At our house, we love a good bread and butter pudding. My mother steams it on the hob, and it’s simple yet absolutely delicious. Here, I’ve tweaked the original recipe a little and added a touch of holiday spirit.

A few tips to keep in mind: the longer you soak the bread, the better it tastes when done. Also, the richer the bread, the better the outcome. I baked my pudding this time, but I added a water bath to the oven to ensure that the moisture was sealed in. You can use all cream if you’re feeling indulgent or only milk if you want to reduce the calorie intake.

The addition of marzipan does add a great flavour, but if you don’t have it, use ½ tsp almond extract and 4 tbsp almond meal. Dark fruit cake is another option that adds another layer of flavour, but it’s also optional.

Note on the alcohol content: you can reduce it or you can use one specific flavour, but it’s essential to include alcohol because this is a festive bread pudding. You do not taste the alcohol in it; you just taste the flavour. I’ve used a mixture of brandy, Cointreau, dark rum, Kahlúa and red wine.

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Serves: 8 hungry people


  • 20 pieces day-old brioche or croissant
  • 2 cups mixed dried fruit soaked in alcohol
  • 4 eggs
  • 500ml milk
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp allspice
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300ml alcohol of your choice
  • 150g cashews, chopped
  • 50g dark fruit cake (optional)
  • 150g marzipan (optional)

To garnish:

  • festive sprinkles


  1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, allspice, flour, cornflour, butter and a pinch of salt until well combined. Tear up the bread into pieces and add into the liquid mixture. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a Bundt cake tin with cooking oil.
  3. Once the bread has soaked in the liquid, add ½ the alcohol and cashews and stir. Transfer ½ the mixture into the tin and evenly layer the soaked fruit and dark fruit cake, if using, over the top. Cover with the remaining bread mixture and top with the marzipan, if using, and leftover fruit.
  4. Bake with a water bath under the tin in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until cooked through. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour over the remaining alcohol and leave to set overnight before slicing and eating.
  6. I like to garnish my bread and butter pudding with Christmas tree and snowflake sprinkles. If you can’t find any festive sprinkles, dust some icing sugar on top for a snowfall effect.

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