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Bread Pudding with a Vanilla-Bourbon Sauce

Do you have leftover bread from your Thanksgiving meal? Don’t waste it—make bread pudding. We like serving croissants at our Thanksgiving dinner, so I often make bread pudding with leftover croissants. You can use brioche, challah (egg bread), or any combination of white or wheat bread you happen to have on hand. Also, if you didn’t use all that whipping cream you purchased, it is an essential ingredient in my Vanilla-Bourbon Sauce.

Bread pudding is a winter favorite at our house!

Bread Pudding with a Vanilla-Bourbon Sauce Serves 8 to 10

For the Vanilla-Bourbon Sauce:

3 egg yolks ⅓ cup sugar ⅓ cup milk 1 cup whipping cream Pinch salt ⅛ cup bourbon ½ teaspoon vanilla extract In a medium bowl, place egg yolks and sugar and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, whipping cream, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Whisk ½ cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Continue whisking over medium-low heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Do not boil. Remove from the heat, add bourbon and vanilla, and blend gently.

Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

For the Bread Pudding:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 1 pound leftover croissants or day-old bread ¼ cup golden raisins ¼ cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided 4 cups milk 1 cup sugar 7 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with melted butter.

Slice croissants (or day-old bread) into 1-inch cubes and arrange in the buttered pan. Sprinkle with raisins and half the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine milk and sugar, bring to a boil, and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light in color. Add 1 cup of the milk mixture slowly to eggs. Then add the remaining milk mixture, beating well. Blend in vanilla.

Pour half of the milk mixture over bread cubes, pressing gently on bread cubes with a large spoon to help croissants absorb the milk mixture. Add the remaining milk mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place the baking pan in a large pan of hot water, making sure the water is not deep enough to seep into the pudding. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out moist (not wet), about 45 minutes.

Cut into squares and drizzle with vanilla bourbon sauce.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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