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Last Updated on December 23, 2020 by Chenée Lewis
Happy holidays! I hope you’re making the most of this season and making all the holiday flavors and treats that you can! If you’re still looking for a stunning dessert to make for your Christmas dinner, I’ve got it for you. This eggnog bread pudding is absolutely incredible. It’s so easy to make, 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, even though I’m not usually a big fan of eggnog, I could eat this bread pudding all day long! It’s truly so amazing and decadent — I’m a believer!
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! 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!
- 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. 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 1/2 tsp 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!
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 eggnog bread pudding 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.
Step by Step
- First we’ll get your bread ready to go. Grease an 8×8 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’l 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 your warm eggnog bread pudding!
This eggnog bread pudding is a fantastic holiday dessert! But if you’re looking for more holiday treats, look no further than my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies series. I’ve got all kinds of goodies, including my Christmas Charcuterie Board full of cookies, desserts, and treats and perfect for grazing!
Or if you’re looking for another fantastic Christmas dessert, try my Brown Butter Pecan Cake! This incredible cake is filled with toasted pecans, brown butter, brown sugar, and vanilla, and draped with a brown butter cream cheese frosting. An amazing cake for any occasion!
Equipment you may need
- 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
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp dark rum – optional
- ½ cup pecan halves – roughly chopped
- Grease an 8×8 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.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat eggnog, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, and sugar, whisking constantly.
- Continue to cook another 10 minutes, whisking often, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and 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 bread to sit for 30 minutes to soak up custard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Top pudding with chopped pecans.
- 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 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.
- Whisk in flour and continue to cook another minute.
- Add in brown sugar and eggnog, and grate in nutmeg.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in rum and cook another minute or so.
- Serve with warm bread pudding.
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