Croissant Bread Pudding with Dried Cherries and Butterscotch Chips - If you're looking for an easy way to transform your leftover stale croissants into a comforting and decadent dessert or breakfast dish, look no further! This homemade croissant bread pudding with dried cherries and butterscotch chips has a smooth, buttery texture and flavor that is almost impossible to resist.
This dessert is a perfect addition to your holiday spread, but also welcome any time of year. I think that you'll find yourself buying more croissants just to make it.
This is a recipe that we made for Springs Orleans restaurant in Colorado, and was a huge favorite. We like to pair it with a creamy vanilla infused bourbon crème anglaise, but it's amazing with a simple dust of powdered sugar and berries also.
Why Croissants for Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding is a classic southern style dessert that has been made for generations. It's basic origin is the same as many culinary stories and legends, a way to use up leftovers, so as not to waste good food. Using the ingredients of a sweet custard, eggs, milk or cream, and sugar, is a sure fired way to convince practically anyone to dig right in!
Why croissants then, you may ask? The answer at it's most basic is simple, because it's delicious! But seriously, croissants are pretty expensive compared to most bread products, being difficult to make, and containing a large amount of butter. That butter is part of why they are flaky and delicate, making them uniquely qualified for this dish.
- Croissants - The star of this dessert. If these are not a staple in your household, which we strongly encourage, you can of course purchase them for this recipe. As mentioned earlier, this is an ideal use for stale rolls, but fresh is just as good.
- Vanilla - It is required by law in the USA to label vanilla extract as pure, or imitation. We will always advise strongly to never use imitation anything in food, so stay away from that! A good tip to find the best quality extract and vanilla products is to look for the variety named "Madagascar bourbon". This is not in reference to the liquor, but the type and origin of the bean, being the world wide accepted best one.
- Dried Cherries - These little gems of flavor are available in most grocery stores. I'll give fair warning, if you snack on these before completing this recipe, you might want to buy extra, they are very addictive! Dried cherries come in two main varieties, sweet or tart. Either type are perfect to use here, dealers choice of preference.
- Eggs - This is what holds the custard, and therefore, the pudding, together.
- Half and Half - Milk alone would be a little too watery for this, and cream a little too fatty, so right in the middle is best.
- Sugar - We adore brown sugar here at Season Two Taste, but in this case, the moisture content and color would not be appropriate. White and granulated is perfect.
- Butterscotch chips - These rich and creamy morsels are kind of the underdog of the dessert chip world, and blend perfectly with the buttery croissants.
- Butter - Don't use salted, as we don't want to lose control of the seasoning.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step One - Process the Croissants
Make sure to use high quality, flaky rolls. If they are previously frozen or dense, toast them longer in the oven to remove excess moisture.
Tear them by hand into large, rough pieces.
Step Two - Start the Custard
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, and measure out the sugar, and combine.
Using a wire whip, whisk the sugar and eggs together until the eggs are homogenous, and the sugar is dissolved.
Step Three and Four - Finish the Custard, Combine with Ingredients
Whip in the half and half and other seasonings until combined well.
Toss in the remaining ingredients except for the butter, and begin to mix.
Step Five and Six - Mixing, Preparing the Pan Liner
Thoroughly combine everything with the custard, let soak while preparing and lining the pan.
Measure out a piece of parchment to fit the pan, with an inch or two extra. Make 4 diagonal cuts to accommodate the corners of the pan.
Step Seven - Line and Fill Pan
Spray the pan with non-stick coating, lay the paper in to fit, and spray once more to prevent stickage.
Pour the bread pudding batter in, using your hands to make an even layer. Place dollops of the butter scattered evenly.
Step Eight and NIne - Bake, and Unwrap
Cover tightly with foil that has been lightly sprayed on the inside, cook in a 350 degree oven until set, about a half hour.
Remove the foil, and put back in the oven to brown for another 30 minutes.
Step Ten - Portion and Serve
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and firm up for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Alternately, this can be made ahead, cooled completely, portioned, and then re-heated for serving, (the portions come out prettier and more even this way).
Serve with bourbon crème anglaise, as seen here, or you can garnish with berries, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. Give it a try with some ice cream!
When your remove this croissant bread pudding from the oven, it will still not be completely firm. This is by design, as it will not fully set up until it starts to cool a bit. Do not cook it until it is completely firm, as it will be entirely too dry at that point.
This croissant bread pudding can be used as a template to make all different kinds of flavors. Experiment and get creative with it, let us know in the comments how they came out!
- Chips/Morsels/Chunks - chocolate, (both white, dark, or milk), caramel, even candy bar pieces
- Dried Fruit - there are so many different varieties, raisins, pineapple, apples...
This bread pudding will store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days when kept tightly sealed. When frozen, the left overs will remain viable for up to 2 months.
In order to make storage as easy and convenient as possible, allow the whole pudding to chill completely, cut it into portions, and store individually.
Making this recipe in advance and re heating it is so simple and convenient, we actually suggest doing it for best practice in general, (see the second to last step in the process pictures above)!
We do not suggest trying to re heat the entire batch, or even larger pieces of the pudding, as the outside edges will over cook and become dry. Cut into desired portion size, and either heat in the oven at 350 until the center is 145 degrees, (about 30 minutes), or in the microwave for about one and a half minutes.
The step of toasting the croissants in advance is essential to the overall texture of the finished product here. If un-toasted bread is used, the custard will not soak into the rolls well enough. This will result in a chewy and gummy texture, and can leave dry spots throughout the pudding.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Croissant Bread Pudding with Dried Cherries and Butterscotch
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan
- 1 wire whip
- 1 baking sheet pan
- 2 sheets of parchment paper
- 1 Rubber Spatula
- 1 Kitchen Scale
- 1 liquid measuring cup
- 1 Measuring Spoon Set
- 1 Cooling rack
- 2 lbs. Butter croissants
- 5 whole Eggs
- 32 oz Half & Half
- 8 oz Granulated Sugar
- 10 oz Dried Cherries You can use dark or tart cherries or a combination of the two.
- 1 11 oz bag Butterscotch Chips
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract See the notes above discussing the best Vanilla Extract to use.
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 4 oz Butter unsalted
- as needed Pan release spray
- preheat your oven to 350℉
- Line a baking sheet pan with a sheet of parchment paper and assemble the croissants on the pan
- Place the croissants in the oven for about 10 minutes or until crispy
- Tear the croissants in to rough pieces using your hands and place in a large mixing bowl
- Crack the eggs into the other large mixing bowl
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and whisk to combine
- Add the half & half to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk to combine
- Add the dried cherries and butterscotch chips to the mixing bowl with the torn croissants
- Pour the egg, sugar, and half and half mixture into the bowl containing the croissants, dried cherries, and butterscotch chips, and mix to combine using the rubber spatula
- Spray and line the 9 x 13 inch baking pan (see the notes above regarding lining the baking pan)
- Evenly distribute the bread pudding mixture into the prepared baking pan, and distribute the pieces of butter over the top of the mixture
- Spray one side of a piece of aluminum foil with pan spray release and place it tightly over the baking pan
- Place the pan in the preheated oven for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes remove the foil and place back into the oven for 30 additional minutes
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Serve it with Creme Anglaise and enjoy!