A pan of this Apple Bread Pudding is a delicious dessert to enjoy any time of year. This warm dessert casserole recipe has apples, spices, and raisins baked into the sweet bread pudding. Add caramel drizzles and ice cream to make it a decadent treat!
A few years ago my husband and I were in St. Louis for a convention. We love trying new restaurants, so we headed to the Irish pub in our hotel for dinner one night. They had a harvest bread pudding on their dessert menu that was amazing.
This bread pudding had apples, walnuts, and raisins in it. They also served it in the cutest little cast iron skillet. It was something I couldn't wait to remake at home.
Now you may be wondering how this bread pudding recipe with raisins is different from French toast casserole. Honestly, they are basically the same thing. In my opinion, the difference is in the toppings and what time of day you serve it. See how similar this French toast bake looks.
Why This Recipe Works
I love a good slice of warm bread pudding topped with drizzles of caramel and ice cream. Bread pudding is such a delicious comfort food dessert that is totally underrated and overlooked in the dessert world.
Over the years bread pudding has been known for being a way to use up day old or stale bread. But it isn't just about a way to use up those loaves of bread.
It's also about the sweet custard that the bread is cooked in. Adding fruit and nuts to the baked pudding also makes it extremely delicious.
The cinnamon sugar baked on top gives the bread a crispy texture that contrasts with the soft bread pieces underneath. It's truly a decadent dessert!
What is Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding is a dessert casserole. It is made with day old bread cubes that are soaked in an egg custard sauce. The mixture can also have fruit and nuts mixed into it.
A drizzle of warm sauce is usually served on top of the bread pudding.
- Try drizzling it with cinnamon maple syrup for a great breakfast or brunch option.
- Caramel topping along with ice cream or homemade whipped cream makes this a decadent fall dessert.
Start by assembling your ingredients. Most will be ones you may already have at home. This bread pudding with apples and raisins is delicious any time of year.
- Bread - I like to use a firmer, sweeter bread such as a brioche or challah bread when making apple cinnamon bread pudding. French bread is also a good option.
- Half and Half - You can also use whole milk or 2% instead.
- Eggs - Gives the custard a rich flavor.
- Sugar - Brown sugar and granulated sugar sweeten the custard filling.
- Vanilla Extract - Adds flavor.
- Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg give it a rich, spicy flavor
- Fruit - Apple chunks, raisins, and applesauce give this bread pudding a great fruit flavor.
- Walnuts - These are optional, but they do add a nice crunch to the dessert casserole.
- Cinnamon Sugar - 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. It's a delicious dessert or breakfast to make ahead of time.
- Cut the bread into cubes and let it sit out uncovered for a few hours or overnight.
- Combine the bread, diced apples, walnuts, and raisins in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, applesauce, milk, sugar, and spices in a bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and apple mixture. Let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Spoon the milk mixture into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake.
- Serve the warm bread pudding with caramel topping and vanilla ice cream.
In the Refrigerator - Store the leftover bread pudding in a tightly covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To Reheat - Cut squares and place on a pan. Cover with foil and reheat in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. You can also reheat slices in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or until heated through.
You can use any type of bread, rolls, bagels, biscuits, or donuts in this easy bread pudding recipe with apples. The key is to let them sit out uncovered for a few hours or overnight. Using donuts may result in a heavier casserole.
Any variety of apple will work when you make this bread pudding recipe. I prefer to use Gala apples in all my baked goods and 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.
Yes, you can make and bake this bread pudding 1-2 days ahead of time. Let it cool completely before covering it and refrigerating until needed.
You can also assemble the bread pudding, then cover and refrigerate the pan. Make sure to remove the pan from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
This bread pudding is best if served within 1-2 day of baking. Make sure to cover it tightly and refrigerate it.
More Apple Dessert Recipes
- Apple Snickers Dessert
- Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake
- Apple Donuts
- Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
- Apple Pie Lasagna
- Apple Pie Cheesecake
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Can this be made ahead and bake the next day?
Yes, this would be fine to assemble and bake the next day. Just cover it tightly and refrigerate it. Take the pan out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. You may also need to add a few minutes because it will be chilled.
This recipe is yummy! I especially like the sprinkling of sugar over the top. I did substitute 1/4 melted butter for the applesauce and added 1/4 cup cinnamon whiskey to the custard. I left iut the raisins too. Thanks for posting!
Absolutely mouthwatering! Can’t even come up with the right words. Easy to make and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Just made this bread pudding with my daycare kids and it smells so good in my kitchen right now...the kids are eagerly anticipating snack time!
I added craisins as well as the raisins and I added an apple pie spice blend in lieu of the cinnamon and nutmeg and a holiday sugar spice blend I got as a gift for the top. The spice blends have cardamom in them which I love to add to all my apple recipes.
I forgot the applesauce. Is there a substitute that would still be yummy or can I just leave it out?
You should be fine to leave it out. You could also add an extra 1/4 cup of finely diced apples in place of it. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Do I keep it in a hot water bath tray for baking
Also cover with foil
This does not bake in a water bath or need to be covered with foil while baking.
Why is milk not used for this pudding
I did not see any mention of it
This particular recipe calls for half and half. It's listed in the ingredients. You can also use milk, if you prefer.
For the apple bread pudding, I'm wondering why at the bottom of the ingredients is (2) Tablespoons cinnamon sugar and in step 4. Whisk ingredients and sugars. So my question is because it's not very clear would be is the cinnamon sugar to be drizzled on top prior to baking and/or if it should be included why didn't you just up the amount on the cinnamon and sugar if it's all going in the same bowl???
The cinnamon sugar is sprinkled on the very top right before baking, as directed in step 5. I hope that helps and you enjoy the bread pudding.
I made this recipe from Apple cider doughnuts, don't do that as they are to cake and your bread pudding will turn out dense. Use a yeast raised doughnut if your using doughnuts. Otherwise the recipe was very good.
What to do when a work colleague gifts you with a cinnamon apple bread from a local orchard & there's lots of leftovers? You make the best, simple Apple Bread Pudding and bring it in to work for everyone to enjoy! Topped off with a caramel vanilla sauce and/or whipped cream and everyone is HAPPY on this Friday the 13th in 2020!
What a great way to use up that apple bread! I am so happy to hear it was a hit with everyone!!! Thank you so much for sharing!
It's in the process of baking now. Will let you know. Thank you.
Can I make this with Gluten Free Bread?
I have not tried it this way, but I think it would work just fine using gluten free bread. Let me know how it works for you.
Hi! I used Gluten Free cinnamon raisin bread and added more raisins and dried cranberries. On the top I sprinkled gf Hershey’s salted caramel chipits! Oh my goodness. Serve warm with French vanilla ice cream.
Such an easy recipe. Can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing. 🙂