EAT + EAT Feature
Cooking with Karen Crouse
Published On: November 06, 2023
Karen Crouse in farmhouse kitchen standing at island cooking
Karen Crouse

Bread pudding’s origin dates to the 11th century in England as a use for stale bread so it would not go to waste. It has since graced the menus of fine restaurants around the globe.

My recipe is a fusion of simple ingredients and easy techniques I have experimented with during my cooking adventures. It is an ambrosia of bread enveloped in custard and shrouded in chocolate. Even those who are not bread pudding lovers come back for seconds when I make this. Serve it this holiday season and enjoy the accolades.

slice of chocolate chip bread pudding on blue plate on wood table

Chocolate chip bread pudding dessert on green plate

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding  

Serves 10  

Equipment Needed

  • 13”x 9” baking dish
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring cup / spoons 


  • A one-pound loaf brioche, egg bread, or Challah with crust cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼  sticks) unsalted butter, melted; plus 2 tbsp for pan
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 
  • 2 ½  cups half and half 
  • ¾  cup sugar 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste (I like Nielsen-Massey brand) 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling

Optional toppings: caramel sauce, vanilla bean ice cream, or Crème Fraiche

TIP: The liquid mixture for the custard can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 24 hours ahead of time.    



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13”x 9”x 2” baking dish. Place bread in a large bowl; pour 8 tablespoons of the melted butter over the bread and toss to coat. Add chocolate chips and toss to combine, allowing most of them to stay on top since they will sink while baking. Transfer the mixture to the buttered dish. 
  • Whisk half and half, 1 cup white sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl until blended. Pour over the bread cubes into the dish. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing the bread cubes into the custard occasionally.  
  • Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the pudding and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.  
  • Bake the bread pudding until it is puffed, brown, and set in the center, about 1 hour. Serve warm with caramel sauce, ice cream, or crème fraiche.