NOLA Bread Pudding

This afternoon I decided to make my Momo’s Pineapple Bread Pudding with “Not New Orleans French Bread” that my Mama been holding onto for over a week in her refrigerator. If you haven’t tasted a nice crusty, soft, airy piece of french bread made in New Orleans, you’re missing a really good piece of bread. I decided since it wouldn’t make an adequate Po-Boy, it would make a good foundation for a good bread pudding. Let’s hope it doesn’t come out dense, I do not like a dense thick chewy bread pudding and that’s why I like NOLA French Bread.

As I  mixed the milk soaked stale french bread with white sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, butter, crushed pineapple and my Momo secret ingredient together, I envisioned New Orleans slave owners giving the stale ends of the bread to their slaves and from this delicious dessert was created.“Never even the smallest crust of stale bread is wasted in the true Creole or Cajun kitchens,” explained Roy F. Guste, Jr. Lafcadio Hearn had the same idea in 1885 in his introduction to La Cuisine Creole,
“The Creole servant often makes delicious morceaux from things
usually thrown away by the extravagant housewife.” The recipe had to have originated from a slave making use of some bread ends, I thought to myself… A recipe so simple using stale bread had to come from someone who had nothing.



I did a little research which left me shocked when I read that bread pudding was actually created in Britain and goes back to the Middle East. How can that be?? Bread Pudding may be the official dessert of NOLA. We are made up of French and Spanish people, so how did a British and Middle East recipe become so popular in New Orleans? All I can think of it has to be the french bread. “No other place uses New Orleans French bread to make bread pudding,” notes Liz Williams, author of New Orleans: A Food Biography (AltaMira Press, December 2012). “That airy bread creates a bread pudding of special light texture.” It’s the reason why my Mama only use a 1/4 of the french bread she brought, because it was not New Orleans French Bread.


Well, bread pudding did not originate here, but we enriched the recipe adding NOLA magic to it. There are so many versions of bread pudding, although I’m do not care for the savory bread pudding. My favorite is my Momo’s Pineapple Bread Pudding with a lil condensed milk or heavy cream poured over it while hot. I also make a rum sauce when I’m feel fancy.

Here are my after pics, its came out almost perfect, but I may just be bias, because I know it wasn’t NOLA French Bread.




  • 1 (16-ounce) day-old French bread loaf, cubed
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 1 whole milk
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, cut up and softened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine first 3 ingredients, and stir in eggs, blending well. Stir in crushed pineapple and next 4 ingredients. Stir in butter, blending well. Pour mixture into a greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Step 2

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until set and crust is golden. Remove from oven, and let stand 2 minute


Here are two restaurants that I think have the best bread puddings.


Decadence meets virtue in Cafe Reconcile’s locally famous bread pudding, a custardy slice of heaven that stands among my all-time favorites. This small non-profit restaurant, which fed first responders in the uncertain weeks following Katrina, wins praise for both its satisfying soul food and its mission of building culinary and life skills in at-risk teens.

Cafe Reconcile’s toothsome bread pudding is moister than most, and redolent of the bananas and rum of its namesake New Orleans dessert, Bananas Foster. Some say the secret is the Leidenheimer bread they use—all of it donated by the bakery—but founder Craig Cuccia credits something more: “It’s the love of the people who bake the bread, the people who make the bread pudding, the people who come from all over to support our mission.” All I know is next time I’m in New Orleans, I’m heading home with a full sheet pan of the stuff. Yes, it’s that good.

Cafe Reconcile
1631 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard (Central City)
tel: 504/568-1157


Now, if I’m in white linen table cloth type of mood, I’ll go to The Bon Ton Cafe. 


Ask any New Orleanian for a “best bread pudding” pick and chances are they’ll point you to the raisin-speckled version at Bon Ton Cafe, the oldest Cajun restaurant in New Orleans. Bon Ton first put bread pudding on their menu in the 1950s—well before most other fine dining establishments saw fit to serve this humble southern classic—and they’ve been sating sweet tooths with the same family recipe ever since. Tender French bread from Alois J. Binder Bakery, another local institution, makes for a dense yet soft consistency, and a crowning drizzle of whiskey sauce adds a grown-up kick to this most traditional of New Orleans bread puddings.

The Bon Ton Cafe
401 Magazine Street (Central Business District)
tel: 504/524-3386

th (18)

Here are a few really creative bread puddings that are worthy of sharing. 

Uptown restaurant Patois gives bread pudding a Mardi Gras twist,
combining brioche with King Cake in an unforgettable seasonal
creation adorned with gold nonpareils and sprinkled with green and
purple luster dust. A string of Mardi Gras beads is festively fashioned
of white chocolate, while Ponchatoula strawberry compote and Creole
cream cheese ice cream finish off this colorful Carnival concoction.

th (19)

The Boucherie on Jeannette Street in Carrollton makes their bread
pudding with, believe it or not, Krispy Kreme dougnuts and pound
cake, augmented by a caramel sauce of rum and brown sugar.

And in 2008, “Best in Show” was awarded to Ye Olde College Inn for
its “Bread Pudding Po-Boy” at the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival.
The winning entry was an entire loaf of bread fashioned into bread
pudding, and somehow fried. Only in New Orleans.




A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: