This apple bread pudding recipe is a decadent fall treat that combines traditional bread pudding flavors with the famous apple pie that you will not be able to resist! Spiced apples are layered between soft cubed pieces of challah bread and drizzled with a homemade caramel sauce that is sweet and buttery. This warm dessert only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is a great addition to holiday parties.
I am all about easy when it comes to sourcing ingredients in the kitchen. So I decided to use canned spiced apples, which you can find on the baking aisle. However, if you and your family are going apple picking this season, you could definitely use fresh apples as well. In that case, you will probably have some leftover, so use them by making homemade caramel apples, fried apples, or pumpkin apple muffins.
This dessert casserole would pair great with a classic meal such as brown sugar glazed ham, our favorite pot roast recipe, herb-roasted chicken, or this easy smoked turkey recipe. All of which we recommend through the holiday season! Even though we categorize this as a tasty dessert, you could also serve it at brunch like you would a French toast casserole.
Why You’ll Love This Apple Bread Pudding Recipe
- It’s easy to make.
- A great way to use up leftover apples.
- Feeds a crowd, which is perfect for the holidays.
- Caramel apple bread pudding tastes absolutely amazing and no one can turn it down!
What Ingredients do I Need for Apple Bread Pudding?
- Challah bread – this type of cubed bread works better than sandwich bread because it’s thicker and has a better texture once it’s covered in the other ingredients. You can also use brioche.
- unsalted butter
- large eggs – allow time for them to come to room temperature so they mix better
- half & half
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- apple pie spice blend
- spiced apples – I am using canned, but if you want to use fresh, scroll to the notes section
- unsalted butter
- light brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- half & half
- vanilla extract
Before You Start cube the bread and lay it on a baking sheet at room temperature so it can dry out. This will allow it to soak up the egg mixture better.
How to Make Homemade Apple Bread Pudding
PREP: Chop the bread into cubes and use a pastry brush to spread the butter on the sides and bottom of the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, half and half, salt, and apple pie spice blend.
ASSEMBLE: Place a layer of bread in the bottom, then a layer of apples, and repeat. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, covering it evenly. Drizzle the top with melted butter. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
COOK: Baked covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
MAKE THE SAUCE: Combine the butter and sugars in a small pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, whisking constantly or until it reaches 220 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in the half & half, vanilla, and salt.
SERVE: Slowly drizzle the bread pudding with the caramel, reserving some for individual servings. Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
- The longer this pudding is refrigerated, the better it is – so feel make it ahead of time. Do not chill for more than 24 hours.
- Allow glass baking dishes to come to room temperature before cooking. This will prevent your pan from shattering.
- Canned spiced apples is NOT the same at apple pie filling.
- To use fresh apples: You will need 3 cups of diced apples and add an additional teaspoon of cinnamon to the egg mixture.
- If you are running short on time, swap the homemade caramel for a high-quality store-bought sauce.
- Leftover caramel can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 1 month. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds or heat over low heat on the stovetop.
- Homemade apple pie spice blend: Combine 1 ¼ cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon allspice. Store in a lidded jar for up to 1 year.
- If desired, sprinkle walnuts or pecans on top once you uncover it.
- Be careful when it comes to heating the caramel sauce, it can burn easily.
Bread pudding was actually created as a frugal recipe in order to use up stale and old bread.
Keep it covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave if desired.
We enjoy bread pudding warm or at room temperature, but there’s no harm in eating it cold.
If you want to freeze it, do so once it has finished baking and has cooled. Do not freeze it with the caramel sauce, instead save that for when you reheat and are ready to serve.
Apple Bread Pudding
- 8 cups 1 pound loaf Challah bread, cubed into 1 inch pieces)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 8 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice blend
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 15 oz. cans spiced apples, juices drained and diced into ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup half & half
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Using a pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter onto the sides and bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, half & half, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, apple pie spice blend and salt. Be sure that all the eggs are well beaten and all the ingredients are well combined.
- Into the bottom of the prepared 9×13 baking dish place an even layer of cubed challah bread.
- Sprinkle half of the diced spiced apples evenly over the top of the layer of cubed challah bread.
- Repeat with a second layer of cubed challah bread and diced spiced apples.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread and apples making sure you cover all the bread with the egg mixture. You can use the back of a large spoon to push any pieces of bread into the egg mixture if they did not get covered when you were pouring it over the bread.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and drizzle it over the entire top of the apple bread pudding.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350* F. While your oven is preheating you will want to allow your baking dish to sit at room temperature to warm up before placing it into a hot oven. This is especially important if you are using a glass baking dish.
- Bake the apple bread pudding for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While your apple bread pudding finishes baking you can make your caramel sauce by adding the unsalted butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar to a saucepan on medium heat. You will melt your butter and cook your sugars for 5-6 minutes, whisking constantly, or until the mixture reaches 220*F on a candy thermometer. Be very careful not to let your sugars burn.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the half & half, vanilla extract and salt until fully incorporated. Be very careful working with hot sugars like this caramel sauce. It can cause severe burns if not handled properly.
- When your apple bread pudding comes out of the oven you will slowly pour the caramel sauce over the top of the warm bread pudding. *Be sure to reserve about ½ cup of the caramel sauce to serve over individual servings of the apple bread pudding*. The Caramel sauce will make approximately 1 ½ cups of sauce.