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Bread And Butter Pudding, Simple Plus Variations

Updated on February 17, 2015

Bread And Butter Pudding: A Great Dessert

Bread and butter pudding is one of the easiest but tastiest puddings I know. It's a simple recipe for children to make, it's a great pudding for everyone to eat.

You can make the simple version, you can dress it up a bit, go for a luxury bread and butter pudding for a dinner party. Easy to make, perfect for cooking with the kids.

If you like quiches or ham 'n ' eggs, have a look at the recipe for a savoury bread and butter pudding - a great lunch or supper on a cold night.

So What's In A Bread And Butter Pudding?

At its simplest - day old bread, butter, milk, eggs, sugar. They're the basics and you can use slightly older eggs if it's just a quick dessert for a family meal. Nothing there for fussy eaters (or children as the experts call 'em) to object to.

Getting more adventurous, cinnamon, nutmeg, sultanas, raisins, vanilla. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, rum, cranberries (though not all at once).

Glamming it up, reach for the cognac.

After you've made it once, add anything you and the family like. Loads of things go with the basic ingredients, or just eat the simple version -- either way you're guaranteed no leftovers!

Bread and Butter Pudding
Bread and Butter Pudding

Basic Bread And Butter Pudding


40g/1.5oz butter, allowed to soften to room temperature

10 thin slices white bread, day old, crusts removed

450ml/16fl oz whole milk

3 large eggs

35g/1.5oz granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4
  • Use small amount of butter to lightly grease a 2 pint pie dish
  • Spread bread with remaining butter, cut into triangles
  • In a bowl, lightly beat eggs and add milk
  • Add sugar to egg mixture and stir
  • Using half the bread, arrange a layer of triangles in the pie dish and pour over half the egg mixture
  • Add a second layer of bread triangles and pour on the rest of the egg mixture
  • Bake for 30 minutes on middle oven shelf, or until the custard has set and the top is golden brown

Good basic kitchenware

Le Creuset Stoneware 12-1/2-by-9-1/2-Inch Rectangular Baking Dish,  Cherry
Le Creuset Stoneware 12-1/2-by-9-1/2-Inch Rectangular Baking Dish, Cherry

One of the great makers of kitchenware: a nice large dish that will go from oven to table

Jessie Steele Ava Bib Apron, Retro Cherries
Jessie Steele Ava Bib Apron, Retro Cherries

Go on, treat yourself and don't feel guilty as it's practical as well as pretty


Perfect For Children To Make

Parents are probably ahead of me here - the basic pudding is ideal to make with small kids. Plastic utensils will do, no sharp knives needed, no electrical equipment, no hot pans, simple steps that kids can handle - wait for that frown of concentration and the tongue sticking out of the corner of the mouth as they butter the bread and arrange it in the bowl.

It's also good as it can't go wrong - unless you burn it or add the cat by mistake, it's one of the few guaranteed recipes I know.

Children's Aprons

Fun Express Assorted Children's Artists Aprons for Kitchen or Classroom (Pack of 12)
Fun Express Assorted Children's Artists Aprons for Kitchen or Classroom (Pack of 12)

Machine washable, pack of cheap and cheerful aprons for the kids

Chefskin Lightweight White Apron Kids Children Fits 2-7 Yr Fabric
Chefskin Lightweight White Apron Kids Children Fits 2-7 Yr Fabric

One for the young professional chef in the making

Grate nutmeg over bread and butter pudding
Grate nutmeg over bread and butter pudding

Simple Variations

Ring the bread and butter pudding variations

Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence to the egg/milk mixture.

Throw a few sultanas over each layer of bread, or raisins (nice big juicy California raisins).

Try a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg in the egg/milk mixture.

Substitute a bit of cream for a bit of the milk.

Grate some nutmeg over the top before baking (my favourite simple variation).

Sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top before baking.

Use stale pannetone or croissants instead of white bread.

You can use wholemeal bread but it rather overpowers the simple recipe.

Gluten-Free Bread Pudding

A friend of mine who's wheat-intolerant has recommended Gluten-free bread and butter pudding. I've made other recipes from this site for guests - sitemaster has a great tone (it's one of those cookery sites you can read for pleasure) and I've never found a duff recipe yet.

Bread and Butter Pudding FreeFoto
Bread and Butter Pudding FreeFoto

Violinist Vanessa Mae's last supper would be onion tart, moussaka and bread and butter pudding.

Bread And Butter Pudding: Serving Suggestions

Bread and butter pudding is good by itself straight from the oven, or you can try a pouring of single or double cream. I like a dollop of good vanilla ice cream with mine, I love the warm/cold mix.

I even once experimented and flambéed a posh version with brandy -- not sure it helped the flavour but it got a round of applause from the dinner guests.

If you want to throw the diet out of the window, try bread and butter pudding with toffee sauce:

75g/2oz butter

75g/2oz dark brown sugar

100ml /3fl oz double cream

Melt butter and suger in a thick-bottomed pan over a low heat, cook for about four minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream. Serve immediately. I prefer unsalted butter but it's a matter of taste.

Getting Fancier: More Bread And Butter Pudding Variations

Chocolate, rum, whisky, dinner party variations

An easy way to make this taste even better is to improve the custard part of the dish. Put 12 fl ozs milk and 4 fl ozs cream into a pan with a vanilla pod (sliced and seeds scraped off and into the pan), bring to a gentle boil and simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool until lukewarm. Beat eggs and sugar until light, then pour over the cooled milk/cream after straining it.

