Orange Cranberry Decadent Bread Pudding

A tip from Mom’s hand written recipe is what perfected my bread pudding into a pan of true deliciousness!

So do you remember when I shared with you guys my Orange Cranberry No Knead Bread recipe? Sure you do as so many of you guys LOVED it (thank you!). Well I have a slight confession about that bread. I kind of because obsessed with it. Like to the point I was making it twice a week and forgot to buy ‘normal’ bread as Mr. Fantabulous calls it. He likes plain ol’ wheat sandwich bread for his PB&Js and then the artisan breads for his meals. Apparently wheat sandwich bread isn’t fancy enough for dinner. *shrugs* As long as it has carbs and butter on it I could care less what it is!

Well I ended up with a lot (seriously we’re talking A LOT) of bread to the point I couldn’t give anymore away and I couldn’t fit anymore in my freezer. So I had to think fast. That’s when I thought about making bread pudding.

Now I’ll be honest I’m not a huge fan of bread puddings normally as I don’t like custard-type things. It’s a textural things for me. Plus most bread puddings I’ve had are well, mushy and that’s grosses me out. But he loves them so I figured I would give it a shot. As I was looking through my recipes I found a recipe for bread pudding my Mom apparently made. Now I don’t remember her making this but then I was such a picky eater as a child she very well could have and I just turned my nose up at it.

Honestly it’s a wonder how I actually because such an overweight kid for how picky of an eater I was. Seriously. I really recall eating chips, cakes, cookies or junk food that much as we couldn’t afford it. Mom would make cakes/cookies and stuff but we were lucky if we each got a slice because it always went so fast. Anyway, in this recipe I noticed something different about her recipe than the ones I had written. Hers had a step in there where, after you made the custard mixture and put the bread cubes in it, you let it sit in there and soak before you baked it. I never did that.

As I sat there and read her recipe it logically made sense why she would do that and why never really like anyone else’s. Most recipes, including mine, all basically had you add the bread, dump it into the pan and then bake. By doing this you weren’t giving the custard a chance to soak up in the bread and more or less settle between the cubes creating this mushy-custardy-gooey texture. Gross, I know! But with Mom’s method you gave the custard time to be sucked into the bread cubes allowing them to plump up enough with that custardy goodness and then baked at the right time (letting them rest any longer would make the bread turn mushy).


Now I’m sure you’re going to ask or wonder “But Lor, I didn’t make your Orange Cranberry bread, can I still make this?” Absolutely! But trust me, make the bread and use it in this – the flavors are insane but don’t fret! You can use brioche bread or challah in its place. Just be sure the bread is day-old as it needs to be just a tad hard when it bakes. To kick up the flavors simply add in orange zest and dried cranberries. You most certainly can use fresh cranberries for a burst of flavor as well! I just went with what I had on hand cause you know I have like 8 pounds of dried cranberries at all times.

Am I the only one that absolutely LOVES to snack on them? Seriously I LOVE snacking on them!


Anyway, with this you can add other things to this recipe – slivered almonds, toasted pecans or totally omit the cranberries if you wish. I went with what I had a boat load of (which would be that bread).  Even though I think of bread pudding as a Fall/Winter dessert I bet if you added lemon and orange to it, maybe some pineapple too that you could give it a Spring type feel to it.

It’s funny because as I was making this, Mr. Fantabulous saw all of the bread on the counter and actually said “Oh honey, please don’t make that bread anymore! I’m actually getting tired of it. I can’t eat anymore!” lol point taken – apparently my obsession went a bit far. I just smiled, told him I was done making more and this was how I was going to use up the rest.

When you make/eat bread pudding, what do you top yours with? I mean I get it can change based on the recipe. Like if this was chocolate based I may go with a vanilla frosting drizzle or if it’s red velvet/carrot cake then definitely cream cheese sauce. This… well I was going to go with simple cinnamon sugar sprinkle with maple syrup buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut….

yeah, I didn’t do that

*points below to the sexy pic of the recipe I’m going to make you drool over but not give you in this post cause I am the meanest person ever* lol Actually it’ll be in the next post.

This sauce above is my Maple Butter Cream Sauce and it is every bit of deliciously sexy as it sounds. It’s kind of like if Channing Tatum were a bread pudding sauce, this would be it. It’s THAT sexy.

And with that, I need to go dig some of this bread out of my freezer and make up a batch of this tonight as I totally in the mood for this!

I’m thinking I may be extra bad by topping it with that Maple Butter Cream Sauce AND a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice cream… oh yeah, now we’re talking!

Orange Cranberry Decadent Bread Pudding

Serves: 8-10

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  • 10 cups cubed Orange Cranberry Bread
  • (or plain brioche works!) *See note
  • 3 XL eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbl orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries *use these if you are not using orange cranberry bread)
  • 2 Tbl melted butter, unsalted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, rack in the middle. Coat a 9x13” pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, orange zest and sugars until well blended. Add in the cream, milk, and orange extract mixing until combined. Add in the orange juice, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until blended.
  3. Add the 10 cups of cubed Orange Cranberry bread (if using regular brioche add that with the cranberries). Gently mix to coat all items. Allow to set for 10 minutes in the bowl.
  4. Carefully dump the mixture into the coated pan gently pressing down. It’ll all fit.
  5. Drizzle the melted butter overtop and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and the middle has just a slight jiggle. You do not want it to fully set – it will set as it cools down.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. I prefer to let it rest of 30 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with your favorite syrup, a dusting of cinnamon sugar or Maple Butter Cream Sauce.


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