This Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding is one of the easiest desserts to make. Rich chocolate with sweet egg custard, sprinkled with crunchy pecans served with whipped cream, or ice cream, or heavy cream, – really the options are endless and extremely yummy!!
“The Proof of a Pudding is the Eating” ~ Miguel De Cervantes
Easy Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding Dessert
So when I say this is one easy dessert, I totally mean it. It’s basically tearing up bread, mixing it with a custard, and baking. Those are the highlights of the deal, and there are a few little tiny easy steps in there, but it’s hands down, one of the easiest, filling desserts out there.
Plus it feeds a lot…. or makes awesome leftovers for breakfast!
Chocolate Panettone Bread – You don’t NEED to use panettone bread, but this is what I used. Panettone bread is dessert bread that has fruit or chocolate in it. It has a really interesting history to it that you can read about in The Insider! If you don’t have access to panettone, use sweet bread (like cinnamon bread), or a brioche loaf where you can add some extra sugar, cinnamon, and good quality chocolate, to mimic the panettone.
Eggs – Use fresh, large to extra-large eggs.
Cream – I used heavy whipping cream. You can use a table cream or a coffee cream if you want it a bit less rich.
Whole Milk – A 3% homo milk is what I used but 2% will work nicely as well.
Sugar – You can use white sugar here if that’s all you have on hand, but I think the brown sugar just adds a tiny bit more yumminess to this recipe.
Vanilla extract– If you have pure vanilla extract, way to go!! For myself, I only had artificial on hand, and it was still delicious.
Easy Directions on how to Make this Bread Pudding
- Cut or tear up the panettone bread into bite-size chunks. If you don’t have panettone, do the same as any other sweet bread you can find in the store. Even cinnamon raisin bread will work well. Brioche bread is a great substitute to use as well. If it’s dry bread (left out to lose some of its moisture, that’s even better!).
- Place the pieces into a greased baking dish
- Make up the egg custard and pour over the bread pieces.
- Let it rest to absorb some of the custard
- Put the pecans over the top
It’s really that easy to make. The full directions with amounts are in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Cooking Tips
As I mentioned before, there are other options to use if you don’t have chocolate panettone bread on hand. Any sweet bread (or buns, for that matter!) will work fine.
Use nice quality chocolate that you enjoy the flavor of. If you like the flavor of it raw, you’ll like it in the bread as well. You can also use chocolate chips for this bread pudding as well.
Use any combination of milk/cream products you have in your fridge for this. Use more cream if you want it richer, use less and substitute for milk if you want it less rich. I would advise though that using some milk products with a higher fat content really goes a long way in making this dish delicious and decadent.
Please don’t use skim, 1% milk, or water.
You can try mixing up the spices if you prefer. Add a bit of nutmeg or if you have some orange zest, use that as well!
Can I make this Dairy-Free?
Yes, you sure can. Using a good almond, cashew, rice or coconut milk would be great in this dessert. You would also want to use good quality vegan chocolate and dairy-free bread to make it completely dairy-free.
What can I serve bread pudding with?
Typically you serve it with ice cream (dairy-free ice cream as well). You can also serve it with just a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzling of heavy cream is really nice as well – especially if the bread pudding is served warm.
Today I sprinkled some confectioner sugar over the top and drizzled it with some warm chocolate syrup!
You can also serve it with a drizzle or dollop (like those descriptions? lol) of your favorite jam or jelly like in my Donut Bread Pudding Recipe. Oh my, the combo of chocolate and fruity (raspberry or strawberry) jam would be amazing!
Warm caramel would also be incredibly tasty! If you wanted something different, you could add some dried cranberries as I did in my Eggnog Bread Pudding.
Refrigeration and Freezing
You can freeze this bread pudding in a few different ways:
- Make the recipe, cool it completely, and freeze it in portions for up to 3 months – then thaw and warm when you want to serve it.
- Cut the bread up into pieces and add the nuts. Freeze them in a freezer-friendly container or bag. When you want to make the bread pudding, thaw the bread with no lid on so any moisture from freezing can evaporate.
- You can even go as far as measuring out the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, etc) and putting them in small bags within the cut bread so you simply have to thaw and make up the custard, adding the premeasured sugar.
I do not recommend making up the bread pudding and then freezing it before baking. Technically is would probably work out ok, but really, taking chances on thawing raw eggs mixed with dairy is a bit sketchy to me. I don’t know how the texture would be affected by the thawing liquids to the bread. However, if you’ve done this before I would love to hear about your experience!
If you love pecans you will love this bread pudding but I have a few other great pecan recipes that you are sure to fall for! This Pecan Caramel Monkey Bread is absolutely amazing and these Apple Pecan Croissants with Butterscotch Schnapps Sauce are sure to make jaws drop at your next fall dinner party.
You can try this Banana Pecan Donut French Toast (one of my personal favorites) for a decadent breakfast perfect for serving to guests or as a special treat.
Have you tried making this Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding recipe? What kind of bread did you use? Did you switch up the recipe at all? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Thank you so much for stopping by The Salty Pot today and I hope you have a wonderful day!
- 1 lb Chocolate Pannetone bread loaf, cut into 1-2" chunks
- 8 eggs
- 1 ½ c heavy whipping cream
- 2c whole milk
- 1 c brown sugar
- 3 oz pecan pieces
- 2 TB vanilla
- ½ TB cinnamon
- Cut up the bread into 1 to 2" pieces.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with high sides.
- Place the cut bread into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the pecan pieces over top the bread pieces.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, and sugar so the sugar dissolves.
- Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture over top of the bread pieces. When everything is poured into the dish, push down lightly on the bread to encourage the absorption of the egg mixture.
- Cover and let rest for at least 1 hour and even better, up to 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350, uncover the bread pudding and let come to room temp while the oven preheats.
- Bake for 55 - 60 minutes. The top should be golden brown, and a knife inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Remove from oven after cooking time and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
The longer you can let the bread and egg mixture rest in the fridge, the better so a lot of the custard mixture is absorbed by the bread.
You can serve this bread pudding hot or cold!
- As I mentioned before, there are other options to use if you don't have chocolate panettone bread on hand. Any sweet bread (or buns, for that matter!) will work fine.
- Use nice quality chocolate that you enjoy the flavor of. If you like the flavor of it raw, you'll like it in the bread as well. You can also use chocolate chips for this bread pudding as well.
- Use any combination of milk/cream products you have in your fridge for this. Use more cream if you want it richer, use less and substitute for milk if you want it less rich. I would advise though that using some milk products with a higher fat content really goes a long way in making this dish delicious and decadent.
- Please don't use skim, 1% milk, or water.
- You can try mixing up the spices if you prefer. Add a bit of nutmeg or if you have some orange zest, use that as well!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 522Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 40gProtein: 11g
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.