Bourbon Bread Pudding with Candied Nuts

Alternate title: Holy-Shit-That’s-Good Bread Pudding. Bread pudding is one of those desserts that feels like it takes so much effort, but it really doesn’t. In fact, you likely have all the ingredients you need already and could most likely make it without a recipe. It’s so simple. So straightforward. And 100% customizable.

Now, bread pudding is really just bread, eggs, milk, sugar. I like a bunch of mix-ins in my bread pudding for extra texture and flavor. Plus bourbon, because we’re a House of Bourbon family. And either whipped cream or melted ice cream on top. But it truly is a simple recipe. And if you’re on a budget, it’s also a great dessert!

You can use just about any bread for your bread pudding, but I went with Trader Joe’s Croissant Bread. Their CB is a revelation. So much flavor, so much flake, so much good. You could cut up croissants, you could use brioche. I would even use a white bread loaf that’s yet to be sliced and staled just a bit. Any bread will do!

I can’t remember the first time I had bread pudding out. Honestly, it was something I usually wouldn’t even think about. I mean, really, who wants bread for dessert? The answer: me. And you’re gonna want it, too!

I can’t wait to try this with some fruit, or some orange or lemon zest. Oooo, maybe a little lemon curd? CHOCOLATE CHUNKS?!

Now, for this particular dish I used bourbon candied nuts that I had made earlier in the day. They definitely imparted a whole lot of flavor to this bread pudding. I do think the spices (I used a chai spice mix that I made) could have been added to the egg mixture and you would get a similar result. The candied bits of the nuts basically bake right off into the mixture.

Up to you if you want to use a candied nut! The recipe below for the candied nuts will yield more than you need for this bread pudding, so you can save some for another use – like on top of ice cream, for a midnight snack you hide from your husband, or even for another bread pudding.

Just note: this recipe time does not account for making the candied nuts – make them ahead or skip the candied nuts all together if you’re short on time. Also, it calls for staled bread, but I honestly made mine with fresh bread and it was perfect! Up to you if you want to stale it – it will help absorb more of the liquid and get really gooey!

Bourbon Bread Pudding with Candied Nuts

The candied nuts are optional, but you’re going to want to mix in something to your bread pudding for that holy-shit-this-is-great vibe. 
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


Candied Nuts – Optional

  • .5 c white sugar
  • .5 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chai spice (or just cinnamon or any spice you prefer)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 lb nuts (I used raw pecan halves, hazelnuts and pistachios – you can use one type or any type!)

Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf bread, staled brioche, white, croissant loaf, etc.
  • 5 eggs
  • .5 c white sugar
  • .5 c brown sugar
  • .5 c whole milk
  • .5 c heavy cream
  • 1 shot bourbon, optional
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 c candied nuts or nuts or other mix-ins you prefer
  • butter and sugar, for the pan (about 1 tbsp each)


Candied Nuts – Optional

  • Preheat oven to 250. Line baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray; set aside. 
  • Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
  • Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss the nuts in the egg white mixture and then add the sugar mixture to the nuts and egg whites until the nuts are coated evenly. 
  • Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. 
  • Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are evenly browned.

Bread Pudding

  • Cut up bread into bite size pieces. For max absorption, toast the bread to get it stale (or leave it out the night before). 
    Place in a bowl, set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs. 
  • Add sugars to the whisked eggs, stir to combine. 
  • Add milk to egg and sugar mixture, stir to combine. 
  • Add bourbon, if using, stir to combine. 
  • Add salt, stir to combine. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the bread and toss the bread to get it really mixed together. 
  • Add your nuts or other mix-ins to the batter, stir to combine. 
  • Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to soak up all that goodness. Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your pan with butter. Top with a bit of sugar, which gives a caramelized crust to the bottom of your bread pudding! You can opt to skip the butter and use cooking spray, and skip the sugared bottom all together. 
  • Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until no liquid comes out. Start checking around 20 minutes and if it is browning too quickly, pop a sheet of foil on top.
Keyword baking, bread pudding, candied nuts, dessert


  1. I would go with the alternate title!! Can’t go wrong with this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

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