Seize the Day: Decadently Tender Croissant Bread Pudding Recipe

I love croissants. I love bread pudding. When I had idea of putting the two together, it seemed like a work of sheer genius on my part. But after a little research, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one who had thought to combine these two concepts. Oh well, I guess I’m not a genius after all. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 625kcal
Author Stephanie Stiavetti


  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rum such as Malibu
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 8 butter croissants ideally stale or left out on the counter overnight (*see below for gluten-free option)

Optional dessert sauces


  • Warm the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cover with foil or the pot’s lid, and let steep for one hour.
  • While you are waiting for the cream mixture to steep, butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish or souffle mold.
  • After one hour, reheat the cream mixture until it’s very warm. Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl, gradually adding the warm cream while whisking constantly to prevent scrambling the eggs.
  • Whisk in the vanilla extract, rum and cinnamon, then pour the mixture through a strainer to remove orange zest and other lumps. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the the sour cream and brown sugar until well mixed. Add egg and beat with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • Cut each croissant in half lengthwise, separating the top from the bottom. Spread a spoonful of egg-sour-cream paste over each slice of croissant and place the slice in the prepared baking dish, spread-side down. Continue spreading paste on bread, and layering slices into the dish. If you are using a round dish, cut the slices in half, then layer the resulting triangles in a pinwheel pattern.
  • Pour the egg-cream mixture over the bread and gently press down, submerging the layers in the liquid.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least an hour), pressing down occasionally to make sure the top layers of bread are soaked through. Ed note: I recommend leaving overnight for a rich, velvety-smooth pudding)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C). If you’ve put the bread pudding in the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature before baking by placing it on the counter for at least an hour.
  • Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding liberally with sugar. Set the baking dish in a water bath by setting it in a large roasting pan, and then filling the roaster with water until it is halfway up the sides of the pudding’s baking dish.
  • Bake until pudding is puffed up in the center and the top is brown, about 1 hour.
  • Let cool until warm. Serve warm, drizzled with dessert sauce.


Nutritional analysis does not include dessert sauce.


Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 316mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 2.2mg