Pretzel Bread Pudding – Pretzel bread pieces are soaked in a sweet custard and baked to make a sweet and salty dessert, served with a homemade whiskey sauce
As we head into fall, it’s time to get those yummy desserts and casseroles prepped for all those family gatherings. Today I have a new dessert to add to your must-try list: Pretzel Bread Pudding. It’s a bread pudding made with – you guessed it – pretzel bread. The pretzel bread is a dense consistency so it’s perfect for soaking up all that custard. Plus, the extra saltiness in the bread is the perfect balance in this sweet dish.
And if that wasn’t enough, we have a decadent whiskey sauce to serve alongside each slice of pretzel bread pudding. Are you drooling yet?
The key to incredible bread pudding
I’ve been making bread pudding ever since I was a kid. I first tried it for Christmas one year and loved how easy it was to make. But as time went on, I learned the most important ingredient in a great bread pudding: time. The longer that bread rests in the custard, the more of the custard it can soak up. And the more custard it soaks up, the denser the bread pudding will be. If you don’t give it that time, the egg custard will sit outside of the bread, making the dessert very loose and eggy.
The easiest dessert you’ll make
For as decadent and luxurious as a bread pudding tastes, you’d think it takes many steps and laborious hours to make. Not the case! In fact, bread pudding is one of the easiest desserts to make. All you do is make a custard of eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and spices and then pour it over the pieces of pretzel bread. The bread needs time to soak up all the custard and then it’s baked in the oven until set, about 50 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
- Resting time is key. The key to a great bread pudding is letting the bread soak up all the custard. This takes time so I leave the bread pudding in the fridge overnight and then bake the next day.
- Salted caramel is a good substitute. If you want an alcohol-free sauce to serve with the bread pudding, salted caramel is also a super delicious accompanying sauce.
- Cool the bread pudding. It’s super important to let the bread pudding cool before serving. This allows the fluffy texture to calm down and settle into a yummy custard-like texture.
- Finding pretzel bread. Pretzel bread is sold at grocery stores in the bakery section. I found it at my local Publix, as well as Walmart. They sell rolls, which I just broke into pieces for this bread pudding.
Pretzel Bread Pudding
For the bread pudding:
- 8 cups pretzel bread pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter melted, unsalted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- flaky sea salt for serving
For the whiskey sauce:
- 3 tablespoons whiskey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoons butter
- Prepare medium casserole baking dish by greasing with butter. Place pretzel bread pieces into prepared dish. Pour melted butter over the bread and toss together until bread is covered in butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add eggs, cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together to combine.
- Pour mixture evenly over the cubed bread. Press down with the back of the spatula to push bread into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least hours and no more than 24 hours. We need this time to make sure the bread soaks up all the custard.
- Once the pudding has set, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and place casserole dish in oven. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until it's no longer jiggling and the top is nice and toasted. Remove from oven and let it sit for 20 minutes before serving.
- Scoop or slice bread pudding into portions. Top with warm whiskey sauce and a pinch of sea salt.
For the whiskey sauce:
- Add whiskey, sugar, and heavy cream to a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat. Whisk milk and constarch together to make a slurry. Add to the whiskey mixture and whisk together. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat. Add salt and butter and stir together. Let cool to a warm temperature and serve with pretzel bread pudding.