This easy Blueberry Bread Pudding is like summer on a plate, complete with a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream. Is it breakfast? Is it dessert? The answer is yes!
Loaded with fresh blueberries, this creamy, custardy dessert takes only a few minutes to create and is the perfect make-ahead treat.
What is Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding has been around for a really long time. I’m talking like, 12th century old. It started as a way for people to use up any leftover or stale bread that they had laying around.
Baking broken pieces of bread with a custardy mixture of eggs, cream and sugar resulted in a rustic but heavenly dessert.
In England, bread pudding was known as “poor man’s pudding” due to its inexpensive ingredients. Well, if this Blueberry Bread Pudding is poor, then I don’t wanna be rich!
Ingredients for Blueberry Bread Pudding
I said it was an easy recipe, and I keep my promises. Here’s all you’ll need to make this delicious dessert:
How to Make Blueberry Bread Pudding
Break up the bread into bite sized pieces. I don’t even bother with a knife, I just use my hands. Put the bread and the fresh blueberries into a baking dish. Then, make the custard.
You’ll make the custard by combining eggs, half and half, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. This mixture should coat the bread cubes completely, ensuring the silky texture that bread pudding is famous for.
The secret to perfect bread pudding is the bread’s ability to soak up the custard. So you’ll want to cover it and weigh it down for a bit before baking. This will allow the bread to get maximum soak time.
The longer you can let it sit, the better. Overnight is great, but if you don’t have time for that, you’ll be fine letting it sit for an hour or two.
Then, bake it! Allow it to cool before you slice it into squares. It can still be slightly warm if you can’t wait to dig into this sweet treat!
How to tell when bread pudding is done
Telltale signs that this blueberry bread pudding is done are the edges are puffed and may slightly pull away from the baking dish, and that the center is set but still a bit jiggly.
My oven takes a full hour to bake this easy dessert recipe to perfection. My recommendation is to check at 55 minutes and add another 5-10 minutes based on your oven.
Again, you’re looking for puffed edges and a mostly firm but slightly jiggly center.
How to Serve this Blueberry Bread Pudding
I could literally stand at the counter and eat this bread pudding right out of the baking dish. But if you’d like to be more civilized, here are some fun ideas for toppings:
- Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries: Top your blueberry bread pudding with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a handful of additional fresh blueberries.
- Creme Anglaise: A classic topping for bread pudding, pour this vanilla sauce made with sugar, egg yolks and hot milk over top for a dreamy finishing touch.
- Caramel Drizzle: A drizzle of warm caramel sauce adds a luscious richness to the blueberries that is totally awesome.
- Vanilla Ice Cream: Serve warm squares of blueberry bread pudding with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream. My favorite!
- Almond or Pecan Crunch: Add a nutty crunch by sprinkling toasted almond slices or chopped pecans on top of the bread pudding.
What kind of bread should you use to make Blueberry Bread Pudding?
We’re using what I consider to be the best, if not the only, choice for a really memorable bread pudding – brioche bread. Brioche is a sweet, eggy type of bread, similar to challah (which would be the only other respectable choice of bread when you’re making bread pudding).
What’s cool about brioche is that, unlike challah, you can find it in the roll or burger bun form. My go-to brioche hamburger bun is made by King’s Hawaiian. One package is just the right amount for this recipe.
Super crusty breads like sourdough, Italian bread or even French bread should be reserved for heartier stratas and stuffings.
How is bread pudding different from a French toast casserole?
Although similar to bread pudding, a French toast casserole uses whole slices of bread instead of bite sized pieces.
And while bread pudding is entirely smooth and silky, French toast casserole is left a little bit crusty.
It’s typical to top French toast casserole with maple syrup or powdered sugar, while bread pudding is traditionally finished with more dessert-like toppings like ice cream or whipped cream.
How to Store Blueberry Bread Pudding
The best way to store blueberry bread pudding is in individual portions. Wrap each square tightly in plastic wrap and store the servings in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Blueberry bread pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that, you’ll want to freeze it.
How to Reheat Blueberry Bread Pudding
Reheat this bread pudding in the microwave or in a 350 degree oven until heated through.
When you make this Blueberry Bread Pudding, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more blueberry recipes, try these:
- The Best Peach Blueberry Cobbler
- Homemade Blueberry Pie (That is not Runny!)
- Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake (New York Style)
For more pudding recipes, try these:
- Chocolate Chip Brioche Bread Pudding
- Easy Kugel Recipe (Jewish Noodle Pudding)
- Stovetop Rice Pudding
Easy Blueberry Bread Pudding Recipe with Brioche
- 10 cups brioche bread torn into bite-sized cubes
- 2 cups blueberries
- 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups half and half
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- zest of 2 lemons
- Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes and blueberries evenly in the prepared baking dish (you want there to be blueberries in every bite).
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the cream cheese, half and half, vanilla and lemon zest and whisk to combine. (The cream cheese will still be chunky.)
- Pour the custard mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with another baking dish. Refrigerate at least one hour, up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the bread pudding and bake for 55-60 minutes, until center is set. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.