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This Prune Bread Pudding is made with rich challah bread and packed with sweet-tart California prunes, apricots, brown sugar, and plenty of cinnamon. A combination of heavy cream, whole milk, and maple syrup ensures a moist and flavorful bread pudding.
Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts. So I was happy to partner with California Prunes to come up with this delicious bread pudding featuring delicious prunes.
Prunes are great to snack on, but you’d be surprised at the different types of dishes you can make with prunes. The sweet, rich flavors of California Prunes blend beautifully with dark chocolate, caramel, and warm spices like cinnamon. Prunes also pair well with salty items like prosciutto, olives, and feta. Find more inspiration and ideas for prune recipes at California Prunes.
When it’s made right it is one of the best desserts you’ll ever have - rich, buttery, and absolutely delicious. I have multiple bread pudding recipes on the blog. The other recipes are Roasted Peach Bread Pudding and Apple Bread Pudding.
If you love bread pudding or are looking for a recipe to make it for the first time, then this is the recipe you're looking for. My neighbor who loves bread pudding said that it's some of the best bread pudding that they've ever had.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
Bread pudding is a wonderful dessert when you do it right and this definitely done right. This bread pudding is neither. The recipe starts with challah and enriched bread that adds flavor. The prunes not only add sweetness, but also some tartness which blends perfectly with the sweet custard and rich challah bread. The right ratio of eggs, heavy cream, and whole milk contribute to the pillowy softness of the pudding.
These are the ingredients for the bread pudding:
- Challah Bread: Bread pudding is typically made with stale bread, but I love challah bread instead. It's soft and has a nice rich buttery flavor which is why I prefer it for bread pudding.
- Prunes: The prunes add a rich sweet-tart flavor to this bread pudding.
- Dried Apricots: The dried apricots pair well with the prunes and the rich challah.
- Dark Rum: The prunes and apricots are soaked in the rum to hydrate them and to add a depth of flavor to the bread pudding.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar caramelizes the apples before adding them to the bread pudding and adds sweetness to the bread pudding.
- Dark Brown Sugar: Sweetens the custard and adds a slight molasses flavor to the bread pudding.
- Heavy Cream: Combined with the milk and eggs it creates a nice rich custard.
- Whole Milk: The whole milk combines with heavy cream and eggs to make the custard.
- Large Eggs: When the bread pudding bakes the eggs cause the bread pudding to rise and puff up.
- Ground Cinnamon: Adds flavor to the bread pudding and the apples.
- Ground Nutmeg: Adds a warm aromatic flavor to the bread pudding.
- Unsalted Butter: Melted butter is poured over the top of the bread pudding before it goes into the oven. This extra drizzle of butter adds richness to the bread pudding and helps it to brown.
The milk, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar make a custard: The typical ratio is 5-6 cups of bread to 4 cups of liquid and 4-5 eggs. Something important to keep in mind if you make your own variation.
How to Make This Bread Pudding
The recipe is easy to make and you'll love how delicious it is when it's done.
Cut the prunes and the apricots in half. If they are large pieces cut them into quarters. Place the fruit in a medium-sized bowl and pour the rum over the fruit. Let the fruit soak in the rum for 15-30 minutes while you make bread pudding.
Cut the challah bread into 3/4-inch cubes. I typically buy a loaf of challah 2 days before I make the bread pudding, just to ensure it's not too soft, but not dried out either.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk until these ingredients are combined and the sugar is dissolved.
Next add the cream, milk, and maple syrup to the egg mixture and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the cubed bread and use your hands to push the bread down into the liquid. Let the bread soak for 15 minutes until it has absorbed most of the liquid.
Drain the prunes and the apricots. Add the fruit and 2 tablespoons of the remaining rum to the bread pudding mixture and fold these ingredients into the bread pudding.
Spoon the bread pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle the melted butter across the top of the pudding.
Bake the bread pudding at 350F until it's puffed up, golden brown, and the center is slightly firm when pressed. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Drizzle half the bourbon whiskey sauce over the warm bread pudding
Drizzle half the bourbon whiskey sauce over the warm bread pudding.
How to Make the Whiskey Sauce
After the bread pudding comes out of the oven make the bourbon whiskey sauce.
While the bread pudding cools, prepare the bourbon whiskey sauce. In a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat, add the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer it for 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the bourbon whiskey and then return the pan to the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes.
Pour about half of the whiskey sauce over the warm bread pudding. Reserve the rest for serving with individual servings of bread pudding.
How to Serve the Bread Pudding
The bread pudding is best served warm and with the delightful bourbon whiskey sauce. If serving it the day after it's baked warm it in the microwave or in a 300F oven with the bread pudding covered in foil.
How to Store the Bread Pudding
The bread pudding can sit at room temperature the day it is baked but must be stored in the refrigerator that night. Store the bread pudding in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- All the bread time to soak. You want the custard to soak all the way through the bread. If using bread that is stale or very dry it may need to soak longer
- Beat the eggs before adding the other ingredients to ensure the eggs are well beaten
- The bread pudding should puff up in the oven and then deflate once it's removed from the oven.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can cut the bread into portions, wrap each one in plastic and place them in the refrigerator. Thaw the pieces in the refrigerator when ready to eat or place them directly in the oven from the freezer.
After the bread pudding has cooled to room temperature store it in the refrigerator. If you're serving the bread pudding the same day as baking it, it can sit at room temperature for a couple of hours after it has cooled.
This Prune Bread Pudding is one of my favorite desserts. If you make it please leave a comment below or let me know if you have any questions. Share this recipe with friends and family and if you're on social media connect with me @bakesbybrownsugar.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
Prune Bread Pudding
- 3-Quart Baking Dish
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 2 cups (300 grams) California prunes each cut into half
- 1 cup (120 grams) dried apricots each cut into half
- 3/4 cup dark rum
- 20 ounces (898 grams) challah bread 6 cups cubed into 3/4-inch chunks
- 5 large (250 grams) eggs 250 grams eggs
- 1-1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
- Chop the prunes and apricots and place them in a bowl. Pour the rum over the fruit and use a tablespoon to press the fruit into the liquid. Soak the fruit for at least 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes toss the fruit in with the rum to make sure all the fruit is soaking up some of the liquid. If you prefer to make this bread pudding without alcohol, replace the rum with apple cider.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter and brush the bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter.
- Cut the challah bread into 3/4-inch chunks. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar together. Whisk in the ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup until the ingredients are well combined.
- Next whisk in the whole milk, and heavy cream. Add the cubed bread and gently push the bread down into the liquid until the bread is submerged and all of it is wet. Let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Drain the prunes and apricots. Add the fruit and two tablespoons of the remaining rum to the bread mixture. Gently fold in the fruit with a large spoon until the prunes and apricots look distributed throughout the mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle the melted butter over the bread pudding.
- Bake the bread pudding for 45-50 minutes. The bread pudding should be golden brown, puffed up, and slightly firm in the center. The temperature in the center should be 170 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. During this time the bread pudding will finish setting and will be cool.
- Place the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a small saucepan on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then simmer it for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the mixture for 5 minutes. Pour half the glaze over the top of the bread pudding, and reserve the rest to serve with individual servings.
- The bread pudding can remain at room temperature the day it is made. Refrigerate the bread pudding for up to a week in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. Do not store the bread pudding overnight at room temperature.