Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce is more than just a dessert; it’s a trip down memory lane, a comfort dish that has warmed hearts and homes for generations. This classic recipe is a fantastic way to use up stale bread while creating something deliciously satisfying. The pudding is soft and custardy, with a delightful hint of vanilla and nutmeg, while the vanilla sauce adds a creamy, rich layer that ties the whole dish together beautifully.

Choosing Ingredients:

  • Bread: Opt for day-old white bread for the best texture. Challah or brioche can also be used for a richer pudding.
  • Milk: Whole milk gives the pudding a creamy texture, but you can use 2% milk for a lighter version.
  • Raisins: These can be substituted with other dried fruits like cranberries or chopped apricots for variation.
  • Eggs: Ensure they are fresh for the best custard base.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar works well, but you can experiment with brown sugar for a deeper flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: Always choose pure vanilla extract over artificial for the best flavor.

Making the Dish:

  • Soaking the Bread: Ensure the bread is thoroughly soaked for a moist pudding.
  • Baking Time: Monitor the pudding towards the end of the baking time to avoid over-baking, as oven temperatures can vary.

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free bread to make this dish celiac-friendly.
  • Vegan/Dairy-Free: Substitute the milk with almond or coconut milk and use a plant-based butter alternative. For eggs, consider using flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water per egg).
  • Add-Ins: Consider adding chocolate chips, nuts, or a dash of rum or bourbon to the pudding mixture for an extra flavor kick.
  • Sauce Alternatives: If you prefer a different topping, consider a caramel sauce or a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

This recipe is forgiving and versatile, allowing for various tweaks to suit your taste or dietary needs. Serve it warm for the ultimate comfort dessert, perfect for family gatherings, holiday dinners, or just a cozy night in.

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce Recipe

Ingredients for Bread Pudding:

  • 4 cups of cubed white bread (about 8 slices)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Ingredients for Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

Bread Pudding Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cubed bread and raisins.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and 1/4 cup butter. Heat over medium flame until the butter melts. Pour this warm mixture over the bread and raisins, allowing it to soak for about 10 minutes.
  4. Gently mix in the granulated sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and ground nutmeg into the soaked bread mixture.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the pudding sets in the center.

Vanilla Sauce Preparation:

  1. In a separate saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and the heavy whipping cream. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reaches a full boil.
  2. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.


  • Serve the warm bread pudding in individual dishes.
  • Drizzle generously with the prepared vanilla sauce.
  • If there are leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator.