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Chocolate Bread Pudding

This Chocolate Bread Pudding is a more decadent spin on the traditional version, made with cocoa powder, chocolate, and liqueur. Who knew stale bread could be transformed into such a delectable dessert?! 

Chocolate Bread Pudding on plate, topped with whipped cream

Easy Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe

The first time I made this Chocolate Bread Pudding, it was for Thanksgiving. If you’re a traditionalist and prefer pumpkin pie, might I suggest bread pudding for Christmas or another special occasion? This recipe will be the sleeper hit of any holiday dessert table—it’s got everything you love about bread pudding (hello, carbs and custard!), with the addition of rich chocolate. 

Oh, and Frangelico. We can’t forget that!

This is a really simple yet impressive dessert, and other than grating the chocolate, it’s practically effortless to put together. When you’re entertaining a crowd, Chocolate Bread Pudding is the perfect recipe to whip up because it’s not very demanding, so you can spend time on your other dishes and still have an incredible dessert to serve your guests.

Overhead shot of Chocolate Bread Pudding ingredients

What You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this rich Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe:

  • French or Italian bread – Stale is best, but I have used fresh and the recipe turned out fine.
  • Milk – I recommend whole milk or reduced-fat, not skim.
  • Frangelico, Kahlua, or other liqueur
  • Heavy cream
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – This isn’t the same as hot cocoa mix!
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract – Almond extract is the unsung hero of many fancy dessert recipes. Don’t skip it!
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Semisweet chocolate – Use a good quality chocolate for the best flavor.
  • Sweetened whipped creamWhipped cream is my favorite garnish for this recipe, but you can also pair it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or creme anglaise.

Add-In Ideas

Raisins are a classic addition to bread pudding, but this Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe can be customized in a number of different ways. Add a generous handful of any of these:

  • Dried cherries
  • Chopped hazelnuts
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Fresh strawberry slices
Overhead shot of 3 plates with Chocolate Bread Pudding

How to Make Chocolate Bread Pudding

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this recipe. So easy! Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Overhead shot of cubed bread in baking dish

Prepare. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and place the bread cubes inside.

Make the custard. Combine the milk, liqueur, and cream in a large bowl, then in another bowl, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder; pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Crack the eggs in the bowl where you had the dry ingredients (this saves you from cleaning a third bowl!) and beat them with the extracts and cinnamon, then whisk the egg mixture into the rest of the custard ingredients.

Let the custard absorb. Stir in the grated chocolate, then pour the custard over the bread and let the mixture sit on the countertop for about 20 minutes, or until the bread absorbs the liquid. Near the end of this time, preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Overhead shot of Chocolate Bread Pudding in baking dish

Bake the Chocolate Bread Pudding. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake the bread pudding for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Bread Pudding in baking dish with a few servings removed

Serve. Divide the bread pudding onto plates and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Tips for Success

There’s not much to this recipe, making it great for hesitant bakers. Still, I have a few tips to make sure your Chocolate Bread Pudding is perfect!

  • So, about the bread! Traditionally, bread pudding uses stale bread, but if you don’t happen to have an old baguette sitting around in your kitchen (what kind of monster doesn’t eat a baguette immediately?!), you can pick up some bread at the store and the recipe will still work out just fine.
  • Don’t use sliced bread. Another bread tip! Don’t use pre-sliced bread. You want to be able to cut the bread into hefty cubes, otherwise it will get mushy in the custard.
  • Making ahead. Like any other bread pudding recipe, this one is well-suited for making ahead. Assemble and cover it with plastic wrap for up to a day. Let it sit on the counter to warm up a bit while you preheat the oven.
Overhead shot of Chocolate Bread Pudding on plates with whipped cream

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store Chocolate Bread Pudding covered in the baking dish or transfer it to an airtight storage container. It will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. You can reheat it in the microwave; the oven will work too, but it’s more likely to dry out. If you do want to go the oven route, cover the baking dish with foil to keep steam from escaping and heat it at 350ºF until it’s warmed through.

Can I Freeze Leftover Bread Pudding?

You can freeze bread pudding as long as it doesn’t have whipped cream or any other sauces added to it. Wrap it tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, then warm it up in the microwave.

Chocolate Bread Pudding on plate with a dollop of whipped cream

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

This decadent bread pudding is made for chocolate lovers! Serve it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream for the perfect holiday dessert.

Overhead shot of Chocolate Bread Pudding on plates with whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1-pound loaf French or Italian bread, cubed
  • 3 cups (710ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup Frangelico, Kahlua, or other liqueur
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces (226g) semisweet chocolate, grated
  • sweetened whipped cream, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan. Place the cubed bread into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the milk, liqueur, and cream in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Add to the milk mixture and mix well.
  4. Place the eggs in a small bowl and beat lightly. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and cinnamon to the eggs and stir to combine.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture. Mix well.
  6. Stir the grated chocolate into the milk mixture. Then, pour the mixture over the bread. Allow to stand, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the bread absorbs the majority of the milk.
  7. Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm or chilled with sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

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    9 Comments on “Chocolate Bread Pudding”

  1. Yum! I love all cheesecake…this looks especially good. I too love Frangelico…I find it very underused.

  2. i love bread pudding!! the concept on reincarnating old bread is really wonderful….hazelnut flavored liquer blends well with chocolate…such a great idea !!

  3. You found a way to combine bread with Frangelico. You’re a genius!

  4. That looks great! I love the frangelico idea.

  5. wow, this looks totally amazing! will have to try it…

  6. Thank goodness, this dessert DID get lost at Thanksgiving. That meant that I got to bring a lot home! This is a wonderful dessert that is good even re-heated a few days later.

  7. God I love chocolate bread pudding!

  8. For those of you (like me) who are a bit skiddish of baking…. Go ahead and make this! I made it for a dinner party prior to Christmas and it turned out great! Now, I will admit that I called Jennifer a couple of times before I started it; but, overall, this is pretty easy to make. I happened to have Kahlua in the pantry instead of Frangelico, so I used that instead. Thanks for your help, Sister!

  9. When I was at university there was a small local coffee bar that made the best chocolate bread pudding, at class break we would need to run to get a piece as it was so popular! This recipe brought back that fun memory.

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