If you thought your banana bread couldn’t get any better, try your hand at my Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread Bread Pudding for a sensational dessert! Made from our tasty chocolate chip banana nut bread loaf, the already flavorful banana bread is baked in a creamy custard with the addition of raisins, golden raisins (also called sultanas), and some more crushed walnuts.
This quick dessert is also an excellent use of any banana bread (or banana muffins) that may have managed to get more than a few days old. I tend to bake up my banana bread in batches, typically baking at least two varieties at a time, so on occasion there is actually some unused bread ends still stacked away in the refrigerator. Truly, it doesn’t happen often!
In this case, however, the family sacrificed about 3/4 of a full loaf of their beloved chocolate chip banana nut bread for a decadent dessert. They got lucky, I used a small casserole dish and left hubby and daughter with a nice thick slice of moist banana bread to enjoy while I tore up the remainder of the loaf.
Bread Pudding Ingredients
My base bread pudding ingredients include stale bread, heavy cream, sugar, eggs and egg yolks, vanilla, and some combination of dried fruit (typically raisins and golden raisins (sultanas), but I also like to use dried cranberries, cherries, or apricot) and possibly a nut variety or some chocolate chips as well.
What To Serve With Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding can be served with a variety of toppings. Our Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread Bread Pudding is typically served with a dusting of powdered sugar (as shown) and a small dollop of ice cream or whipped cream. Our other bread puddings (such as our Irish Soda Bread Pudding) may be served with a vanilla icing or liqueur based creme sauces. My favorite way to serve up a basic bread pudding that is using apricot, is to brush the baked top layer of the bread pudding with apricot preserves then lightly dust with powdered sugar.
Why Is Bread Pudding Called Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding (or bread and butter pudding as it is known in the UK) is based on being a way to use up stale bread, to save it from going to waste. This was a common use of stale bread that originated as early as the 11th and 12th century, and was known in England as ‘poor man’s pudding’ in the 13th century.
Is Stale Bread Better For Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding is historically based on using stale bread (see above section, Why Is Bread Pudding Called Bread Pudding?). However, there is not necessarily an advantage to using stale bread. Bread pudding is still a great use of any stale bread, but the argument that stale bread takes on more moisture from the custard liquid isn’t one that I take too seriously. There’s only so much moisture a piece of bread can lose, or take back in, anyway.
So, no. Stale bread isn’t necessary for making truly wonderful bread pudding for any reason!
Can Bread Pudding Be Made Ahead of Time?
This is a super easy dessert to make ahead of time! Simply assemble the bread layers and pour the custard sauce over the layers, then refrigerate overnight until ready to bake your bread pudding. The custard will soak into your bread overnight, making it even more scrumptious! *Note that overnight is all the longer the bread should soak, if it remains unbaked much longer your bread will get soggy and take on a ‘loose’ texture once baked.
Does Bread Pudding Need to be Refrigerated?
Baked bread pudding should be stored in the refrigerator once it has cooled. I recommend either an air tight container, or tightly wrapped with cling film over your baking dish. Reheat any unused portions when ready to serve.
How Long Can Bread Pudding Keep in the Refrigerator?
Your leftover bread pudding can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I recommend that it is used within the first one or two days for best results and flavor, as days three and four the texture loses firmness.
Last Updated: December 6th, 2019
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread (see recipe - I use about 2/3 of a loaf for my small casserole dish)
- 1/4 c golden raisins (soaked for 30 minutes or more)
- 1/4 c raisins (soaked for 30 minutes or more)
- 1/4 c chopped walnuts (soaked for 30 minutes or more)
- 1/2 c butter (salted, 1 stick- melted and cooled)
- 1/4 c sugar
- 2 c half & half
- 1 c whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 c confectioners sugar (optional)
- Soak raisins, golden raisins, and walnuts in warm water for 30 minutes prior to starting your bread pudding. Rinse and drain.
- Butter your baking dish. I am using a 2 qt casserole dish with about 2/3 of a standard 9 x 5 inch loaf of banana bread.
- Tear chocolate chip banana nut bread into chunks approximately 1 inch in size and layer them in the bottom of your baking dish (do not compactly fill the dish). Add a layer of the rinsed raisins, golden raisins, and crushed walnuts then repeat layers one more time. Do not fill to the very top edge of your dish. *The bread will expand, you do not want your bread pudding overflowing.
- In a medium to large mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream (half & half or whole milk can also be used), eggs, yolks, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined, then pour over the layered banana bread chunks, raisins and nuts in your baking dish. *If your pudding mixture does not come to the bottom edge of the top lip of your baking dish, you can use milk to top off the bread pudding. You want your bread pretty well covered with liquid.
- Soak the layered bread pudding in the custard mix for about 30 minutes, then preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Place bread pudding in preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the baked dish comes out clean. The top will be browned and the pudding will be set between the bread pieces in the center.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving warm. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.