Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

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When topped with vanilla ice cream, this warm chocolate bread pudding tastes like a grown-up brownie sundae.

bread pudding

Served warm out of the oven with vanilla ice cream, this chocolate bread pudding tastes like a grown-up brownie sundae. You’ll need quite a bit of chocolate for the recipe: 10 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate plus cocoa powder.  I also like to add a little bourbon, which doesn’t make it taste boozy like you might think, but rather enhances the chocolate flavor. If you are avoiding alcohol, you can use brewed coffee instead.

What you’ll need to make chocolate bread pudding


How to make chocolate bread pudding


Begin by chopping the chocolate. Set aside 2/3 of a cup, which you’ll use to sprinkle on top of the bread pudding before baking.


Bring the half and half, brown sugar, and cocoa powder to a boil in a medium saucepan. Off the heat, whisk in the chopped chocolate, bourbon and cinnamon.


In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.


Gradually pour the warm chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. (Be careful not to add it too fast or you’ll risk scrambling the eggs!)


It will look like this.


Slice the bread, then cut into 1-inch cubes.


Add the bread cubes to the chocolate custard and let soak for at least 1.5 hours, or overnight.


Pour the soaked bread into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, then scatter the reserved chocolate over top. Using a spoon, poke some of the chocolate down into the pudding.


Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until slightly puffed and set in the center.


Let cool slightly. If serving family style, dust the whole pan with Confectioners’ sugar.


For an even prettier presentation, spoon or cut portions onto plates and then dust with Confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Note: This recipe makes a ton. If you want to halve the recipe, it works well in an 8-inch square baking dish.

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Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

When topped with vanilla ice cream, this warm chocolate bread pudding tastes like a grown-up brownie sundae.

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes, plus plus 1.5 hours to let the bread soak


For the Chocolate Bread Pudding

  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 1¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large (about 1.3 lb) challah, cut into 1-inch cubes

For Serving

  • Confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)


For the Bread Pudding

  1. Chop the chocolate into ¼-inch chunks. Reserve ⅔ cup and set aside (you'll use this for sprinkling over the bread pudding before baking).
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the half and half, brown sugar and cocoa powder; bring to a boil. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining chocolate, bourbon and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and vanilla extract. Very gradually, pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to combine (pour slowly, especially at the beginning, or the hot chocolate mixture will scramble the eggs). Add the bread cubes to the custard; cover and let soak in the fridge for at least 1.5 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9x13x2-inch glass baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the chocolate-soaked bread to the prepared baking dish, and spread the bread around evenly. Scatter the reserved ⅔ cup of chocolate over top, then use a spoon to push about half of the chocolate bits down into the pudding. Bake until slightly puffed and set in the center, 45-50 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes, then serve warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Calories: 488
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Sugar: 32g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Sodium: 275mg
  • Cholesterol: 179mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Hi, Jenn –

    Are you letting the bread get stale or using it fresh?

    • — Terri on March 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, No need to let the bread get stale. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe last week with my homemade sourdough bread. I didn’t have challah or brioche bread available. Turned out really really good!!!! I cut off the crust which tends to be really hard. I also used Irish cream instead of bourbon cos it’s what I had, walnuts to add a little crunch and topped with toffee bits. It was my first time making bread pudding I was really happy with the results. Thank you for all your amazing recipes.

    • — Moe Johnson on February 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of the best desserts I have ever made! Absolutely delicious! Also made homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it! Thanks to Jenn, I bought the ice cream machine she recommended. It was just as delicious reheating individual servings in the microwave as when it first came out of the oven.

    • — Debra on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn.
    Can i make white chocolate instead of dark chocolate? If is yes what is the recipe for white chocolate sauce?i want to make this for new year.


    • Hi Fanny, I recommend sticking with dark chocolate here. Sorry!

  • Hi! I’m planning on making this very soon! My 1st question is, can I use french bread? And, can I use milk chocolate instead?

