icon New Orleans Bread Pudding
with Bourbon Sauce

from Galatoire's Restaurant,
New Orleans

Bread pudding is a widely popular dessert, found in British, French, Belgian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Argentinian as well as Louisiana Creole cuisines. The common theme is the use of stale bread, eggs, sugar, spices, and dried fruit. New Orleans bread pudding comes with one major quirk: it swims in a rich, sweet sauce containing a strong dose of booze - most often bourbon whiskey.

Every restaurant in the French Quarter, fancy and casual, has bread puddding on its menu. They vary subtly. Chef Paul Prudhomme at K Paul's Louisiana Kitchen makes his bread pudding using a mixture of breads, paired with a rich chantilly cream touched with lemon. At Emeril's the bourbon goes into the pudding and the sauce is a spiced cream. Here is an elegant recipe from Galatoire's. Unlike most bread puddings, this one is light and airy, its texture resembling that of pain perdu (french toast).


  • 11 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 quart while milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 24 4-inch slices of baguette
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey or praline liqueur


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk until well blended. In a nonstick oversized muffin pan (for 2), place 2 slices of the bread into the bottom of each muffin cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into each muffin cup. Allow the bread to absorb the mixture and repeat the process until the bread is saturated and the muffin cup is full (it might take 3 or 4 fillings to totally saturate the bread and fill the cup). Bake the pudding mixture for 35 minutes, or until the pudding has turned golden and set in the pan.
  3. While the pudding is in the oven, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the light brown sugar and whisk over the heat until smooth. Slice the bananas, stir them into the sauce, and add the praline liqueur. Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm.
  4. When the pudding is baked, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to cool. Invert the muffin pan to remove the puddings and expose the custard. Place each on the center of a plate and ladle the sauce onto the pudding. Serve immediately.
  5. YIELD: serves 12

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Last updated: October 12, 2010
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.