Cranberry Bread Pudding with Rum Cream Sauce
A wonderful holiday breakfast or dessert, this cranberry bread pudding with rum cream sauce is sure to put you in a festive mood!
Bread pudding is quite possibly the coziest dessert ever invented. I mean, there’s the bread—so much glorious bread! And then the vanilla-scented custard. Oh, and don’t forget the texture, which is soft and delightfully eggy, like French toast but with the decadence factor turned up to a 10. This cranberry bread pudding is full of warming spices, tart cranberries, toasty pecans, and rum.
Make that double rum.
There’s rum in the bread pudding and rum in the sauce. So if you love rum, this dessert will be your jam. (And in that case, make sure you try my Banana Rum Caramel Crunch Bread Pudding too!) A creme anglaise, homemade whipped cream, or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream will do in a pinch, but I definitely recommend making the rum sauce—it really brings out all the flavors in the bread pudding.
What You’ll Need
While the ingredient list here looks long, if you take out the spices, sugar, and other ingredients you probably have on hand, it’s much more manageable!
For the bread pudding:
- French bread – The bread can be stale or fresh, since you’ll toast it in the oven.
- Dried cranberries
- Rum – Rum is pretty essential for this recipe. If you prefer not to bake or cook with alcohol, try my Blueberry Coconut Bread Pudding.
- Fat-free half-and-half
- Brown sugar – I recommend using light brown sugar for this recipe.
- Egg yolks – Cold eggs separate more easily than room temperature ones, so keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to crack them!
- Ground cloves
- Pecans – They’ll need to be chopped, so save yourself some money and buy pecan pieces instead of whole pecans.
For the rum sauce:
- Heavy cream
How to Make Cranberry Bread Pudding with Rum Cream Sauce
This recipe is pretty standard for bread pudding, with the exception that you’ll need to stew the cranberries first.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until dry and crisp, about 12 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
Stew the cranberries. Combine the dried cranberries and rum in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then let the cranberries stew for about 3 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and set aside.
Make the custard. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the half-and-half, milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and spices. Drain the rum from the stewed cranberries into the custard, reserving the cranberries for later. Stir to combine.
Assemble. Transfer the bread to the custard mixture and toss to coat. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes, then pour half into the bottom of a greased 2-quart or 13×9″ baking dish. Sprinkle this with half of the cranberries and pecans, then pour the remaining bread mixture over the top. Combine the remaining pecans, sugar, and butter in a small dish and sprinkle this over the top, along with the rest of the cranberries.
Bake. Cover the dish and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and cool on a wire rack for a bit, then serve warm with the rum sauce.
Make the rum sauce. Whisk the cornstarch and rum in a small saucepan, then whisk in the cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, then spoon over the bread pudding.
Tips for Success
Here are some hints and tips for making this cranberry bread pudding:
- Use a rum that’s in your budget. There’s no need to splurge on an expensive bottle here—you’re not mixing it into cocktails or drinking it straight, so if the rum isn’t the best of the best, no one’s going to notice!
- Opt for a sturdy bread. If you want to use a different bread in this recipe, I suggest one with a similar texture to French bread. Brioche and challah make a lovely bread pudding, but you want something sturdy here so it can stand up to all the add-ins rather than just melting into the custard.
- Know when it’s done. For a fool-proof method of knowing when bread pudding is done baking, insert a food thermometer into the center; if it has reached 160ºF, you’re good to go.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store the bread pudding and the rum sauce separately. I usually wrap the pudding in the baking dish, but if there’s not much left, you can transfer it to an airtight storage container. The sauce can also be stored in a container or jar. Both will last up to 4 days in the fridge. I suggest reheating the sauce on the stovetop over low heat and microwaving the bread pudding or warming it up in a 350ºF oven.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
I don’t recommend freezing the sauce, but bread pudding can be wrapped well and frozen for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat it in the microwave or oven as described above.Print
Cranberry Bread Pudding with Rum Cream Sauce
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
A wonderful holiday breakfast or dessert, this cranberry bread pudding with rum cream sauce will warm you through and get you in a festive mood.
- 1 load French Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
- ⅓ cup Rum
- 1 pint Fat Free Half and Half
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp Ground Cloves
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Pecans, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 4 Tbsp Butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Rum
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Butter
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour bread cubes into a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until dry and crispy about 12 minutes, turning over half way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, combine dried cranberries and rum and bring to a boil. Stir and let the cranberries stew for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together half and half, milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and spices. Drain the rum from the stewed cranberries into the mixture and stir to combine. Reserve the cranberries.
- Pour the dried bread into the milk mixture and toss to coat the bread evenly. Let the bread and milk/egg mix rest for about 10 minutes.
- Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of a sprayed 2-quart or 13×9″ baking dish or casserole dish. Sprinkle on half of the cranberries and pecans. Pour the remaining half of the bread mixture over the top.
- In a small dish, mix the remaining pecans and sugar, and butter together to form a crumble. Finish topping with stewed cranberries and pecans.
- Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm and topped with rum sauce.
- In a small sauce pan whisk together cornstarch and rum until smooth.
- Whisk in cream, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and whisk until thickened – about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cubed butter. Drizzle over the warm bread pudding.
