New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
10 min
45 min
1 hr

10 to 12 servings

  • 12 to 14 cups 1-inch cubes day-old white bread, such as French or Italian
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
  • 1 recipe Whiskey Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in a large bowl. Grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and raisins in a large bowl. Whisk to mix. Pour the cream mixture over the bread, and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Transfer the bread mixture to the casserole dish and bake until the center of the bread pudding is set, 50 to 60 minutes.

Garnish the bread pudding with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with warm Whiskey Sauce.

Whiskey Sauce:

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a 1-quart saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Place the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the bourbon in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend and make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the cream mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt, and stir in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of bourbon. Serve warm.

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    What a big hit! People are still talking about it a week later! I made this for a New Year's Party which had a Mardi Gras theme. After checking many recipes, I chose this one because it made a larger quantity than other recipes and because it was 'New Orleans' style. I also liked that it used brown sugar, making the flavor a little caramel-y. Little changes I made - I soaked golden raisins in the bourbon until they plumped up, then put both the bourbon and the raisins in the bread mixture. I think it could have used more raisins, though. For the sauce, I cut back on the bourbon a little because I had some in the bread mixture, and added a small pinch of cinnamon and a smaller pinch of nutmeg. I used Jim Beam bourbon because its not too sweet and not too smoky - kind of middle of the road. My girlfriend told me it is as good as her Aunt Lily's, God rest her soul. I think that must be as good as it gets!
    Really good recipe! We add an apple, two bananas and a cup of chopped pecans to the base before we bake it. My favorite part though is the flaming shot of bourbon to top the individual servings!!
    It's sooo good. I soak overnight for a real saturated pudding and cook the next day. You may need to cook a little longer depending on your oven. The Whisky sauce is big flavor with all the Bourbon, but really makes the pudding. I store it in a glass covered jar and just reheat the pudding if you need to, and add the sauce. Beware, now everyone keeps asking me to make it all the time.
    Wonderful! This is a hit every time we make it. Followed the recipe exactly & the result is delicious!
    Delicious! I cut the recipe in half and had plenty to go around.
    AMAZING! I did put a little less whiskey in the sauce 1/2 cup but still very strong. This recipe is delicious!
    A relative staying with us over the Thanksgiving holiday used this recipe. He followed it exactly except for the whiskey. Since we had none, he used Appleton's dark rum. To be honest I have had whiskey sauce before, but this was even better with rum.
    This recipe is fantastic. I followed it as written and it turned out perfect. I used 1 day old italian bread from the Wal Mart bakery that was on sale. I had lots of recipe requests and raving reviews. Thanks for this great recipe!
    Delicious!! I made this bread pudding for dessert for a Sunday family dinner, and my family absolutely loved it! I did, however, tweak the recipe a bit. We like raisins, so I increased them to one full cup. The sauce can be quite strong due to the amount of bourbon, so I increased the sugar to 3/4 cup, and added 1 and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, and that did the trick. The sauce was excellent! I found that two, day old french baguettes worked perfectly for this recipe. I would not hesitate to make this for company!
    Made the New Orleans Style bread pudding this morning. I used some day old no-knead artisan bread that I made. It was sooo good that I had to take it to my husbands work or I would have eaten it all before he even got home. He said that it was a hit with his co-wokers. The whiskey sauce was exceptional.
    Absolutely delicious! My family loved it. The whiskey sauce is very strong---more like a shot of whiskey with bread pudding than a sauce!--so next time I'll reduce the amount of whiskey to one fourth cup. No better use for old bread!
    I made this for my sister in law's crawfish boil yesterday and it was a huge hit! Easy to make and delicious. I hardly had any leftovers. One note I'll make about the bread - I bought 2 loaves of french bread and I'm glad I did. 12-14 cups is a lot and I ended up using about a loaf and a half.
    Awesome Recipe!!! Loved it!!!
    This was great! I didn't have time to make the sauce, but the pudding itself was fantastic. I will definitely base variations off of this recipe from now on. (Peaches would be a nice addition.
