Panettone Bread Pudding


During the holidays, I get really ambitious and have visions of making instead of  buying all my Christmas presents.  This almost never happens because I am told I have really good taste in gift cards.


One year, our friends participated in a gift exchange where the only rule was that every present had to be homemade. This was our bounty of homemade jams, freshly baked rolls, breads, Meyer lemon curds, bread puddings.  We did this exactly one year.

From time to time though I still get inspired  to make my gifts and I channel said inspiration from my grandmother’s metal mixing bowl.  My mom tells me this bowl is almost as old as her which means it’s hovering around 70, or as my mother reports, 64.  She and this bowl have been 64 for the past 7 years.  My Christmas presents this year were Panettone Bread Pudding.  Panettone is a rich, eggy, spongy Italian bread dotted with candied fruit, nuts and raisins.  And because I’m using Lola’s bowl and bread puddings are super easy to make, it’s really hard to mess up.


1 pound loaf Panettone, cubed/torn in 2-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Spread Panettone bread pieces in a greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Leave uncovered in the pan overnight to dry out and make it stale. The dryer the bread the better as it helps soak up the custard.
  • Whisk all the wet ingredients together and pour the custard mixture over the panettone bread pieces. Press down gently to make sure all pieces are submerged.
  • Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the center is set and no longer jiggles.*
  • Drizzle some melted vanilla ice cream over the panettone bread pudding for a decadent vanilla cream sauce and sprinkle some turbinado sugar to make it extra comforting.

*Water baths or bain marie are allegedly essential for bread puddings because custard likes to be heated slowly to prevent curdling.  The water bath keeps it from cooking too quickly.  I’ve never done this and my bread puddings have come out fine.

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