This eggnog bread pudding is the quintessential holiday breakfast and dessert. Warmly spiced with notes of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon, this delicious holiday recipe is tender thanks to a rich eggnog custard. You’ll love it for Thanksgiving and Christmas morning brunch!
Easy bread pudding recipe with eggnog
This easy bread pudding recipe with eggnog is a classic Christmas dessert that has been loved in my home for a long time, and we make it each year!
And let me tell you, eggnog bread pudding is so delicious, full of warm spices and buttery softness. And when you drown the whole thing in rich eggnog sauce, it’s a true holiday indulgence!
It’s simple to assemble with just 15 minutes of hands-on prep and requires easy-to-find ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Eggnog bread pudding is the perfect dessert to finish a holiday dinner or to serve for Christmas morning brunch. And since the recipe makes a lot of servings, it’s perfect for entertaining and feeding a crowd.
The best part about eggnog bread pudding is that the ingredients list is simple, and you are using up stale bread that you would probably just be throwing away. See the recipe card below for specific measurements.
- Bread: A big loaf of stale brioche or challah is best here. Make sure the bread is at least a day old, and the bread cubes measure 13 to 14 cups.
- Eggnog is a fantastic ingredient for bread pudding because it adds sweetness and fat for both moisture and tenderness. Use an eggnog you enjoy drinking for the best flavor and texture because it will really shine in custard. I usually use this homemade vanilla eggnog or condensed milk eggnog.
- Eggs give the custard structure and help the liquid set.
- Sugar: We only need a little granulated sugar for the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla extract adds that extra cozy flavor.
- Cinnamon + nutmeg are the warming spices that really elevate this dessert.
- Salt: A sprinkle of salt helps to balance the other flavors in this dish.
- Eggnog sauce: I love serving this dish with my easy eggnog custard sauce. I’ve also included the recipe in the recipe card below.
How to make eggnog bread pudding
It really doesn’t get much easier than this bread pudding with eggnog recipe. The recipe makes enough to fill a 9 in x 11 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking pan. See the make-ahead instructions below if you want to make it the night before.
#1: Mix custard
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, vanilla, and spices. Then whisk in the eggs and gradually add the eggnog.
#2: Assemble bread pudding
Place the bread cubes into a greased 9×13 in baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread cubes and gently toss to combine.
Use a spoon or spatula to gently press down the bread, so it’s mostly covered and saturated. Cover with foil and let sit for 30 minutes.
#4: Bake + serve
Remove the foil and bake at 350°F for about 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and puffed, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the bread pudding stand 20 to 30 minutes before serving. If desired, dust with powdered sugar and serve with eggnog sauce, vanilla bread pudding sauce, ice cream, and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!
- Right choice of bread: Use brioche, challah, or a loaf of French or Italian bread with a soft crust, but not baguette. I find that the crust of baguette is a little too chewy for this recipe.
- Let the bread cubes soak: Let the bread cubes soak in the eggnog mixture for about 30 minutes before baking. This ensures the inside of the bread pudding will be tender and moist.
- Rest before serving: Allow the baked bread pudding to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will give the eggnog custard time to finish setting, so that it becomes firm and easy to slice.
There are so many ways you can customize the recipe with add-ins and adjust the flavor to your liking. Check out these ideas!
- Different eggnog flavor: Prepare the recipe with chocolate eggnog, cinnamon eggnog, peppermint eggnog, or chai eggnog.
- Dried fruit: Add about 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit to the pan with the bread cubes before pouring the eggnog custard over the top.
- Nuts: Add 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts before baking.
- Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips make a lovely addition to this recipe.
- Other spices: Try other warming spices in addition to the vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Good options include pumpkin pie spice or chai spice mix.
- Croissants are an excellent substitute for the bread. Make sure they are stale and cubed (or bake them to dry out).
- Fewer servings: If serving a smaller family, cut the ingredients amounts in half and bake the bread pudding in a 2-quart dish.
Eggnog bread pudding can be served warm, at room temperature, or even cold. Dust the top with powdered sugar right before serving, and drizzle with homemade eggnog sauce.
Top the dish with whipped cream or eggnog ice cream for a truly decadent treat. So good!
In my opinion, this holiday bread pudding is best when still a bit warm from the oven, so the sauce sinks easily into every nook and cranny, and the ice cream slowly melts on top.
Why is stale bread better for eggnog bread pudding?
Stale, day-old bread is best for bread pudding because dry bread absorbs more liquid from the eggnog custard, keeping the texture nice and moist while it bakes.
Can I make this recipe with fresh bread?
Yes! If you don’t have stale bread at hand, cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and bake them in a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for about 10 to 14 minutes, or until nice and dry.
Then let the bread cubes soak in the eggnog mixture for about 30 minutes. The extra soaking time will yield flavor-packed, moist bread pudding.
How do you know when eggnog bread pudding is done?
Your eggnog bread pudding is done when the filling looks puffed and set. The dish will continue to firm up as it cools.
To check, insert a knife in the center of the bread pudding. If it comes out clean (without any liquid custard, the bread pudding is ready.
If checking with an instant-read thermometer, the center of the casserole should register 160°F / 70°C.
Storage & make-ahead tips
Overnight eggnog bread pudding casserole
To save time on busy holidays, assemble the dish the night before. Then cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge.
When it’s time to serve, heat up the oven and bake until golden brown. Let the bread pudding warm up on the counter as your oven reheats.
How to store eggnog bread pudding
Leftover eggnog bread pudding will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Reheat eggnog bread pudding recipe
Reheat the bread pudding in a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also pop individual slices in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Freeze bread pudding with eggnog
Freeze the dish in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat following the instructions above.
- 1 loaf stale challah or brioche bread, cut into 1-in / 2.5 cm pieces (1 lb, about 13-14 cups total)
- 6 cups / 1.4 l / 48 fl oz eggnog, at room temperature
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Grease a 13 in x 9 in / 33 cm x 23 cm baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Mix custard. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, vanilla, and spices. Then whisk in the eggs and gradually add the eggnog.
- Assemble bread pudding. Place the bread cubes into the prepared baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread cubes and gently toss to combine.
- Rest. Use a spoon or spatula to gently press down the bread, so it’s mostly covered and saturated. Cover with foil and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Bake. Remove the foil and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and puffed, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve. Let the bread pudding stand 20 to 30 minutes before serving. If desired, dust with powdered sugar and serve with eggnog sauce, vanilla bread pudding sauce, ice cream, and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!
Dry out fresh bread
A big loaf of stale brioche or challah is best here. Make sure the bread is at least a day old, and the bread cubes measure 13 to 14 cups.
If you don’t have stale bread at hand, cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, about 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely.
Eggnog Bread Pudding Sauce
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp rum extract or 1 tbsp rum
- a pinch nutmeg
- In a heat-resistant bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until thick.
- Add the cream and half-n-half.
- Cook in a double boiler until thick. Stir while cooking but do not let it come to a boil.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding rum and a dash of nutmeg.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 214mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 12g
More bread pudding recipes
Is there anything better than warm bread pudding? I absolutely love using up stale bread and turning it into something delicious. Here are a few more recipes to try!