Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

In a recent post My ‘One Lovely Blog’ Award, I confessed that one of the fascinating facts about me is that I can make a meal out of nothing. Well, almost nothing.

That talent came in handy last night when friends dropped by unexpectedly, at dinner time. Of course I invited them to stay. It’s never much trouble to extend a meal, and I managed to make our curry go a bit further by adding in some extra vegetables (sorry, we ate it all before I thought about taking photos!), but I was initially a little stumped about what to serve up for dessert.

There’s not much in the cupboard. Ice-cream on its own seemed a bit ‘pov’, but luckily I had some delicious sourdough fruit bread, eggs and milk.  Solution? Bread and butter pudding!

This pudding is one of the first desserts I mastered on my own, ably taught by my Nana when I was a small girl.  It’s a very child-friendly dish for little hands eager to help out with dinner. This is easy and fast to make, and you can use whatever ingredients you have in the pantry. The lemon zest in this recipe gives the pudding a lovely citrus-y tang.

Meyer Lemons from the tree in our backyard
Yummy bread from the local farmers markets


4 eggs, 2 and 1/2 cups milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla (Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the basis to my Easy Baked Custard Recipe!) zest of one lemon, 6 to 8 slices of fruit bread (you might need more if it’s a small loaf or if you have a big baking dish and a crowd to feed) or use plain bread and a handful of sultanas, dried apricots or mixed dried fruit (Did I mention to use whatever bread or fruit you have in the cupboard?), butter, jam or marmalade of your choice.  I had Apricot Jam in the pantry, so that’s what I used.


Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate or 355F) or slightly less if it is fan forced.

Grease a baking dish large enough to hold your bread slices and the custard mixture (a six to eight cup capacity should do it).  Butter the bread slices, add a thin layer of jam and cut into halves or thirds. Place into bowl so that the slices overlap. If you are using a plain bread, sprinkle some of the the fruit between the layers of bread but don’t put any on the top of the pudding as it will burn.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla, ensuring that sugar has dissolved.  Pour gently over bread.  Wiggle the slices a little to ensure that the egg mixture has gone right to the bottom of the dish.  Then let it stand for 30 minutes so that the bread absorbs the liquid.  This will give your pudding a nice lift.

Bake for thirty minutes or until the top has risen and is golden and nicely firm. (If it feels really wobbly in the centre give it another five to ten minutes.) Don’t panic if it sinks again after it’s been out of the oven for a bit – it shall still taste delicious.  Serve with ice-cream, custard or cream.  Heavenly.  It’s also yummy cold if you manage to salvage any as left-overs. (We didn’t…) Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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29 thoughts on “Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

  1. In my hometown we do this dish with layers of fresh tangy apples between the bread instead of butter and jam. The bread is soaked in the egg-milk-mixture before putting it in layers in the pan. Delishious!

  2. it’s kind of like a deluxe “french toast”…love the idea!! I can just imagine it melting in my mouth with vanilla ice cream on top! Too bad I’ve given up sugar. Will try it out one day though when I have company and need something sweet to serve up!! 😀
    with love light and JOY

    1. hmmm…well, might give it a try, but would just as soon make the “real” thing using guests as an excuse to cheat!! 😀

  3. That fruit bread looks amazing, and I like the idea of adding lemon. Delicious! Bread and butter pudding is one of those puds that’s very satisfying to make and to eat, I love it! I’ve never put jam in a bread and butter pudding, but I’m going to try that idea some time, thank you.

    1. The lemon is yum – and I’ve actually gone a bit overboard sometimes and used lemon curd instead of jam for a magically lemony pud. Well worth the effort. In fact this is inspiring me to make lemon curd just so I can!!!

  4. That is marvelous that you were able to feed a crowd so ingeniously on such short notice. Really impressive.

    I just bought some Meyer lemons today, but they don’t look nearly as nice as the ones that you are growing. So jealous!

    Bread and butter pudding is my favorite dessert. There is just something so warm and homey about it. This looks amazing!

    1. Not that ingenious – I have many years practice of making simple food go a long way! There is something quite magical about going to the tree to pick a lemon fresh when I need one. I find herbs like that too. One minute they’re growing, and the next minute they’re in you! 😀

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