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Apple Bread Pudding

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close up shot of a slice of Apple Bread Pudding topped with ice cream on a plate
Our gooey homemade caramel apple bread pudding is a decadent dessert that will tantalize your taste buds.
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Table of Contents
  1. Apple Bread Pudding Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Apple Bread Pudding Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Is there anything better than a warm, gooey slice of apple bread pudding? The rich, creamy custard is infused with the flavor of apples and cinnamon, and the soft texture of the bread is irresistible.

close up shot of a slice of Apple Bread Pudding topped with ice cream on a plate

Apple Bread Pudding Ingredients

Apple Bread Pudding raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Bread Pudding

  • 8 cups (1 pound loaf) challah bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice blend
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15-ounce cans) spiced apples, juices drained and diced into ½-inch pieces

PRO TIP:

You can find canned spiced apples in the baking aisle, where you find canned fruit pie fillings. These are NOT pie-filling apples. They are in a liquid syrup that has spices added, like cinnamon. You will want to drain the juices really well first when used for baking.

For the Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup half & half
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

PRO TIP:

If the only bread you have is fresh, but you really want to make this caramel apple bread pudding recipe, then bake bread at 250°F for 10 minutes on a sheet after cubing. This will help dry it out so it can soak up more custard.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

APPLES: You can also use peeled and diced fresh apples in this recipe, especially if you have excess during apple season. You will need 3 cups total. Since your fresh apples do not have the added spices that the canned ones do, you will want to add an extra 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your egg mixture. You can use apple varieties such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith apples.

BREAD: I think enriched bread such as challah work best for sweet bread pudding. You can use brioche, challah, or another egg enriched 1 pound loaf of bread. If you cut your bread into cubes, then lay it out onto a baking sheet to dry out a bit on the counter, it will absorb your egg mixture better and will not need as long to refrigerate to soak up the egg into the bread cubes.

CARAMEL SAUCE: If you really want to keep this a quick and easy recipe, you can substitute the homemade caramel sauce for a good quality jarred caramel sauce. If you do not want to use all the caramel sauce to pour over your apple bread pudding, you can store the remaining sauce in a lidded jar, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 month. Half-pint mason jars work great for this. You can reheat the sauce in a saucepan on low or in the microwave for 30 seconds (with the lid removed) or until heated through.

APPLE PIE SPICE: If you do not have an apple pie spice blend, you can create your own by combining 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice. You can easily double or triple this amount and store the extra spice blend in a small lidded jar. This will keep in your spice cabinet for up to a year. 

How to Make This Apple Bread Pudding Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

This is a great make-ahead dessert as it does best the longer it is refrigerated before baking to allow the bread cubes to absorb all the custard mixture. I would not chill it for longer than 24 hours. Just remember to allow your baking dish to warm up and take the chill off before baking it. You do not want to risk your glass baking dish breaking in the oven from the shock of a hot oven and a cold dish.

STEP ONE: Using a pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter onto the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, half & half, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, apple pie spice blend, and salt. Be sure that all the eggs are well beaten, and all the ingredients are well combined.

eggs, half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, apple pie spice and salt whisked in a bowl

STEP THREE: Into the bottom of the buttered baking pan, place an even layer of half of the cubed challah bread.

PRO TIP:

Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces with a serrated bread knife for just the right size in this recipe.

cubed challah bread placed into the baking dish

STEP FOUR: Sprinkle half of the diced spiced apples evenly over the top of the layer of cubed bread.

half the apples sprinkled over the bread

STEP FIVE: Repeat with a second layer of cubed challah bread and diced spiced apples.

STEP SIX: Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread and apples, making sure you cover all the bread with the egg mixture. You can use the back of a large spoon to push any pieces of bread into the egg mixture if they did not get covered when you were pouring it over the bread.

egg mixture poured over the bread and apples in a baking dish

STEP SEVEN: Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and drizzle it over the entire top of the bread pudding.

butter drizzled over the bread in a baking dish

STEP EIGHT: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to overnight to let the bread soak up the liquid mixture.

STEP NINE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. While your oven is preheating, allow your baking dish to sit at room temperature to warm up before placing it into a hot oven. This is especially important if you are using a glass baking dish.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your bread pudding as the suggested baking time approaches.

