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The Best Bread Pudding and a Holiday Party Hack

As a newly married twenty-something, one of the first things I learned to bake, was this no-fail dessert. Fast forward a few decades and this warm and cozy hug-inside-a-loaf-pan has become a family favorite. It’s our Christmas morning tradition, hosting a group of friends go-to, and even the easiest party mini’s.

It must be told that my mother-in-law, Gloria Jean, made this possible. As I became part of her family and her kitchen, she introduced me to bread pudding and this very recipe. She learned it from her neighbor and family friend. Pinterest and Google were not showing up with a million ideas. Rather, in the days of yore, women were left to share their recipe secrets with one another, on handwritten pieces of paper, passed over the fence. This era of mamas mingled with their neighbors by spending time in lawn chairs, sipping iced tea, and having face to face conversation. Old school pinterest.

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From Gloria’s kitchen

Bread pudding was just one of the marvelous benefits of marrying into the Monsivaiz family. I remember countless holidays spent in Gloria’s kitchen, helping and learning along the way. Watching as she effortlessly whipped up this sweet, sticky, cinnamony loaf of delight. Needless to say, I was learning much more than baking. This godly woman oozed what it looked like to love your family unconditionally and sacrificially. Bringing them together over freshly baked bread pudding was just one facet of her love.

To my kitchen

Y’all this is my tried and true never fail Fall/Winter dessert. With, a few tweaks of my own, do you even know me? Fun fact: this happens to be the ALWAYS requested birthday dessert of my middle child. It has been our Christmas morning tradition many years. Bread pudding can easily be baked ahead and enjoyed the next day, cold right out of the fridge (husband favorite), or room temperature. Or, eaten the very best way, warmed up and topped with ice cream!

I keep my cinnamon sugar mix in a shaker jar like this or this for easy topping of all the things.

For the party girls

If you need an easy show stopper to add to your holiday hosting or take to a dinner invite, you are going to love this! Make a quick batch of bread pudding right inside a loaf pan or square pan, let it cool. Use an ice cream scoop to add a couple mounds to dessert glasses or small mason jars. I like these. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or dulce de leche. Dulce de who? Likely… the most gorgeous creamy, caramelized sauce that you’ll be compelled to slather on a thousand things. Click here for a very cool method of making your own or a store bought option. Pro Tip: Make the bread pudding ahead, fill the jars and keep in the fridge. Before serving, let them sit at room temp for thirty minutes. Add toppings and bust a move!


Gloria’s Bread Pudding

Servings: 12


  • 1 loaf white bread brioche is best
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick butter melted

Topping mix

  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • Break up one loaf of brioche bread into bite size pieces and set aside. Mix together next four ingredients in a large bowl. Toss in the bread pieces and mix until combined and soggy. Melt butter and add half to one large loaf pan (hang onto the rest). Pour bread mixture into 2 loaf pans. Drizzle that remaining melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. Bake at 350, for 50-60 minutes.
  • To make cinnamon sugar topping: Add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon to bowl and mix with a whisk or fork. I use about 2 tablespoons in this recipe. Keep the extra in a small mason jar or shaker bottle for future french toast, muffins, or apple pie.
  • Note: I usually double this recipe because we are a big family. Also, it's a great little surprise to deliver to a friend, neighbor, teacher, or new mom.
    Party hack: Scoop mounds of baked bread pudding from your loaf pan and into mini jars for parties. Top them off with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of store bought caramel sauce and they are to die for!
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