Bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding

Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

I thought I knew how to make a good bread and butter pudding until I went to the American state of Louisiana in the 1980s as a guest of the McIlhenny (Tabasco) family. This old-fashioned British pudding has become the ‘belle’ of America’s south, where it is usually spiked with bourbon. I’ve been adding a wee dram of whisky (I am a Scot after all) to this ultimate in comfort food ever since.

It’s usually made using leftover bread and milk, and is richer with cream. It makes a big difference when the prepared pudding is left to stand for 15 minutes before baking, so the bread can soak up the custard, giving it a sumptuous but light finish.

Even an old-fashioned bread and butter pudding like this has plenty of scope for cooks and chefs to update with their own special touch. Some recipes and restaurants use brioche, croissants or fruit loaf, but I prefer the simplicity of a good white loaf, thickly sliced.


Quantity Ingredient
12 slices white bread
60g soft butter
1 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons currants, (optional)
4-6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whisky, bourbon or sherry
1/2 teaspoon grated mace or nutmeg
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon sifted icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Butter the bread, first removing the crusts, if you like. Cut into triangles and arrange in a large, buttered ovenproof dish. Scatter with the fruit. Beat the eggs with the sugar and alcohol, and mace or nutmeg. Scald the milk with the cream and pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture, mixing well.
  2. Strain over the bread triangles and leave to soak for 10–15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Set the dish in a baking dish of hot water that reaches halfway up the sides of the pudding dish and bake until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean and the pudding is risen and golden. This can take 45 minutes to an hour. Dust with icing sugar, if liked, and serve.
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