Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

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With a vanilla and cinnamon scented custard, baked apples and rum-soaked raisins, this bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food.

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It’s taken Michael and me almost ten years of marriage (and lots of gentle hinting) to figure out Valentine’s Day. He finally understands that half-wilted roses from the grocery store – no doubt purchased on his way home from work – are not the key to my affection. And I finally realized that he appreciates a homemade dinner, dessert, anything way more than a gift that eventually shows up on our credit card bill. That’s my guy, and that’s where this insanely good bread pudding comes in.

What you’ll need to make bread pudding

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I know what you’re thinking — it’s not chocolate. But with a vanilla and cinnamon scented custard, tart baked apples and rum-soaked raisins, it’s the ultimate comfort food and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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How to make bread pudding

It’s also easy to make. You simply give the raisins a quick soak in rum, cut up an apple and challah, whisk the custard, toss it all together and forget about it in the oven for an hour.
Apple raisin bread pudding 3a

It’s the kind of dessert you pile into a bowl piping hot and top with melting vanilla ice cream…then curl up on the sofa, watch a good movie and savor every bite.

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Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

With a vanilla and cinnamon scented custard, baked apples and rum-soaked raisins, this bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food.

Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark or spiced rum
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups packed challah or brioche cubes, from one loaf with crust removed (you won't use entire loaf)
  • 1 large tart baking apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, cut into 1/8-inch slices and then cut in half
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11x7-inch glass (or equivalent 2-quart) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place raisins and rum in a shallow bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Let raisins soak in rum while you prepare other ingredients.
  3. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Add challah cubes, sliced apples and raisins with rum and fold together with a large spatula. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, flatten with spatula and make sure apples and raisins are evenly distributed. Let stand 15 minutes.
  4. Bake bread pudding until top is golden and center is set, about 55-65 minutes. Spoon into bowls, top with vanilla ice cream and serve.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread pudding can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap or in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving, reheat in the oven until warm.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I have made this twice and hubby and I absolutely loved it. I want to make it again but after making the marbled chocolate cake a second time after you added the metric measure and seeing the difference in texture, I wonder if this will be even better if I used accurate measures? Help please

    • — Nenny on May 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Nenny, I just added the metric conversion for this – enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made this for the first time this Thanksgiving with the leftover bread from my stuffing. This is the best and easiest recipe for Bread pudding I’ve tried, and I’ve been trying a new recipe every year for a while. I did use 2% milk, it was fine. Next time I think I will try brown sugar instead (I have a sweet tooth), and I will increase the rum.

    • — Diana M. on November 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, I’ve made this twice and it came out delicious the first time. The second time, I left it in the oven after it finished cooking with the oven turned off. When I finally took it out, the bread had become quite dry. I’ve refrigerated it now. Do you have any suggestions on how I can salvage it?

    • — SP on November 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • That’s a tough one SP – Prior to reheating it, you could try sprinkling it with a little water or milk to moisten it up. Also, a little ice cream will moisten things up nicely too. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, I want to make this with my home made bread. Could you please estimate how much bread to use (by weight?)

    • — Deniza on October 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Deniza, I’m guesstimating that you’d need 1/2 – 3/4 of a pound of bread. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • It sounds wonderful. I cannot find challah bread. What can I use as a substitute?

    Thank you.

    • — Sharon Marshall on April 9, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Sharon, Brioche would be a good substitute. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2018
      • Reply
  • When finished do we store in the refrigerator or on the counter?

    • — Scott on February 10, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Scott, I’d keep it in the fridge and reheat to serve.

      • — Jenn on February 10, 2018
      • Reply
    • Would it be too much to make a caramel sauce to go over this and top with ice cream?

      • — Joyce DeLucia on April 1, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Joyce, This is pretty sweet as is, so you don’t need it, but I think you could get away with it. 🙂 If you’re serving this to a crowd, I’d suggest topping each serving with ice cream and then letting people drizzle the caramel sauce on top if they choose to. Hope that helps!

        • — Jenn on April 2, 2019
        • Reply
  • I’m a big fan of bread pudding and this was the BEST I’ve ever had! I used Honeycrisp apple, a combination of raisins and sultanas, and 2.5 tbsp of dark rum. A huge hit at brunch with friends!

    • — Flo on December 5, 2017
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this pudding twice now it’s absolutely delicious everyone loves it and it’s so simple to make.

    • — Mary P on November 26, 2017
    • Reply
  • Can I use 2% milk?

    • You can, but it won’t be nearly as rich :).

  • Absolutely amazing…hubby loved it. Have to hide the leftovers from him.

  • Hi… What size baking dish are you using?

    • Hi Debby, you’ll need an 11×7-inch glass (or equivalent 2-quart) baking dish. Hope you enjoy!

      • I thank you (and my husband will, too!)

      • Enjoy it??? Oh, yeah. My hub and I love bread pudding and I’ve tried many different recipes, but THIS one? The absolute best ever! Also, I’d never tasted challah bread and boy have I been missing out. Delicious. Thank you!

