Eggnog bread pudding with a bourbon caramel drizzle topped with vanilla ice cream is a perfect holiday dessert. Rich, decadent, and easy to make!
Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts to make. Do you know why?
It’s SO easy. It’s not a quick dessert, because I like to let it sit for an hour and a half before baking to really soak up all the liquids. But the actual work time is minimal, and the difficulty level is definitely beginner. I made this bourbon bread pudding recipe for Christmas dessert a few years ago, and it’s become a bit of a tradition for me to make bread pudding around the holidays. Last year I turned it into egg nog bread pudding, and this year I decided to add a bourbon caramel sauce. Two choices I firmly stand behind, and am excited for you guys to try.
I feel like eggnog and bread pudding are two things that people kind of fall into a love or hate category with. My dad thinks bread pudding is “soggy” and gross, and I know people who won’t even smell egg nog. The Mizik house is 110% team eggnog bread pudding though. (Like, actually, I’m grossed out by how much egg nog my husband consumes on a weekly basis. I had to make this recipe the day I got the egg nog because I knew he would drink it all.)
The bourbon bread pudding recipe calls for chopped pecans, and you can definitely add them to this egg nog bread pudding if you’d like. I chose not to because well, for starters, I don’t really like pecans that much, and also, they’re like $8 a bag. So that’s a no for me. But suit youself!
Brioche is the most common type of bread used in bread puddings. It’s sweet and it soaks up liquid really well. I was able to find a loaf at Walmart, but you could also check a local bakery! To start you simple cube your brioche, if it’s not already, and place the cubes in a greased baking dish. I actually like to microwave my bread for about 40 seconds before I place it in the baking dish. It’s a little trick I saw on the Food Network. That might seem strange, but it helps dry out the bread, and makes it better for soaking up the liquid. It’s the same thing with french toast and using day old bread.
After that you simply whisk the eggnog bread pudding ingredients together and pour over the bread, making sure all the cubes are coated. I cover the baking dish with tin foil or plastic wrap to lock in the moisture, and then stick it in the fridge for an hour and a half. When you take it out, the liquid should be fully absorbed. It goes in the oven, and that’s it!
The bourbon caramel sauce is also incredibly easy, the only trick is to make sure your pan isn’t too hot. If the heat is up too high you’ll brown the butter and could burn the sugar. Medium low is just fine. Melt the ingredients together and whisk gently until the caramle thickens. The bread pudding needs to rest for a couple of minutes after it gets out of the oven. Whip this up while it rests and then serve warm over ice cream!
- FOR THE BREAD PUDDING
- 1 lb loaf brioche bread
- 3 cups egg nog
- 2 cups half n half
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinammon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- ½ cup half n half
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- Cube your brioche and grease a 9x13 baking dish. (This next step is optional. Microwave your bread cubes for about 40 seconds to help them absorb moisture. Note- do NOT microwave your loaf then cut it. You will smash the bread and it won't soak up all the liquid.)
- Place the bread cubes in your greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Whisk together the egg nog, 2 cups of half n half, eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
- Pour over the bread cubes and toss them to make sure they're all coated.
- Cover your baking dish with plastic wrap or tin foil, and put in the fridge for an hour and a half or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Bake for 50 minutes at 350.
- Remove the bread pudding from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the bread pudding is resting, make the caramel sauce by melting together ½ cup of half n half, 1 cup of brown sugar, 4 tbsp butter, and 1 tbsp bourbon over medium low heat.
- Whisk gently for about 5 minutes until the caramel has thickened.
- Serve with ice cream and warm caramel sauce