Delia Smith has a great recipe using dark chocolate and rum Still simple but tastes incredible. Not one for the kids though!

James Martin also likes chocolate and alcohol: his recipe uses white chocolate and whiskey

An exotic variation from Manju Malhi (this one is gorgeous): bread and butter pud with papaya and saffron

The Microwave Association recommends, yes, a microwaved version Not tried this but it looks promising.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a banana and chocolate bread and butter pudding. Works well without the chocolate also.

One I haven't made but the author has a lot of good recipes: BP with rum-soaked raisins and apple, served with a vanilla sauce.

And a recipe I've just come across but not tried yet, Bread and Butter Pudding with Whiskey Crème Anglaise

Slainte bread and butter pudding
Slainte bread and butter pudding
Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay's Bread And Butter Pudding

Gordon Ramsay: love him or loathe him, he began his career by being a great chef and my sister's annual treat is to one of his London restaurants, purely for the bread and butter pudding. His recipe uses baguettes laced with Baileys liqueur. Sadly he protects his copyright savagely so I can't legally point you to the restaurant recipe. Worth experimenting though.

Cooking for Friends
Cooking for Friends

Great dinner party food for people who aren't great chefs

Savoury bread and butter pudding
Savoury bread and butter pudding

Savoury Bread And Butter Pudding

A savoury variation for brunch and lunch

A great variation for a winter supper or even a brunch, and a great change from the standard quiche. Serve with whatever green salad leaves are in season and a few tomatoes. This is Simon Rimmer's recipe, first published on the BBC website. For more recipes, including vegetarian, see ifood's Savoury Bread And Butter Pudding Recipes.


75g/2.5oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced

1 loaf thick-sliced white bread, crusts removed

200g/7oz thick-cut ham, cut into chunks

250g/9oz mature cheddar, grated

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

100g/3.5oz peas

3 free-range eggs, plus 3 free-range egg yolks

500ml/18fl oz double cream


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  • Grease a large ovenproof dish with butter
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until softened
  • Meanwhile, butter the slices of bread
  • Layer, half of the buttered bread, onion, ham, cheese, parsley and peas into the dish, then repeat with the remaining ingredients. Reserve a little cheese to sprinkle over the top
  • Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl until well combined
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour onto the egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread and set aside for at least 30 minutes
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden-brown on top

There's a dish called a strata which is a sort of savoury bread and butter pudding: layers of custardy bread, bacon/spinach, cheese, repeated three times. See Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's strata recipe in the Guardian.. Worth a look, apart from the taste, as it's one you make the day before and refrigerate overnight - just bring to room temperature then throw it into the oven when you're ready.

Christmas Bread And Butter Pudding

A great range, from mincemeaty for all the family to whisky-drenched for the grownups.

The Blessed Delia

Delia's Complete Cookery Course (Vol 1-3)
Delia's Complete Cookery Course (Vol 1-3)

If you're new to puddings, indeed to cooking, English cook and author Delia Smith has some of the best books around. She isn't a "cheffy chef", her recipes are easy to follow and almost guarantee great results. In the book highlighted here, she covers puddings and much, much more. This is the most thumbed, most food-splashed book in my kitchen.



Intro pic from FineCooking,com

Pic from BBC

Pic with permission from British and Irish Food

Pic from FreeFoto

Bread And Butter Pudding: Comments - What's your favourite variation?

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bread pudding has always been a favorite of mine. How lovely to see these variations. I must try them all.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 2 years ago

      Ok, I'm tempted... I'd like to try the savoury version!

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 2 years ago from UK

      We love bread and butter pudding. We always use wholemeal bread and skip the sugar altogether -we use cinnamon. Then as you say you can add whatever you feel like! It is hard to go wrong really with it. I have not however tried the savoury version so I will be giving that a go soon. Thank you.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 2 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Looks delicious! I will have to try it!

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 2 years ago

      Paul, now you've made me hungry! Great recipes, thanks!

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 2 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I love bread and butter pudding. There are some lovely variations here.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 2 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      yum - and here I am on a fasting day!

    • profile image

      othellos 2 years ago

      Appreciate you sharing the recipe. I think my children learned how to make it in their school and now it's an easy dessert when we have friends around.

    • profile image

      GEMNITYA5 3 years ago

      TEMPTING Bread And Butter Pudding RECIPE---



    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 4 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I remember sultanas as the best part of bread and butter pudding.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I have awful memories of bread and butter pudding

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Everyone needs a few recipes in their repertoire so that they can make nice food without much, and so they can not waste. Both the sweet and savory bread and butter puddings fulfill those requirements. You can make a vegetarian version of the savory pudding by substituting mushrooms for the ham. Digg-ed.

    • AprilAlice profile image

      AprilAlice 4 years ago

      I love bread pudding. I hadn't thought about being able to make a gluten-free version. Good idea!!!!!!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a tasty dessert every once in a while. Love your simple recipes with all the different ways to jazz it up!

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      I love bread and butter pudding!!!

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Looks and sounds de-lish!

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Sounds delicious, I'm certainly going to try it.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      You had me at 'Bread...' This sounds so good - we have bread pudding here in the US but your version looks better!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      I have tried making bread and butter pudding but nothing compares to that my dear old mom used to make. Maybe it is just fond memories of growing up but I have never tasted anything qiuite like it. Should have asked for the recipe whilst I had the chance.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      Hmmm...anything with cinnamon looks good today.

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