Blueberry Bread Pudding

This easy blueberry bread pudding recipe is made with fresh berries, brioche, and a handful of other ingredients. It’s a cozy weekend breakfast idea or a decadent dessert, especially if you serve it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream!

Bread pudding is one of my favorite treats, but the texture has to be just right. Each slice needs to hold its shape without being too firm, and each bite must be soft without any mushiness. Every bite should have a contrast between warm, fluffy bread soaked in sweet custard and the cold richness of ice cream. You could say I’m a picky bread pudding eater, but that’s ok. I’ll own it. 🙂

I’m happy to say that this simple bread pudding recipe delivers. And not only that, the entire thing is studded with juicy, fresh blueberries bursting with flavor. The pudding is made in a 9×13 pan so you would think it would last my small family at least several days but nope. This delightful dessert was devoured in 24 hours. When we like food, we don’t hold back!

What is Bread Pudding?

In the United States, bread pudding is usually a sweet dessert made with bread, eggs, sugar, cream, and some kind of fat. Other things are often added to the mix like dried fruits or fresh fruits. Flavorful sauces like caramel sauce, rum sauce, or whiskey sauce are also popularly drizzled on top. There are also savory bread pudding recipes, similar to strata.

What’s the Difference Between Bread Pudding and a French Toast Casserole?

These two kinds of recipes are incredibly similar. For me, the main difference is texture. I like my french toast casseroles to have a bit of crunch to them, so I usually use sourdough bread or French bread. You can see examples of this in my Blueberry Overnight French Toast Bake and my Bourbon Apple Crisp French Toast Casserole. If you take a look at the photos, you’ll see that each bite of these casseroles has some crunch thanks to the crust of the bread that was used.

By contrast, I use soft brioche or challah when I’m making bread pudding. These kinds of bread don’t have a thick crust, so when they are baked with the custard they absorb all the flavors and bake into a soft and fluffy texture.

Blueberry bread pudding in a 9x13 casserole dish

Recipe Ingredients

Below is a quick overview of the ingredients you will need to make this bread pudding recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for specific amounts.

  • Brioche or challah bread – Cut into 1-2-inch cubes
  • Eggs
  • Milk – You can use regular milk or plant-based.
  • White sugar
  • Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla extract.
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Blueberries – Make sure to remove the stems.
  • Unsalted butter

What’s the Best Bread to Use For Bread Pudding?

In my opinion, the best bread for bread pudding is definitely challah or brioche. You can buy loaves of challah or brioche at most local markets and supermarkets, or you can make it from scratch. I love using this sourdough challah recipe or this honey vanilla challah recipe for bread pudding.

Can I Use Other Kinds of Fruit?

Definitely! You can use sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries, or pretty much any other kind of fruit. If you are using something like peaches, then cut them up into small pieces similar to the size of a blueberry. If you are using something like fresh mango, remove the skin before dicing the mango into small pieces. Use a mix of different berries and call this a jumbleberry bread pudding just like I did with this jumbleberry cobbler.

Close up of bread pudding in a casserole dish with a slice taken out

How to Make Blueberry Bread Pudding

Are you ready to make the best bread pudding ever? Here’s how to do it:

  • Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 glass pan with the butter. Set aside.
  • Cut the brioche into cubes about 1-2 inches. I usually will cut 1 slice of the bread into 6 pieces. Add the cubes to the prepared 9×13 baking dish.
  • Add the blueberries to the pan with the bread cubes. Use your hands to mix things together.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together well.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. With a fork, move the bread pieces around a bit so that every piece of the bread has a chance to soak up some of the custard. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes until the bread pudding is golden and has puffed up a bit. The pudding is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (no wet custard on it).
  • Cool. Allow the pudding to cool for 10 minutes.
  • With a serrated knife, cut the pudding into squares. Remove each square with a spatula and serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Blueberry bread pudding in a 9x13 casserole dish

Tips for Success

Bread pudding is incredibly easy to make, but it never hurts to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are my top tips:

  • Cut the bread into evenly sized pieces. This will help ensure that the bread soaks up the sweet custard evenly.
  • Don’t skip the 15 min soaking time. Before baking this bread pudding it needs a 15 min rest time during which the bread will start soaking up the custard.
  • Let it cool. Give the pudding at least 10 minutes to cool before digging in. It will be hot!

How to Serve Bread Pudding

In my opinion bread pudding is equally appropriate for breakfast or dessert. It’s also a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. So yes, I do think bread pudding is always a good idea. 🙃

You can serve bread pudding warm or cold. Either way, I like to add a dollop of whipped cream plus a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Especially if you’re eating your pudding warm, the combination of soft pudding and cold creaminess is pretty irresistible!

You can use store-bought vanilla ice cream or homemade ice cream. Similarly, this homemade maple whipped cream is delightful with bread pudding, but from a can works too! It all depends on all fancy you’re feeling. If you want to go all out, you can also add a drizzle of maple syrup on top of your bread pudding.

A slice of blueberry bread pudding on a plate with ice cream and whipped cream

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Let the bread pudding cool to room temperature, then cover it tightly with saran wrap in the baking pan. Or you can cut it into slices and transfer them into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing bread pudding because it will affect the texture too much.

When you are ready to eat some of your bread pudding, simply cut a slice. You can eat it cold, or warm it in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute until it reaches your desired temperature.

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Blueberry Bread Pudding

Slice of bread pudding on a plate with ice cream and whipped cream
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This easy blueberry bread pudding recipe is made with fresh berries, brioche, and a handful of other ingredients. It’s a cozy weekend breakfast idea or a decadent dessert, especially if you serve it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of brioche or challah bread, cut into 12-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 glass pan with the butter. Set aside.

Cut the brioche into cubes about 1-2 inches. I usually will cut 1 slice of the bread into 6 pieces. Add the cubes to the prepared 9×13 baking dish.

Add the blueberries to the pan with the bread cubes. Use your hands to mix things together.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together well.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. With a fork, move the bread pieces around a bit so that every piece of the bread has a chance to soak up some of the custard. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes, until the bread pudding is golden and has puffed up a bit. The pudding is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (no wet custard on it). Allow the pudding to cool for 10 minutes.

With a serrated knife, cut the pudding into squares. Remove each square with a spatula and serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Notes

Storage: Let the bread pudding cool to room temperature, then cover it tightly with saran wrap in the baking pan. Or you can cut it into slices and transfer them into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing bread pudding because it will affect the texture too much.

Keywords: brioche bread pudding, challah bread pudding, blueberry bread pudding

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Can you tell me approximately how many cups of cubed bread this uses? I like to use leftover bread for bread pudding…. So by definition it’s not full loaves of anything!

    1. Rustic Family Recipes

      I’m not sure but I will add that information to the post and reply to your comment again once I know the answer. You just gave me the perfect excuse to use up some fresh blueberries by making this bread pudding. 🙂

    2. Rustic Family Recipes

      Hello! I made the bread pudding again today and my loaf of brioche was about 6 1/2 – 7 cups of cubed bread, packed. 🙂