Eggnog is surprisingly versatile and can be used in all kinds of recipes, just like most other dairy products. The custardy flavor of eggnog is a natural fit with a custardy dessert, like bread pudding. Read on for a decadent (but easy!) eggnog bread pudding recipe
By using eggnog in place of other dairy in a classic bread pudding recipe, you have an amazing dessert that really captures the flavor of the holidays.
This eggnog bread pudding will give you an easy and delicious reason to put the remaining holiday eggnog to good use, long after Christmas is over!
The bread pudding starts off with a custard base made up of dairy, eggs and sugar. While most bread pudding recipes just use milk, this one uses three different types of dairy: eggnog, milk and heavy cream.
The eggnog is where most of the flavor for the dessert comes from, so be sure to choose a brand that you really like if using store-bought. I used both milk and heavy cream to give the pudding velvety smooth texture without making it too heavy or rich. The custard base is also flavored with plenty of vanilla and nutmeg.
I always use freshly grated nutmeg in my baking recipes. The peppery spice of the nutmeg will come through so much more clearly if you are using freshly grated. I typically use a nutmeg grinder, however you can easily grate whole nutmegs using a microplane. Bonus: Whole nutmegs will keep for years without losing their flavor, while pre-ground nutmeg will lose its flavor within a couple of months.
Choosing the bread
Once your custard is all mixed up, you just have to add in the bread. I often use plain white sandwich bread for bread puddings because it absorbs other flavors very easily and has a nice texture.
Richer breads like challah and brioche bring one more layer of flavor to the bread pudding, making it richer and more buttery than it is when made with plainer breads. I will make a special trip to the store to pick up a challah if I'm planning to serve this as dessert at a dinner party, but am likely to stick with sandwich bread if I'm just making it for myself. The results will be delicious either way!
The bread pudding has a distinct eggnog flavor, with layers of vanilla and warm nutmeg spice. It's not too sweet, which means that you can easily pair it with whipped cream or a drizzle of your favorite caramel sauce.
I like this bread pudding best when it is slightly warm. However, it is also very good after it has been chilled, which is helpful if you want to make it a day or so in advance and save time when entertaining.
Eggnog Bread Pudding
Yield: 9 Servings
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 2 cups eggnog
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups white bread (half a loaf bread), cut into 1" to 2" cubes
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggnog, eggs, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla.
Place cubed bread in another large bowl, and pour eggnog mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes to soak up the custard.
Pour bread mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and the top is light golden.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in pan. Bread pudding can be served warm or chilled. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.
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