STEP TEN: Bake the apple bread pudding for 45 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. 

bake until top is golden in a baking dish

STEP ELEVEN: While your apple bread pudding finishes baking, you can make your caramel sauce by adding the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar to a saucepan on medium heat. You will melt your butter and cook your sugars for 5 to 6 minutes, whisking constantly or until the mixture reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer. Be very careful not to let your sugars burn. 

butter, sugar, and brown sugar whisked in a pan

STEP TWELVE: Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the half & half, vanilla extract, and salt until fully incorporated. Be very careful working with hot sugars like this caramel sauce. It can cause severe burns if not handled properly.

half and half , vanilla and salt whisked in a pan

STEP THIRTEEN: When your apple bread pudding comes out of the oven, you will slowly pour the caramel sauce over the top of the warm bread pudding. Be sure to reserve about ½ cup of the caramel sauce to serve over individual servings of the apple bread pudding. The caramel sauce will make approximately 1½ cups of sauce.

PRO TIP:

Allow the apple pie bread pudding to rest for 15 minutes, for the eggs to firm up before slicing and serving.

How To Serve

Be sure to serve this perfect dessert warm with a scoop of ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream for the ultimate comfort food indulgence. Add a warm mug of apple cider or a homemade pumpkin spice latte to wash it down.

Don’t forget to try our peach bread pudding and banana bread pudding for two more flavor variations on this delicious dessert.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store any leftover apple bread pudding covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. You can reheat individual servings in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.

IN THE FREEZER: For longer storage, you can freeze homemade bread pudding for up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in a freezer bag. When ready to enjoy, place it in the fridge to thaw.

a overhead shot of a piece of apple bread pudding on a spatula

This decadent dessert is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and a delicious way to use up extra bread. The best part? It’s easy to make at home. Serve this delightful dish warm or cold, and enjoy every bite!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of bread is best for this recipe?

Any stale or day-old bread works, especially brioche or challah bread, in this easy bread pudding recipe.

Can you freeze bread pudding?

The apple cinnamon bread pudding will keep well-wrapped in the freezer for up to three months.

Should this be served warm or cold?

Bread pudding is best served warm but would also be delicious cold.

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close up shot of a slice of Apple Bread Pudding topped with ice cream on a plate

Apple Bread Pudding

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Our gooey homemade caramel apple bread pudding is a decadent dessert that will tantalize your taste buds.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Bread pudding

  • 8 cups challah bread, (1 pound) cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice blend
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 30 ounces spiced apples, juices drained and diced into ½-inch pieces

Caramel sauce

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup half & half
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Using a pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter onto the sides and bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, apple pie spice blend, and salt. Be sure that all the eggs are well beaten, and all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Into the bottom of the prepared 9×13 baking dish, place an even layer of half of the cubed challah bread.
  • Sprinkle half of the diced spiced apples evenly over the top of the layer of cubed challah bread.
  • Repeat with a second layer of cubed challah bread and diced spiced apples.
  • Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread and apples making sure you cover all the bread with the egg mixture. You can use the back of a large spoon to push any pieces of bread into the egg mixture if they did not get covered when you were pouring it over the bread.
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and drizzle it over the entire top of the apple bread pudding.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. While your oven is preheating, you will want to allow your baking dish to sit at room temperature to warm up before placing it into a hot oven. This is especially important if you are using a glass baking dish.
  • Bake the apple bread pudding for 45 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While your apple bread pudding finishes baking, you can make your caramel sauce by adding the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar to a saucepan on medium heat. You will melt your butter and cook your sugars for 5 to 6 minutes, whisking constantly or until the mixture reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer. Be very careful not to let your sugars burn.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the half & half, vanilla extract, and salt until fully incorporated. Be very careful working with hot sugars like this caramel sauce. It can cause severe burns if not handled properly.
  • When your apple bread pudding comes out of the oven, you will slowly pour the caramel sauce over the top of the warm bread pudding. Be sure to reserve about ½ cup of the caramel sauce to serve over individual servings of the apple bread pudding. The caramel sauce will make approximately 1½ cups of sauce.

Notes

  • If the only bread you have is fresh, but you really want to make this caramel apple bread pudding recipe, then bake bread at 250°F for 10 minutes on a sheet after cubing. This will help dry it out so it can soak up more custard.
  • This is a great make-ahead dessert as it does best the longer it is refrigerated before baking to allow the bread cubes to absorb all the custard mixture. I would not chill it for longer than 24 hours. Just remember to allow your baking dish to warm up and take the chill off before baking it. You do not want to risk your glass baking dish breaking in the oven from the shock of a hot oven and a cold dish.
  • Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces with a serrated bread knife for just the right size in this recipe.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your bread pudding as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • Allow the apple pie bread pudding to rest for 15 minutes, for the eggs to firm up before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 836kcal | Carbohydrates: 123g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 978mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 7mg
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