Brown Sugar Bread Pudding

Brown Sugar Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

I’ve never had anyone taste my brown sugar bread pudding and not proceed to rave about the perfectness of this dessert. The caramel sauce alone would make almost everything awesome (although it’s hard for me to imagine anything helping out the flavor of grapefruit… yeuck). But the bread pudding is wonderful on its own. Serve it: with the sauce, without the sauce, with ice cream, without ice cream, today, tomorrow, yesterday… you get the idea.

This is the only bread pudding recipe you’ll ever need!

Seriously. There’s really not much else to say.

Brown Sugar Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce Recipe



  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup half and half


Step 1
One of the convenient things about bread pudding is that you can really use almost any kind of bread.

I used an italian loaf from the regular grocery store. It was unsliced, but there was nothing really fancy about it.
Step 2
This was a pudding made out of desire instead of necessity. Basically I just wanted to eat bread pudding in a bad way. It was not a clever use of stale bread.

I'm actually not sure if I've ever made bread pudding out of necessity. I usually just get in the mood and then about a day or so later I find myself eating half a pan of bread pudding and trying not to judge myself.

Anyway, if you're like me and find yourself using fresh bread, try to plan ahead at least a day. All you have to do is cube your bread and leave it in a bowl overnight to dry out. When you get up in the morning, the top will be dry and underneath will still be soft. Make sure to toss it around several times so everyone gets a turn on the top to stale.
Step 3
When you're confident that your bread is dry enough (or you just can't wait any longer to get down with the pudding) preheat your oven to 350.

Dump your cubes into the pan that you plan on baking in. I had initially cubed about 7 heaping cups of bread. However, I ended up taking a cup's worth out after my pan test.
Step 4
It was definitely going to overflow, so the turtles at our pond will get extra bread tossed to them next time.

For the topping you'll need about a half a stick of butter, but I steal a tablespoon from it first.

Use the butter wrapper and rub the tablespoon all around the bottom and sides of your baking dish.
Step 5
The rest of the half stick goes into a small food processor along with 1/2 cup of lightly packed brown sugar.

Looking back I would have chopped up the butter a bit, because I kept having to take breaks to mush the butter chunk down to get it to blend.
Step 6
Pulse several times until you have a well blended sugar butter paste.

Set aside until you're ready for the pudding to go into the oven.
Step 7
In a large bowl, crack open your 4 eggs. Then carefully separate two more, but only add the yolks.
Step 8
Add 2 cups of half and half along with 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Step 9
Dump in 1 cup of regular sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and whisk the heck out of the whole mixture.

You want a creamy, yellowish, and bubbly concoction.
Step 10
Now it's time for these two crazy kids to get together and make some sweet sweet dessert lovin'.
Step 11
Carefully pour the custard over the pan of bread. Try to get everybody covered.

Here's the pan covered in custard.
Step 12
You want to make sure that everyone is REALLY soaked. To ensure a super saturation, smash all of the cubes down into the gunk with a spatula.

Make sure to go all around the pan, and show no mercy. No bread makes it out of this thirsty!
Step 13
Once everything is thoroughly sopped, let it just sit and soak all the goodness in for at least ten minutes.

Sprinkle your brown sugar butter topping all over the top of the pan.

Now all you need to do is pop the pan into the preheated oven, and bake for 40 minutes. Keep in mind that all stoves are different with their heat and cook times. You want everything set without a jiggly center.
Step 14
While the pudding bakes in the oven is the perfect time to make your brown sugar caramel sauce. Let me just reiterate that this is such a delicious sauce!

Start by heating one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it's not a stick anymore add the sugars, and beaten egg. Whisk everything together.
Step 15
I made a pretty amateur mistake, which i hope we can all learn from. I didn't temper my egg before dumping it in.

Surprise scrambled egg caramel!
Step 16
It's actually not that big of a deal... just an inconvenience. If this happens to you, set a mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour in your sauce, and leave your sweet scrambled eggs behind.
Step 17
Now pour your sauce back into the saucepan (still over medium heat) and stir occasionally as you wait for it to bubble.
Step 18
This took about four minutes.
Step 19
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the half and half.
Step 20
Replace the pan over the medium heat and bubble away for another three minutes.
Step 21
Pull the pan off of the heat, and allow your lusciously smooth caramel to cool.
Step 22
This brown sugar caramel sauce would be delicious over almost anything!
Step 23
I served this at first with a salted caramel ice cream. It totally doesn't need it!

