Golden brown, rich, and delicious vegan bread pudding infused with maple and brown sugar flavor!
This vegan bread pudding recipe is almost as old as time itself, originally published on this site in 2013, AKA before I owned a real camera. However, I will always remember bread pudding as one of my first great vegan baking successes and the recipe more than deserved a modern update! Even though I take much less horrifying pictures now, bread pudding is still not beautiful, so I’ll keep this short.
The method for this vegan bread pudding is super simple and it’s a little bit similar to how my vegan stuffing recipe is made. You’ll dry out day-old bread cubes in the oven, and meanwhile you’ll whisk up a liquid mixture that will form the eggless custard base. Then you’ll soak the bread cubes in the custard before baking to ensure even cooking.
In my eyes, the most important step in making this recipe successfully is to toast the heck out of the bread. Let the bread cubes keep going in the oven until all of them are nice and dry. This will ensure an even texture in your finished vegan bread pudding, and a nice moist texture that isn’t too gooey.
It will seem like you’re pouring a lot of liquid into the bread but as long as you were patient in the toasting step, it will be the perfect amount. You can see in my photos how well the pudding sets once baked! Rustic, moist, holds together, and isn’t liquidy.
Any bread that you like and that isn’t too savory will probably work great here. I’m always partial to a good, crusty, country sourdough. I haven’t tested this with gluten-free breads, which have a tendency to fall apart in these types of applications. It could still work if you use one that’s fortified with xanthan gum for holding power, but I’m not sure.
Also, for an extra luxurious flavor and richness, instead of the whatever-non-dairy-milk the recipe calls for, you can use canned coconut milk. So decadent!
In the notes section of the recipe, I give a few more suggestions for variations and substitutions. I hope you enjoy this vegan bread pudding and please let me know in the comments if you give it a whirl!
Maple Brown Sugar Vegan Bread Pudding
Sweet, golden brown, custardy, and comforting, this classic vegan bread pudding would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream!
- 6 cups day old sourdough bread cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out the bread cubes in a single layer on one or two baking sheets, and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until very dried out, but not browning.
Meanwhile, make the pudding mixture. First, reserve 1 cup of the non-dairy milk for later. Add all of the remaining dry and wet ingredients to a blender or food processor, and combine until smooth. (Alternately if you do not have a blender, mix the dry ingredients together in one small bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and then gradually stir the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the dried out bread cubes to a bowl and pour the pudding mixture over them, stirring well. Pour over the remaining 1 cup of milk, too, and stir. Let rest for 5 minutes, then stir again to ensure every piece of bread is saturated.
Lightly grease a loaf pan (glass is best) and transfer the bread pudding to the pan, pouring any excess liquid over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed (time may vary depending on the bread used). Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
BREAD: Sourdough or another bread that's a little bit fancy and crusty will provide the best flavor. I've certainly made this with whole grain bread before, and while visually it's rather drab, it still tastes quite nice.
CASHEWS: The original version of this recipe called for raw cashews to be blended. I wanted to make it a bit more accessible so I've swapped that out for nut butter. However, if you want to make the original, it was 1/4 cup of soaked raw cashews.
MIX-INS: Raisins are a classic addition to bread pudding; chocolate chips are a less common but delicious one! (Pairing especially well with the peanut butter version of this recipe).
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: I made a quick glaze by powdering brown sugar and mixing it with a splash of rum and soy milk, but I think this vegan bread pudding is even better with some dairy-free ice cream.
PAN: If you don't have a loaf pan, you can make this in an 8x8-inch pan, and reduce the baking time.
BLACK SALT: For an interesting "eggy" flavor add a pinch of black salt (kala namak) to the pudding mixture.
Adapted from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan’s Vanilla Pudding.