Deliciously puffed to golden perfection, my bread pudding is a delectably cozy, comforting and warming dessert to share with your loved ones. Prepared in individual ramekins for easy serving, this scrumptious bread pudding recipe is made with buttery challah bread, and comes with a rich and creamy spiced rum sauce to pour over top!
Bread Pudding, Perfectly Warm, Cozy and Comforting
When I think of warm, deeply golden and gloriously puffed bread pudding, shear coziness always comes to mind.
For some reason, my child-like imagination sees it as the choice of dessert in the festive dinner scene at the end of Charles Dickens's “A Christmas Carol”, something that everyone gleefully tucks into with spoons in hand as a sweet finisher to a marvelous, holiday meal.
I'm a bit of a romantic, and funny enough, for me, bread pudding is a dessert that is actually quite romantic in a rustic, comforting, and warming sort of way.
It's a simple dessert to put together with no real hard-core measuring involved, or too many ingredients, just a rich, velvety custard whisked together with aromatic spices, poured over cubes of bread, then baked until golden, puffy, and slightly creamy in the center.
I simply adore bread pudding, and find it an absolutely terrific dessert to serve for festive occasions such as a part of a holiday spread, or even as a simple dessert in the colder months when its warmth is utterly inviting and appreciated.
And to make this particular bread pudding recipe extra special, I use buttery challah bread, and prepare a warm and creamy spiced rum sauce to pour over top.
For me, homemade bread pudding is a way to add a sprinkle of magic, coziness and sparkle to any meal, especially a holiday meal.
It's a wonderfully sweet and timeless dessert, a true classic that not only warms the belly, but the heart as well!
How to Make Bread Pudding with a Sweet and Delicious Bread Pudding Sauce
One of the most scrumptious aspects of a bread pudding recipe is the warm sauce that is poured generously over top of it as a sweet finishing touch.
Velvety and rich, a tasty “hard” sauce infused with a little kiss of rum is a wonderful accompaniment. The terrific thing about having a bread pudding sauce like this on the side is that it's up to an individual to enjoy as much or as little as they'd like. It can even be left off altogether, especially when young children are being served.
But preparing bread pudding is quite uncomplicated, and when served in little individual ramekins such as with this recipe, it makes for a fun presentation (though one could easily prepare this recipe in a larger casserole/baking dish without any problem).
Here's a peek at how I make my bread pudding with spiced rum sauce: or just jump to the full recipe further down...)
- To begin, I whisk together the ingredients to make my custard, and pour that over my cubed bread; I add some golden raisins, then gently mix everything together (it will be quite liquidy at this point, which is fine), and allow the bread pudding mixture to sit for a few minutes.
- Next, I ladle the mixture into 8, individual 6 ounce ramekins (or into a 12 x 9 ½ x 2” baking dish), and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until puffed but cooked through, yet slightly creamy.
- While the bread pudding bakes, I prepare my spiced rum sauce, and keep that warm (if preparing this ahead of time, allow it to cool completely, and keep it in the fridge; then, reheat and serve when ready).
- Once the bread pudding is baked, I allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, then serve with warm spiced rum sauce on the side.
Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 712 calories (with ¼ cup spiced rum sauce)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Bread Pudding Ingredients:
- 1 loaf challah bread (1 pound), cut into large cubes
- 8 large eggs, whisked
- 4 cups half and half
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup golden raisins
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Spiced Rum Bread Pudding Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup dark rum
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon corn starch
- Pinch nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees, and lightly butter 8 ramekins (or lightly butter a 12 x 9½ x 2 baking dish).
- Add the cubed challah bread to a large bowl.
- Next, in another large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the rest of the ingredients up to and including the nutmeg, and pour this custard mixture over the cubed challah bread; add in the raisins, and mix gently with your hands to incorporate the custard and the raisins with the cubed bread, and allow the mixture to sit for about 10-12 minutes (the mixture will seem a bit “loose”, but this is fine).
- Spoon/ladle the bread pudding mixture into the prepared ramekins (or baking dish), and place onto a baking sheet to bake the bread puddings for about 45 minutes (or about 50-55 minutes if using a baking dish).
- While the bread pudding bakes, prepare the spiced rum sauce: in a small heavy-bottom saucepan, add the cream and the sugar, turn the heat on medium-low, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often.
- Next, mix together the rum with the cornstarch, and drizzle it into the hot cream mixture, whisking to incorporate; allow the mixture to simmer for another 30 seconds or so, until thickened up and smooth; finish with a pinch of nutmeg, and keep warm.
- Once the bread pudding is baked, remove it from oven and allow it to slightly cool for about 10 minutes; dust each top with a touch of powdered sugar, and serve warm with some warm spiced rum sauce on the side to drizzle generously over top.
Tips & Tidbits for my Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce:
- Individual ramekins, or one larger baking dish: I use 8, 6 ounce ramekins for this recipe; or, you could also use a 12 x 9 ½ x 2” baking dish instead. (You'd increase the baking time from about 45 minutes to about 55 minutes, in this case.)
- Give this bread pudding some holiday flavors: You can add a wonderfully warm and aromatic “holiday” flavor to this bread pudding by substituting eggnog for a portion of the half & half. Instead of using 4 cups of half & half, use 3 cups and then substitute with 1 cup eggnog (not low fat). This can also be done with the spiced rum sauce, using equal parts cream and eggnog, and it's so delicious!
- Challah bread for richer flavor: A nice dense challah bread is perfect for this recipe. It's buttery and tender, and offers an extra touch of flavor and texture.
- Prepare ahead for easy bread pudding: You can combine the ingredients for the bread pudding the day before, and keep it in the ramekins/baking dish, covered, in the fridge, until ready to bake. Then, take it out about an hour before baking to allow the bread pudding to come to room temp. The sauce can also be prepared the day before and kept refrigerated, then reheated the day of service.
- Golden raisins, or other options: The golden raisins are a nice, delicate flavor and color in this bread pudding, but traditional raisins are great as well. You could also sub dried cranberries or even cherries.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!