Apple Bread Pudding is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed all year round. Loaded with apples, raisins, and spices, this dessert casserole is warm and comforting. Top it off with caramel drizzles and a scoop of ice cream to make it even better.
There's something so warm and inviting about bread pudding! It's very similar to this apple French toast casserole, although the toppings differ slightly.
What is Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding is a dessert made from stale bread cubes soaked in an egg custard mixture. Classic bread pudding typically includes raisins, but other ingredients can be used. It is traditionally served with warm sauce on top.
- Try drizzling it with cinnamon maple syrup for an extra-special breakfast or brunch option.
- Caramel topping with ice cream or homemade whipped cream makes this a decadent fall dessert.
Why This Apple Bread Pudding Recipe Works
This sweet bread pudding has apples and raisins, making it a delicious treat for cozy nights or special events.
Once you try this comforting dish, you'll completely understand why we love it so much! The warm, creamy textures make it amazing for breakfast or dessert. Give it a try the next time you have extra bread on hand.
- Total comfort food. I enjoy indulging in warm bread pudding with caramel and vanilla ice cream. It is a delicious comfort food dessert that is underrated and overlooked in the dessert world.
- Use up bread. Over the years, bread pudding has been known for being a way to use up stale or day-old bread. It's the best way to give that old bread a new life!
- So flavorful and delicious. A sweet custard adds a rich creaminess to this dessert. Adding fruit and nuts to the baked pudding takes it to the next level.
- Delicious crispy topping. The cinnamon sugar baked on top gives the dessert a crispy texture that contrasts with the soft bread pieces underneath.
This recipe requires basic ingredients, plus apples and raisins for apple bread pudding.
- Bread - I like to use firmer, sweeter bread, such as brioche or challah bread when making apple cinnamon bread pudding. French bread is also a good option.
- Half and Half - This is the base of the custard. You can use whole milk or 2% instead.
- Large Eggs - This gives the custard a rich flavor and helps it set properly.
- Sugar - Brown sugar and granulated sugar sweeten the custard filling.
- Vanilla Extract - This adds flavor and an enticing aroma. Feel free to scrape a vanilla bean for extra vanilla flavor.
- Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg give it a rich, spicy flavor
- Fruit - Apple chunks, raisins, and applesauce give it an excellent taste.
- Walnuts - These are optional, but they add a nice crunch to the dessert casserole.
- Cinnamon Sugar - This adds a sweet crunch to the top of the baked bread pudding.
How to Make Apple Bread Pudding
This apple bread pudding recipe comes together so quickly. Prepare this delicious dessert or breakfast the night before your special event!
- Cut the bread into cubes, then let it sit uncovered for a few hours or overnight.
- Combine the stale bread, diced apples, walnuts, and raisins in a large bowl.
- Whisk the eggs, applesauce, milk, sugar, and spices in a bowl, then pour it over the bread mixture. Let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Spoon the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with cinnamon sugar, then bake until golden brown.
In the Refrigerator - Store the leftover bread pudding in a tightly covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Although, it is best if eaten within 1-2 days.
To Reheat - Cut squares and place on a pan. Cover with foil and reheat in a 325° oven for 15-20 minutes. You can also reheat slices in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or until heated.
Tips and Tricks
- Dry the bread. Either leave the bread at room temperature or bake the cubed bread at a low temperature (250 degrees F) until it dries out. By doing so, the bread can soak up the custard mixture even better.
- Choose different apples. Although tart apples like Granny Smith apples or Honeycrisp apples tend to be best for baking, you can get by with most varieties.
- Use a prepared baking dish. As the pudding bakes, it will stick to the sides of the pan. For easy cleanup, spray the baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or wipe it down with butter.
- Adjust the add-ins - Instead of raisins, use dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries.
- Caramel apple bread pudding - Serve this apple dessert with a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
- Make a butterscotch sauce - The buttery flavor of butterscotch takes this dessert to the next level!
- Overnight bread pudding - Instead of baking this dish immediately, chill it in the fridge overnight. This will allow the flavors to mix before baking.
You can use any bread, rolls, bagels, biscuits, or donuts in this easy bread pudding recipe. Letting them sit uncovered for a few hours or overnight is the key. Using donuts may result in a heavier casserole.
Any variety of apples will work when you make this recipe. I like using Gala apples in all my baked goods and our apple pie filling recipe. They are just sweet enough and hold up well when baked.
You could also use Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, or Pink Lady if you prefer the taste of those apples instead.
It's possible to prepare and bake the bread pudding ahead of time, up to 1-2 days in advance. After baking, allow the pudding to cool completely before covering it and placing it in the refrigerator until needed.
You can prepare the bread pudding and store it in the fridge, covered in the pan. You can keep it there until you're ready to cook it. Before baking, remove the pan from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
This bread pudding is best if served within 1-2 days of baking. Make sure to cover it tightly and refrigerate it.
More Apple Desserts
- Apple Snickers Cake
- Apple Crisp Cheesecake
- Apple Cinnamon Donut Holes
- Apple Pull Apart Bread
- Apple Cheesecake Pie
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*This recipe was first shared in September 2019. It was updated and then republished in November 2023.