Treat yourself to this delicious Panettone Bread Pudding! This easy recipe is full of wonderful, cozy flavors you'll love. It's the perfect way to use this festive Italian Christmas bread and makes a wonderful holiday dessert (or breakfast) that no one can resist!
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Are you a panettone fan? I love treating myself to a loaf or two of this traditional Italian bread at Christmas time!
This tasty fruit-studded bread is also a popular holiday gift. But what happens if you end up with a little too much? Make this amazing Panettone Bread Pudding, of course!
You are going to love this delicious recipe! This Italian bread pudding couldn't be easier to make (it actually benefits from prepping it ahead of time), and as it bakes, your kitchen will smell truly amazing. And then there's the mouthwatering flavor. Yum!
Unlike some bread puddings, which can feel like a brick (on the plate and in your stomach), this one is light and custardy. Serve it for dessert or as a breakfast treat with your favorite toppings .. either way, this is a recipe you'll turn to again and again throughout the holiday season!
Ready to start cooking? Keep reading for all the details!
This easy dessert is bursting with warm holiday flavors! Here's what you'll need to make it:
- Panettone - Of course, you'll need some panettone. This recipe uses a full 24-ounce (680 gram) loaf, but you can scale the recipe down (or up) depending on your bread's size. Any flavor may be used ... traditional fruit, vanilla, chocolate, whatever you'd like (I made mine with a chocolate flavored loaf). I like to save more expensive loaves for eating as-is, so I used an affordable and easy-to-find Bauducco panettone, which works perfectly for this recipe.
- Milk - For best results, use whole milk. Richer, creamier plant based milks (unsweetened) may also be used. I've tested the recipe with regular milk and my favorite soy milk ... both work great!
- Eggs - Combined with the milk, the eggs provide the basis for the rich custard. You will need large eggs for this recipe.
- Sugar - The custard is lightly sweetened with granulated sugar. Brown sugar may also be used if you prefer.
- Cinnamon + Vanilla - A little cinnamon and vanilla extract add another layer of delicious flavor to the bread pudding.
- Sauce + Toppings (optional) - I served this recipe with my homemade Salted Caramel, and it was such a tasty combination! You have lots of other topping options too though, and you'll find more ideas below.
Tip: This recipe is one of the best ways to use leftover panettone! Even if your bread is a little dried out, it will still turn out perfect.
Panettone is a traditional Italian bread that's typically eaten at Christmas time. This tall, domed bread is made from a sweet, leavened dough that's often studded with candied fruits (although other flavors are available). It has a moist, delicate texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Panettone was invented in Milan and is often given as a holiday gift.
You'll Also Need
To make this recipe, you'll need a large serrated knife and cutting board to cut the bread into cubes, plus a whisk and a large bowl to combine the custard ingredients. You'll also need a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish for cooking the bread pudding. This ceramic baking dish is my favorite! It's easy to clean and looks lovely enough to take straight from the oven to the table.
How to Make Panettone Bread Pudding
This recipe couldn't be easier to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Prep bread. Start by cutting your bread into one inch cubes. Then transfer them to a buttered baking dish.
- Make custard. Next, you'll whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Once that's combined, whisk in the milk.
- Add custard to bread. Pour the custard evenly over the bread cubes. Then cover the pan and refrigerate for at least four hours. Tip: You may also prep the recipe in the morning to bake in the evening, or make it at night to cook in the morning.
- Bake. Remove the baking dish from your refrigerator while preheating your oven. Then bake the pudding until the center is set and the top is lightly browned. Depending on your oven and bread, this will take about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.
And that's all there is to it ... your homemade Panettone Bread Pudding is ready to enjoy! Serve it warm or at room temperature with your choice of toppings (see below for ideas).
Although it tastes amazing as-is, there are so many fun ways to customize this Panettone dessert! Here are some ideas to try:
- Bread - This recipe is easy to change up simply by using different panettone flavors. Use a classic fruit-filled loaf, vanilla, or chocolate flavored, like I did. Want to make this recipe beyond Christmas? Make it with challah, brioche, or french bread instead.
- Citrus - Another way to add tons of flavor to this dessert is with some fresh orange, lemon, or lime zest. I'd recommend adding anywhere from one teaspoon to one tablespoon, depending on how strong you'd prefer the flavor.
- Chocolate - Make this dish extra rich by layering the cubed bread with chocolate chips or chunks. Use milk chocolate for a sweeter taste or dark chocolate for a more bittersweet flavor.
- Fruit - Layer fresh fruits (such as blueberries, raspberries, or stone fruits) or dried fruits (like craisins, apples, or raisins) with the bread cubes for a fruity flavor.
- Nuts - Sprinkle chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and more between the cubed bread for a wonderful crunchy texture.
- Spices - Consider adding other warm spices, such as nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger, to the custard along with or instead of the cinnamon.
- Bread and Butter Pudding - To make more of an English-style pudding, cut the bread into triangles instead of cubes. Then lightly butter both sides before layering the triangles in your baking dish. Prepare as otherwise directed.
This scrumptious Bread Pudding with Panettone makes the BEST holiday dessert (or breakfast ... it's very similar to French Toast), especially when you add an equally delicious topping (or two)! Here are some of my favorites to try:
- Caramel Sauce - I served mine with this decadent Salted Caramel Sauce, which is so simple to make. Yum!
- Compote - Keep things light, by topping the dessert with a fruity compote. Try one of these easy Blueberry, Strawberry, or Mixed Berry recipes.
- Other Sauces - While not required, bread pudding is typically served with some kind of sauce. Besides caramel or fruit, other options include include Whiskey Sauce or Vanilla Sauce.
- Ice Cream - Top with a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
- Whipped Cream - A cloud of soft, sweetened whipped cream would also make a tasty topping.
- Maple Syrup - If you're planning to serve this dish for breakfast or brunch, consider drizzling it with maple syrup. Perhaps paired with a little butter ... why not?
- Chocolate - Melted chocolate would also be delicious.
- Nutella - You could also drizzle Nutella over the top.
- Fruit - For a lighter topping, serve with your favorite fresh fruit.
Store leftover bread pudding in an airtight container in your refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for about three days. Leftovers may be eaten cold, at room temperature, or rewarmed gently in your microwave.
If you're looking for a similar recipe, make sure to try my Raspberry Bread Pudding (or for a savory spin, this Mediterranean Strata) next! And make sure to try my Panettone French Toast, too. Searching for more easy dessert recipes? You'll love these recipes, too:
- Danish Puff
- Homemade Chocolate Bark
- Chocolate Fondue
- White Chocolate Cookie Cake
- Cherry Tartlets
- Peanut Butter Tart (No Bake)
- Cranberry Parfaits
Panettone Bread Pudding
- Use butter to grease a large 9 x 13-inch baking pan, then add bread cubes to pan.
- Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. When well combined, whisk in milk.
- Carefully pour egg mixture evenly over bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove bread pudding from refrigerator while oven heats.
- Bake bread pudding until center is set and top is lightly browned, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then serve warm with caramel sauce or your choice of toppings. Enjoy!
- 6 cups cubed panettone
- 4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups milk