The BEST eggnog bread pudding - brioche or challah bread pudding with a brown butter rum glaze! This bread pudding recipe is a great way to use up leftover eggnog, with a delicious brown butter eggnog bread pudding sauce. And if you enjoy this eggnog brioche bread pudding, you'll love my Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie, my Banana Pudding Cheesecake Squares, or my Christmas Charcuterie Board!
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Eggnog Bread Pudding - Brioche Recipe
If you're looking for a stunning dessert to make for your holiday, I've got it for you. This eggnog brioche bread pudding is absolutely incredible. It's so easy to make, one of the best recipes to use up leftover eggnog, and it's delicious every time!
This eggnog bread pudding has all the best holiday flavors: eggnog, vanilla, pecans, grated nutmeg, and RUM. And it's made with brioche for an even richer, more delicious texture! But that's not even the best part! On top of our bread pudding we're drizzling a rich brown butter rum sauce made with even more eggnog! It's absolutely irresistible, and complements the flavors in this bread pudding so well!
This post is dedicated to my dad, who is the only one in my family who likes eggnog! Growing up, we always had to have a carton of eggnog in the fridge at Christmastime, and no one drank it but him! But trust me, I could eat this bread pudding all day long! I may not be a fan of eggnog itself, but I'm a huge fan of recipes with eggnog as an ingredient! It's truly so amazing and decadent -- I'm a believer!
Why do they call it bread pudding?
This dessert is called bread pudding because it's based on a dessert originating in the 11th and 12th centuries in Europe. In England, "pudding" is a traditional word for a homestyle or rustic dessert, and by the 13th century many British homes had a "pudding basin" -- a deep bowl somewhere in the kitchen meant to collect scraps of stale bread. Also called "poor man's pudding" because of its popularity with lower-income families, bread pudding back then was often made simply with water, sugar, and spices.
How do you fix soggy bread pudding?
With the steps in this recipe, your eggnog bread pudding won't be soggy or gooey! It should be moist, but mostly solid once cooked. Here's how:
- Use stale bread. Stale bread will soak up the custard much better and more quickly. I take my bread out of its packaging, cut it into slices if it's not already sliced, and separate the slices so they're all exposed to the air. Then I leave them there overnight.
- Cook your custard on the stovetop. We're heating our custard to thicken it a bit and bring the flavors together, but it also helps the bread to soak up the liquid.
- Let bread soak before baking. This is important! You may be eager to enjoy your eggnog bread pudding, but I highly recommend waiting at least 20 minutes after pouring your custard over before you bake. This helps the bread to absorb the custard even more so that your bread pudding isn't too liquidy once it's baked.
Can you freeze bread pudding?
Yes! This eggnog bread pudding freezes fairly well. Just make sure to follow these steps to keep your eggnog bread pudding fresh in the freezer:
- Don't pour your brown butter rum sauce over your pudding before freezing. You can keep it in a separate container to save for later when you serve your bread pudding.
- Let your baked eggnog bread pudding cool completely before freezing.
- Place in an airtight container and wrap again in plastic wrap/foil. I like to overwrap items for the freezer to prevent any freezer burn. This should keep your eggnog bread pudding fresh for up to 2 months. However, I would recommend eating it as soon as possible to ensure the best texture -- which won't be a problem. This eggnog bread pudding is so addictive!
Overnight Eggnog Bread Pudding
To save time, you can prepare the custard and let the bread soak overnight to make this bread pudding in the morning! Actually, the longer the bread has to soak, the better the texture will be. So you can get it all ready to bake (without the pecans on top), placed it, covered, in the fridge for up to one day. Then, when you're ready to bake, just top it with your pecans and pop it in the oven! It may need an additional few minutes of baking time since it's coming straight from the fridge.
Rum Eggnog Bread Pudding Ingredients
- brioche loaf - it should be stale and cut into 1½-inch cubes. If you don't have brioche, you can use challah or any other enriched type of bread, or French bread, or even just regular sandwich bread!
- evaporated milk - I use this milk for my baked mac and cheese. I love it in this recipe too because it has a higher protein than regular milk, so it helps custards and custard-based desserts to thicken nicely.
- store-bought eggnog - or you can use leftover homemade eggnog as well - my Oat Milk Eggnog works with oat milk or dairy milk! I would recommend using a full-fat version, but if you can only find low-fat eggnog that works too.
- pure vanilla extract - vanilla is a major flavor in this bread pudding, so make sure you use a good quality pure vanilla extract.
- dark rum - this is optional, but recommended! It works perfectly with the flavor of the eggnog. Any dark rum or spiced rum would work well.
- granulated sugar - adds sweetness to our custard
- salted butter - I typically use salted butter, but if you prefer unsalted, just add in ½ teaspoon salt to your custard ingredients.
- eggs - these, along with the milk and eggnog, help to create that custardy texture that is so good in bread pudding!
- pecan halves - these are optional too, but you should definitely include them if you can! They add crunch and a rich pecan flavor that works perfectly with the buttery flavors of the eggnog and rum in this bread pudding! If you like pecans like I do, you've got to try my Butter Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!
And then for that amazing brown butter rum sauce, you'll need:
- salted butter - again, feel free to add in a pinch of salt if you're using unsalted butter.
- all-purpose flour -- this will help to thicken our sauce.
- dark brown sugar - I love the molasses flavor from using dark brown sugar in this sauce!
