Make Ahead

Bourbon Chocolate Bread Pudding

February 15, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food for me. I don't like desserts that are too sweet, so I use dark chocolate here and only a moderate amount of sugar. This is not a dessert for children—the bourbon definitely adds a kick! There are only a handful of ingredients, so I try to use the best quality possible: local farm fresh eggs, the best chocolate I can afford, and a really good loaf of French bread. My experience has taught me that you can cut corners on the bourbon. My favorite to use is Rebel Yell. - student epicure —student epicure

Test Kitchen Notes

Amply boozy yet not too sweet, we liked student epicure's unabashed take on the bread pudding. The dessert takes about 5 minutes to put together (not counting 45 minutes of soaking, during which time you can assemble the rest of your meal). And it calls for ingredients that you probably have lying around the house (if you don't have bourbon—why don't you!—you can use rum). We see this as the perfect impromptu dinner party dessert. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 8 ounces 72% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 cups day-old French bread cubes (packed)
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together milk, eggs, and bourbon. In a large bowl, combine the liquids with the chocolate, bread cubes, and sugar. Toss to coat and set aside to soak for about 45 minutes. Gently stir once or twice while soaking.
  3. Pour mixture into a 1.5 quart baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the custard has set and the top of the pudding is slightly crispy (be careful not to overcook). Serve warm or at warm temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rita Carey
    Rita Carey
  • Marisa R
    Marisa R
  • crispylikechicken
  • LivedinItaly
  • MZG
student epicure

Recipe by: student epicure


48 Reviews

Rita C. April 11, 2020
So we’re in the longest spring of 2020 if you know what I mean. I had several leftover chunks of bread...a baguette, some panettone, and some stale sandwich bread. I used them all and this turned out great! Saved me a trip to the store!
Darian August 24, 2018
I also used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, and added homemade whipped cream to top. Delicious!
Garlic F. March 18, 2015
I just found this recipe for something to do for St. Patrick's Day that is easy and also using ingredients I already have on hand. This is my first bread pudding, ever.

Easy and delicious! Will definitely make it again! For those who needed to know, I measured out the bread cubes and 4 packed cups is about 6 oz of a baguette, cut into 1/2-3/4" cubes.

My changes: doubled the recipe and baked in a glass 9x13 pan, used skim milk, granulated sugar, Ghiarardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, and mix of bourbon and Irish whiskey (ran out of bourbon). I also followed suggestions and added about 1C of dried tart cherries soaked in Irish whiskey. I would've liked to have more cherries, but I love dried cherries. I had to bake for an additional 15 min for the pudding to set in the middle.

