Make Ahead

Irish Bread Pudding

December  7, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

In Ireland bread pudding is a common Christmas treat for Breakfast - and why not? Stale bread is soaked in a custard of eggs and cream seasoned with once-precious spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and even cane sugar and then baked. Easy to make it can be prepped in advance then slid into the oven on Christmas morn.

I hearken back to those days by using whole wheat bread, turbinado sugar, and Irish whiskey. And then add apples and raisins and cardamom and mace (instead of the more common cinnamon and nutmeg). If your prefer, you can substitute rum, brandy, or sherry for the Irish whiskey.

Serve with Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, and (for the adults) Irish coffee. - Kevin


Test Kitchen Notes

Kevin’s Irish Bread Pudding has a base of hearty, whole wheat bread studded with raisins and soaked in a mixture of apple cider, punchy spices and of course, Irish whiskey. There’s only ¼ cup of booze but it goes a long way—especially since there’s more in the whipped cream—so this pudding could also be a great end to a holiday meal. It’s great for entertaining because it can sit overnight and be baked when guests want something sweet! - Natalie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Pudding
  • 6 - 8 cups slices thick whole wheat bread, somewhat chewy
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (about the same size as raisens)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar or packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Topping
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast bread on both sides until well browned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Bite one, it should be quite crisp, if not, cook cubes another 5 minutes. You should have about 6 cups.
  3. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped apple and cook, stirring frequently, for five to seven minutes.
  4. Lightly whip eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix in half & half, cider, milk, whiskey, vanilla, orange zest, and spices. Add bread, apples, and raisins stir, and let sit for 1 hour. Scoop into an 8 x 12 casserole. At this point it can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Cover casserole with foil and position in a larger pan in the middle of the oven. Add enough boiling water to the larger pan to come half way up the sides of the casserole. Cook for 40 minutes and remove cover. (Check to make sure the water doesn't boil away. If needed add more boiling water.) Cook about 30 minutes longer until top is browned.
  7. While pudding is cooking, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then beat whipping cream to soft peaks. Beat in sugar. Beat in liquor. Serve as topping with pudding.
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  • Sagegreen
  • JoanG
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  • Lizthechef
  • AntoniaJames

8 Reviews

Ali O. April 3, 2017
this is known as the O'Malley and a sailor named o'malley that was taken by the Barbary pirates was sold to the Egyptians, he gave them the ancient family recipe which they tweaked because they barely keep a drop of whiskey in the house, they called it om ali.

The Om Ali is basically a national dish which the Irish brought over to them
Sagegreen December 16, 2010
Great recipe. Thanks!
JoanG December 16, 2010
I bet this would also be good with Irish brown bread. I love this use of Irish Whiskey! Will have to try it.
hardlikearmour December 8, 2010
This sounds delicious, and I really like the spice profile. I love eating bread pudding for breakfast!
hardlikearmour December 8, 2010
I just steeped your spice combo in some half-and-half, and used it in my coffee. Yum.
Lizthechef December 7, 2010
Yes, great recipe, my kind of holiday treat!
AntoniaJames December 7, 2010
Great recipe! Any breakfast recipe that includes whipped cream and Irish whiskey is a keeper, to be sure. And we always have chewy whole-grain sandwich bread on hand, so this one is right up my alley. I could easily see subbing pears for the apples, as I like the combination of pears with the cardamom, mace and ginger. Thank you for posting this recipe!! And thanks for reminding me to put my beaters in the freezer. ;o)
Suzy Q. August 29, 2019
Hi Antonia, I see your reviews often and appreciate your opinions and advice.
Back in the early 1990's I found and made a bread pudding with about 12 eggs and it was remarkable. I've since been searching for that recipe without success. All I recall is it was a recipe by a famous male baker. Just in the off chance you or anyone may know of it? Thank you for your time.