    Made this recipe for thanksgiving, and was a huge hit! I didn't use whiskey in the whiskey sauce, but rather just 1-2 tblsp of cognac (and it still had a good alcohol flavor to it...I think that much whiskey would be too much of an alcohol taste. first, made it with raisins, and the second time, tried adding in ghirardelli chocolate chips. makes a huge pan, and I had no leftovers at all.
    I just took this out of the oven this morning for dessert later this afternoon and I grabbed a little taste. I'm salivating just writing about it now. I can't wait to taste it with the sauce. I think I'll go sneak another taste right now.
    I think there are two types of bread pudding lovers. Those who like it more as a bread, and those who like it more as a pudding. If you like it more as a pudding, this recipe is AMAZING! I usually don't like bread pudding, but I tried this one and it is the ONLY bread pudding that I have liked. I think it's in the whiskey sauce. Give me anything made with Makers Mark and I love it! I've read that other people recommend reducing the amount of whiskey, but I thought it was perfect. I made this dish for a party on my first try and it came out absolutely wonderfully (even novices in the kitchen like me can make this. I had people complimenting me on the pudding and wanting the recipe. I definitely recommend using french or italian bread or baguettes!! 
    Made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit for dessert. I just emailed it to my Mother because she wants to make it too. I used a beautiful Italian loaf I purchased from Whole Foods a couple days before. It was about 13 cups. Followed the recipe exactly. The sauce was delicious but I would put a little less bourbon the next time. Maybe shy of the 3/4 cup. It is rich and delicious. The leftovers, including the sauce, keep well in the fridge. Yummy, Yummy. Only for special occasions.
    I made this recipe for thanksgiving dinner and no one liked it enough to finish their plates. I did the recipe exactly as it is written but to me it called for way to much milk and cream combined. It was a little more runny than I like. I also recommened that you make sure the bourbon that you use is one that you really like because it calls for way more than enough. I would not make this bread pudding again.....Sry.
    Amazing! My company loved it, and so did I.
    This is one WICKED recipe. My family and friends loved it. Thanks
    My Father was a world class chef, as a child he would make a bread pudding that was unfogetable(,with the flames from the boubun,
     I lost My father at a very young age and he did not do written recipes.
    I made this recipe for 175 people. It was a huge hit! Even people who said they did not like bread pudding loved this one.
    I picked this recipe for the bourbon sauce. Makers Mark was a perfect complement for this pudding. My wife is not a big bourbon fan and ate the pudding solo. She loved it! I found the dish amazing with the sauce. I will certainly be making this one again. Tons of left overs. Looking forward to having it again.
    Simply put, it's the richest, most wonderful bread pudding EVER! Thank you, Emeril. You make me look good, but I tell people it's your recipe. :)
    Excellent and easy-to-make recipe. I made a half batch following the recipe pretty much exactly except for two things: one, I had a loaf of SemiFreddi's Cinnamon Twist to use up, so I cubed that (and "aged" it a little in the oven at 200 for 10 minutes), and two, I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins as I wasn't in the mood for raisins that day. :) It turned out light and fluffy, and besides the general raves about how delicious it was, my guests commented on how not dense it was compared with other bread puddings. I did not make the whiskey sauce as I had a recovering alcoholic at the table and instead offered three different sauces: chocolate ganache, caramel and a leftover mixed berry coulis from a cheesecake I made last weekend. Served it with caramel ice cream and fresh whipped cream. I will definitely add this to the keeper pile. Thanks Emeril.
    It was really easy to make. I loved the bread pudding and so did my family. This will definitely be a Christmas favorite!!! I definitely reduced the amount of bourbon to about 10 percent.
    I made this last night and it was absolutely loved by all. I thought it was very simple to make. I already had bread cubed in the freezer from an old baguette so all I had to do is make the egg mixture, pour it over the cubes, and then bake it. The sauce was just wonderful and this plated up to look like a masterpiece of a dessert!
    This is a wonderful recipe for bread pudding -- a bit of work, but easy to do, and the results are wonderful! 4 of us ate nearly the entire pan! It's rich, so save room for this dessert! I made the recipe exactly as written... the whiskey sauce was a bit too strong for my taste, tho... next time, at the end I will add only 1/4 cup (instead of 1/2 cup) of the whiskey and adjust by tablespoons until it's just right. Other than that, it's perfect!
    I remember having bread pudding like this back in New Orleans! It was delicious, followed the recipe exactly and it came out great.
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    Classic New Orleans Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Sauce

    Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse