Christmas is just around the corner and with it all of the glitter and festivities of the season. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent dish to bring to a brunch of the perfect celebratory dessert, Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding is sure to become a new favorite.
Pop open the bottle of bubbly and pour a couple of Apple Cider Mimosas. With just a few simple steps this sumptuous treat comes together dangerously easily. Be warned, you will go back for seconds!
Not only is Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding easy to make, but it also only requires a few humble ingredients. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with those leftover slightly stale croissants you have laying around, here is your answer.
- Mini Croissants – The base for this bread pudding, you want to pick ones that are a day or two old. Stale croissants will absorb more of the custard and retain their shape and texture.
- Sugar – Melts down to form the bourbon caramel for this dessert.
- Water – Helps the sugar break down and caramelize.
- Heavy Cream – Makes the bourbon cream rich, luxurious, and silky.
- Bourbon – Adds a mysterious, smoky depth to the caramel.
- Eggs – Combined with milk, helps form the custard base for this bread pudding.
- Milk – Whisked together with the caramel and eggs to form the custard for this pudding.
- Slivered Almonds – Optional but they give texture and crunch to every bite.
- Powdered Sugar – The final flourish that turns humble leftover stale bread into an event.
How to Make Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding
I first saw Nigella Lawson make this recipe. It comes together in three easy steps, making the caramel, whisking up the custard, and then baking off the bread pudding. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you will have the ultimate dessert!
Time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a casserole dish. Tear up the croissants into chunks and arrange them in the dish.
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. If there are any sugar crystals on the side of the pan use a wet pastry brush to brush them down. Once the sugar has dissolved don’t stir the mixture. Allow it to cook until it has changed to a medium amber color, about five minutes.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, milk, and the bourbon. Return the pan to the heat, cooking it over low until all sugar crystals have dissolved.
Whisk together the eggs until they are slightly frothy. Gradually drizzle in the warm caramel while continually whisking. Pour the custard over the top of the croissants and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Make sure your croissants are fully submerged. Sprinkle the almonds over the top.
Bake the caramel croissant bread pudding for 20 minutes, or until the center is set and it is puffed and golden-brown.
Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with powdered sugar.
Whether you serve this for brunch, dinner, or dessert, it is spectacular on its own. However, you can take it even more over the top. Sprinkle in raisins or dark chocolate chips with the croissants. You can also serve this with your favorite fresh berries or a berry sauce.
- Saucepan – You will want to use a nonstick or stainless-steel saucepan for this recipe for the caramel.
- Whisk – The key to not curdling the eggs as you drizzle in the caramel is to continually whisk.
- One Quart Casserole Dish – This recipe fits a one-quart casserole or baking dish. Make sure the sides are at least two inches high as the croissants puff up with the custard.
- Pastry Brush – Keep a wet pastry brush or silicone brush nearby. If any sugar crystals appear on the side of your saucepan simply brush them down.
This breakfast casserole will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Make sure the top remains completely covered with either plastic wrap or foil.
Top Tip for Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding
Trust the process! When making the caramel for this bread pudding, you might be tempted to stir the melting sugar. Don’t. If you see sugar crystals forming on the side of your pan you can use a wet pastry or silicone brush to brush it down but hold back from stirring the sugar and water until it’s turned golden and amber.
Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding
- 1 quart baking dish
- 1 saucepan
- 1 pastry brush
- 4-5 mini croissants, torn
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs, large
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 cup milk
- slivered almonds for topping
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a one-quart casserole dish.
- Tear the croissants and arrange in the prepared casserole dish.
- Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Once the sugar has dissolved do not stir. Allow it to cook until it turns a medium amber color. If sugar crystals appear on the side of the pan use a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and the bourbon.
- Return to a low heat and stir until any hardened caramel has dissolved. Turn off heat.
- Whisk the eggs until they're well broken and mixed. Whisk in the milk.
- While continuously whisking pour in the caramel.
- Pour the caramel custard over the croissants. Press down to make sure they are submerged. Let it sit 10 minutes to absorb the custard. Sprinkle the almonds over the top.
- Bake the pudding for 20 minutes or until the center is set and it it's puffed and golden brown.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Enjoy!