Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

Okay, I know this never happens but, just for fun, let's say you have cake doughnuts sitting around that have gone stale. Impossible, I know, but let's just imagine it happened. You don't want to throw them away; that would be a waste. So, you really only have one option: Make bread pudding. It's really best when you serve it with cold ice cream on top. And caramel sauce. Oh, and chocolate chips. It's called "bread pudding" because originally it was made with stale bread, which might sound gross, but if you have old (but not too old!) bread sitting around, try this recipe with it. You'll freak out it's so good.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: One 9-by-13-inch baking dish
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Cooking spray, for the baking dish

10 to 12 cake doughnuts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, arranged on a sheet pan and either dried overnight, uncovered, or baked at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes

3 cups (480 grams) whole milk

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (14 grams) pure vanilla extract

Kosher salt

7 large eggs

1/2 cup (93 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar, plus more if needed

1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, softened

Ice cream, for serving, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, line with parchment and spray again. Place the doughnut pieces in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the eggs and whisk to combine so that it's all the same light yellow color. Let sit for 3 minutes and whisk again.
  3. Pour the custard mixture over the doughnut pieces. Gently, press down a few times to make sure all the doughnut pieces are wet with custard. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  4. In another bowl using a wooden spoon, mix together the brown sugar, butter and a pinch of salt. If it's loose, add more brown sugar until it gets crumbly. Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with chunks of the sugar mixture.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or just until the bread pudding is only slightly jiggly in the center. To test, using an oven mitt, carefully grab the oven rack and give it a little shake. If the middle sloshes around, it's not done. If it gives a firm jiggle, it's done.
  6. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature, topped with ice cream.

Cook’s Note

Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. This recipe is appropriate for children of various ages. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate. This dish reheats very well. Keep it in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.

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