Our series “From Scratch” features baking recipes that are easy as pie. This sweet bread pudding from lifestyle expert Marisa Brahney swaps out the traditional brioche bread for the most famous French pastry: the croissant.
A bread pudding is one of those desserts that is always welcomed, the kind that is oohed and aahed at whenever people see it headed their way. After every bite of spongy bread and custard-laced fruit, you say “mmmm” as loudly as possible, followed by the words: “I can’t have another bite.” But, you do. You always do. And we’re warning you now: This bread pudding will lure you and your fork into having many, many bites.
Typically made with challah or brioche bread (and historically with stale bread), this wow-worthy version uses croissants to make it extra French-ified. Not only is this croissant bread pudding super easy to put together, but it can be made ahead of time and even put together the night before — simply take it out and bake it before your guests arrive.
The stars of the dish are the Wolferman’s Bakery almond croissants. These are buttery and flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Now that you have your bread, feel free to get creative with the fruit, switching out whatever is in season: blueberries or blackberries for summer, pear or apple for the fall and winter months. Finish it with preserves or syrups of your choice. I’m partial to the lemon curd or raspberry preserves for this version, but the options are virtually endless!
To make this dessert strictly for adults, I added bourbon. I really like how the liquor pairs with the almond flavors in the croissant. Even without the bourbon, it will still be delicious.
Croissant Bread Pudding
- 8 Wolferman’s Bakery almond croissants (baked according to package directions and roughly chopped (best if croissants are a day old))
- 6 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
- Place croissant pieces evenly in baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream, and milk.
- Add cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon, and whisk again.
- Pour mixture evenly over top of croissant pieces and toss with hands to coat the croissants.
- Let sit for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight (covered and refrigerated).
- Scatter raspberries over the mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, checking to ensure croissant pieces become lightly browned but not burned.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.