How to cook like a New Orleans native: Bread Pudding


Patsy BrumfieldThe Southfacin' Cook

Patsy Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Note about my Jan. 9 recipe (red beans and rice):

Whenever you use bay leaves to flavor a recipe, retrieve them from the finished dish before you serve it. While I have never eaten a bay leaf, my mother, Betty, swore repeatedly it would kill you if you did. ‘Nuff said.


If you think bread pudding isn’t for you, try this recipe. With the Bourbon Sauce on top, it’s fit for your royal guests, who surely are pouring into NOLA, now that you’re their free place to stay.

I suppose this could be made for your dairy-allergic friends, but I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you do with dairy substitutes.


  • Mixer (stand style less fatiguing)
  • 9×13 deep baking dish
  • cutting board
  • bread knife
  • rubber spatula
  • microplane (if you use fresh nutmeg)
  • measuring equipment


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • loaf french bread (day-old or stale is better)
  • confectioner’s sugar (optional topping)


Cut bread into 1-inch-thick slices. (You can cube them or leave them as slices. I have done both, but I think I like the cube presentation, although the slices are more old school.) Arrange 1/2 bread into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 raisins, couple of tablespoons brown sugar. Add rest of bread, repeat raisins, brown sugar.

Beat softened butter at medium speed in mixer, gradually adding regular sugar. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually add cream, mixing well. You’ll need to turn off mixer and scrape bowl to ensure butter-sugar gets incorporated into the cream mixture.

Stir in vanilla, 1/4 cup cinnamon, nutmeg (microplane, if you grate your own). Scrape, mix about a minute more.

Pour mixture over bread in pan. Let stand at least an hour. With rubber spatula, press bread down to make sure it’s fully soaked up liquid. If you’re using the slice option, top slices can be turned over for greater absorption. If I can, I let it stand in refrigerator overnight covered with foil.

Take bread pan out of fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to let it warm up a little. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil some water on the stove or in microwave. Cover pan with foil, then place foil-covered pan in larger pan. I use a large baking sheet with sides up at least an inch. Open oven, place larger pan onto rack and then set baking pan onto it. Pour boiling water into the larger pan so that it comes up about half-way on the pudding pan. (IMPORTANT: Wait to pour water until pans are in oven. Otherwise, you’re likely to spill it on the way to the oven.) This hot water will create a more even, moist heating environment for the pudding.

Bake 40 mins. Remove foil and bake at least another 10 mins until top begins to look golden. Start cooking bourbon sauce now. When pudding is done, remove from oven and let sit 10-15 minutes before serving. This stuff is hot!



  • Small, heavy sauce pan
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bourbon


Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.

In medium bowl, mix 1 cup sugar and egg. It sounds weird, but the egg will infuse itself into the sugar for a wet mixture. Remember, sugar is almost always a wet ingredient for recipes.

Return mixture 1-2 tablespoons at a time to saucepan. Stir on low heat until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. DO NOT LET BOIL. Add bourbon, continue cooking until sugar dissolves. You can “feel” when this happens because sugar will be completely liquid not grainy. Mixture will thicken a little more. Stir constantly about 3 minutes.

Drizzle over top of each serving of bread pudding. Sift confectioner’s sugar on top for pretty touch.

SERVE: Plate or bowl, serve warm with bourbon sauce over the top. Pretty with a little sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar, too.

Come back every Wednesday for “Southfacin’ cook” at New in NOLA for Patsy’s basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at

Previous recipes from Patsy:

• Red Beans and Rice

3 thoughts on “How to cook like a New Orleans native: Bread Pudding

  1. Pingback: How to make bourbon bread pudding like a New Orleans native | New in NOLA

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