Latest Recipe Testing

bread cubes and chocolate custard sauce in a glass bowl

The latest in my kitchen: bread pudding.

Hilari and I didn’t get a chance to test bread pudding in our recipe test week, so I slowly tackled it over the past couple weeks. I studied a couple traditional bread pudding recipes, made 3 or 4 batches, and concluded that I, in fact, do not like bread pudding. Perhaps it was the recipes I tried, but it just tasted like eggy bread chunks with a couple raisins tossed in.

This wasn’t a shock to me as I’ve never really been a fan of bread pudding.

I’m working to expand my baking repertoire this year, so I asked you your thoughts on this dessert. Many of you love it!! So I decided to give it one more shot, but with the addition of chocolate. Maybe that will be tastier? I took a look at 2 chocolate bread pudding recipes: King Arthur Flour and Food & Wine. I used cocoa powder, heavy cream, and eggs. I made sure the bread was super stale. I threw in some chocolate chips, topped with raspberries and caramel and whipped cream. The first batch was good. But I knew I could make it better.

I whisked in fewer eggs, added some whole milk, and ditched the cocoa powder in favor of real chocolate. Now we’re talking.

ingredients for chocolate bread pudding in the kitchen

ingredients for chocolate bread pudding in the kitchen

The result was a pan of warm brownies masquerading as chocolate bread pudding. It was rich. It was decadent. It was worth every single calorie. Since it’s not a dessert I bake often, I was extra curious to hear how others liked it. I took it to my in-laws so I could get a little feedback. They loved it! My sister-in-law appreciated that it wasn’t overly sweet since it’s such a rich chocolate dessert. My SIL’s boyfriend said it reminded him of chocolate monkey bread. (Yum!!) Most of us dove in for seconds. I did, however, think it was better fresh as opposed to reheated.

I’m sharing the recipe on Monday including all my recipe notes and suggestions.


  1. Thoughts on ricotta cookies? I’m sharing a recipe soon!
  2. Thinking ahead here, but any specific baking/dessert recipes you want to see for St. Patrick’s Day? Here’s my Irish Soda Bread recipe. It’s actually my Grandma’s. I make it a few times each year. So simple!


  1. This doesn’t answer either of your two questions, but have you tried macarons?  I would love getting a recipe and tips from a food blogger I trust.  Macarons are on my food “bucket list.”

    1. Sorry that I’m not Sally–but she’s done macarons before. I myself haven’t tried it yet, but here’s a link to her guide. 🙂

  2. Hi sally, I’m not a huge fan of bread pudding either but my mom loves the stuff I will try this and see what she thinks !

    As far as saint Patrick’s day I would love a savory skillet recipe!! Maybe some cabbage potatoes, corned beef? Perhaps a dip?

    As far as baked sweets go how about shamrock pretzel pops, mint chocolate meringues, anything with Andes mints, saint Patrick’s day cream puffs or creamhorns or go authentic with Irish soda bread!

  3. Love the idea of a Ricotta cookie. Lemon Ricotta cookies sound good. I’ve looked at recipes, but never tried one.
    As for St Patrick’s day, how about a green velvet cupcake or a green ‘mousse’ or mini green/mint cheesecakes? ♣

  4. Ricotta cookies sound nice and my brothers just got me some ricotta from the store. Also my brother loves chocolate bread pudding can’t wait to try your recipe for a late birthday dessert for him!!!!

  5. Definitely intrigued by the ricotta cookies idea! For St. Patrick’s Day = something incorporating white chocolate and pistachios, please.

  6. Morning Sally! Honestly I don’t know how I feel about ricotta cookies but I am sure I will love whatever you come up with. I tried ricotta for the first time EVER this week, on Wednesday – no joke – why I have never tried it until now I’ll never know (I have 3 kids, all girls, a set of twins included – one of my twins liked ricotta while the other didn’t and my eldest age 7 spat it out) but I like it. For St Patrick’s Day I was already thinking about your key lime pie with the macadamia nut crust and mint Oreo truffles but I’d like to see anything nut based and easy please. Thank you.

