Custard Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

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This custard dessert pudding is a real treat. It’s an indulgent recipe; warm, comforting and perfect during the cooler months of the year.

There are many great recipes for bread pudding, but this one makes the Top-10 list for best bread pudding recipes for sure. One of the secrets of this bread pudding recipe is the made-from-scratch custard and the syrupy dried fruit.

Digging into freshly baked Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

About Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is a charming, old-fashioned kind of dessert recipe.

Making bread pudding is easy! Really. So if you’d like to try baking an easy dessert with very few ingredients, this custard bread pudding recipe will fit the bill.

The ingredients and the individual steps are simple. Putting it all together does take a bit of time. But it’s still a beginner-friendly recipe.

And it’s a great dish if you are looking to contribute something special to a Thanksgiving or Holiday dessert table.

At its core, bread pudding consists of bread, cream, sugar, and eggs. The rest depends on your preferences. A lot of times you’ll find rum-soaked or bourbon-soaked raisins.

For this recipe, I’ve chosen dried apricots and tart dried cherries for the filling.

To give it a bit of a twist I cooked the dried fruit in syrup. This gives them a subtle, sweetness. And you can reserve the fruit-infused syrup as the basis for a divine caramel sauce.


Ingredients for the custard bread pudding with caramel sauce
  • White Bread. I like the country white loaf from Whole Foods for this recipe but any good quality white bread will work. I use fresh bread but you can let it sit out on the counter if you prefer to work with stale bread. In my opinion, it’s not necessary for this recipe.
  • Sugar. This bread pudding uses quite a bit of sugar and it works beautifully. But if you like a less sweet version you can cut the amount of sugar in half.
  • Egg Yolks. Keep the egg whites and use them for an eggwhite omelet later.
  • Heavy Cream
  • Milk
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Sour Cherries
  • Water

I might have mentioned this before, but I’ve been ordering most groceries online. And I found that Instacart gives plenty of options and most of the shoppers have been really great picking out good looking produce.

How To Make Bread Pudding

Bread pudding before adding the caramel sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°

Making the Custard

Steps to Make the Custard for the Bread Pudding
  1. Combine milk and heavy cream in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to blend the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is creamy.
  3. Remove the cream from the stove and gradually whisk into the bowl with the egg mixture. Set aside.

Cooking the dried Fruit

Cooking the the dried apricots and cherries.
  1. Combine sugar, water, dried apricots, and cherries in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Once it’s simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Assembly of the Bread Pudding

Steps of how to assemble the bread pudding, adding fresh custard
  1. Grease a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
  2. Cut the pre-sliced bread into rectangles and put down a layer of bread in the baking dish.
  3. Use a colander to strain the fruit. Reserve the soaking liquid if you are making the caramel sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the apricots and cherries on top of the bread.
  5. Add a second layer of bread.
  6. Slowly pour the custard over the bread.
  7. Bake the bread pudding until golden-brown (for about 50 minutes).
  8. Once you think the bread pudding ready, use a fork and stick it in the middle of the bread pudding. If it comes out clean, the custard has set and the bread pudding is done.

caramel sauce recipe *Optional*

  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. Once the sugar dissolves, stop stirring.
  3. Continue boiling the syrup until the color turns into a deep shade of amber.
  4. Whisk in the reserved liquid from the soaking liquid and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add 1 cup of cream. Continue to simmer for a few minutes until the caramel sauce has thickened.
  5. Remove the caramel sauce from heat and set aside.

Serving The Custard Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

  1. Allow the bread pudding to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Cut a slice serve on it a dessert plate. Drizzle the bread pudding with the warm caramel sauce. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

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What to serve if you don’t want to make the homemade caramel sauce

The easiest sauce to serve with bread pudding is whipped cream. If you don’t want to make whipped cream from scratch, I highly recommend Cabot Whipped Cream.

A side of vanilla ice cream makes a very nice combination.

If you don’t like caramel sauce, you can make an easy vanilla sauce like this one instead.

Do you eat bread pudding warm or cold?

Digging into the custard bread pudding.

What’s the best way of eating bread pudding – hot or cold? I think nothing beats warm bread pudding. It has great texture and I feel the flavors can fully develop.

That being said, there’s something to be said for enjoying a piece of bread pudding at room temperature or even cold from the fridge.

Storing Custard Bread Pudding

Whenever I make bread pudding I store it in the fridge and reheat it later.

If you store it in an airtight container, it keeps quite fresh for about 3 days. You could probably keep it a bit longer but it will taste a bit dry.

How To Reheat Bread Pudding?

Take the bread pudding out of the fridge and place it in a microwave-safe container. Be sure to cut the bread pudding into individual slices before reheating. Choose the reheat function and reheat on medium heat for about 1 to 1 -1/2 minutes.

If you don’t like using the microwave, you can also reheat the bread pudding in the oven. Set your oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the custard bread pudding with aluminum foil and put it in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.

Digging into freshly baked Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Custard Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

This indulgent bread pudding with homemade custard and caramel sauce is a real crowd pleaser.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: simple desserts
SERVINGS: 12 slices
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
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  • Preheat the oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.

Making Fruit Syrup

  • Use a small saucepan and combine 2 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, as well as the dried apricots, and cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Put a lid on the saucepan and remove from the heat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Making Custard

  • Use a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of heavy cream plus 2 cups of milk, and bring to a simmer. (Don't bring it to boil.) Remove the mixture from the heat.
  • Use a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, and blend using an electric mixer.
  • Gradually whisk the warm cream-milk mixture into the creamed eggs. Allow the custard to rest for 15 minutes.

Assembling the Bread Pudding

  • Grease a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
  • Cut the pre-sliced white bread into rectangles. Put a layer of the bread in the greased 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
  • Use a colander to strain the fruit. If you are making the caramel sauce, reserve the remaining soaking liquid.
  • Sprinkle the soaked fruit over the bread. Add another layer of bread on top of the fruit.
  • Slowly pour the custard over the bread. Use a fork to gentle press down areas of the bread id they aren't fully submerged.
  • Move the baking dish with the bread pudding into the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes until golden-brown. Remove the bread pudding from the oven. Push a fork in the middle of bread pudding. If it comes out clean, the bread pudding is done.

Making Caramel Sauce {optional}

  • Use a medium saucepan, combine ¼ cup of water plus 1 cup of sugar, and bring to a boil using medium-low heat. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Allow the mixture to boil without stirring until it turns a dark shade of amber.
  • Whisk in the reserved soaking liquids (bubbles will intensify). Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to thicken.
  • Slowly pour and whisk in 1 cup cream into the sauce. Continue to stir until the caramel sauce thickens – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.



If you are not making the Caramel Sauce, the per slice nutritional information changes.
I strive to give you as much information as possible, but keep in mind that all nutritional calculations are estimates.


Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 216mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 1305IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
Updated: March 21, 2020

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Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long
About the AuthorMaike
Hi There, I'm Maike. Welcome to the Cheerful Cook, where we celebrate easy German and American comfort food all year long.
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