Classic Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce is a dessert not for the faint of heart. Made with soft brioche bread, this sweet treat is a favorite!
One of the naughtiest desserts around is bread pudding. Its look may be deceiving because there’s no chocolate or visible sugar, but don’t be fooled. This Classic Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce is a dessert that most certainly falls into the decadent category. The sheer amount of butter and sugar make this recipe super naughty, but at the same time, absolutely rich and delicious.
Some recipes call for day old bread. I am a firm believer that brioche is the absolute best choice for bread pudding. Not only is is super soft and sweet, but it absorbs the liquid mixture perfectly. Traditional bread pudding calls for currants, but I didn’t have any so I made a quick substitute by using an assortment of dried fruit. I almost omitted them completely, but I’m glad I decided to add them for a couple of reasons. First, this bread pudding is pretty darn sweet and although the dried fruit is also sweet, it adds an extreme tartness that really balances out with all that sweet. Second, the dried fruit adds an extra texture to the mix. This bread pudding gives you soft in the middle and crunchy from the top, but the fruit adds an unexpected chewy factor.
Now let’s talk about the caramel sauce. I was a bit worried because it didn’t thicken like you’d think a caramel sauce should. I also hesitated to add the full amount to the bread pudding. I’m so glad I did, though, because here’s what happens: the bread pudding absorbs some, but not all, of that sweet vanilla caramel flavor. Then, during the last few minutes of cooking time, the bread pudding floats to the top of a lake of bubbling vanilla caramel sauce. The bread pudding is thick enough to slice and serve, and then as much or as little additional caramel sauce can be added to each serving. I like to take each bite and dip it in the sauce. So much YUM!!!
Want more caramel recipes?
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Salted Mocha Caramels
- Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake
- Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels (can you tell I like salted caramel?)
- More dessert recipes…
Tools used to make this Classic Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce recipe
Baking Dish: This baking dish is a must-have for any home cook. I actually have 3 of them in my cupboard, and each dish comes with a lid for storing leftovers or taking your dishes on the go.
Mixing Bowl: These mixing bowls get used just about every day at my house. The grip handle makes them easy to hold and the pour spout makes them perfect for batters!
Medium Saucepan: I don’t what I’d do without this saucepan. It gets used in my kitchen every day. The glass lid even has strainer sides so I even have a colander for pasta!
Classic Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce
- 1 pound loaf challah or brioche bread cut into 1 inch cubes (link to homemade challah in recipe notes)
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup black currants or dried fruit
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Grease a 9”x13” oven safe pan with butter, and place the bread cubes into the pan. Sprinkle the currants over the bread. Drizzle the melted butter over the bread and currants, do not mix/ toss the bread cubes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs until broken up, and blend in the sugars, half and half, and whole milk. Whisk together gently until ingredients are combined. Pour egg mixture over the bread cubes and let it soak in, patting the bread down into the mixture as necessary. For best results allow to sit for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake uncovered for about 35 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- While bread pudding is cooking, make the vanilla caramel sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Stir constantly until completely melted. Whisk in the evaporated milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Mixture will not thicken much.
- Remove bread pudding from oven and pour caramel sauce evenly over the top. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the pudding is puffy all over and golden brown for a total cooking time of 55-60 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. (Tastes even better the next day!)
This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.
If you love indulgent sweet recipes like this classic bread pudding, you’ll surely love Granny’s Monkey Bread:
Or how about some Make Ahead Stuffed Cranberry French Toast: