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This delicious maple pecan bread pudding is made with challah bread, infused with maple and vanilla flavors and drizzled with maple cream sauce. Because there is no butter in this recipe, the pudding is not greasy at all, instead it’s delightfully rich and creamy.
This post was originally published on Dec. 19, 2014.
This bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts of all time, it is so delicious and easy and foolproof that it has become my go to for serving at our house and also to bring to parties. Everyone always loves it.
It does take some time to prepare this bread pudding but a lot of that time is inactive, so it’s not actually a lot of work.
I adapted the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen but put a maple slant on it by adding maple syrup to the custard and making a maple cream sauce to go with it.
What type of bread is best to use for bread pudding:
The only bread that works in this recipe is challah bread. Unfortunately, I’ve found that it’s not easy to find challah in the store anymore but the good news is that it’s actually not difficult to bake a nice challah loaf yourself.
The best challah recipe I know of is this one from The Kitchn: How To Make Challah Bread. I have made it many times and it worked perfectly every time. Since you know you’re going to cut the loaf into little cubes you don’t need to bother with the braiding, I always just make one big plain loaf.
How to make maple pecan bread pudding:
You start this recipe with the custard and whisk together 9 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract. Then you whisk in 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2.5 cups heavy cream and 2.5 cups milk.
You pour the custard over 10 cups of bread cubes mixed with 1 cup roughly chopped pecans and let them soak up all the goodness for half an hour.
After that you transfer the mix into one or two baking pans and bake it until no liquid remains in the center when you push down on the surface. (You can use either one 9″ x 13″ or two 8″ x 8″ baking pans.)
What type of baking pan is best to use for this bread pudding?
You can use either a glass or a nonstick metal baking pan for this recipe. Bread pudding is a “wet” baked good and those are traditionally baked in glass pans but nonstick metal pans such as what I used here work equally well. You don’t have to grease the pans (regardless of which material you use), just transfer the bread/custard mix straight in.
How to make bread pudding sauce:
For the sauce, you mix 1 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup maple syrup together in a pan, bring the mix to a low simmer and don’t stop stirring until you have a nice thick, creamy sauce. (It takes quite a bit of stirring but I promise it’s worth the effort.)
How to serve bread pudding:
I like to serve this bread pudding warm, I think it tastes best that way. Be sure to drizzle the sauce on right at the table and not before; if the sauce sits on the pudding for too long, it’ll turn soggy.
How to reheat bread pudding:
If you have bread pudding left over that you want to eat the next day (or if you want to make it ahead), you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge and then warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
Can bread pudding be frozen after baking?
Yes, this bread pudding freezes very well. Let it cool down after baking, then cut it into sections or individual portions, transfer them to ziploc bags and place in the freezer.
More delicious fall dessert recipes:
- Bruleed Chai-Spiced Pots de Creme
- Maple Hazelnut Custard
- Maple Mascarpone Cream
- Pumpkin Spice Ganache
- Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Cookies
- S’mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue
- Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Churros
- Spiced Eggnog
- Spiced Irish Coffee
- Stovetop Apple Crisp
Maple Pecan Bread Pudding
For the pudding:
- 9 egg yolks
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2.5 cups heavy cream
- 2.5 cups milk
- 10 cups bread cubes (1-inch) from challah bread
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
For the maple cream sauce:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
For the pudding:
- Whisk the yolks with the sugar and vanilla in a bowl until they are lighter in color and texture than when you started.
- Whisk in the maple syrup, the cream and the milk.
- Pour or ladle the custard over the bread cubes and the pecans.
- Cover and let the bread soak for 30 minutes in the fridge, meanwhile heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Transfer the soaked bread cubes along with any remaining custard into the baking pan(s).
- Bake the bread pudding until no liquid remains in the center when you push down on the surface (about 50 minutes, regardless of which type of pan you use). Let cool a bit.
For the maple cream sauce:
- Combine cream and maple syrup in a saucepan, bring to a low simmer and stir continuously with a wooden spoon on medium-low heat until thickened (about 15 minutes).
- Serve the bread pudding warm and pour maple cream sauce on it right before serving.
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