Croissant Bread Pudding is a yummy combination of buttery croissants, fresh fruit and a sumptuous vanilla custard pudding that's both rich and luxurious. But perhaps the best part of this bread pudding recipe is you can serve it warm or cold and it's ready to bake in less than 15 minutes. Serve it for your next brunch or for dessert.
Ingredients to have on hand
- Half and half
- Fresh berries
Fast Prep Time
It takes fewer than 15 minutes to dice the croissants and pour the sweetened half and half mixture over the top.
Whisk together the half and half, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs in a 4-cup glass measuring cup and you've just prepped a delicious, easy dessert recipe.
The dish will be full
It will seem like the dish is very full when you add the croissants and fruit, but that's OK. When you pour the liquid ingredients over the top, you'll cover all of the croissants with just enough of the sweetened half and half mixture. The rest of the liquid will settle to the bottom of the dish and create a delicate layer of custard.
I like to use glass bakeware when I'm baking a dessert that I plan to serve from. Here's a dish that I recommend, but any 8" x 8" or 9" x 9" baking pan will work great!
Top Tips and FAQ
In my experience with this recipe, it's best served within two days and definitely store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Remember, there's a custard-like layer along the bottom of the dish and those ingredients need to be refrigerated, even after baking.
Technically yes, but I think croissant bread pudding is best served either warm from the oven on the day you bake it, or it cold from the fridge.
You can freeze bread pudding after it's cooled. Be sure to cover the dish tightly with foil. You can freeze it for up to three months.
Thaw it in the refrigerator for 8 - 10 hours, and remove it from the fridge about 45 minutes before baking. Leave the foil on top, reheat in a 350° F oven for about 15 minutes.
Yes, you can also use brioche or challah bread. But note, neither will have the same buttery flavor or flakiness of croissants and the result will be a more dense bread pudding.
Fruit is optional
While this recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of fresh berries, I've made this without adding fresh fruit and it was just as delicious.
The unsweetened fresh berries give the croissant bread pudding a tart, fresh burst of bright flavor and I love that.
But be assured, this is a dessert (or brunch) recipe that will be enjoyed by all regardless of the fruit factor.
Croissant Size and Leftovers
I've made this using standard-sized, large croissants and much smaller mini-croissants. Personally, I prefer using the smaller croissants because it provides more of the sturdy croissant tips in the bread pudding since you use 12 small croissants instead of six standard-sized, large croissants.
Most grocery stores sell large packages of croissants, but they do dry out quickly. If you have a few extras, this recipe is a great way to make sure no croissants from that big package ever go to waste.
No Need for Sauce on Top
Many bread puddings call for a syrupy sauce drizzled on top of each serving. While I'm never one to decline an opportunity to add more sweetness to anything, this croissant bread pudding does just fine without a sauce on top.
Sometimes though, just be fancy, I've dusted each serving with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar and placed a sprig of fresh mint on the side.
The History of Bread Pudding
Bread pudding has come a very long way from it's humble beginnings in the 11th and 12th centuries in England. Now bread pudding is enjoyed as a standalone treat, rather than simply a way to ensure stale bread doesn't go to waste.
But hat tip to all those frugal bakers back in the day who came up with a great way to combine breads with a sweetened custardy pudding and with a delicious result.
Other Brunch Ideas
I call this an easy dessert recipe, and it is. But this is also a delicious and impressive brunch recipe. Here are a few other brunch options that I think you will love:
Other Dessert Ideas
I love to use fresh fruit in dessert recipes. Give these a try and let me know what you think, remember to rate the recipes you make here on the Crinkled Cookbook.
Be sure to give a star rating to the recipes you make from the Crinkled Cookbook. I always love hearing from you. Sharing is great too! Use the buttons after the recipe to text it with just one click or send it to family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook. Enjoy.