This stuff is so good that it really doesn't need any extra flavor help from anything else. If you do choose to serve it with ice cream, I believe this is one time when plain old vanilla is really the way to go.
Step 24
Please try this immediately!

21 replies
  1. Maureen Komm
    Maureen Komm says:

    Hi Kerry,
    I just want to thank you for a wonderful recipe. I have tried other recipes, but enjoy yours the most. I too enjoy to cook & bake from scratch I have some awesome fry bread ( native food) that you may enjoy yourself that are great with stews. Again, thanks.

  2. Mary Spence
    Mary Spence says:

    I’m a fantastic cook-it’s not bragging if it’s fact. In my husband’s family I’m the only baker and make a ridiculous amount of requested desserts at holidays. I’ve made the caramel sauce before and have made it to go with a number of desserts beside bread pudding, i.e., pound cake. plain cheesecake, ice cream, etc.. I love bread pudding and couldn’t count the number of recipes I’ve tried. But bar none this is the absolute best bread pudding I’ve ever made or eaten.

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      Thank you so much (you just made me squeal at work)! I love the idea of the caramel over cheesecake, and will be experimenting with that very soon. And you’re right… you can’t argue with cold hard facts! If you’re great you’re great!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      You are so welcome! And I’m sorry because once you know about this recipe you find reasons to make it and eat the whole pan. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  3. Sue Lynch
    Sue Lynch says:

    Hi Kerry, I’m making this bread pudding today but I am short on time. Can I make this in the morning and have it soak until about 4 to bake?

      • Susan Lynch
        Susan Lynch says:

        Thank you! I just didn’t want it to dry out in the fridge. Maybe I’ll make a little extra mixture and put it on right before I bake it. I can’t wait!

  4. Amy
    Amy says:

    Saw your recipe on Google ( and had to try. Your nice pictures and simplicity and helpful tips sold me. I even read the other comments too. I was short on half& half and brown sugar but I felt with your recipe I could make do. Didn’t make the yummy looking caramel sauce cuz of lack of ingredients. I switched over by making a semi crumble (br sugar, butter and flour) top and added cinnamon and nutmeg with the vanilla to try to make up for lack of sauce. I just checked it in the oven. Sure looks and smells good. Crossing my fingers. Thankyou for your recipe

  5. Amy
    Amy says:

    I made a cinnamon brown sugar crumble (br sugar, butter & flour) on top to make up for no caramel sauce (no 1/2&1/2) but made a faux buttermilk with fresh lemon juice and whole milk blended high and pour on top. I give this recipe 2 thumbs up. I can only imagine if I got make with proper ingredients. I threw lots cinnamon and nutmeg and sugar in extra.. This was easy and delicious??

  6. Kari
    Kari says:

    I made this for my husband’s birthday this week (bread pudding is his favorite!). It was AWESOME. However, after eating it and loving it, I realized there is no cinnamon or nutmeg in this recipe. Next time I make it I will be adding a tsp of cinnamon to this recipe.

  7. DeeDee Morado
    DeeDee Morado says:

    My question is how do you preserve the sauce? In refrig or at room temperature? Is it better stored in glass jar & what size jar? I’ve made bread puddings before but this is the first time I’ve heard of ‘tempering’, and I do lots of baking. Life is an ever-learning process. Great! This sounds yummy. However, I live in Cuernavaca and half & half isnt available but I’ll substitute something. Cant buy boxes of pudding down here either (sad face!). Cant wait to try this.

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      Hi DeeDee! I just happened to have a glass jar that was the right size to hold all of my leftover sauce, but you can store the sauce in any container with an air-tight seal. I’m sure plastic tupperware would work great too. I always keep the leftover sauce in the fridge, and try to pull it out before I’m planning on serving it to let it get back to room temp. If you can find half & half, I’d suggest using extra whole milk or replacing it with heavy cream if you can find that… it’s a really rich dish I know! I hope you like it!!

  8. KarentheCakeLady
    KarentheCakeLady says:

    So I made this yesterday for Christmas dessert. I used mini croissants and added some pecans to the crumble. This is now the ONLY dessert I’m allowed to bring to family gatherings. Which says a LOT since we’re a family of Bakers. As this was a last minute decision I had no half and half so used 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 evaporated milk. It came out beautifully.

  9. Erica B
    Erica B says:

    Amazing recipe! I made the recipe exactly as you did and boy was everyone happy. Thank you for such a perfect recipe. We added a shot of bourbon to our sauce for a little boozy treat on the super bowl.


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