There are many dishes that seem to capture Christmas in just one bite. Holiday bread pudding is a beloved classic that warms the soul with its notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. One of the best features of bread pudding is the fact it can be done in many ways for a cheap and delicious breakfast or dessert.
During the holidays, it can be a challenge to whip up filling family dinners while preparing for the biggest meals of the season. We hope that this holiday bread pudding recipe helps you find some reprieve and step back to indulge a little while you're in the midst of your preparations.
Bread Pudding History
Many families swear they have the best bread pudding recipe; it's a staple in America's Deep South, but it's just as popular overseas in England. Vanilla sauce, cranberries, raisins and walnuts are just a few of the common toppings people like to add to personalize this family-friendly recipe that has been around since the 11th century.
Bread pudding began as a frugal meal in medieval England. Cooks did not have a way to preserve stale bread, and rather than throw it away, they figured out how to transform it into a much more palatable pudding. Back then, people knew the dish as “poor man's pudding,” and it was highly favorable because it could be diversified for every meal.
All a person had to do was change the type of ingredients they added to the base recipe and voila – their entire pudding was either a savory and easy dinner or soft, satisfying dessert!
Some of the most popular bread pudding recipes today belong to a woman named Portia Little, who has been dubbed the “Bread Pudding Queen” and written over 1,000 unique bread pudding recipes. She's also the inventor of “boozy bread pudding,” which uses scotch instead of the traditional whiskey or rum for a lighter taste.
Our holiday bread pudding recipe is alcohol-free, so you can share it with every member of the family, young and old!
How to Serve Holiday Bread Pudding
You may serve your bread budding in the morning or evening, depending on your preferences. For a morning pudding, you can replace one cup of the recipe's sugar with a cup of raisins or dried cranberries. Both tend to be high in sugar, so make sure you factor in how much they'll add to your recipe and adjust accordingly.
For dessert, you may want to add fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream and serve with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
Holiday Home Preparation
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanza – whatever you and your family celebrate, we offer a variety of holiday recipes that are easy and affordable! A mom always has to think ahead, so we make sure you can make our dishes with supermarket staples. While it's always fun to buy some seasonal goodies, it's equally important to stick to a budget and enjoy the holiday season without needlessly overspending.
Check out our holiday decorating checklist to take the stress out of preparation! If you need time to step back, give yourself permission to rest. It's easy to get carried away in cooking, shopping and gift-giving, but the real spirit of the season lies in extending extra kindness to others and ourselves.
We also offer plenty of Thanksgiving appetizers to prepare, and we didn't forget the most important dish of all: A traditional Thanksgiving turkey with maple glaze!Print
- 1 (1 pound) loaf white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 5 cups half-and-half cream
- 12 eggs
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Butter each slice of bread on both sides. Tear buttered bread into little pieces, and put into a very large mixing bowl.
- Beat eggs with vanilla, and then pour over bread. Stir in half-n-half and sugar. Pour into a large baking dish, 13 x 9 inches or larger. Sprinkle with the spices.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool. Serve hot or cold.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 60
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