  7. In the UK, we have bread-and-butter pudding, which causes a divide in our family; husband adores it, Son No 2 loathes it.  Now that Son No 2 has gone to University it is creeping back onto the Sunday lunch rota!  I think that the quality of bread is the key, personally – anything too processed and the whole thing is just wet mush.  No good for those of us who don’t smother it with custard anyway.

    There is also a lesser-known British cake called the Nelson slice (probably named after our great 19th-century Admiral), which is effectively like a bread pudding but drier.  There’s a burger stand in Plymouth that used to sell it, although it’s been a long time since I went down there to see.

    If you want something for St Patrick’s Day, surely it should be Guinness cake? 😉

  8. I grew up with bread pudding and love it but have never had  it in chocolate so I’m anxious to try it. In our family making bread pudding was a way to use up old bread and my Mom added fruit cocktail and it was not overly sweet. 

    St. Patrick’s Day is my first and I love Shortbread cookies so what about lime Shortbread cookies with pistachios!

    1. St. Patrick’s Day is my birthday.

  9. I just made lasagna and have 2 cartons of ricotta left over and started googling “ricotta cookies”. I’ve yet to try any and now I’m waiting for your recipe! Woo hoo!

    1. They’re SO GOOD!

  10. Hi Sally! I’ve neger had ricotta cookies but I’ve used it in other baked goods so I imagine whatever you’ve come up with will be tasty! For St. Patty’s Day- I usually made a Guinness  cupcake with Bailey’s frosting. However, someone challenged me to make that in a cookie format. I know a frosted brownie would work. But a chocolate Guinness cookie filled with a Bailey’s frosting (maybe like the cream cheese red velvet style) would be amazing!

    1. That cookie would be outrageous! I’m curious to try a Guinness brownie of sorts– and I love Guinness cupcakes.  Never had them with Bailey’s frosting though!

  11. A local bakery has a lemon ricotta cookie that people like so I would love a homemade version. I have made a salted whiskey scone for St. Paddy’s Day. Whatever you make will be worth it.

    1. I think you’ll love the lemon ricotta cookie recipe I’m going to share. So soft and moist! Lots of flavor, delicious glaze.

  12. Not a huge fan of bread pudding, but with chocolate I think I could get on board. Love seeing all the recipe testing too. As for St Patrick’s day, I would  love something green but not necessarily mint. Most of us in my house love it but there 1 have one that doesn’t love it so much. What about a pistachio muffin that doesn’t use pistachio pudding?  Hope you have a great weekend. 

    1. Pistachio is a great idea! Someone else requested pistachio cake which would be fun to make!

  13. This is THE BEST bread pudding I’ve ever made – the key is white chocolate! I’ve been making this since 1999, when the book came out…

    1. I definitely want to try a white chocolate version sometime

  14. I’ve had white chocolate bread pudding and it was amazing. I’d love to try and make it sometime. As for ricotta cookies, they sound interesting. I like ricotta cheese melted into baked pastas but in cookies?! I’d be willing to try. St. Patrick’s day dessert…. hmmmm what about some kind of pastry? I know anything you make will be delicious!!!

    1. Ricotta in cookies is REALLY good. It creates the softest, most moist cookie base.

  15. Love lemon ricotta cookies. I’ve made them many many times.  The house always smells so wonderful as they’re baking. They’re a nice soft cookie with lemon drizzle!  My family and friends love them

    1. I love them too! 

  16. Something with baileys in it would be yummy, it would be interesting to incorporate it into a white chocolate chip espresso cookie maybe?? I’ve seen a lot of desserts with baileys but never usually cookies so could be interesting to experiment with.

    1. Great suggestion, thanks Amy!

  17. Yum, can’t wait for Monday now! I’ve never tried bread pudding, but my sister and I have always wanted to. And I have to say, I love these recipe testing posts! They’re so interesting and I would just like to say thank you for trying so many new recipes and sharing them with us. Concerning your two questions, I’ve never had ricotta cookies before but I am intrigued 🙂
    And as far as St. Patrick’s day goes, anything GREEN would do the trick!
    Enjoy your weekend and bake on!

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the recipe testing posts because I love sharing them– and I love the comments and conversations too!