  • Hey Jenn, can I make this ahead of time and just let it sit longer before baking? I was hoping to let it sit overnight but didn’t want it to get weird texture-wise…

    • Yep that’s fine, Erin. Hope you like it!

  • I’ve made this recipe about 4 times now and each time, it has been a big hit! The only modification I made was to reduce the sugar a bit from 1 cup to 3/4 cups. Also, I make a separate butter rum sauce to pour on top of each serving when I plate it. The butter rum sauce really adds that extra kick to make this an unforgettable bread pudding!

  • I made this for guests and it was wonderful. I made a few tweaks to the recipe. First I lightly toasted the challah. I doubled the rum in the recipe and used honey crisp apples since they soften a little better than Granny Smith. Finally I baked for 40 min in individual ramekins which I set in a pan with a little water. Looks wonderful with a scoop of ice cream on top. It was a big hit

  • Made this for a dinner party over the weekend, and it was a big hit! I soaked the raisins earlier in the day, so they were super plump and rum yummy! My love grew up in England, and he gave it two thumbs up! And the house smelled lovey while this was baking 🙂

  • I have made this pudding on several different occasions. It is delicious! It has become one of my husband’s favorite desserts. I didn’t make any changes – it is already perfect!

  • Can you use Kings Hawaiin Rolls … and decrease the sugar?
    Thanks this looks wonderful

    • Hi Alli, I’ve never tried it that way, but I think it should work. I’d love to know how it turns out if you prepare it with these!

  • I have made this dessert for the past 2 years to rave reviews from everyone! I’ve decreased the sugar to half and it makes no difference to how delicious it turns out. I’ve experimented with all types of fruit combinations; blueberry, apple, peach, rhubarb, raspberry…..all are delicious and add sugar to this dessert. I’ve also baked this, let it cool, then frozen it and warmed it up to serve. Absolutely delicious! A great item to bring to the cottage frozen and then serve for breakfast with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream! You won’t be disappointed, very easy to make and everyone will be impressed. Make sure to mash the bread down in the milk with a potato masher, this really creates that “custard” texture when the bread is thoroughly soaked. Enjoy!

  • Making this for Easter for 9 people. Can I use an 9×12 inch glass baking dish? Should I make two?

    P.S. This is husband’s very favorite dessert.

    • Hi Jana, I think you can stick to one batch. You may need to decrease the cooking time just a tiny bit as it will not be quite as thick in the larger baking dish. I’d start checking it at about 50 minutes. Glad to hear it’s your husbands fave :).

  • Excellent….as per usual. I used 1/3 cup sugar and raisin panettone bread I was given for Xmas and absently threw in the freezer. Someone else gave me a loaf full of candied peel. Not sure why I inspired bread-presents this year as I rarely eat it! Anyway, think it might work here too….Thx!

    • I’m taking this for a ladies’ luncheon. Can I assemble it the night before and bake it mid-morning so it will be warm when I take it?
      Denise Z.

      • — Denise Zagrocki on October 28, 2019
      • Reply
      • Sure, Denise, that will work. Hope everyone enjoys!

        • — Jenn on October 29, 2019
        • Reply
  • I really don’t like raisins in baked dishes–could I leave them out entirely, or would the lack of the rum flavor change it too much?

    • Julie, I think it would fine to leave the raisins out here. Hope you enjoy!

  • I don’t have a microwave. Can I do the raisins and rum on the stove?

    • Hi Eileen, Yes, that will work just fine.

  • can i replace the rum with something else?
    thank you

    • Hi Mona, Yes, you can use apple cider or apple juice.

  • Hi Jenn, what could I use as a rum substitute? Looks yumm, can’t wait to try it out!

    • Hi Mona, Apple cider would work.

  • Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it?

  • Hi Jen,
    Do you think I can use raisin challah insted of plain Challah for this recipe? Your recipes are awesome and very easy to follow. Love it.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Sank, Absolutely, I think raisin challah will work well.

  • This is a desert you’ll never forget. Apple rum raisin bread pudding. I am going to make it this weekend and top it off with vanilla ice cream. this is for those with impeccable taste. ” Just Scrumptious”

  • How far in advance do you think this could could be made– and then cooked while dinner is served –so it will be piping hot? I’ve made it before and yum, but thinking for a dinner party this weekend…

    • Hi Jen, You can make it the night before or in the morning and refrigerate it. Then just bake it when you’re ready to serve.

  • Whipped it up tonight, very simple and delicious. One of the best bread and butter pudding recipes I’ve used. Will defiantly make again, may add a little less sugar next time other than that couldn’t fault it.

  • I sometimes sprinkle the top with more granulated sugar to create a crunchy topping. yummmmm

  • Made it lots of times and a hit each time, this time, I didn’t have apples but since it was Peach time in Niagara, I put in 3 peaches and replaced the sugar with honey. mmmmmDelish! Served with Peach Ice Cream! What a hit!

  • This looks incredible. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Made this with some light rum. A-mazing is the word.

  • didn’t wait for Valentine’s day. My honey rocks!Used Amaretto instead. Turned out fantastico!

  • Made this yesterday and it was a huge hit. Super easy too. I sprinkled some cinnamon on the vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. Thanks!

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