Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding


Step back in time and savor the comforting flavors of Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Homemade Vanilla Sauce. This classic dessert recipe has been passed down through generations, cherished for its simplicity, warmth, and rich indulgence. Made with pantry staples and a touch of love, this bread pudding is a timeless treat that evokes memories of cozy kitchens and family gatherings. Join us as we rediscover the nostalgia of Grandma’s recipe and learn how to create this comforting dessert in your own kitchen.


For the Bread Pudding:

  • 6 cups stale bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray, for greasing

For the Homemade Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Prepare the Bread Pudding:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the Bread:
    • Place the torn bread pieces in a large mixing bowl. If the bread is not already stale, you can spread it out on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until slightly dry.
  3. Make the Custard Mixture:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
  4. Combine the Ingredients:
    • Pour the custard mixture over the bread pieces in the mixing bowl. Add the raisins or dried cranberries, if using. Gently toss until the bread is evenly coated with the custard mixture.
  5. Assemble and Bake:
    • Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Press down lightly to compact the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the bread pudding is set and golden brown on top.
  6. Make the Vanilla Sauce:
    • While the bread pudding is baking, prepare the homemade vanilla sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Stir in the granulated sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve Warm:
    • Once the bread pudding is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of homemade vanilla sauce.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  1. Serve Warm: Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding is best served warm, straight from the oven. The comforting aroma and velvety texture are most pronounced when enjoyed fresh.
  2. Drizzle with Vanilla Sauce: Before serving, generously drizzle each portion of bread pudding with homemade vanilla sauce. The creamy sweetness of the sauce complements the rich flavors of the pudding and adds an extra layer of indulgence.
  3. Garnish: For a decorative touch, garnish each serving with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or a dusting of powdered sugar. Fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream also make delightful accompaniments.


  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover bread pudding, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply microwave individual portions for 30-60 seconds or until warmed through.
  2. Freezing: While bread pudding can be frozen, it may alter the texture slightly upon thawing. To freeze, allow the bread pudding to cool completely, then wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Thawing: When ready to enjoy frozen bread pudding, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Reheat as desired in the microwave or oven until heated through. Note that the texture may be softer after freezing and thawing.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Homemade Vanilla Sauce remains a delectable treat to be savored and enjoyed, whether served fresh from the oven or reheated for a comforting dessert any time of day.

Variations of Recipe:

1. Chocolate Bread Pudding:

  • Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the custard mixture for a rich chocolatey flavor. Fold in chocolate chips or chunks into the bread mixture before baking for extra indulgence. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce for a decadent twist.

2. Fruit and Nut Bread Pudding:

  • Mix diced apples, sliced bananas, or berries into the bread mixture along with chopped nuts such as pecans or almonds. Sprinkle additional fruit and nuts on top before baking for a burst of sweetness and crunch. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or Greek yogurt for a refreshing contrast.

3. Maple Cinnamon Bread Pudding:

  • Replace the granulated sugar with maple syrup for a natural sweetness and subtle maple flavor. Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the custard mixture for warm, aromatic spice. Top with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving for a cozy autumn-inspired treat.

4. Rum Raisin Bread Pudding:

  • Soak raisins in dark rum for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the bread mixture. The rum-infused raisins will add a boozy kick and depth of flavor to the pudding. Serve with a rum-spiked caramel sauce for an extra indulgent dessert.

5. Coconut Cream Bread Pudding:

  • Replace half of the whole milk with coconut milk for a creamy coconut flavor. Stir in shredded coconut into the bread mixture for added texture and sweetness. Top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream or toasted coconut flakes before serving for a tropical twist.


1. Can I use fresh bread instead of stale bread for bread pudding?

  • While stale bread is traditionally used for bread pudding as it absorbs the custard mixture better, you can use fresh bread in a pinch. To mimic the texture of stale bread, you can lightly toast the fresh bread in the oven before tearing it into pieces for the recipe.

2. Can I make bread pudding with gluten-free bread?

  • Yes, you can make bread pudding with gluten-free bread to accommodate dietary restrictions. Choose a sturdy gluten-free bread that will hold up well when soaked in the custard mixture. Ensure all other ingredients used in the recipe are also gluten-free.

3. Can I use dairy-free milk in bread pudding?

  • Absolutely! You can use dairy-free milk alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk in place of whole milk in the custard mixture. Be sure to choose an unsweetened variety to control the sweetness of the pudding.

4. How do I prevent my bread pudding from becoming too soggy?

  • To prevent your bread pudding from becoming too soggy, ensure that the bread is evenly coated with the custard mixture but not overly soaked. Use slightly stale bread or lightly toast fresh bread to help it absorb the custard without becoming mushy.

5. Can I make bread pudding without eggs?

  • Yes, you can make eggless bread pudding by using egg substitutes such as mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, or flaxseed meal mixed with water. These alternatives help bind the ingredients together and create a similar texture to traditional bread pudding.

6. Can I prepare bread pudding in advance?

  • Yes, you can prepare bread pudding in advance by assembling the dish and refrigerating it, covered, overnight. This allows the bread to fully absorb the custard mixture, resulting in a more flavorful pudding. Simply bake the chilled bread pudding according to the recipe instructions when ready to serve.

7. How do I know when bread pudding is done baking?

  • Bread pudding is done baking when the top is golden brown and the custard is set. Insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the pudding—if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the pudding is ready.

8. Can I freeze bread pudding?

  • Yes, you can freeze bread pudding for future enjoyment. Allow the pudding to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

9. What can I serve with bread pudding?

  • Bread pudding can be served with a variety of toppings and accompaniments such as vanilla sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, fresh berries, or a dusting of powdered sugar. Choose toppings that complement the flavors of the pudding for a delicious finishing touch.

10. How long does bread pudding last?

  • When stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, bread pudding can last for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers promptly to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.


Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Homemade Vanilla Sauce is more than just a dessert—it’s a taste of tradition and a reminder of cherished family memories. With its comforting aroma, rich custard texture, and decadent vanilla sauce, this timeless recipe is sure to warm your heart and delight your taste buds. Whether enjoyed as a cozy treat on a cold winter’s day or served as the perfect ending to a family meal, Grandma’s bread pudding will always hold a special place in our hearts and kitchens. Gather your loved ones, whip up a batch, and savor the simple joys of homemade goodness.

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