An iconic British dessert, this bread and butter pudding is a favorite among all! Brown butter and a bit of brandy take this easy bread and butter pudding recipe to the next level. Step-by-step photos teach you how to make this English dessert recipe.
My love of cooking and food comes from my mother. I have fond memories of cooking and baking in the kitchen with my mom. One of the things my mom made all the time was bread and butter pudding. It feels like yesterday we were at the white kitchen countertops spreading leftover sliced bread with butter, making the custard filling, spreading raisins on and my mom's secret was always sprinkling a generous amount of sugar on top, it gave it that little extra something. We do the same thing with banana bread!
Now 20 years later we've learned a few things and experimented a bit. Which is how we came to this version of B&B pudding. We use brown butter for a deeply caramelized, nutty undertone and soak the raisins in brandy to plump them up and give it a little something special. Since we are just pouring on the butter not buttering individual slices this recipe might be even easier!
For this British dessert staple you will need:
- Raisins. Also known as sultanas, you can't have b&b pudding without them!!
- Brandy. I love to soak the raisins in a bit of brandy to rehydrate them and plump them, then pour the brand into the custard mixture.
- Loaf of Stale White Bread. I prefer to use Brioche but regular white sandwich bread or french Bread works well too! Even a sweet raisin bread would be great. You just need to ensure your bread is stale, but not too stale. If your bread is super hard and you can grind into breadcrumbs or you cannot tear it with your hands easily it's too stale. I like to just set my bread on a sheet pan to dry out/ stale over a day or two before making the pudding. The stale bread ensures that bread will soak up the custard nicely.
- Salted Butter. I prefer to use salted butter but you can use unsalted too. The butter is going to brown first which creates the most amazing flavor profile. As the butter browns, some of it will evaporate, this is normal! Traditionally we would butter each slice of bread and place it into the pan but I find browning the butter adds great flavor and it's easier to just pour all over on top of the bread slices.
- Whole Milk. I prefer to use whole milk, hey if you're gonna have dessert might as well make it the richest and best it can be! But I have used 2% milk and it's been just fine too.
- Heavy Cream. Again, we want a rich, delicious, indulgent custard so using heavy whipping cream helps ensure that.
- Granulated Sugar. Just good old plain white sugar is needed.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. I adore vanilla and brown butter together, the flavors pair beautifully.
- Ground Nutmeg. We grew up with nutmeg in our bread pudding, I know in America some use ground cinnamon but to us it ain't b&b pudding without nutmeg!
- Large Eggs. Whole eggs straight out of the fridge are all that's needed to help make the custard.
- Demerara Sugar. I love using this coarse sugar for just a sprinkling on top before baking it helps give a delicious sweet crunchy to the top golden brown bread.
For the baking dish, I use an 8.5" X 11" X 2" 2 QT glass dish but you can use any style of a baking dish that holds the same amount or double the recipe for a larger dish. Use a pie dish, baking pan, glass pan, cake pan, casserole dish anything that is oven proof!
You will need to ensure your bread is stale, if the bread is not stale it will not soak up all of the custard to give you the lush texture you want. If the bread is too stale it will not soak up the custard either. I like to place my fresh bread slices on a sheet pan and let them sit out uncovered for a day or two before baking.
Since the bread pudding needs to marinate before baking you do not need to preheat the oven yet. You will start with soaking the raisins in brandy. In a small bowl add the raisins and brandy swirl around a time or two and try to push all the raisins into the brandy then set aside to infuse.
In a large pot over medium-low heat brown the butter, stirring frequently until it is golden brown and has a nutty aroma. It is critical that you watch the butter carefully as the butter can burn easily, check out this post on how to brown butter with step-by-step photos and instructions.
While the butter is melting quickly arrange the bread slices into a 2 QT size dish, I use an 11" X 8.5" X 2" glass dish. You may need to cut the bread to fit evenly into the pan. Return back to watching the butter cautiously!
Carefully and evenly pour the brown butter all over the bread slices and make sure to scrape out all the brown pieces, those are flavor bombs!
