Bourbon Banana Bread Pudding



I made a new baking discovery last weekend. As I sat inside, cozy and warm, watching the snow fall (finally!), I had the urge to whip up something delicious.  Looking through my rather bare cabinets, I briefly lamented that the season would not lend itself to a pretty tart brimming with fresh strawberries or blueberries, but I also knew that type of summery dessert would not serve to satisfy my snow day cravings.

Nope, I needed something a bit heartier, and I found the answer: bread pudding, made with bananas and a heavy splash of bourbon. And with that, I think I might have found the perfect mid-winter dessert.

If this recipe looks a bit familiar, it’s because I used the same basic framework from my Blueberry Bread Pudding last summer. As I said then, I thought it would be a great base for future seasonal interpretations, suggesting that it would be fantastic with apples and warming spices in the fall, which I completely forgot to do. (I will NOT make the same mistake next October!) Happily, this winter version popped into my head, and I have been enjoying the fruits of my labor all week long.

Rich, smooth, and studded with banana, this simple dessert was a very welcome treat on a cold and snowy day. I wasn’t the only one who thought so–every time I went to sneak a slice, it was clear that others had been there first.

Did I mention that the recipe includes bourbon?

Try topping it with vanilla ice cream, a bourbon caramel sauce (there I go again), warm maple syrup (a breakfast treat?), or drizzled with hot fudge. Enjoy!

Bourbon Banana Bread Pudding

* If you only have regular white sugar, that’s fine. The raw sugar creates a better crunchy crust, but it is not a big enough difference to deter you from making this recipe!

** The pudding puffed up a great deal while baking, I would recommend using a large baking dish, and putting a baking sheet underneath to catch any wayward pudding.


Makes: 8 to 10 servings


For the Bread Pudding
  • 1 loaf of brioche or challah bread, torn into pieces (about 4-5 cups)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter, to coat the dish
For the Topping
  • ¼ cup raw (turbinado) sugar*
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed pot until it is just about to boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the eggs, vanilla, bourbon and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t scramble. Add the torn bread pieces and the banana slices to the custard and toss together well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter a large baking dish (mine was about 9 ½ inches round with tall 2 inch sides)**
  5. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the dish. Sprinkle the pudding with the cinnamon and raw sugar mixture. Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until the center is set.
  6. Remove the foil and cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until the pudding is set in the center. At the very end, put the pudding under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes to crisp up the top. Let the pudding sit for at least a half hour before serving.
All photos styled and taken by Shelby Larsson.

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Whoa. This sounds so awesome!

  • I have a friend that was lamenting on Sunday that his husband still hasn’t done anything with their wedding challah bread that’s been nestled in the freezer for a few months.  I have a feeling this recipe will make everyone happy … except maybe the challah.

  • I have a list of recipes to turn tired or old or just too much bread into magic and this one is definitely on my list now! Thanks, Shelby!

  • You had me at bourbon. This looks stunning!

  • Nicole Pearce

    We have a local restaurant here in Fairbanks that makes this and I go there just for this dessert. I have been trying to figure out how to make it for a while, but never quite figured out how to get it right. The consistency nearly borders on cheesecake. It is so good. I’m so glad you shared this recipe, I can’t wait to make it at home.

  • I heart this recipe! 

  • Thanks everyone for your kind words. I find that bread pudding in general makes people very happy, and when you add bourbon? Well, you’ve got yourself a winner 🙂 It certainly makes everything better, doesn’t it?!

  • Yum! I love bread puddings. I will definitely be making this one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Innes

    This looks awesome! You take stunning pictures! Innes

  • Aklaj

    Last fall I was wanting to try something new, so I added Pumpkin pie filler to the bread pudding mix! Turned out great! At Thanksgiving I added and extra twist, instead of bread, I used Cinnamon rolls with the pumpkin bread pudding… Huge hit with the family! I think it will become a new tradition!

    •  Pumpkin makes so much sense! Yum! xox