    • I don’t recommend those substitutes, Gigi. Sorry!

      • DRATS!!! I’ve read this too late regarding the French bread! Oh well it’s soaking now, I’ll let you know how it turned out tomorrow.

  • what kind of bread can be used instead of challah?

    • Hi Aparna, Brioche would also work nicely here. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jen! I LOVE Chocolate bread pudding, and make it for my family often. Unfortunately, I have celiac disease and have yet to find brioche or challah bread that is gluten free. Do you have any suggestions for a suitable substitute?? I NEED bread pudding! lol

    And – you are my go to for all things delicious!

    • Hi Lilli, I wish I had a good gluten-free alternative to suggest, but I’m at a loss – I’m sorry! Perhaps other readers can weigh in?

      • Mariposa Bakery makes Gluten Free Challah Bread that you can order online to be delivered to your home. I have also considered using a good Gluten Free French Bread baguette for this purpose. I have been Gluten Free since 2007.

        • — Emery on September 18, 2020
        • Reply
  • If you halve the recipe, how long do you cook it for? I am making this for Christmas dinner!

    • Hi Melvina, I’m guessing about 40 minutes. Enjoy and happy holidays!

  • Made this delicious bread pudding this weekend when we had friends over for dinner. It was amazing! I was planning on omitting the cinnamon. So glad I added it! It was perfect with the cinnamon. I am not a fan of bourbon, but it was perfect in this recipe. Not “boozy” at all. I used brioche bread. I served it with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries on top. EVERYONE loved it! It reheats well in the oven the next day!

  • This was great and easy to make. The only minor issue I had was the bourbon. I used half the suggested amount (about 1/6th of a cup), and there was definitely a bourbon taste which the kids did not like (probably a good thing, however)! Next time, no bourbon for me but will definitely make it again!

  • Had a quick question. You said instead of bourbon, you can substitute with rum. Would Captain Morgan Spiced Rum be an okay option?

    • Sure- hope you enjoy!

  • I made this over the holiday. I really did not care for it, however, I may have used chocolate with too much cocoa. It was an expensive mistake and no one really ate it. I threw most of it away. I did print out another bread pudding from this website that I look forward to trying in the near future

    • — Julie A Traver
    • Reply
  • So excited to try this but I am making this just for my family. Seems like it’s going to make too much for us. Would halving everything still turn out ok and just bake in a smaller pan?

    • — Rebekah Sigmon
    • Reply
    • Yes it makes a ton! You can definitely halve everything and bake in an 8-inch pan.

  • Love to make this but it sounds like a lot of bourbon, can I leave it out or substitute something non alcoholic

    • Hi Patti, It doesn’t really have a boozy taste in the end, but if you’d like to omit it you can substitute some strong coffee.

  • So many lovely recipes but why don’t you include ingredient quantities?
    Looked at picture of chocolate bread pudding in an effort to establish what goes into it.

    • Hi Karen, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, you can click the “recipe” button right under the recipe title. Hope that helps!

  • Living in a small town and deciding to make this for dessert at the last minute limited my choice of chocolate. We enjoyed it but the flavour would definitely be enhanced with a better quality chocolate. I served it with Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream for dessert with your beet and goat cheese salad and beef and potato stew to rave reviews.

  • Hi Jen, this looks so good! Could you make the whole recipe and bake in two separate pans, serving one and freezing the other for another day?

    • Hi Cathy, unfortunately I don’t think this will freeze well (because of all the dairy). Sorry!

  • Oh my goodness. I recommend halving this recipe & serving 24. A full recipe was way too much for 12. Lots of leftovers for the next day. MUST be served with ice cream to avoid chocolate overdose even in the seasoned chocoholic. It is incredibly rich & moist.


  • This sounds delicious, but I have a friend who avoids dairy. Would coconut cream work as a substitution for half and half?

