This luxurious eggnog bread pudding with brown sugar bourbon sauce is an elegant holiday dessert made with buttery croissants soaked in a festive eggnog custard. The sweet and boozy sauce is the perfect finish.
What Makes This Dessert Special
The original concept of a bread pudding was to use up days old bread that had started to go stale. When soaked in a flavorful custard base, baked, and then often drizzled with some variety of sauce or syrup, an entirely new dish was born.
Though chunks of French bread are a popular choice, this eggnog bread pudding uses croissants instead, and let me tell you, use of the flaky buttery layered pastries really adds an extra level of interest to this dish.
Chopped pecans are added for some extra crunch to the already crispy top of the bread pudding. Beneath, you have the softer eggnog custard-soaked croissant pieces, held sturdy by the use of eggs.
The piece de resistance is the warm brown sugar bourbon sauce that gets drizzled onto each individual serving. Trust me, do not make this eggnog bread pudding without also making that sauce... it's what truly makes this entire dessert.
Put this one on your list for your holiday spread this season - you won't regret it.
Which Ingredients Do I Need To Make This?
- Croissants - I used a bag of mini croissants from my grocery store's bakery section. The bag contained 12 ounces of croissants. You can use full-sized croissants instead as long as the amount is generally the same
- Butter - I used unsalted butter to melt over the croissants and also in the bourbon sauce. If you use salted, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Eggnog - No need to use anything super expensive or fancy, but feel free to use your favorite variety here.
- Milk - I used whole milk. You can use lower fat versions, but the custard won't be quite as rich or thick. You can also get even more sassy and use half and half instead.
- Eggs - 6 large sized eggs will structure the bread pudding.
- Nutmeg, Vanilla, and Salt - these things will punch up the flavor in the custard base... eggnog and nutmeg do love each other so. Vanilla is also used in the brown sugar bourbon sauce.
- Chopped Pecans - I sprinkled these over the top of the dish before baking to add even more crunch and flavor. You can use walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts if you prefer.
- Brown Sugar - The bourbon sauce uses brown sugar for extra rich flavor.
- Heavy Cream - Just a quarter cup to add richness to the bourbon sauce.
- Bourbon Whiskey - Again, no need to go fancy here, and if all you have are non-bourbon whiskeys in your cabinet, go ahead and use it.
How Much Time Do I Need?
Though this is a very simple recipe, it will take a little planning. You'll need about 15 minutes to create the custard that will become the base for the eggnog bread pudding.
Once the croissants are soaked with the eggnog mixture, you'll want to let the dish rest in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, up to 24 hours. This will let all of that flavorful goodness fully soak into the croissants.
Once the dish has rested in the fridge, it will need anywhere from 40-55 minutes in the oven to set the center and brown and crisp up the top.
When the dish comes out of the oven, it's best to let it cool for 20-30 minutes to let the center fully firm up. You can make the brown sugar bourbon sauce during the cooling period, since it comes together quickly and only takes a few minutes.
So, like many special holiday treats, this one takes a little time and a little planning, but the execution is very simple and the result is SOOO worth it!
Is This A Good Make Ahead Recipe?
Because eggnog bread pudding requires a good rest time in the fridge to soak in all of that custardy goodness, this is, by nature, a make ahead dessert. You can prepare the bread pudding a full 24 hours in advance and then just make sure you leave yourself about an hour and a half for baking and cooling.
You can also prepare the brown sugar bourbon sauce in advance and then just reheat in the microwave prior to serving.
If you want to prepare a fully-baked bread pudding in advance, please follow reheating instructions below.
How To Reheat Bread Pudding
This eggnog bread pudding is best when reheated in the oven. Preheat to 350F and cover the dish with aluminum foil. If the bread pudding looks like it has dried out, drizzle on a little extra eggnog or milk to add moisture. Reheat in the oven, covered, until warmed through. 10-15 minutes is a good estimate, but check often. You can remove the aluminum foil near the end to crisp up the top.Print
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