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. I think I’ve said it before but I’d love to see a classic chocolate or vanilla pudding recipe from you! Or *gasps* a peanut butter pudding! 🙂

    Congrats on the bread pudding! I’m not personally a fan either, but your rich chocolate brownie version sounds soooo good.

    1. Truthfully, I was surprised how much I liked the chocolate bread pudding!

  2. Sharon from NH says:

    Don’t like the thought of bread pudding at all. Maybe it’s just the name. Bread? Pudding? Ugh!

    1. I know, I’m the same way. But it’s essentially like a baked French toast casserole. Which sounds so much more appealing, right?!

  3. I love bread pudding–I often make it with cranberry bread that I buy from the supermarket. I actually use a recipe from a postcard that I bought years ago in New Orleans–the home of fantastic bread pudding. I did have a chocolate version when we lived in Dubai and it was to die for. I never tried to make it but now I will.

    1. I bet starting with a cranberry bread takes the bread pudding to the next level.

  4. Ooooooooooh the bread pudding sounds FABULOUS! Now I can’t wait until Monday 🙂 I’m not a huge fan of ricotta but my family loves it. When I make lasagna, I make 2 pans and the kids have fondly named them With and Without!
    Since I’m 100% Irish, I’d love to see some traditional potato recipes (champ, boxty, colcannon). Or maybe an Irish Apple cake? Or of course anything with Irish whiskey, Bailey’s or Guinness 😉
    I’m sure you’ll come up with the perfect recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

    1. Thank you for the St. Patrick’s Day suggestions, Pam!

  5. Hi Sally I am a fan of b & b pudding, but not the boring kind ;-). Today I made one using hot cross buns spread with blueberry jam (homemade), then scattered blueberries and white chocolate chips on top before adding the custard. When it’s done and still hot, top with a bit of ice cream and yummmmm!!

    1. Ooh I just remembered that our grocery shop sells chocolate hot cross buns…. might give them a go next time! Or mocha hot cross buns! So many flavours!

      1. I would LOVE blueberry hot cross buns!!

  6. Hi Sally 🙂 we like bread pudding here so can’t wait to try making your chocolate version! Ricotta cookies sound delicious – I’ve never made them so I’d love to try making something new. For St. Patrick’s Day, a pistachio layer cake might be nice. Love your blog and recipes! 

    1. Alice, a pistachio layer cake sounds fantastic. Thank you so much for that suggestion!

  7. I’d love a recipe for lemon ricotta cookies, I like the artificially flavored ones from the store, but I’m sure homemade ones would be even better!

    1. I’ll share the lemon ricotta cookie soon!

  8. My mom makes an amazing white chocolate cherry breadpudding. The breadbudding itself has chunks of white chocolate and dried cherries. It is then topped with 2 sauces: one white chocolate cream sauce and one red wine cherry sauce. It’s delicious!

    1. WOW!!!! Sounds like the bread pudding to end all other bread puddings. Love white chocolate and cherry.

  9. This recipe looks so yummy!

    1. Thanks Kathy!

  10. Oh I wish you could taste the bread pudding at Jack Quinn’s Irish pub in Colorado Springs. It does have a few chocolate chips and a sweet whiskey sauce. Not eggie at all. (Not to mention their fish and chips, and Shepard’s pie) Oh my,  I’m sooo far away now.

    1. I do love a good plate of fish n chips!

  11. I would love to see a good recipe for a Crème D Mint pie for St. Patrick’s Day.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion!

  12. Hi Sally,
    I absolutely love bread pudding. I went out with some friends to my favorite restaurant last week and had banana bread pudding with warm caramel sauce and toasted pecans and it was amazing! I’m excited about your chocolate bread pudding recipe. Yes to the ricotta cookies! I have a girlfriend who makes them for the holidays and they’re delicious. As for St. Patrick’s Day desserts, I’m with the reader who mentioned Guinness cake.

    1. Oh Marilu. I can only imagine how delicious that caramel + pecan banana bread pudding was!

  13. Natalie Munroe says:

    There are two keys to satisfying bread pudding: the bread and the custard. Typed out, that sounds totally “duh” but sometimes even obvious things can get overlooked. I’ve been making bread pudding for, geez, probably 15 years now (yikes!) because it’s something I enjoy with my Grandmom, so I’ve tried lots of recipes over the years. I’ve made it with leftover sandwich bread and whatever milk I had in the fridge (not delicious), and I’ve made it with high quality specialty loaves and cream (amazing!) As you know well, some things require the “good stuff.” This summer, try making a bread pudding with a loaf of wegmans’ red, white, and blue bread, and-pro tip- add condensed milk to your custard. Omigosh so good! That bad boy would make a bread-pudding lover out of anyone. If you want the recipe, let me know. 

    1. Oooooo condensed milk would be a wonderful addition. And leave out the added sugar, maybe? I agree– you need “the good stuff” to make a really great bread pudding.

  14. At first look I thought the bowl was partially melted mini snicker bars. Something super cool and minty sounds great for St. Patricks day

    1. Partially melted Snickers bars sounds better than chocolate soaked bread anyway haha

  15. Glad you’re taking your baking to the next level! I absolutely love bread pudding. I’ve been to my favorite Bed and Breakfast and he served one to die for. He had 2 kinds…plain or with chocolate. I could eat that for lunch!

