Easy Bread Pudding

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Learn to make a delicious old-fashioned easy bread pudding recipe using leftover bread that’s soaked in a sweet and creamy vanilla sauce to make a decadent dessert.

Spoonful of easy bread pudding.

I want to preface this recipe by saying that I’ve found old-fashioned bread pudding tends to be rather polarizing – folks either love it or hate it. That having been said, if you are not a bread pudding fan, you will not be thrilled with this recipe. If you are a bread pudding fan, I am your new best friend.

A popular Depression-era dessert

This is one of those classic “make do” recipes. At some point, there was this lady who was trying to make ends meet and needed to use up some leftover bread buns in addition to feeding her family. She whipped this up with kitchen essentials (we’re talking eggs, milk, sugar, and butter) and a classic was born. I also call this “depression food” as it was just the type of dish which was born out of the necessity of hard times.

There are tons of bread pudding recipes out there. Some use fancy loaves of stale bread with names I can’t pronounce (hello, challah bread and brioche), and some use leftover buttermilk biscuits. Regardless of the ingredients, I always love the outcome of any bread pudding.

I particularly like this easy bread pudding recipe because I find myself with leftover buns from time to time and hate for them to go to waste. I have a rule, food never goes to waste if I can help it. This is well known throughout my family and sometimes has comical results. With a stack of hamburger buns leftover from my brother’s catering job, I decided to make French toast for the freezer and a nice dessert of this delicious bread pudding.

I should also note that this easy bread pudding recipe originally came from an old church cookbook. Now if you aren’t from the South, let me interpret that for you. “Came from a church cookbook” automatically gives a recipe at the very least a four-star rating because no one would serve bad food in a church – that would surely be an unforgivable sin in the Bible belt.

Ingredients for Easy Bread Pudding

Recipe Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Melted butter
  • Hamburger buns
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
  • Milk

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How To Make My Easy Bread Pudding

Whisk together all ingredients.

Open your buns and place each half brown side up in a 9×13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients.

Pour sauce over buns in baking dish.

Pour this egg mixture over the hamburger buns, pressing down to make sure they get saturated.

Easy Bread Pudding

Place in a 350-degree oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

Oh. My. Goodness. This is the part where I put down my camera and dig in.

A bowl of bread pudding.

A bowl of warm comfort food from yesteryear!


Because of the creamy sauce, I don’t recommend freezing the pudding. However, you can store leftover bread pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat portions in the microwave for about 45 seconds.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to customize this easy bread pudding recipe to suit you:
    • Use a combination of spices in the milk mixture, such as ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice, and cardamon. You can also simply swap the cinnamon for apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice.
    • Fold in some dried fruit like raisins, chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans, or chocolate chips to the bread pudding sauce before pouring it over the buns to make this dessert even more decadent.
    • Use a combination of white granulated sugar and brown sugar.
  • If you have time, let the bread soak up that vanilla custard sauce for 20 minutes before baking.

Recipe FAQs

What do you serve with classic bread pudding?

Serve a bowl of warm bread pudding with whipped cream (here’s my homemade recipe) or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also add another sweet sauce on top, like caramel sauce, chocolate syrup, or simply a drizzle of maple syrup. Another option is to pair sliced strawberries with whipped cream for a delicious strawberry and cream topping no one will be able to turn down!

Can I make this basic bread pudding recipe in advance?

Yes, prepare your pudding up to a day in advance and let the covered unbaked dish rest in the fridge. Set it on the counter while the oven preheats before baking.

Check out these other delicious old-fashioned desserts:

Chocolate Depression Cake (Egg and Dairy-Free)

Vinegar Dumplings

Water Pie – Recipe from the Great Depression

Old-Fashioned Crispy Tea Cake Cookies

Chocolate Gravy Recipe

Coca Cola Pie

Easy Bread Pudding

Learn to make a delicious old-fashioned easy bread pudding recipe using leftover bread that's soaked in a sweet and creamy vanilla sauce to make a decadent dessert.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, pudding
Servings: 4
Calories: 165kcal


  • 4 complete hot dog or hamburger buns
  • 1.5 to 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • cinnamon to taste optional


  • Open the buns and place each half, brown side up, in a 9x13 baking dish.
    4 complete hot dog or hamburger buns
  • Mix all the other ingredients with an electric or stand mixer and pour this sauce over the buns.
    1.5 to 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 2 cups whole milk, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 stick butter, cinnamon to taste
  • Bake in a 350-degree oven until the buns puff up and are heated through (about 20-30 minutes).
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 165kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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  1. I don’t think I have ever tried bread pudding before last night. I came across your blog and I love every inch of it! I made this recipe and this was a wonderful treat! Thank you for sharing this easy, yet truly delightful dish!

    I am making the hobo packets tonight and I just know with you behind the recipe, it will be delicious!

  2. MyViews: Absolutely!! I love India! I saw a movie with Aishwarya Rae where she ran this store which sold nothing but spices. I’ve wanted to taste Indian food ever since. I don’t even think we have an Indian restaurant here!
    You know, I’ve never even tasted curry?
    Okay, soon as I get a chance, I’m nosing through your entire blog!!

    1. I sprinkle curry on deviled eggs. I some times do half with paprika and half with curry powder. I like the curry powder the best!

    OOOOOOOOOOOOH I love it, love it, love it! I make a sweet potato creme brulee that is so good.

    I have posted my mother’s bread pudding recipe following the depression bread pudding recipe. I’ll do a tutorial on it soon!!
    As always, thank you for reading my blog!

  4. I cannot pass up bread, no matter what kind it is! I’m not in the “love it” group for bread pudding though. I don’t like custardy things (except vanilla creme brulee). But I like your recipe. My momma would like this. I’m going to see her tomorrow. I’ll make this for her.

  5. You know, my husband is the same way! My best friends mother says that, generally, women love bread pudding but men don’t. I wonder if there is a little truth to that for some reason. She thinks it has something to do with a natural inclination towards meat and potatoes….a testosterone thing. Hehe.

    No telling.
    I would have been just like you though, “I made this whole loaf of bread and there is half left!! I have to do something!!!”.
    I know the whole “children starving” thing was used a lot on us as children, but it really is something I think about. Here we have all this food and there are so many who don’t. I’m fortunate to have plenty of matriarchs who knew how to put this and that together and make it a meal.

    Plus, its just kind of fun to take something you might have thrown out and turn it into yumminess!

  6. I’m the kind that loves it. This looks great. And good job being so frugal and economical. I’m that way too – I did a huge loaf of Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day, and we only ate half the loaf before it started going hard. So I tore it up and made a bread pudding!

    My husband is pretty funny about bread pudding. He always declared that the very thought of it made him gag. He’d never had any, but it just didn’t sound appealing to him at all. I consider my bread pudding a success because when I made it, he tried a little and said, surprised, “This isn’t bad!” 🙂

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