Simple King Cake Bread Pudding

I’m not one of those people who keeps a good recipe a secret, and let’s be honest, not much is a secret these days now that you can Google a recipe for PRETTY much anything. Even though that’s the case, sharing a good recipe–whether I’ve made my own twist to it or not–truly brings me joy. My most popular recipe to date has been this King Cake Bread Pudding one, and there’s no doubt its brought countless others joy too.

king cake bread pudding

Like most recipes these days, I can’t claim it to be an original. However, I can claim to have made a dozens of little tweaks to this recipe through the years in order to make it, IMO, the best version possible.

A brief history: I was studying abroad in Oxford, England my junior year at college, and I asked my mom to send me a basic bread pudding recipe because me and my fellow LSU suite mate were hosting a “Louisiana Night” at our dorm. My suite mate was responsible for the gumbo, and I was responsible for dessert.

Since bread pudding is a traditional dessert in both Louisiana and England, I thought it was a perfect fit. We can’t remember where she found it (out of a magazine like Southern Living most likely), but when I saw how simple the recipe was, it was love at first sight. Needless to say, it was an immediate hit and instantly became my go-to dessert recipe!

Simplicity is key for me, and the ingredient list and prep + cook time is the indicator on whether or not it gets made in my kitchen 99% of the time. When I make something particularly delicious, my husband likes to think that I’ve been cooking all day, whipping up something from scratch from our imaginary garden and sweating over the stove…so I let him think that;)

So let me tell you about my KCBP story. Back in 2013, I was stalking the #kingcake feed on Instagram (normal, right?) and came across a pic from @tattooedgothqueen that changed everything: KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING.

I’m sorry…did you just say KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING?!

(This should be your response.)

king cake bread pudding

Click on image to shop bowl


My mind started doing cartwheels, and plans began immediately. Those plans included making a quick trip to Winn Dixie to pick up a large plain king cake, and that’s it because the rest of the ingredients were already in my kitchen. Don’t you love it when that happens?!

Since my friends and I were getting together for the Super Bowl, I figured it was the perfect time to try it out using my tried & true 10 year old bread pudding recipe.

People in Louisiana are crazy about their King Cake. Even though we have 2 months every single year where we can buy an unlimited amount of king cake, we still act like it’s the last time we’ll ever get to taste it again. Every. Single. Year.

In fact, we are so obsessed with king cake, that we start thinking up different concoctions–new ways to devour it. Check out my Top 10 King Cake Spin-Off Concoctions post here. You can also check out my all-time favorite king cake here. Here’s an important tip: don’t use a king cake that costs over $15 for this recipe; just buy a plain one at the grocery store for $7-$10. You’re going to soak it in all kinds of goodness, so you don’t need anything fancy.

OK, here’s what you’ll need to make King Cake Bread Pudding:

  • One large dry* king cake (for a 9×12 pan) or two medium-sized king cakes (for a 10×13 pan)
    {for regular bread pudding, I use 1-2 French bread loaves or croissants.}
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups of milk (I prefer 2%)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use just enough to sprinkle them on top. You can also add whatever topping you prefer, like chopped pecans or white chocolate chips.)
  • Purple, green and yellow sanding sugar (optional.)
    {I ordered my sprinkles on Amazon because my local grocer doesn’t carry them.}
  • One plastic baby (should come with the king cake)


      • *Cut the king cake into slices and leave open all night. This will dry it out and make it hard, which makes it easier for the bread to soak up the mixture.
      • Cut the slices in half to make cubes of bread and toss with melted butter inside the 9″ by 11″ pan.
      • Let stand until bread soaks up most of the butter (at least 30 minutes).
      • In a separate mixing bowl, lightly blend eggs together first.
      • Then add milk, sugar, nutmeg & cinnamon and blend into the eggs.
      • Pour liquid mixture over bread into pan and let stand until bread puffs (I have found the longer it stands, the better it is, but I’d say 2 hours max before putting into oven.)
      • Add chocolate chips on top, evenly. Again, make sure the bread cubes have soaked up most of the mixture; at this time I may add additional cubes of bread if needed to soak up liquid mixture.
      • If I don’t have extra sanding sugar on hand, I try to arrange the cake cubes that have the sanding sugar on top to maximize the colors.
      • Bake at 300 degrees for one hour or until firm.
      • Let stand 15 minutes.
      • Hide the baby.
      • Enjoy heaven (and your future sugar coma!)

king cake bread pudding


king cake bread pudding

Pre-baked and about to go in the oven!

The finished product…KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING!

king cake bread pudding

king cake bread pudding

Click on image to shop plate collection.

king cake bread pudding

Click on image to shop plate collection.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #SMYNRECIPES. I’d love to see how your King Cake Bread Pudding turns out!

Blogger Danielle Granger Nava shares her beloved King Cake Bread Pudding recipe…because sometimes you need to king cake to the next level!


Comments are closed.

  1. How much milk? You don’t have that on the ingredients.

  2. i’M trying this this weekend – can’t wait.

  3. I can’t wait to try this!!

  4. can you use a king cake that has fruit filling??

  5. I’ve always liked a little bread pudding with my sauce! :)What could you make to pour over it?

  6. Sounds awesome…. Time for this NOLA native transplanted in Houston to find a good kingcake!

    • My fav Nola king cake so far is Haydel’s cream cheese one. But no need to get a fancy one for this recipe. I used a basic one (no filling) from Winn Dixie for this recipe.

  7. Made this at 5am this morning for my ladies Bible Study & it was a hit. Mine was veryy runny, even after soaking for 2 hours (it didn’t “puff”, so be sure that you get a BIG king cake or cut down the other ingredients. My hubby p i cked up my king cake & it was more medium. Tasted wonderful, so we were able to look past the runnyness. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes it does depend on amount of bread or cake you have and also the size of the pan. That’s why I like to get a large cake or extra bread just in case I need to add pieces to soak up mixture before going in oven. Glad you loved it!!

  8. How much milk? The recipe I copied doesn’t have the amount

  9. Ok I am going to make this for March 22nd for my grannys 90th bday party… 250 people. I will give you feed back.

  10. It was amazing! No one in my family had ever heard of this dish and they loved it!

  11. When you leave the bread pieces to soak for 2 hour, is that on the counter or in the fridge?

  12. Could this be made with half the butter, or even omitting the butter? Have you ever prepped this the night before and baked it in the morning? If I baked it the night before a brunch, how would you recommend I heat it up the next morning?

    • Danielle Granger on

      I think it could be made with half the butter, but taking out the butter all together might defeat the purpose. I’ve never prepped it the night before, but I’m sure that’s fine if kept in the fridge. I’d definitely heat it up right before it’s served!

  13. I can personally attest that this King Cake Bread Pudding was delicious hot!

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