Buttermilk bread pudding is warm, gooey dessert perfection and amazing breakfast food! Drizzled with a creamy buttermilk custard sauce and fresh fruit, this soft bread pudding is so delicious you won’t want to stop at just one piece.
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Easy bread pudding with buttermilk
If you love bread pudding as much as I do, then making bread pudding with buttermilk will blow you away! It has a fantastic taste and texture, a crispy top and a rich, custardy interior.
Buttermilk bread pudding is a delicious take on traditional bread pudding. Buttermilk really adds to bread pudding and creates such a delightful, slightly tangy flavor.
And when you add a sweet buttermilk sauce on top, it takes it to a whole new level. We love it with stewed peaches and fresh blueberries, but you can enjoy it with any fruits and berries you like.
Buttermilk bread pudding is an excellent hot and sweet breakfast and brunch option. It also makes for a rustic dessert and easily feeds 10 to 12 hungry mouths.
For more tasty buttermilk recipes, try our buttermilk crepes and buttermilk French toast.
As long as you’ve got buttermilk and stale bread on hand, chances are you have everything else to make this terrific buttermilk bread pudding. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact quantities.
- Stale bread: Day-old stale bread is perfect for this dish because it absorbs more moisture. I love challah bread, but any bread will work here, thick-cut toast, brioche, French bread, or leftover dinner rolls. You can find more information about the best bread for bread pudding in the FAQ section.
- Buttermilk makes up the base of the custard. Its thick, rich texture adds moisture and volume to the custard and a wonderful tangy flavor. The recipe calls for 1 quart (4 cups). I’ll show you how to make your own buttermilk in the tips section below in case you don’t have any.
- Eggs: You’ll need 6 large eggs for this recipe. I recommend letting the eggs come to room temperature, so they incorporate easily into the custard.
- Butter: We need a little butter to grease the casserole dish and add extra richness to the bread pudding.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar adds sweetness to the recipe.
- Vanilla extract adds a little flavor and depth to the dish.
- Lemon zest: I like to highlight the tangy flavor of the buttermilk by adding grated lemon zest. This is optional. If preferred, you can also add ground cinnamon or other spices.
How to make buttermilk bread pudding
Once you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to turn them into soft and supple buttermilk bread pudding. It’s such an easy recipe, you’ll want to make it all the time.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
- Grease a 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking dish with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Set aside.
#2: Mix custard
- In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar.
- Then stir in the buttermilk, remaining melted butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until everything is well combined.
#3: Assemble bread pudding
- Place the bread cubes into the buttered baking dish.
- Pour the buttermilk custard mixture over the bread cubes, making sure every piece is evenly coated.
#4: Bake bread pudding
- Bake for 45 minutes until the top looks golden brown and puffed up.
- Cut the buttermilk bread pudding into 12 slices.
- Serve warm with your favorite topping, including buttermilk custard sauce, caramel syrup, whipped cream, ice cream, and fresh fruit. Enjoy!
Here are a few tips and tricks to make your buttermilk bread pudding the best it can be. Your family won’t get enough of this delicious treat!
- Avoid freshly baked bread: Fresh bread tends to oversaturate with custard and become soggy, making for mushy bread pudding.
- Make your own buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 4 cups regular milk with 4 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened a little.
- Cover with foil: If your bread pudding browns too quickly, cover it with foil. This will ensure it cooks evenly without burning or drying out.
- Check doneness: The bread pudding is done when it puffs up and the top looks golden and crispy. You can also insert a knife in the center and if it comes out clean (without liquid custard), the dish is ready.
Buttermilk custard sauce
I like to serve this easy bread pudding with a simple buttermilk custard sauce. It highlights the lovely buttermilk aroma and is made from the same ingredients as the bread pudding.
The sauce is wonderfully thick, smooth, and luscious. Add to that some poached peaches and fresh blueberries, and you’ll enter dessert heaven!
You need the following 4 ingredients:
- 2 cups / 450 ml / 16 fl oz buttermilk
- 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
This sweet buttermilk sauce is super easy to make. Just grab a saucepan and a whisk and then do this:
- Combine dry ingredients. Place the sugar and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Whisk until well combined and you no longer see clumps of cornstarch.
- Cook sauce. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Whisking continuously, bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Serve or cool. You can serve the buttermilk custard sauce right away. If you want to serve it later, press a piece of plastic wrap (cling film) directly onto the surface of the sauce. Doing so prevents a skin from forming.
- Store. You can keep the buttermilk sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
One of the things I love about buttermilk bread pudding is the endless possibilities. Aside from the buttermilk sauce, you can serve it with so many different toppings. Here are a few more ideas:
- vanilla bread pudding sauce
- lemon bread pudding sauce
- chocolate sauce or hot fudge sauce
- caramel sauce or dulce de leche
- maple syrup or honey
- powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar
- ice cream
- whipped cream
- fresh fruit, banana slices, or berries
- candied nuts
Do you eat bread pudding cold or warm?
You can enjoy bread pudding both warm and cold. It tastes delicious fresh from the oven, all hot and steamy, but it’s also scrumptious at room temperature or even chilled.
How to store buttermilk bread pudding
To keep it fresh, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze buttermilk bread pudding?
Yes! Allow the bread pudding to cool, then cut it into individual servings and wrap each portion in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
When ready to eat, place the frozen bread pudding in the fridge to thaw out overnight. To warm, reheat in the microwave for a couple of seconds until heated through.
Overnight buttermilk bread pudding
Buttermilk bread pudding is a great make-ahead meal. I love it for entertaining and busy holidays.
You can mix the ingredients together in the casserole dish and refrigerate the unbaked bread pudding overnight. Alternately, bake the bread pudding, let it cool, and then cover + refrigerate.
What is the best bread for bread pudding?
The type of bread you use makes a big difference for buttermilk bread pudding and can completely change the taste and texture of your dish.
Sliced sandwich bread will do in a pinch, but if you want richness and flavor, I recommend investing in one of the following options:
- Brioche bread is a rich yeast bread with a soft crumb that soaks up the buttermilk mixture beautifully. Once cooked, the bread pudding leaves you with a crisp outside and a creamy, succulent inside that melts in your mouth.
Tip: I recommend buying a whole loave instead of slices so you can control the size of your bread pieces.
- Challah is a sweeter, more buttery version of brioche. It can soak up a fair amount of buttermilk custard and bakes into a beautiful, golden-brown bread pudding.
Tip: Challah is a sweeter bread, so feel free to reduce the sugar slightly.
- French bread is a good choice if you like a bit of chewiness. Although not the softest variety, its sturdiness means that you can leave French bread to soak up for a long time without becoming mushy.
What does day-old bread mean?
Day-old means stale bread. It’s not completely dried out and hard, but bread that’s just past its prime and that you wouldn’t want to eat otherwise. We want day-old bread because it soaks up the custard mixture better and won’t fall apart.
How do you make stale bread?
If you crave bread pudding, but don’t have any stale or leftover bread at hand, no worries! You can easily dry out fresh bread to make it perfect for this meal.
Cut fresh bread into thick slices and pop into the toaster for a bit. Alternatively, cut your bread into 1-in / 2.5 cm cubes and bake the bread cubes in a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
Be careful not to brown or burn the bread. The goal is just to remove as much moisture as possible.
More bread pudding recipe
Whether you’ve got leftover bread or just love bread pudding, here are a few more recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are all super simple to make and are full of crave-worthy flavors.