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Homemade bread pudding with caramel and pecans in a white ceramic baking dish.

Caramel Pecan Bread Pudding

  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert, Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Fluffy brioche bread and a sweet, vanilla custard combine with pecans and homemade caramel in this indulgent pecan bread pudding recipe. It’s an easy and festive holiday dessert or make-ahead breakfast treat, best served with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Vegetarian and gluten-free friendly.



for the bread pudding:

  • 1(15oz) loaf brioche bread, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp (38g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120g) crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 cup (240g) whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, halved or roughly-chopped

for the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) water, at room-temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180g) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cut into half-tablespoons
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt


for the bread pudding:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish with softened butter or baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cut the brioche into bite-size cubes. Evenly layer the bread cubes in your prepared pan.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp sugar with the eggs, crème fraîche, milk, vanilla, and salt, until creamy and completely combined.
  4. Pour or spoon the egg mixture over the bread, being sure to completely cover the top layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar.
  5. Bake until gently puffed, golden, and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. You do want some crisp edges and caramelization on the top level of brioche, however you can cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil if bits of the bread start to burn or brown too quickly.
  6. While the bread pudding is baking, toast the pecans and make the caramel (see below).
  7. Heat a dry, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the pecans in an even layer to the pan and cook for a few minutes, tossing occasionally with a spatula, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. Remove the bread pudding from the oven, and arrange the pecans on top. Drizzle with the caramel sauce, reserving some for serving. Let the pudding sit for 10-15 minutes to solidify a bit and soak up the caramel.
  9. Serve warm with a dusting of confectioners sugar, caramel sauce, to taste, or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!

for the caramel sauce:

  1. Add the sugar and water to a medium pot (preferably with high sides) over medium-high heat, and stir to combine.
  2. Cook, but do not stir again, until the sugar has turned a deeply golden, amber color, about 10 minutes (but up to 15 minutes). The sugar will bubble and change in texture as it cooks.
  3. Meanwhile, warm the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until just warmed through (do not let it come to a boil).
  4. When the caramel is full-bodied in color, turn the heat down to low and slowly whisk in the warm cream.
  5. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often, until smooth and creamy.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat, and whisk in the butter, followed by the salt.
  7. Drizzle the caramel over the bread pudding when it comes out of the oven, reserving some for serving. Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.


  • Note: If you’d like to prep this bread pudding in advance, you can make the recipe up until the point of baking. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. You may need to extend the baking time, especially if you’re using a ceramic baking dish.
  • For salted caramel, add up to 1 teaspoon salt. For added flavor, you can also add up to 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Keywords: pecan bread pudding, brioche bread pudding, caramel sauce