New Orleans Bread Pudding with Recipe

While visiting Little Canada I decided to make a pan of pineapple bread pudding and I was a bit worried about how it would come out because the French Bread up there could not even compare with stale French bread in New Orleans. If you have yet to taste a crusty, soft, airy piece of french bread made in New Orleans, you’re missing a perfect piece of bread. And don’t get me going about not tasting a decadent slice of New Orleans style Bread Pudding.

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 thought about days of long ago when New Orleans slave owners gave the stale ends of the bread to their slaves as their food ration. It’s astounding to imagine that from thrown away bread they concocted a delicious dessert that is now famous.

“The Creole servant often makes delicious morceaux from things usually thrown away by the extravagant housewife.”

La Cuisine Creole

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

La Cuisine Creole,

New Orleans bread pudding is a classic dessert dish that dates back to the early 1800s. It is made by combining stale bread, eggs, milk, sugar, and a range of spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.

The bread used in New Orleans bread pudding is usually French bread or brioche, which is soaked in a custard mixture and baked until it is golden brown on top. The result is a creamy and rich dessert that is full of flavor and texture. The bread I had wasn’t good enough to make an adequate Po-Boy, so I questioned if it was good enough for my Momo’s bread pudding recipe. Bread is bread right? NOPE, especially not when it comes down to making bread pudding. My worry when not using French bread made in New Orleans is that the bread pudding comes out dense and chewy. Who wants thick, chewy bread pudding?/Not me and that’s why I’m thinking I should stop before I crack the next egg.


I did a some research that shocked me when I read that bread pudding was created in Britain and goes back to the Middle East. In the United States, bread pudding became popular during the Great Depression as a way to use up leftover bread. In New Orleans, bread pudding became a staple dessert in the 18th century when French and Spanish settlers brought their traditional recipes to the city. The bread pudding in New Orleans is known for being rich, flavorful, and having a sauce that sets it apart from other versions of bread pudding.

In recent years, chefs in New Orleans have been putting their own spin on bread pudding by adding ingredients such as chocolate, bananas, and even meats, but the traditional recipe remains the favorite aming locals and visitors alike, My family bread pudding recipes may have raisins, chopped apple, crushed pineapple, fruit cocktail and served with a cream or rum sauce. I used crushed pineapple this time .

The ingredients used in New Orleans bread pudding are simple and readily available. The base of the dessert is bread, which is usually a day or two old and is sliced or torn into pieces. The other ingredients include milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon or nutmeg, and butter. Some variations of the recipe include the addition of raisins, pecans or other nuts, or chocolate chips. The sauce is usually made from a combination of heavy cream, butter, sugar, and whiskey, although some recipes may use rum or brandy

There are so many versions of bread pudding, although I 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 rum sauce when I feel fancy.

One of the most famous versions of New Orleans bread pudding is the one made by the Brennan family, who owns several restaurants in the city. Their recipe involves adding pecan praline sauce on top of the bread pudding, creating a delicious twist on the classic dish.

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

How it’s made

The method for making New Orleans bread pudding is straightforward. The first step is to prepare the bread by slicing it or tearing it into pieces and placing it in a large mixing bowl. Next, a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon or nutmeg is prepared and poured over the bread. The mixture is then allowed to soak into the bread for at least 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the recipe.

Once the bread is sufficiently soaked, it is placed in a baking dish and baked in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it is golden brown on top and set in the middle.

To make the sauce, a mixture of heavy cream, butter, sugar, and whiskey is prepared in a saucepan and heated until it thickens slightly. The sauce is then poured over the bread pudding before serving.

Best Bread Pudding in New Orleans.

Ask any New Orleanian for a “best bread pudding” pick, and chances are they’ll tell you that the best is the traditional old fashioned raisin bread pudding drizzled with whiskey sauce that’s made with the loving hands of a family member. But if you want to know “where” you can buy the best bread pudding I would suggest that you Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe the Baquet style family-owned restaurant owned by Wayne, Jr, and his wife Arkesha is located in Treme on Esplanade, Li’l Dizzy’s traditional bread pudding is a family recipe, soaked with fruit and spiked with warm with a tasty rum sauce. It’s the closest you’ll get to homemade if you ask me.

Li’l Dizzy’s bread pudding.
 Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe/Official


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
Step 1
Combine the first three ingredients, and stir in eggs, blending well. Stir in crushed pineapple and the following four ingredients. Stir in butter, mixing 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 golden. Remove from oven, and let stand for 2 minutes.


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