  18. Plain bread pudding (with some cinnamon and raisins) is terribly boring and very bland unless you top it with a decadent sauce. I haven’t tried your chocolate raspberry version yet, but am I AM a huge fan of Croissant Bread Pudding. There’s a bakery nearby that makes some seriously decadent versions using chocolate or almond croissants, or chocolate chip brioche as a base. I’ll try to get them to cough up a recipe or two (they always sell out)

    1. Oooooooh my gosh I bet the chocolate croissant bread pudding is out of this world.

  19. Morning Sally! I’m a fan of bread pudding, so I’m sure I’ll love your chocolate version- yum!

    Regarding your questions…for St. Patty’s Day, how about a cupcake or brownie recipe including Baileys Irish Cream or a Stout for flavor?

    I love the idea of ricotta cookies! I’ve tried and made lemon ricotta cookies and think they’re fantastic. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 

    1. Thanks fo rate St. Patrick’s Day recipe suggestions, Jamie!

  20. I’ve never been a fan of bread pudding, either. (It’s nice to find a serious foodie who feels the same way since my family just thinks I’m picky!) It’s always so bland and eggy. But for Thanksgiving my sister-in-law made bread pudding out of Trader Joe’s chocolate chip panettone and topped it with an amaretto sauce and it was divine, with and without the sauce!

    1. I think bread pudding really has to do with the type of bread and the add-ins. They make or break the recipe!

  21. I’d love to see a ricotta cookie! I was also wondering if you had a recipe for ricotta pie? Usually has lemon, lime and orange peel- I cannot find a good recipe for one!

    1. Hey Ashley! No, I don’t have a recipe for ricotta pie. I’ve never tried it before!

  22. I have never made bread pudding but my brother has a yummy recipe. So I would be willing to try it. I have never made a sponge cake and I have seen victorian sponge cakes. Maybe that is a recipe you could try in the future.

    1. Thanks Janice!

  23. Hi Sally! 
    I was thinking maybe a chocolate stout beer cupcake with Guinness frosting or Bailey’s frosting. With a Guinness chocolate drizzle ??  Love your recipes! You are such an inspiration!

    1. Love these suggestions, thanks Cindy!

  24. I am excited to try your bread pudding recipe! Sounds like it might be perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  25. I was always afraid of Bread Pudding bc it didn’t sound like a dessert to me… something sneaky like Sweet Breads perhaps!! I finally gave in and tried it in New Orleans and thought it was delicious. I’ve made a version myself using stale Krispy Kreme glazed donuts instead of bread and served it w a warm caramel sauce. It was a huge hit. 
    For St Pat’s day a tasty green dessert that wasn’t mint flavored would make my family happy. 
    Love your blog, I’m making your Chai bundt cake for Fat Tuesday- going to top it w a cream cheese glaze and colored sugars to look like a King cake. 

    1. I can only imagine how incredible (and decadent!) bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme donuts is!

      Love your plans for King cake this week!

  26. Hi Sally,

    I am a huge fan of your page. Infact whenever I search any recipe and see one on your page, I don’t go any further. Thanks for all the detailed descriptions and tips.

    Can you try honey cake. I ate one here in Perth a few months back and it was too delicious.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion– and the sweet comment!

  27. I’m not crazy about bread pudding but my husband loves it so maybe I’ll try it!  I make lemon ricotta cookies at Christmas that everyone  loves. This year I used extra zest in the filling and icing and all recipients said they were the best ever!

    1. I think ricotta cookies are underrated. They’re SO good, especially with lemon.

  28. I love bread pudding, but my girls don’t…until I add cocoa powder! I will be interested to try your recipe. This is my favourite way to use up those bread ends. Ricotta cookies have intrigued me for a long time, but I never have gotten around to making them. I will try a recipe from you, for sure. Your recipes are always amazing!

    I have no thoughts about St. Patricks’ Day as it is of no significance to me. However, a savoury dish with corned beef would be nice.

    1. And I’m not usually a chocolate dessert person, but I really like chocolate bread pudding over traditional!

  29. Irish oatmeal cake for St. Patrick’s Day? I have never tried it but it sounds good.

    1. I’ve never tried it either!

  30. Dont know if anyones suggested this yet. Butttt how about a beer bundt cake for St Paddys day!?

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Rachel!

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