    1. I think you’ll enjoy the bread pudding recipe I’m sharing on my blog tomorrow!

  16. Hi Sally!
    I studied abroad in Dublin last spring and discovered brown bread which was served in almost every restaurant. It’s sort of a dense dry loaf bread that’s amazing toasted with butter and jam–would love to recreate it at home and think it could be a good St. Paddy’s day recipe. Thanks!

    1. I’ve had it brown bread before! I agree– it’s SO GOOD.

  17. I’m from UK and we soak the bread for an hour or so, so you should not get chunks of bread. Ours in the UK is a bit soggy in texture but tastes of the dried fruit and candid peel and slightly sweet when cooked for hours and hours. I can’t wait to try yours.

    I cooked the chocolate fudge brownies and took them to work they were loved and devoured at 6 am!

    1. Who doesn’t love chocolate fudge brownies for breakfast!? 😉

  18. This bread pudding sounds amazing and I can’t wait to give it a try. Can I say that I love your kitchen…and it’s lovely to see it in the midst of your creativity, as it looks messy and fun! …and your egg carton even has the good grace to match your beautiful kitchen accents 🙂 
    I’ve not tried ricotta cookies, but they sound intriguing!

    1. Thanks Kim! It’s a huge mess most of the time, but I sure do love it. 🙂

  19. I love bread pudding, especially chocolate bread pudding, so I look forward to your recipe! Also, I am a huge fan of ricotta cookies. The first time I made them was to use up leftover ricotta I had in my fridge, but I liked them so much they were my go-to potluck recipe, along with a lemon glaze, for quite a while!

    1. I’m excited to share the ricotta cookie– they’re lemon!

  20. Lauren Ziegler says:

    For St. Patrick’s Day, some cupcakes with good green color that’s natural? And/or a better version of a Shamrock shake? (Have you already done that??) 🙂

    1. I haven’t made a shamrock shake before!

  21. Ricotta cookies? Sure, why not?! Looking forward to it. ☺
    I do like bread pudding (no raisins please) but rice pudding is where it’s at, total comfort food.


  22. I love seeing your recipe process!! These posts are so fun to read! I can’t wait to check out this recipe. I am SO excited to see ricotta cookies! I love ricotta desserts!!

    As far as St. Patrick’s: Guinness Brownies with Baileys Buttercream. PLEASE!! I’ve been trying to wing it with that recipe for a few years and they always turn out pretty good, but I bet your version would be out of this world!! I would also like to see an Irish apple cake 🙂 But Guinness Brownies!! Bailey’s buttercream!! Its meant to be!!

    1. LOVE this brownie suggestion Laura, thank you! I might give it a shot.

  23. Clara Nussbaum says:

    I added a Lemon Ricotta Cookie to my Christmas cookies this year. They came out great! Very tender & not dry at all. I topped them with a lemon glaze. Everyone loved the new addition.

    1. That’s what I made! I’m definitely going to share the recipe. I loved them!

  24. I have never made bread pudding maybe this will give me a Sally recipe that I can use to conquer!! I love Ricotta cookies!! I’ve made lemon and vanilla.

    1. I think you’ll enjoy the chocolate bread pudding recipe I’m sharing tomorrow!

  25. Sooo, I thought I wasn’t a bread pudding fan. However it all changed last month when we were on our vacation. We ate at the breakfast buffet at the resort pretty much the whole week, and at the end of our stay my husband said I should really try their bread pudding with whipped butter and coconut syrup. He has been having it daily, and so I decided to give it a try. And, OMG, it was SO good, I regretted I missed out on that deliciousness the entire week! I’m dying to checkout your recipe, and give it a try. I’m now a fan for a good bread pudding, and especially chocolate is involved. 🙂

    1. Ok now THAT sounds really good. The coconut syrup is intriguing!

  26. I have never had bread pudding, and from your first thought, I really thought it was going to be bad. But the addition of chocolates, caramel, and whipped cream just elevated the dish, so thank you for sharing such a great innovation!

    1. I agree with you! Bread pudding doesn’t sound all that appealing, but when you add real chocolate, cream, sugar, raspberries, whipped cream, and caramel… it’s quite the dish!

  27. I meant to tell you Sally, there is an Apple Caramel Bread Pudding on the Net, that I’m going to try. There’s not all that many with that combination…I hope down the line, you can tackle that one.

  28. I would love to see a great recipe for St Patrick’s Day for Corned Beef n Cabbage, potatoes & Carrots etc… Plus any dessert u make I Know will be DELISH! 
    As far as Bread pudding goes I LOVE it  my brother in law makes it a lot & he made a version with crused pineapple in it!! Omg it was so good & can u imagine that coconutty  syrup on that?? Yuuummo ty   For listening.   

  29. I grew up making ricotta cookies with my mom at Christmas! Very excited to see your recipe, since I swear by your recipes and am always talking about your blog.

  30. I would love to see a simple Irish Apple Cake for St. Patrick Day.  You give me the confidence to try making things that I am scared of.  Thank you!

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