Donut Bread Pudding is super simple to make and insanely delicious! It only takes a few refrigerator staples and a dozen donuts to create magic in the form of bread pudding.
If you’re already a fan of bread pudding, welcome to a new stratosphere of bread pudding delight. On the other hand, if you’ve tried bread pudding before and found it heavy in texture and underwhelming in flavor, I’m about to blow your mind.
Donut bread pudding is the creamiest and lightest bread pudding I have ever tasted. The texture is fluffy in your mouth while also being decadent from the eggs and cream. The flavors of nutmeg and vanilla make you feel warm inside. Donut Bread Pudding is the ultimate comfort food.
The ingredients for this recipe are most likely already in your house. Okay, so maybe you don’t always have a dozen donuts in the house, but the rest of the ingredients are staples in my kitchen.
I have also made this recipe from leftover office donuts. They often get thrown out at the end of the day, but instead, you can turn them into bread pudding.
- Dozen glazed yeast donuts- cake donuts don’t work as well as yeast; they tend to fall apart when combined with the custard, and the finished recipe isn’t as light in texture. Stick with yeast donuts for this recipe. You could be adventurous and use donuts with flavored icing, but I would avoid any kind with filling.
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Brown sugar
- Caramel Sauce- this is totally optional.
Bread puddings are easy to make and can be made with a variety of ingredients. I may be partial, but donuts are the best “bread” I’ve ever found for pudding. The big flavor that donuts offer also means you don’t need to do much for the recipe to turn out amazing.
There are three main steps to making Donut Bread Pudding.
- Cut each donut into six equal pieces.
- Combine the eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and nutmeg to create a custard.
- Pour the custard over the donuts.
After that, the bread pudding needs to bake, and it will be ready to serve in less than an hour. There is no need for a water bath for baking (if you don’t know what that is, don’t give it another thought- just keep on reading!). This recipe stays very moist with a standard baking process.
I like to serve my Donut Bread Pudding with a drizzle of caramel sauce, but chocolate sauce would be totally delicious as well. If you really want to make this dessert over the top decadent, you can also top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Donut Bread Pudding is so simple that it does not leave a lot of room for substitutions. A few that come to mind are:
- Whole milk- 2% milk would be okay in place of whole milk, but if it’s to save calories remember there is also heavy cream in the recipe. If it’s because you don’t want to commit to a large container of whole milk and you keep 2% in the fridge, I support that substitution.
- Donuts- Yeast donuts are the only type I would recommend for bread pudding. Cake donuts, while delicious, do not give you the same light and fluffy texture. Cake donuts also tend to fall apart when being mixed with the custard.
- Brown sugar- You can use white sugar, but the flavor won’t be as complex.
Any of the flavored iced donuts (like chocolate or cherry) would be a fun twist on this recipe. Choose your favorite donut variety and give the recipe a try! I would love to hear about other flavors of Donut Bread Pudding in the comments below.
A word of advice though is to avoid any filled donuts. They may throw off the balance of liquid ingredients in the custard and leave you with runny bread pudding.
- Serve: Donut Bread Pudding is best served fresh out of the oven.
- Store: The dish can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat before serving.
- Freeze: To freeze, allow the dish to cool completely and separate it into individual portions. The portions can be kept frozen in an airtight container for up to 30 days.
- Defrost: Leave the frozen bread puddings in the fridge overnight to thaw.
- Reheat: Use a microwave on half power to reheat. Heat for 2 minutes at 50% and then work in 30-second increments until the bread pudding is warmed through.
Old, leftover, or stale donuts work best for this recipe. I realize those words do not sound all that delicious, but the donuts really need to be a little bit dried out so that they soak up the custard.
If your only option is fresh donuts, I recommend cutting them into pieces, placing the pieces on a baking sheet, and bake at 250°F for about 30 minutes to dry them out. Let them cool completely before adding the custard.
Whether you use Krispy Kreme donuts or a dozen from your favorite local chain, Donut Bread Pudding is sure to be one of your favorite new dessert recipes. Something this easy and delicious can’t be passed up so give it a try. Let me know how it goes with a recipe rating, please.
Donut Bread Pudding
- 12 glazed yeast donuts at least one day old*
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch nutmeg
- caramel sauce optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 3 quart or deep 8" x 8" baking dish with baking spray.
- Cut each donut into 6 equal pieces. Place in a the prepared baking dish.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, combine beaten eggs with the milk, cream, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and nutmeg.
- Pour the liquid over the donut pieces.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
- Optional to serve with caramel sauce and ice cream.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I do not recommend it. The cake donuts fall apart when combined with the custard, and the cooked bread pudding will be less light and fluffy.
Sure, but I don't recommend any filled donuts. Iced donuts like cherry or chocolate iced will work in the recipe.
Yes, but see my tip in the recipe notes above to dry out the donuts.