Instant Pot

Instant Pot Tres Leches Bread Pudding

April 10, 2019
6 Ratings
Photo by Ghazalle Badiozamani
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Welcome to the “best bread pudding” my husband has ever had. Roger is a bit of a bread pudding fanatic. We also love tres leches cake. So I decided to try mixing the two and ended up with a great bread pudding that was especially light and airy from the croissants, and moist from steaming in the Instant Pot. That meant Roger still had to go get me my cake, but I think he felt quite well rewarded for the effort.

Excerpted from INSTANT POT FAST & EASY © 2019 by Urvashi Pitre. Photography © 2019 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. —Urvashi Pitre

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: 10 Surprising Things You Can Make in Your Instant Pot. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 cups lightly packed cubed croissants (4 croissants)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 5 ounces sweetened condensed milk (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. Grease a 7-inch springform pan with oil.
  2. Place the croissant cubes in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the croissant cubes. Allow to soak for 10 or 15 minutes, until the bread no longer looks dry.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Pour the water into the Instant Pot. Place a steamer rack in the pot. Place the pan on the rack.
  4. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL and set the pot on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Remove the foil from the pudding. Sprinkle the pudding with sugar and broil until the top is lightly browned and caramelized, 5 to 8 minutes. Let the pudding cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
  6. NOTE: Pro tip! Use the evaporated milk can to measure 5 ounces of condensed milk.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Helen Konz
    Helen Konz
  • Amit Sid
    Amit Sid
  • Urvashi Pitre
    Urvashi Pitre
  • Justine Mireles
    Justine Mireles
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
Dr. Urvashi Pitre is the President of a global marketing consulting firm, as well as the author of several best-selling cookbooks.

17 Reviews

MoMoWack April 17, 2022
I was on the fence about making Tres Leches cake because of all the sugar, so when I saw this recipe my eyes lit up and I decided to try this instead. So glad I did!

I thought I would kick it up a notch by using Dulce De Leche instead of plain sweetened condensed. Dulce De Leche, if you don't know, is Caramelized sweetened condensed milk. I made my own in the pressure cooker by following the instructions at the Hip Pressure cooker site, which is super easy and done right inside the can the day before you plan to use it.

I did add two big pinches of fine pink sea salt, (about a scant 1/2 tsp) a bit of vanilla, a pinch of Cardamom, and a bit of grated nutmeg. I tasted the liquid before and after adding salt, first with 1 pinch, and then added another. The salt really helped bring out all of the flavors. (I think all desserts need s little salt,...especially if they're sweet)

I will say that some of the sugar that was sprinkled on the top did not caramelize, so next time I might grind it up a bit smaller in my spice grinder. I drizzled a little bit of the warmed-up Dulce De Leche over the top of the cake after it came out from under the broiler. (low broiler!) It is absolutely divine! I love that there is no added sugar other than at the top. Next time I think I will cut the sugar to 1/8th cup and drizzle the hot Dulce De Leche for the rest of the sweetness.

-The timing was spot on in the Instant Pot. Awesome recipe! Will make again and again. Thank you Urvashi Pitre!

*Served with whipped cream.

**I have plenty of Dulce De Leche left from a 14 oz can to make another one of these desserts to give to a friend.
Urvashi P. April 17, 2022
Thank you!! I love your detailed notes and I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
Claire May 15, 2020
I made this in the regular oven. Had to check for readiness every 10 minutes after the first 45 minutes in the oven (at 375 degrees) - I set the bread mold in a water bath. Even the most proficient bakers at work were swooning over the recipe. One woman came up to me with tears in her eyes asking for the recipe. She said it tasted exactly like the one her grandmother made and no one had ever been able to replicate.
Justine M. June 19, 2020
Can I ask what size pan you used in the oven? I was planning on trying the recipe tomorrow for a friends housewarming party and just realized my springform is too large for my instapot. Thanks!
Urvashi P. June 19, 2020
Omg I am so happy to read this comment. Can’t believe I missed it.
Urvashi P. June 19, 2020
A 7 inch one would do the job. For a larger one just cook for a shorter time.
Urvashi P. June 19, 2020
Claire Omg I am so happy to read this comment. Can’t believe I missed it.
Justine M. June 19, 2020
Thank you very much! Can’t wait to try it😊
Claire June 21, 2020
I didn’t make this in the instapot. I used the regular oven. I used a 9x11 pyrex
Tre January 14, 2021
Did it turn out ok in the Pyrex? Did you put it in a water bath in the oven? Would love to try this recipe but refuse to buy another springform due to the leaking issue. Thank you.
Urvashi P. April 17, 2022
Aww that makes me so happy
Helen K. February 24, 2020
I made this for my annual "Fat Saturday" Party, It was the hit of the night, I made two 7 inch pots and had two issues with the recipe. First: although I had a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk it did not contain two 5 oz portions (using the evaporated milk can as measure). Second: the spring form pans (both - different manufacturers) though advertised as leak proof did indeed leak--they need to have their bottoms wrapped in aluminum foil also to capture the leaks. I tried to do two at once in my IP but it did not care for that arrangement and I got the "dreaded burn notice" (after 40 minutes) and had to clean the pot and cook each individually.
Amit S. January 11, 2020
This was my first dessert instant pot recipe, so I'm inexperienced. When I poured the mixture into the springform pan, all the batter leaked out the bottom. How am I supposed to keep that from happening? Should probably be mentioned in the recipe...
Urvashi P. January 11, 2020
So that’s really a pan issue not a recipe issue. Springform pans can be temperamental and difficult to secure just so. I have gone through many pans to find a few that work. If yours is leaking and Youre sure you’ve fastened it correctly, wrap the pan bottom in foil or put a piece of parchment paper on the inside of the pan. If you use foil outside you will need to increase cooking time by 5-10 minutes. I hope that helps!
Khcridge January 10, 2020
I made this last night! It was so very easy! I added a splash of vanilla and a hefty pinch of salt. It was GREAT, my teens thought it tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal! I would be very cautious about the time under the broiler, I went 6 minutes and had a few spots that were "too toasty", next time I will probably hit broil on low and go for the full 8 minutes. Great, EASY recipe for a week night dessert!
Jacob April 12, 2019
What does, "Sprinkle the pudding until the top is lightly browned and caramelized, 5 to 8 minutes," mean?
Eric K. April 12, 2019
Hi Jacob, thanks for flagging. A section of that sentence was cut off: "Sprinkle the pudding with sugar and broil until the top is lightly browned and caramelized, 5 to 8 minutes. Let the pudding cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving." Hope that helps!