Inspired from Cook’s Country New Orleans Bread Pudding
Keywords: bread pudding sauce, rum sauce for bread pudding, christmas dessert ideas
Congrats on the new car!! Sounds exciting and geez, this pudding is one heck of a way to celebrate! It looks awesome! So prefect for Thanksgiving or even Christmas. Whoa, how is it that time of year almost? Crazy!
You had me at cranberry… and rum! 😉 Seriously huge congrats on the new car. She’s purdy.
Cranberry lovers UNITE!!!! And I’m loving the new car – but Im out of town for four days – Ben gets to hog all the new car time!!! He better take good care of it!
Nice addition of the cranberries. Super clever.
Thanks Jocelyn! It’s great for the holidays, too! And that rum sauce makes me swoon!
I should never ever look at your blog before I’ve eaten. I wanted to lick that drip off the run cream sauce pitcher. It was not my finest moment. This recipe is my new Christmas wish.
This is totally why I can’t have nice things (that fit). And I actually DID lick that dripping sauce off the pitcher – after I shot that photo. haha Shhh, don’t judge me.
Congrats on the new car! I actually just got a new Civic a couple months ago after driving an Altima for like, a decade. It was bittersweet!
And this bread pudding… holy smokes. And I want that cream sauce on everything!
Congrats on the new Civic! Mine held up for 13 years – they are a champ and I was so sad to see it go. You’ll adore your Civic 🙂
I second what Jeanne said! Can you bring this to Iowa?! Also, congrats on the new car!!
Thanks girlfriend!! If I could I-Dream-of-Jeannie blink some your way, I totes would!
I have the same exact car you bought and I love it!! Good choice. Also, props on this pudding. It looks like a perfect dessert for the holidays.
Car twins!!! YES! I love it. I’m almost bummed in out of town this week, my husband will get to drive it more than me hahah
dude… I must have this! So perfect for the holidays!
I’m making this for my family for Christmas, too! My mom instilled a bread pudding obsession in me – so I’m making it for her for Xmas. I know your fam will love it too.
I turned in my high school car two years ago and I my eyes might have glistened a bit. Sure, the handles were duct taped and the passenger window didn’t work and it had stranded me once or 6 times. It was my first car, and that was special. But now I’ve got a wagon too and you will LOVE it for the dogs. So easy to fold down the seats and let them slide around back there without getting hair everywhere! Also, I want this bread pudding for breakfast. Holy moly.
Whew! I’m glad I am not the only one a little misty eyed about giving up my car. But I know this wagon will totally rock with the dog hauling! Hi ho Silver, away!!
Love this recipe, Megan! The Big Lug and I make a similar Overnight French Toast/Bread Pudding for Christmas with dried cranberries, too. I also do sticky buns overnight with dried cranberries and lots of caramel goo. Such a comforting breakfast for autumn and winter…and, special and tasty for Christmas morning. Thanks for sharing, girl!
RUM SAUCE? *faints* *drools*
This looks over the top amazing and congrats on the new car!!
I am having a serious case of the drools over here – gawsh this looks so good!
I freaking LOVE bread pudding and cranberries and pecans and rum sauce and and and. Thank you for making this for me. I really appreciate it. Congrats on the new car too! I think we are trading in a car soon for a commuter. My husbands new job is a longer commute and I really want him to get a Mini Cooper ( read I want a Mini Cooper) so hopefully that happens soon!! And again, thanks for making this for me. ha ha ha!
Oh this is glorious! I just adore bread pudding 🙂 I bet each bite of this is filled with happiness!
Congrats on the new car! My husband sells cars and he says that he can’t believe how women get SO attached to their cars that they end up crying when he gives them the new keys… 😀
I love me some bread puddin’… I love it lots! But then you throw cranberries and rum?! WOW! I would definitely eat the entire thing!
I love what you do to me.
This just got me excited about Thanksgiving! So much good flavors and comfort in one dish.
Hi, a few quick questions. What size baking dish would you use? About how many does this serve? And, finally can this recipe be doubled? Having close to 30 family members over for Thanksgiving & this looks like it’d be awesome for the occasion. Thanks!
Hi Lourdes – So sorry for any confusion. This is best baked in a 2-3 quart casserole dish or a 13×9 inch pan. It serves about 10-12 depending on the size of the slice. You can double the recipe – but it will require more than one baking dish. It will be a huge hit with the family, I just know it! 🙂 I hope that clears up your questions!
I wish I had read the directions and not just the list of ingredients before starting. I had fresh cranberries on hand, but now I see the directions say to use DRIED cranberries. 🙁 I just diced up my fresh ones and am hoping for the best! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
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This recipe looks absolutely delicious! I love bread pudding with a good sauce, but the addition of the cranberries and the walnuts put it over the top for me. I have to try this recipe and soon!
Can I make it the day before ?
Yes, you can. It is good if it sits over night in the fridge, and you can bake it the morning of Christmas! It does hold lovely if you have to make it the day before and jsut serve it the next day, too!
Love the recipe, made it for a large Christmas gathering of friends. Was confused about how the 3 Tbs of sugar and 4 Tbs of butter chilled and cubed are used on the bread pudding. The method instructions seem to miss out those ingredients. I also left them out and still the dessert was a bit hit, especially the rum sauce. But I ‘m sure to make again and so would like to make it as original. Many thanks
Deb, thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out!! I will double check the ingredients and find out where I made the mistake, but thank you so much for catching it! Happy Christmas!
This looks delicious, and I appreciate all your helpful notes and tips! Bookmarking for this weekend 🙂