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Strawberry Bread Pudding

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Strawberry bread pudding is an easy and flavorful dessert perfect for spring! Bake fresh strawberries and challah bread  with a creamy egg and milk custard. This recipe is a simple and delicious dessert or a fun breakfast. A great spring-time twist on a classic dessert! 

white stoneware dish filled with bread pudding, sitting on wooden board and dishcloth

Bread pudding is one of my favorite recipes to turn to whenever I want to make a decadent dessert that is also easy on me. It is such a versatile dish and is very forgiving, which means it’s an excellent recipe to bake with kids.

Made with everyday ingredients and calling for simple steps, like cutting bread, measuring sugar, cracking eggs and pouring milk, kids of all ages have a way to help bake this strawberry bread pudding recipe. 

This is an excellent recipe to not only enjoy this spring, but it’s also an excellent way to use this season of life to create some wonderful memories with your family.

Thank you to AE Dairy for sponsoring this post. All opinions, recipes and photographs are my own. 

strawberry bread pudding in white stoneware dish with a half gallon of AE 2% milk behind it

Other Easy Dessert Recipes:

white casserole dish with two plates of bread pudding in front of it

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding has long been a classic, comforting dessert loved by many. Who knew that when bread cubes are soaked in an egg and milk based custard and baked they turn into a magical, hearty dessert? 

According to food historians, bread pudding first originated in Europe during the 11th and 12th century as a way to use leftover stale bread. Old bread was placed in a special crock called a “pudding basin”. The bread was soaked with milk and baked, and the result was, you guessed it, a bread pudding. Over time, the addition of eggs and sugar and other flavorings was added to take it from humble origins to the special dessert we think of now.

This version of homemade bread pudding celebrates sweet spring strawberries. If you can’t find fresh strawberries, frozen work, too, if you defrost them. 

two white plates with strawberry bread pudding, with forks, on wooden cutting board surrounded by strawberries

How to make this recipe

This bread pudding is an easy dessert to make with three main steps – the strawberry sauce, the egg custard, and putting it all together. 

For the full recipe, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below, but here is a general overview:

  1. First, create the strawberry sauce
    1. In a medium saucepan, add the ingredients for the strawberry sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
    2. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the strawberries start to break down but are still mostly chunky, and the sauce is starting to thicken up.
    3. Allow to cool to room temperature while you work on the next step. You can refrigerate this for up to two days.
collage of images showing steps to make strawberry sauce - ingredients added to saucepan and cooking on stovetop
  1. Second, make the egg custard.
    1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.
    2. Remove from the heat and let it  cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. It doesn’t need to be room temperature, but you don’t want it super hot, either.
    3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl.
    4. Slowly (about ¼ cup at a time), whisk in the warm milk mixture. You want to slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk each addition really well before slowing adding the next addition. This will help to gently warm the eggs and combine them without cooking them. We do not want scrambled eggs, so go slowly!
    5. Continue slowly whisking in the warm milk until it is all combined with the eggs.
collage showing images of steps to make custard
  1. Third, assemble the bread pudding.
    1. Cut the challah into 2” cubes and place in a buttered 9”x13” casserole dish.
    2. Pour the strawberry sauce over the bread cubes and toss a little to mix.
    3. Evenly pour the milk mixture over the bread and strawberries. 
    4. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently press the bread cubes down into the egg mixture. You don’t need to smash them down. Just make sure they are squashed a little into the milk mixture.
collage showing steps to assemble bread pudding
  1. Bake the bread pudding.
    1. At this point, you can either refrigerate the bread pudding for up to 24 hours, or you can bake it right away.
    2. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the bread is starting to turn golden.
    3. Allow to cool. You can serve this warm, at room temperature, or you can refrigerate it and serve it cold. 

Recipe Note: You could also throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips, chopped pecans, or flaked coconut!

bowl with ingredients to make whipped cream next to handheld mixer
To make vanilla whipped cream to serve with this strawberry bread pudding, whip a 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use and for up to 3 days.

I can’t find Challah – Can I substitute another bread?

You bet! Any rich bread works well. You can use a brioche, croissants, or even leftover hot dog or hamburger buns! A sourdough bread loaf would work really well, too!

Just make sure your bread is a little more dried-out rather than fresh from just being baked. This will help the bread to absorb the liquids more. Also make sure you slice your bread into similarly sized pieces to allow for even baking.

