This delicious croissant bread pudding is crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. It's so easy to make and a great way to use up leftover croissants for brunch or dessert!
The best way to transform stale croissants is to make croissant bread pudding or almond croissants. In this bread pudding, the croissants are soaked in a milk and egg mixture and then baked until it becomes soft and custard-like with a buttery and flaky top. You can't even tell the croissants were stale. You completely change them and turn them into a delicious new baked good.
This croissant bread pudding is lightly spiced with cinnamon and brown sugar. When served with maple syrup, the texture and taste are similar to french toast, which also makes use of stale bread.
What is bread pudding?
Bread pudding is a simple dessert made by combining stale bread with milk and eggs and baking it. The bread becomes soft and custardy after soaking up the milk and egg mixture. This method is similar to making french toast except it's baked in a dish.
This dish originates from Europe in the early 11th or 12th century when food was scarce and leftovers were saved and repurposed. It was common for households to collect stale bread in a deep dish or "pudding basin".
This bread pudding made with croissants is a variation of the classic dish. It's more crispy, buttery, and flaky thanks to the croissants.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This recipe is so easy to make with just a few ingredients.
- Bread pudding is a great way to use leftover, stale croissants and give them new life.
- It's deliciously crispy and flaky on the outside and soft and custardy on the inside.
- There are plenty of variations you can make by changing up the toppings.
- Croissants - Use leftover, day-old croissants. They're drier so they soak up more of the milk mixture. It's a great way to use up stale croissants that don't taste their best on their own anymore.
- Milk - Use any kind of dairy or non-dairy milk.
- Eggs - The eggs hold everything together when baked and help create a custard-like texture.
- Brown sugar - This gives more flavour than regular granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon - This adds more warming flavour along with the brown sugar and vanilla extract.
- Fresh fruits - Use any kind of fresh fruits to sprinkle on top or serve alongside the bread pudding. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries work well!
- Pistachios - Optional, for a crunchy texture.
- Powdered sugar - For dusting on top to make the dish look restaurant-worthy.
- Maple syrup - For drizzling on top or serving on the side. This really completes the dish and adds more sweetness and moisture.
How to make croissant bread pudding
Cut croissants - Slice croissants in half lengthwise and in half again widthwise. Cut the bottom halves into smaller pieces and place them into an 8" baking dish.
Mix ingredients - Whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Soak croissants - Pour milk mixture over the croissant cubes in the baking dish.
Arrange croissants on top - Arrange the top halves of the croissants on top of the baking dish and press down to soak in the milk mixture. Let this sit while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake - Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with fresh fruit, nuts, and powdered sugar, and serve while warm with maple syrup!
Croissant bread pudding is best served immediately after baking while it's warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven before serving.
Bread pudding can be frozen if you haven't poured any sauce or syrup over it to prevent it from becoming too soggy. Store it in an airtight container or wrap it well with plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1 month.
Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven to crisp it back up before serving.
Tips & tricks
- Use stale croissants. Stale, days-old croissants are drier so they soak up more of the milk mixture. They also become crispier when baked. If you're using fresh croissants, leave them out on the counter overnight before using them.
- Press the croissant pieces into the milk mixture to soak. Make sure all the bread pieces are soaked in the milk mixture. Tip the baking dish around to move the liquid around and press down any croissant cubes that are sticking up.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy. Croissants from the grocery store (like Costco), are usually softer and meant to be baked a second time. You'll have to bake for slightly longer (closer to 40 minutes) for these croissants to become golden brown. Croissants from a specialty bakery are often sold already baked to perfection and crispy. These will need less baking time and be careful not to let them burn.
- Serve warm and freshly baked. In my opinion, croissant bread pudding tastes best when it's served warm, straight from the oven. The croissants are at their crispiest. Leftovers can be reheated but they won't be as crispy as the first day.
This croissant bread pudding is completely customizable with different toppings and sauces. Some ideas include:
- Fruits: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
- Nuts: pistachios, walnuts, almonds
- Bake-ins (add these into the dish before baking): raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, apples
- Sauces: honey, maple syrup, simple syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, lemon curd, jam, condensed milk
- Other toppings: ice cream, whipped cream, butter, Nutella
Frequently asked questions
If your bread pudding is too soggy, your croissants or bread weren't stale enough and didn't soak up enough of the liquid.
Bread pudding can be served both hot or cold but I would recommend it hot or warm.
Bread pudding can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before baking.
Since bread pudding is made with milk and eggs and has a moist texture, it needs to be refrigerated to prevent spoilage and bacteria growth.
More croissant recipes to try
Croissant Bread Pudding
- 1 8" baking dish
- 4 stale, day-old croissants
- 275 mL milk
- 2 large eggs
- 50 g brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- fresh fruits
- powdered sugar
- maple syrup
- Slice croissants in half lengthwise and in half again widthwise. Cut the bottom halves into cubes and place them into an 8" baking dish.
- Whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and pour this over the croissant pieces.
- Arrange the top halves of the croissants on top of the baking dish and press down to soak in the milk mixture. Let this sit while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with fresh fruit, nuts, powdered sugar, and serve while warm with maple syrup!