- dark rum - makes this sauce delicious and slightly boozy! Feel free to leave it out if you're not using rum and replace with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- eggnog - I'm adding eggnog to the sauce to give it even more flavor -- you can also use whole milk or the milk of your choice.
- freshly grated nutmeg - this is a touch that really brings out the nutmeg flavor in the eggnog!
Now that you've got your ingredients together, here are the tools you'll need to make this eggnog bread pudding!
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but you will need a few tools to make it. First, you'll need a saucepan to cook your custard AND your brown butter rum sauce. But if that saucepan isn't light in color I'd recommend using a light-colored or stainless steel sauté pan to brown your butter. Then you'll bake everything up in an 8x8 baking pan or a 2-quart casserole dish.
Step by Step
- First we'll get your bread ready to go. Grease an 8x8 pan with butter or cooking spray and then add your chunks of stale brioche. Try to press them in there well and fill in any gaps.
- Then we'll heat up our custard! We're going to heat our butter, sugar, beaten eggs, evaporated milk, and eggnog and whisk the mixture very frequently. As it warms, it'll start to come together as a custard and thicken a bit. Cook your custard for about 10 minutes, then whisk in your rum and vanilla.
- Now for the big moment -- carefully pour your custard over your chunks of brioche. It might splash a bit, so be careful! At this point I usually press down on the brioche with a wooden spoon to make sure that all the bread is in contact with the custard liquid. Then you're just going to wait. After 30 minutes or so, the bread should have soaked up most of the custard and it's ready to bake!
- While your eggnog bread pudding is baking, you can work on your brown butter rum sauce. Brown your butter in a saucepan or in a light-colored skillet, so that you can see when it starts to turn brown. For details and step-by-step photos on how to brown butter, check out my Brown Butter Appreciation Post.
- Whisk in your flour and cook another minute or two so that the flour is cooked through, whisking along the way.
- Then you'll just need to add in your eggnog and brown sugar, and grate in your nutmeg. Keep cooking and whisking until your sauce is thickened.
- Stir in your rum and cook another couple of minutes. Drizzle your sauce over the warm pudding!
Tips and F.A.Q.
Usually, eggnog is made with milk, cream, sugar, spices, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks. Often it's made into an alcoholic punch with rum or bourbon added.
Bread and butter pudding is an English dessert made with bread soaked in a custard and baked with dried fruit and spices. Sound familiar? That's because modern American bread pudding evolved from traditional English bread and butter pudding! This eggnog bread pudding is very similar to bread and butter pudding, with two main differences: first, typically, bread pudding is made with stale cubed bread, whereas bread and butter pudding is usually made with soft sliced bread. Also, as the name suggests, bread and butter pudding is made with butter spread onto the bread before baking, rather than being included in the custard.
Feel free to use stale baguette, French bread, Challah, Italian bread, or even white sandwich bread for this bread pudding. I love the texture of brioche but this recipe works for lots of types of bread!
It's better because the bread needs to soak up the custard. If the bread isn't stale, it contains moisture in it already, so there won't be any room for it to soak up the liquid around it as it bakes. If you're unable to stale your bread in advance, you can place cubes of bread spaced out on a large cookie sheet, and heat them in the oven at 300°F for about 15 minutes, or until dried out and slightly toasted.
You can freeze it according to the instructions I mention above, or you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I've got so many! Check out my list of 45 Best Cookies for Cookie Exchange + Cookie Exchange Ideas! Or if you're looking for a vegan-friendly dessert, try my 50 Vegan Desserts for Christmas! And for a fun Christmas cocktail, check out my Mistletoe Margarita Recipe!
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a star review rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
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Equipment you may need
- 3-quart saucepan
- cooking spray
- 1 loaf brioche - or challah, french bread, or sandwich bread, stale, cut into 1½-inch chunks (see note)°
- 1½ cup eggnog - full-fat
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs - beaten
- ½ cup salted butter - 1 stick, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon dark rum - optional
- ½ cup pecan halves - roughly chopped
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Cut stale brioche into 1½-inch chunks and place into baking dish. Press down gently to make sure gaps are filled.cooking spray, 1 loaf brioche
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat eggnog, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, and sugar, whisking constantly.1½ cup eggnog, ½ cup evaporated milk, 3 large eggs, ½ cup salted butter, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Continue to cook another 10 minutes, whisking often, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and rum.2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 teaspoon dark rum
- Gently pour custard over bread chunks in baking dish, making sure to saturate each piece of bread. Press down with a spoon to make sure all of the bread is in contact with custard liquid.
- Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to soak up custard.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Top pudding with chopped pecans.½ cup pecan halves
- Bake pudding in preheated oven for 45 minutes. If necessary, cover loosely with foil halfway through baking to prevent overbrowning. While your pudding is baking, make your brown butter rum sauce.
Brown Butter Rum Sauce
- Melt butter in a light-colored large sauté pan or saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until milk solids separate and begin to turn golden brown. See Browned Butter 101 for a more detailed step-by-step.4 tablespoon salted butter
- Whisk in flour and continue to cook another minute.2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Stir in brown sugar and eggnog, and grate in nutmeg.⅓ cup brown sugar, 1½ cup eggnog, ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in rum and cook another minute or so.¼ cup dark rum
- Serve with warm bread pudding.
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Last Updated on December 25, 2022 by Chenée Lewis