Some desserts are seasonal! Key lime pie is perfect for a hot summer night. Pumpkin pie is an ideal choice for fall. But if I say bread pudding, you know it is winter! Bread pudding was something my father made several times throughout the winter. The problem was, he added raisins to the recipe. While I enjoy eating raisins out of a box, I really don’t care for them in my baked goods. His solution – pick them out if I wanted to eat some bread pudding! Unlike picking pepperoni off a pizza, picking raisins out of bread pudding is almost impossible. Especially since he made sure to put a lot in.

Going through a bunch of old handwritten recipes of mine, I ran across this one for caramel bread pudding. I don’t know the original source of it, but it is in my handwriting (don’t you just love your cookbook stuffed with these extra pieces of paper?)

Caramel Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bread, cut into ½ inch cubes (6 cups) – stale bread is best!
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place bread in a greased 2 quart baking dish.
  2. Combine hot water and brown sugar and pour over bread.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the bread.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Can be served warm or cold.

There are many different bread pudding recipes out there and that you can change a recipe by substituting dried cranberries or cherries for raisins. While searching for different recipes, I ran across this 24 ways to make bread pudding recipes.

You’ll find savory options like adding cheese and mushrooms, or pork sausage with gouda and sundried tomato. Other variations include bacon with a tomato jam or veggie bread pudding with artichoke and spinach. They also offer sweet recipes like chocolate, nutella, peanut butter, or even a Caramel Rum Banana Bread Pudding! Add coconut, bananas and/or rum. If you have leftover donuts – turn them into a doughnut bread pudding. How about buying some day old cinnamon rolls at your grocery store deli. Using the recipe found at buzzfeed, you can make gooey cinnamon roll bread pudding.

Bread pudding is so much versatile than I ever knew. My dad could have made so many different kinds of bread pudding that did not include those dreaded raisins.