Croissant Bread Pudding: Comfort food at its best! Airy, buttery croissants baked in a sweet, vanilla-scented custard. Quick & easy recipe!

Croissant bread pudding baked in an oval dish with powdered sugar on top.

Today I’m sharing what could possibly be comfiest comfort food in all the land: croissant bread pudding!

This croissant bread pudding recipe takes just 10 minutes of active time and it bakes up so incredibly delicious!

Think creme brulee, but with airy, buttery croissants added. Yes!

The custard is slightly sweet, eggy, and rich, almost like melted ice cream. It’s the perfect vehicle for sweetly aromatic vanilla.

When it comes to comfort foods, this one probably ranks in my top 3 favorites. I put it right up there with freshly baked soft chocolate chip cookies and ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese!

Croissant bread pudding recipe, prepared and presented on a white background with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Table of Contents

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What is croissant bread pudding?

I’ve never forgotten the first time I heard about bread pudding. I was at my grandmother’s house for dinner (she was a good baker) and she told us she had one in the oven for dessert. I thought it sounded so weird!

But boy did I learn. Later on that night, when I tried it, I was astonished. It’s so good!

This version is made with croissants, which are a French pastry that layers yeast dough with thin sheets of cold butter, creating a flaky, airy result like nothing else.

The croissants are soaked in a creamy vanilla custard and baked to perfection.

The final dish is soft, a little sweet, and so buttery good.

Why this is the best croissant bread pudding recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: There’s the perfect balance of sweetness, aromatic vanilla, and buttery pastry.
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of basics to make it.
  3. Easy to make: It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes of active time.
  4. Feeds a crowd: This recipe makes enough to feed 10 people, at least! So it’s perfect for entertaining.

Ingredients

Ingredients for making croissant bread pudding, with text labels.

Croissants: You can make your own or use store-bought, but either way it’s best if they’re stale. You can speed this process up by toasting them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Golden raisins: I love golden raisins because they’re so plump and juicy, and they also look like little golden jewels! But if you’re not a fan, you can either leave them out or replace them with another kind of fruit.

Milk & Cream: These ingredients form the basis of the custard. Use whatever kind of milk you have on hand plus heavy whipping cream, or just use 3 cups of half and half.

Sugar: Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like. As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.

Eggs: Large eggs add flavor and richness, but they also help to set the custard. You’ll need 3 whole eggs plus the yolks only from 2 more.

Butter: I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result. Melt the butter and allow it to cool a bit before whisking it into the custard for added flavor.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a subtly sweet flavor without being at all sugary.

For a more pronounced flavor, try using vanilla bean paste. You could also split a vanilla bean down the center lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add those.

Or you could try this with an altogether different type of extract or flavoring, such as:

Or anything else you have on hand!

Salt: Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful! I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.

Special equipment

How to make croissant bread pudding

This easy recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Arrange the croissants

Place the croissants into the baking dish, sprinkling the raisins all around and in between.

Croissants and golden raisins arranged in a baking dish.

Step 2: Make the custard

Next, put the milk, cream, sugar, eggs, yolks, melted butter, vanilla, and salt in a big bowl.

Bread pudding custard ingredients in a large spouted bowl.

And whisk them all together until smooth.

Whisking the custard for bread pudding.

Step 3: Let it soak

Pour the mixture over the croissants and golden raisins.

Pouring custard over croissants.

Cover the dish tightly with foil, and allow the croissants to sit in the custard and soak it all up.

Step 4: Bake

Slide the baking dish into the oven and allow it to bake, filling your whole house with its delicately sweet aroma.

You’ll know your croissant bread pudding is done baking when the custard is set around the outside edges but still a little wobbly towards the center. Remember, it will continue to firm up as it cools!

How to serve

I like just a light dusting of powdered sugar on top for garnish, but this dish is also really good with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, raspberry sauce, or creme anglaise, or with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

Enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, as a snack, or for dessert. It’s delicious hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Expert tips

Use stale croissants: Dry, stale bread will soak up the custard better than moist and fresh croissants. So, split them horizontally and leave them out overnight, or toast them in the oven a bit before soaking them in the custard.

Use room temperature ingredients: If your ingredients are cold, you’ll end up with little globules of butter in your custard. It’s fine, it will melt and soak in as it bakes, but if you prefer the look of a smooth custard this little detail will make all the difference.

Allow plenty of time to soak: I like to leave my croissant bread pudding in the fridge overnight to soak. If you don’t have that kind of time it’s fine, but do allow it at least an hour if you can.

Brown the top: I like my bread pudding nice and soft, so I bake it with foil on top so it kinda steams. But if you want a toasty browned top, pull the foil off for the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking.

Bread pudding with croissants recipe, speckled with golden raisins and dusted with powdered sugar.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my bread pudding runny?

If you notice a lot of liquid at the bottom of your baking dish, it’s most likely because the croissants didn’t absorb the custard properly.

Make sure your croissants are dry or stale, and allow them plenty of time to soak. It’s also a good idea to push them down into the liquid every so often, to submerge and encourage them.

Can this be made ahead?

It’s a good idea to make your croissant bread pudding ahead of time. It takes a while to soak, bake, and cool.

How to store leftovers?

Croissant bread pudding can sit out at room temperature for a few hours, but any longer than that and it should probably go into the fridge.

Wrap it up tightly and it should keep, chilled, for around a week.

Or you can freeze it. It should last in the freezer for a couple of months, and can be thawed in the fridge and re-warmed in the microwave or in a 170-degree F oven until heated through.

What is the serving size?


This recipe serves at least 10 people generously.

The nutritional info provided in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/10th the whole batch. It does not include any toppings.

Bread pudding with croissants and a rich, vanilla-scented custard.

A few more of my favorite vanilla-infused recipes

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Croissant bread pudding baked in an oval dish with powdered sugar on top.
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Croissant Bread Pudding

Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Soaking Time:: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Croissant Bread Pudding: Comfort food at its best! Airy, buttery croissants soaked in a sweet, vanilla-scented custard. Quick & easy recipe!

Ingredients

  • 9 (513 g) croissants, preferably stale
  • 1/4 cup (36.25 g) golden raisins, (optional)
  • 2 cups (488 g) milk, (whatever kind you keep on hand)
  • 1 cups (238 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 (132 g) eggs, large
  • 2 (36 g) egg yolks, large
  • 1/4 cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • powdered sugar, (optional garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Arrange the croissants in a 3-quart baking dish, sprinkling the golden raisins in between.
  • Place the milk, cream, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, melted butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together until combined.
  • Pour the mixture over the croissants and allow them to soak in the liquid for at least 1 hour (or preferably overnight).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the croissant bread pudding (covered) until the custard is set around the edges but still slightly wobbly towards the center (approx. 1 hour).
  • Garnish with powdered sugar (optional).
Serving: 0.1batch, Calories: 528kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 182mg, Sodium: 368mg, Potassium: 238mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 1270IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
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