort of like greasing and flouring a cake pan, only with butter and sugar….can you see where this is all leading? WOW!) Pack the ramekins with the mixture of bread, eggs, and milk. Sprinkle the top with pecan topping.

Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 c. pecan pieces
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. very cold butter
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar

Whir all these together in a food processor so that all the ingredients are chopped up and crumbled together.

crumbly pecan topping for bread pudding

bread pudding ready to bake

Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes or until the egg mixture sets up and the pecan topping gets melty and bubbling. Let the puddings cool for a few minutes before turning them out onto individual dessert plates. You can either invert the puddings on the plate or sort of scoop them so that the pecan topping is still on top.

Serve the pudding with caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.

The recipe that I got at the amazing restaurant had a recipe for caramel sauce but I really like my own recipe better so I used that.

This is a great, decadent dessert that bears NO resemblance to my childhood memories of bread pudding. Bread pudding used to be the way to use up tired, stale crusts of bread that still couldn’t be just thrown away. Not so with this version of bread pudding! It’s definitely worth giving this adult version of an old recipe a try.

caramel sauce over bread pudding

Bread Pudding with Caramel sauce and whipping cream


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4 thoughts on “Bourbon Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

  1. barb, my sister, denise, makes this often and we all love it. she takes half the bread and egg mixture and squishes it up with her hands to where it is real mushy then mixes all the rest together and it really makes a nice consistency. sometimes she throws in raisins for a little change up.

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