Bread Pudding Formula

Chef Madeleine Dee’s Bread Pudding Formula

Serves at least 12 people

I enjoy baking, but I don’t make a very good baker because I don’t like to follow directions to the letter. So, when I developed this recipe several years ago, I did so with the intention of allowing for plenty of creativity. The result was a formula, simple enough to be used by cooks of all ages, into which an endless number of ingredient combinations could be plugged. I’ve used this recipe for cooking classes and created at least 20 different bread pudding flavors with it. Simple, fun, & delicious. Perfect for the holidays. Enjoy.


2 cups dessert sauce (caramel, butterscotch, chocolate...), plus extra for drizzling

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. extract (vanilla, orange, peppermint…)

1 tbsp. liqueur or bourbon

1 tsp. salt

6 large eggs, room temperature

¼ cup sugar (light brown or granulated)

1 regular baguette, cubed and toasted until golden brown

1 cup “mix-ins”, optional (chocolate chunks, nuts, crushed cookies, candy…)

Baking spray (PAM makes a great one!)


1. Preheat oven to 350*F.

2. Bring the cream and dessert sauce to a boil on the stove in a medium sized pot, whisking occasionally. As soon as the liquid begins to rise up, immediately remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the extract, alcohol, salt, sugar, & eggs. Very slowly whisk in the cream mixture from Step 2 until combined and smooth. Add in the toasted bread cubes and toss gently to coat them. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

4. When the bread has soaked up most of the liquid and become soft, add your “mix-ins”.

5. Spray a baking dish or the cups of a muffin tin liberally with baking spray, then spoon or pour the bread pudding mixture in. Add as much of the liquid as you can and sprinkle the top(s) with leftover chocolate, nuts, or candies.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes for a large baking dish, or until the center is set. For muffin tins, bake for roughly 25-30 minutes.

7. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, then serve with ice cream, an extra drizzle of dessert sauce, or a sprinkle of chocolate or nuts.


Mint Chocolate Chip: Mint extract, dark chocolate chunks, Andes mints for garnish.

Almond Caramel: Caramel sauce, almond extract, and toasted almond slices.

Raspberry Cream Cheese: Vanilla extract, caramel sauce, fresh raspberries, cold cubes of cream cheese, & toasted pistachios. 

Chocolate Hazelnut: Whisk a small container of Nutella into the heavy cream mixture instead of a dessert sauce. Mix in toasted hazelnuts. 


Raspberry Cream Cheese Bread Pudding