New Orleans Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce

New Orleans bread pudding with whiskey sauce
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 68 mins
Soak Time: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 28 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
379 Calories
17g Fat
44g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 379
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 281mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 10g
Calcium 148mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

New Orleans has long been famous for its many cross-cultural food traditions, including deep-fried beignets, buttery praline candies, fabulous po'boys, gumbos, jambalayas, and the wonderful baked bread puddings served up in their restaurants and bistros. This New Orleans bread pudding will make you feel like you're dining in the French Quarter with a classic combination of French bread, plumped whiskey-soaked raisins, and a rich whiskey or bourbon sauce.

Easily put together, this pudding can be served with whipped cream, crème fraîche, mascarpone, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream—or simply dusted with powdered sugar.


  • For the Bread Pudding:
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey (or bourbon)
  • 12 ounces French bread (day-old)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground or freshly grated)
  • Dash of salt
  • For the Whiskey Sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (granulated)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey (or bourbon)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Make the Bread Pudding

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the raisins and whiskey in a small saucepan and heat just until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, place the raisins and whiskey in a cup and heat in the microwave oven for about 20 to 30 seconds, leaving to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

  3. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch rounds and then cut the rounds into 1/2-inch cubes; you should have about 8 cups of bread cubes.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the half-and-half and whole milk with the eggs and brown sugar. Whisk until well blended. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dash of salt. 

  5. Add the bread cubes and soaked raisins with their liquid to the bowl with the milk-egg mixture and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

  6. While the mixture rests, preheat the oven to 325 F. Generously butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

  7. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish, distributing the raisins as evenly as possible.

  8. Bake the bread pudding in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until it is firm and golden brown.

  9. Remove the bread pudding to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with the whiskey sauce.


Make the Whiskey Sauce

  1. Combine the heavy cream, whole milk, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and set aside. 

  2. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the cornstarch with the whiskey or bourbon. 

  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and set aside.

  4. Place the saucepan with the cream mixture over medium heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Cook until the sauce comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 

  5. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. By tempering the mixture you prevent the eggs from becoming curdled. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and cook for 1 minute longer. 

  6. Whisk in a pinch of salt, the butter, and vanilla, if using.

  7. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and if not serving immediately, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. The sauce will thicken more as it stands.

  8. Spoon some of the warm sauce over each serving of bread pudding.

  9. Enjoy.


  • If you don't have half-and-half, you can use 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of whole milk, or just 3 cups whole milk. You won't sacrifice flavor, but the overall texture will be less creamy.
  • Cover and refrigerate any leftovers; they will last for about five days. You can also store the baked bread pudding in the freezer where it will last three months.
  • You can prepare the bread pudding and sauce one day ahead; cover well and refrigerate. Bring both to room temperature before baking the bread pudding.

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