    • D, It’s possible it might work with coconut milk but not coconut cream. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

  • I made this on the weekend and it was amazing. It was so rich and chocolatey. The challah bread is not readily available, so I used regular white sliced bread instead. I would imagine that with the egg bread, it would be even richer. The best thing was that it was a large pudding so we had leftovers for the following couple of days. Warmed up in the microwave, it was just as good as the first day. By the way, we served it with Reese’s peanut butter ice cream which was even more amazing.

  • This was absolutely fantastic!

    • — Kathy Robinson
    • Reply
  • I made this delicious dessert and it is delectable! I could not find challah bread so I used a loaf of Brioche french bread and the recipe turned out well. We added a little caramel sauce and served it warm with ice cream. Delish! I like it cold almost as much as I do warm.

  • I made this decadent dessert for Valentine’s Day. Oh my goodness!! Best bread pudding ever!! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous recipe!!!

  • Unbelievable! I made this for my husband for Valentine’s Day because we all know nothing says “love” like chocolate. . . and he absolutely loved it. He called it “a gastronomic explosion of chocolate deliciousness.” And it truly is. Very easy straightforward instructions even for the novice cook. This is definitely a keeper in my recipe file.

  • I made your suggested Valentine’s Day meal and it was delectable. Cleanup today was easy because I made the stew last night as you suggested. I ended up making my own challah for the pudding. Thanks for the recipes and the menu.

    • You’re welcome, Elizabeth! So glad it turned out well 🙂

  • Can I use brioche for the bread? How many people will this serve?

    Thanks so much!

    • — Marilyn Dolce Davis
    • Reply
    • Yes, Marilyn — brioche will work beautifully. Serves 12 easily.

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me. It’s going in the oven soon! We have exactly 12 people, so I hope no one wants seconds. I can hardly wait to taste it.

        • — Marilyn Dolce Davis
        • Reply
  • I made this tonite for some friends. I only made one change. I substituted Hawaiian rolls for the challah. I did marinate it overnight. It was delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenn, I would like to make a gluten-free version of this recipe. What can I substitute flour for? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Natalie, Are you sure you’re asking about this recipe? There’s no flour in it (other than what’s in the bread) and it’d be hard to make it gluten-free.

      • Sorry for the mix-up! Yes, I was asking about a different recipe – beef stew with carrots and potatoes – but already found this question answered in the comments for that recipe. Thanks for the quick follow-up, Jenn.

  • I want to make this for Valentine’s Day but I cannot find Challah bread. Is there another type of bread I could Substitute?

    • Hi Elizabeth, Brioche would be a good substitute.

  • Nothing says, “I love you,” like homemade treats, right! This recipe is definitely an easy Valentine’s Day dessert for my kids. Yummy!

  • I would probably use panettone. Can’t wait to make it when I get home.

  • can I make this without bourbon?

    • Yes, Patsy, but I would replace it with rum or coffee.

  • Woukd love to get a recipe for regular bread pudding ( not too many chocolate lovers in the family). Thank you !

  • We don’t half and half in this country. What can I use instead? Stupid country.
    Regards, Judy

    • Judy, You can use half milk, half heavy cream.

      • Thank you very much but what quantities. Sorry to be a nuisance.

        • No problem! I would use 2 cups of milk and 2 cups heavy cream. Enjoy!

  • What is the best way to keep the bread pudding and how do you recommend reheating it?

    • Hi Kate, I would refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in the oven at 325°F until warm.

  • Hi Jen,

    I am so excited to get this recipe! Just one question though, can I use sourdough bread instead of challah? That’s just what I have on hand. Thank you!
    Happy Valentines!

    • Hi Lu, It will lend a different flavor but it should work. Please let me know how it turns out!

      • Hi Jen,

        I just made the bread pudding. We had friends over so I used Challah as your ur recipe stated. I didn’t want to take risk this time. Everybody loved it! I will give you feedback next time when I use sourdough. lol

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