Every now and again, a dessert comes along that could easily function as both a decadent breakfast treat or a post-dinner show-stopper. Banana Bread Pudding is that dessert, and it’s guaranteed to receive a warm welcome at any table, any time of day.
With a rich, creamy custard center and a gorgeously golden, crusty top, this decadent dessert promises big banana flavor and a forkful of comfort in every single bite. Top it off with a drizzle of lusciously smooth vanilla sauce to make it even more irresistible!
You can start the day with this Banana Bread Pudding and serve it for a crowd-pleasing breakfast or brunch! Or, make it the perfect ending to any holiday meal, BBQs, potlucks, and just about everything in between.
Love bananas? Bookmark these chocolatey, rich Banana Brownies for your next baking extravaganza!
DON’T WORRY. IT’S EASY.
Bread Pudding is intimidating to most because of that whole “custard” thing. But, rest assured, making a custard for your Banana Bread Pudding is much, much easier than it sounds. Custard is really just sugar, eggs, and dairy combined and heated. In the case of bread pudding, the custard cooks in the oven, not on the stovetop, which simplifies things tremendously.
You’ll start by melting down some butter, milk, sugar, and spices on the stovetop. Then, let it cool, and whisk into your eggs. Boom — consider your custard done! That’s all there is to it.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA BREAD PUDDING
- Start the Custard | Add the butter, milk, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and spices to a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- Cut the Bread | While your stovetop mix is cooling, is a great time to cut the bread! Cut the bread into 3/4″-to-1″ cubes and set aside.
- Finish the Custard | Once your butter-sugar mixture is cool enough to touch, you can move on to the next step. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs. Then, slowly stream in the stovetop mix, whisking all the while. The reason you must slowly incorporate this mix is so that you don’t overheat and accidentally scramble your eggs! Slow is key here.
- Add Bread and Bananas | After the eggs and sugar mix have come together, add your bread cubes and stir until they are evenly coated with the sauce. Then, fold in about 2/3’s of the bananas and transfer to a 9×13″ baking dish.
- Add More Bananas | Wedge the remaining bananas across the top of the bread pudding, sliding them under the bread cubes as necessary so that just the top or sides of the banana slices are showing. This is purely for decorative purposes and if you’d prefer to add in all of the bananas at once, go for it!
- Bake and Cool | Bake the Banana Bread Pudding for about 45 to 50 minutes at 325°F. Then, set it aside to cool on a wire rack for an additional 45 minutes, or until the center is completely set. Don’t skip the cooling process. The custard is technically still cooking through as it sits. Serve warm and enjoy!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN BANANA BREAD PUDDING IS DONE
There are two ways to determine if your Banana Bread Pudding is ready to pull from the oven. The first (and easiest) way to tell when it’s ready is by using an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the center of the pudding. If it reads within a few degrees of 170°F, it’s ready!
Another way to tell if it has finished baking is by gently poking down on the center of the bread pudding (careful, now — it’s hot) and watching for any runny liquid to reveal itself. If you see any liquid rising up, the dessert is not yet ready and should continue to bake for a few minutes longer.
DON’T USE OVER-RIPE BANANAS!
Fresh bananas will hold up better under the heat and resist turning into mush. The banana slices in this bread pudding add a welcomed variation in texture, not to mention that banana flavor will stay a little more prominent this way as well.
ABOUT THE BREAD
There are a lot of options as far as the type of bread you use for your Banana Bread Pudding. Sourdough, French, or Challah would all work great. The most important thing is the freshness. Or, it actually might be a little more appropriate the say the “lack-thereof” when it comes to freshness. When it comes to bread pudding, it’s stale bread for the win.
WHY USE STALE BREAD FOR BREAD PUDDING?
You need stale bread to soak up the custard. This part is very important! Using fresh bread with a high moisture content will make for a soupy bread pudding with a rather unappetizing texture.
NEED TO GET THAT BREAD STALE FAST?
If you only have fresh bread on hand, and you’re ready to make your Banana Bread Pudding now, don’t fret. There’s a solution!
Just cut your bread in 1-inch cubes as directed in the recipe, place it on a baking sheet, and then into a 200°F preheated oven for about 30-50 minutes. The time in the oven is highly dependent upon the moisture content of the bread you’re using.
Use a wide spatula to turn the bread every 10 minutes or so. You’ll want to pull it from the oven as soon as it feels dry, but before it gets toasty!
You can also leave the diced bread cubes out on the counter overnight or for about 12-hours. The direct exposure to air should expedite the “staling” process.
HOW TO SERVE BANANA BREAD PUDDING
Banana Bread Pudding can be served either warm or at room temperature, although if you find yourself hovering over a cold slice come midnight, nobody’s judging.
Our favorite way to serve this dessert is by adding a lit-tle more decadence over the top in the form of a dreamy, creamy vanilla sauce. This sauce whips up quickly and easily and is so totally worth the extra 10 minutes in the kitchen!
However, if you’re in no mood to go the extra mile, a cold scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would also do nicely. And, if you’d like to add a sweet pop of tartness, fresh berries are a great touch!
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER BREAD PUDDING
Banana Bread Pudding is a custard-based dessert because it is largely made with eggs and dairy. Because of this, you’ll want to keep those leftovers wrapped in the refrigerator.
Most bread puddings will last 3-4 days refrigerated, but due to the bananas in Banana Bread Pudding, your shelf-life will be a bit shorter. Wamp, wamp, wamp. This dish is going to be best if consumed within 48-hours of baking.
5 MORE BANANA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Banana Brownies
- Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Layered Banana Pudding Trifle
- Banana Bread With Apple Sauce
- Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies
An easy Banana Bread Pudding recipe rich in banana flavor with a creamy custard center and a gorgeously golden, crusty top.
- 1 pound day-old Challah, French, or Sourdough bread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 4 bananas, cut on a bias into generous 1/4"-slices
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk, slightly warmed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F and have ready a greased 9x13" casserole dish.
Combine the butter, milk, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir often and remove from the heat as soon as the butter has melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
In the meantime, cut the bread into 1" cubes and set aside.
In your largest mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Very slowly stream in the butter mixture, whisking all the while.
Add the cubed bread to the bowl and stir until the bread is coated in the custard. Fold in about 2/3's of the bananas and transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
Wedge the remaining bananas into the top into the bread pudding so the tops and sides are barely peaking through. Bake for 45-50 minutes. To check for doneness, gently poke down on the center of the casserole (using the back of spoon) and watch for any runny liquid to reveal itself. If you see any liquid rising up, the dessert is not yet ready and should continue to bake a few minutes longer.
Set aside to cool and set up completely on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted, stir in the flour and whisk for about 1 minute.
Add the milk one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all the milk has been incorporated, add the brown sugar, cream, and salt and stir.
Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the vanilla and stir once more.
Pour the sauce over the bread pudding just before serving and enjoy!