Note: To dry out fresh bread, cut it into cubes and bake it in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn. It doesn’t need to be toasted, just dried out. You can also let the slices sit out overnight. 

Prepping bread pudding ahead of time

This bread pudding is an easy recipe to prepare ahead of time, which means it can easily fit into your schedule whenever you need it to.

  • You can make the strawberry sauce up to 2 days ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  • The bread can be cubed up to 1 day ahead of time. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with a tea towel. The staler the bread is, the better it will absorb the liquids, just like when you make a homemade dressing recipe.
  • You can assemble this bread pudding and hold off on baking it. It can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you bake it. The longer you let it sit before baking, the better it will be because the bread will have a chance to absorb more of the liquids. Just make sure you allow the dish to come to room temperature before baking in a hot oven.
white stoneware baking dish with strawberry bread pudding

How do I serve this recipe?

This bread pudding is great served fresh and warm from the oven! Make sure you give it 5-10 minutes to cool before digging in, and serve it as is, with a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

You can also serve this room temperature, or cold from the fridge! 

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in a covered dish in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

You can serve the leftover pieces cold, straight from the fridge, or you can reheat it in the microwave for about a minute or so before enjoying it again.

two plates with strawberry bread pudding sitting beside stoneware baking dish filled with more

Kids in the kitchen: How your kids can help you cook

Inviting your kids in the kitchen to bake with you is an amazing way to help them be more interested in trying new foods and confident in their own skills. This bread pudding recipe is great because it helps them be more familiar with knife skills, cooking over heat, and whisking. This recipe is perfect for beginner cooks because each step is fairly easy. 

This is a great recipe for kids to learn and become more comfortable with their kitchen skills – which means they are more likely to eat it!

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you wash the strawberries and measure all the ingredients.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above, plus help you cut the strawberries, juice the lemon, crack the eggs, cut the bread, and assemble the bread pudding to be baked. They can also help you make the whipped cream or scoop ice cream when its time to serve.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you stir the strawberry sauce while it cooks, and help you make the egg custard, with close supervision.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

two plates of strawberry bread pudding in front of half gallon jug of AE dairy 2% milk

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Yield: 8 Servings

Strawberry Bread Pudding Recipe

two plates with strawberry bread pudding sitting beside stoneware baking dish filled with more

Strawberry bread pudding is an easy and flavorful dessert perfect for spring! Bake fresh strawberries and challah bread with a creamy egg and milk custard. This recipe is a simple and delicious dessert or a fun breakfast. A great spring-time twist on a classic dessert!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Sauce

  • 2 cups strawberries - (1 lb) sliced
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Custard

  • 3 cups AE Dairy 2% milk
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs

Assembly

  • 1 loaf challah, cut into cubes

Instructions

Strawberry Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the ingredients for the strawberry sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the strawberries start to break down but are still mostly chunky, and the sauce is starting to thicken up.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature while you work on the next step. You can refrigerate this for up to two days.

Custard

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.
  2. Remove from the heat and let it cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. It doesn’t need to be room temperature, but you don’t want it super hot, either.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together.
  4. Slowly (about ¼ cup at a time), whisk in the warm milk mixture. You want to slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk each addition really well before slowing adding the next addition. This will help to gently warm the eggs and combine them without cooking them. We do not want scrambled eggs, so go slowly!
  5. Continue slowly whisking in the warm milk until it is all combined with the eggs.

Assembly

  1. Butter a 9x13 casserole dish.
  2. Cut the challah into 2” cubes and place in the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Pour the strawberry sauce over the bread cubes and toss a little to mix.
  4. Evenly pour the milk mixture over the bread and strawberries.
  5. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently press the bread cubes down into the egg mixture. You don’t need to smash them down. Just make sure they are squashed a little into the milk mixture.

Baking

  1. At this point, you can either refrigerate the bread pudding for up to 24 hours, or you can bake it right away.
  2. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the bread is starting to turn golden. If you are baking after refrigerating it, make sure you bring the bread pudding up to room temperature while the oven preheats.
  3. Allow to cool. You can serve this warm, at room temperature, or you can refrigerate it and serve it cold.

Notes

Variations: You can add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, pecans, or shredded coconut to the bread pudding with the strawberry sauce.

Substitutions: You can substitue the challah with any rich bread - brioche, croissants, sourdough bread, or even leftover hamburger or hotdog buns.

To Serve: Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. You can serve warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge.

Storage: Store in an air tight container in the refridgerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 152mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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