In a large saucepan whisk heavy cream, milk, vanilla, eggs, nutmeg and sugar until fully combined, you do not want any trace of egg left behind.
Place the pot over medium heat and cook on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes until mixture has warmed through. You don't want the mixture to come to a boil.
Pour the raisins and brandy into the warmed custard mixture and mix to combine.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread slices, the raisins will be at the bottom of the pot so I use my hand to gently scatter them around the bread and in the slices, you don't want too many raisins on top as they can burn while baking. You could save a few brandy-soaked raisins to sprinkle on top after baking too!
Cover the bread and butter pudding with a wet paper towel and let marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of Demerara sugar on top and when oven is heated place pudding into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the internal temperature should be a minimum of 170F/77C, the inside of the pudding should be set but still have a slow wobble. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve.
You'll have a beautiful golden, crunchy exterior and soft custard enterior.
What to serve with bread & butter pudding
I grew up with a generous serving of Bird's custard on top of my mom's bread and butter pudding, and truly custard is my favorite way to go.
You can also serve the pudding with a generous scoop of ice cream or heavy cream.
How to freeze
Can you double
You can most definitely double the recipe by pressing the 2X button below on the recipe card to easily double the ingredient quantities. You'll need a larger baking dish or bake the pudding in two dishes- you can try placing the bread slices into the dish to see what size fits just right. Adjust the baking time accordingly based on this baking time of 30 minutes, and ideally you are using a thermometer so you can check the internal temperature to assure the pudding is properly cooked to at least 170F/77C.
More British favorite recipes
Next to bread and butter pudding we always grew up with sticky toffee pudding!!
One of the most confusing things for Americans has been knowing that Yorkshire Puddings are not sweet, actually served with beef. We can't have a roast dinner without Yorkies!
Sausage rolls are a delicious savory treat any time of day, served hot, room temperature, or cold I promise you will be in love!
While many people in America refer to bread and butter pudding as bread pudding it actually is not bread pudding. For a true bread pudding check out this recipe. Bread pudding is a dense dessert filled with more dried fruits and spices whereas bread and butter pudding is a much lighter, custardy like treat.
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An iconic British dessert this bread and butter pudding is a favorite among all! Brown butter and a bit of brandy take this easy bread and butter pudding recipe to the next level. Step-by-step photos teach you how to make this English dessert recipe.
- 80 Grams (½ Cup) Raisins
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Brandy
- 17.6oz Loaf of Stale White Bread, I prefer Brioche but Regular or French Bread work well
- 8oz (1 Cup) Salted Butter
- 12oz (1 ½ Cup) Whole Milk
- 12oz (1 ½ Cup) Heavy Cream
- 200 Grams (1 Cup) Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
- 4 Large Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Demerera Sugar
- In a small bowl add raisins and brandy and set aside,
- In a large pot over medium-low heat brown the butter, stirring frequently until it is golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Make sure you watch the butter carefully as the butter can burn easily, check out his post on how to brown butter.
- Arrange the bread slices into a 2 QT size dish, I use an 11" X 8.5" X 2" glass dish. You may need to cut the bread to fit evenly into the pan. Evenly pour the brown butter all over the bread slices and make sure to scrape out all the brown pieces, those are flavor bombs!
- In a large saucepan whisk heavy cream, milk, vanilla, eggs, nutmeg, and sugar until fully combined, you do not want any trace of egg left behind. Place over medium heat and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has warmed through.
- Pour the raisins and brandy into the warmed custard mixture and mix to combine.
- Pour the cream mixture evenly over the bread slices, the raisins will be sunk to the bottom of the pot so I use my hand to gently scatter them around the bread and in the slices, you don't want too many on top as they can burn while baking. Cover the bread and butter pudding with a wet paper towel and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the pudding, when the oven is heated place pudding into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the internal temperature should be a minimum of 170F/77C, the inside of the pudding should be set but still have a slow wobble. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Delicious served warm or cold, with custard or ice cream.
Keywords: bread and butter pudding recipe, brown butter bread and pudding,