Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce combines brioche and chocolate into a rich bread pudding with a decadent bourbon caramel sauce. Perfect for the holidays or a special occasion!
My Uncle Paul belonged to a social club that occasionally held multi-course dinners. One of these dinners was covered by a local newspaper and included his recipe for bread pudding. My uncle was quite proud of his Polish heritage and sometimes referred to himself as Pavel, so the recipe was printed as “Pavel’s Bread Pudding.”
I have had a clipping of the newspaper for years and always intended to make it for my mom, my aunt, and my sister. It is a very rich and decadent dessert, so it had to be the right occasion. Finally this summer, I decided to make it for my aunt’s hot tub party, even though the occasion did not at all call for a rich and decadent dessert!
As with the Warm, Sticky Figgy Puddings, the sauce in this recipe is the real star of the show. It’s a basic caramel sauce with bourbon or dark rum, served warm over the bread pudding.
I served this with vanilla ice cream and poured the sauce on top of the ice cream as well. There were discussions of making the sauce alone as an ice cream topping for a more summery option. We really enjoyed this bread pudding, and it would be a perfect dessert for the holidays or a special occasion.
Gluten Free Bread Pudding
I find gluten free bread to be the most disappointing and difficult to mimic traditional bread. If you’re able to find gluten free brioche at a good gluten free bakery, or even some kind of good quality gluten free bread, you could try that with this recipe. I have not tried it myself yet.
Looking for more Recipes for special desserts?
Check out these recipes for special occasions:
Warm, Sticky Figgy Puddings
Buche de Noel
Chocolate Pear Tart
Apple Crumble Pizza Pie
Mocha Cream Cake
Bailey’s Irish Cream Mini Cheesecakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Tart
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Coffee Buttercream
Samoa Bundt Cake
For the pudding:
- Butter (to prepare the pan)
- 1 pound brioche or Italian bread (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted, divided)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
For the bourbon sauce:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup bourbon or dark rum
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
To prepare the pudding:
- Butter a 13×9-inch pan.
- In a bowl, mix the bread, 8 tablespoons melted butter, chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Spoon into the pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together half-and-half, milk, sugar, eggs, yolks, vanilla, and salt. Pour over bread. Let sit at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Drizzle the bread pudding with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter; sprinkle with the brown sugar. Bake until set, about 1 hour.
To prepare the sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until dissolved and bubbly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in bourbon or rum and vanilla.
- Spoon warm sauce over pudding. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.