I served it with an Irish cream sauce I pulled from epicurious.
Nicole June 10, 2014
I loved this recipe! Turned out perfectly. I omitted the sugar and tossed in a couple bananas that I needed to use up.
Peanut April 14, 2014
Sorry "Veronique" but your recipe seems way toooo long for me to fiddle with.....Food 52s much easier... Penny~
angela January 11, 2014
Fantastic - i was very popular at the dinner party i brought this too - i baked it at mt friends house so everyone loved the scent if it baking too :) Thanks for the great easy crowd pleaser
Diane November 7, 2013
Wonderful!. I can't drink, so I left the bourbon out. In it's place, I caramelized the sugar in the recipe with a 1/3 cup water to a light amber color. I think I managed to maintain the bit of smokiness and lovely color of the bourbon. In an case, a wonderful bread pudding. Thank you!
littlethingamajigs November 4, 2013
I tried this recipe yesterday - my first time making bread pudding - and it worked out surprisingly well. I used skim milk instead of whole, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and dried cherries as suggested in the comments below. The cooking time, however, went well beyond 40mins - I think about 70mins, but came out perfectly.
Marisa R. April 17, 2013
I have tried to make bread pudding twice now...onece it was quite dry so I the next one I soaked overnight although it was really moist I think it could have been too mushy...what's the correct texture supoosed to be like...My English friends say originally is was quite dry..the American was is way creamier
crispylikechicken August 7, 2012
I made this bread pudding (absolutely delicious) and added a simple bourbon sauce on top- it was delicious and impressed my friends =)
Betty N. June 3, 2012
I don't have any bourbon on hand, but as soon as I can, will purchase it to make this lucious sounding bread pudding. However, I do have toasted bred cubes, done recently to save left over bread and have the toasted cubes for bread pudding adn other dishes calling for bread cubes. Will they work in this recipe? BettyN
LivedinItaly January 2, 2012
I, like veronique, found the end product dry. I use a second thermometer in the oven to ensure proper temperature but think it may be the amount of bread used. "4 cups day-old French bread cubes (packed)" can vary depending upon how tightly 'packed' on fills the cup. I do believe the use of weights, when possible, will provide a more consistent result. One question I have is if the baking dish was buttered before pouring in the mixture?
student E. February 29, 2012
sorry to hear the product turned out dry! i agree that weights are helpful and i will add them next time i make this, as i have a newly acquired kitchen scale. the pudding is definitely very liquidy and moist before i put it in the oven. i don't butter my dish -- i always use a le creuset casserole dish.
fitfish25 December 27, 2011
delicious, thank you! I pre-soaked dried cherries and it tasted great. :-)
MZG May 17, 2011
This is a delightful weeknight dessert. I substituted dark chocolate chips in lieu of shaving a chocolate bar, making the preparation even easier. I also used Challah (we get a loaf every week courtesy of my son's school so we always have a surplus) with good results.
student E. May 23, 2011
so glad you enjoyed it! and lucky you, having a surplus of challah!
Stacey S. May 6, 2011
I have a similar recipe on my site, but I add some orange marmalade to the bread w/ the chocolate and bourbon. I use Blanton's or Woodford Reserve bourbon and this recipe is the best! We love it, it's my go to bread pudding.

(not sure why that commenter was so disappointed......bread pudding is bread, eggs and milk and whatever else you want to rules!).
student E. May 23, 2011
nice! love the orange-chocolate combo...i'll definitely have to try it! (i'm actually starring at a bottle of blanton's in it's velvety bag as i type...)
elizabethpollet April 2, 2011
hi! i was wondering if it was ok if it soaked longer in the fridge. i'd love to make it earlier in the day and just pop in oven from the fridge while people were eating dinner. is that a no no? thanks!
student E. April 4, 2011
i just got back from vacation and saw your question now! you know, i honestly don't know. i worry the bread might get too mushy and lose some of its texture...but at the same time, there is so much egg that it does form a good custard, which might compensate. my gut sense is that it might not work, but if you experiment and it does, do let me know!
spiffypaws March 10, 2011
This is an elegantly simple recipe to make, and just as good to eat. I wouldn't change a thing. It was so good, I had it for breakfast this morning. Is that a bad???
student E. March 12, 2011
so glad you enjoyed it! and no, not bad at all to eat for breakfast. in fact, i do that myself =)
healthierkitchen February 24, 2011
Glad this just popped up on my screen. I've saved it and will make it the next time I need a special dessert!
student E. March 12, 2011
great! let me know how it goes!
fitsxarts February 1, 2011
this is soooo delicious. i used a can of low-fat coconut milk from traders joe's and 1/4 c. heavy cream to replace all the whole milk. and only 3 eggs, since that's all i had and we're stuck in a blizzard here. it's going to be hard to make the dish last a few days...
student E. February 2, 2011
yum! coconut milk sounds like a wonderful addition! so funny -- i was going to make this for my classmates at school, but was snowed in so i couldn't buy the ingredients. stay warm!
Megalania January 31, 2011
Great success! I doubled this recipe except for the chocolate, of which I only had 11 oz of 78% cocoa. It had a great balance of intensity and mildness, and was pleasantly not too sweet or rich. I wish we had any leftovers so that I could have this for breakfast. I would be curious to taste the difference with a nicer bourbon than Evan Williams...

student E. February 2, 2011
so glad you enjoyed it! i'll be honest, i've never tried it with a nicer bourbon -- let me know if you do!