Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding

Yes, you read that right.

It's every bit as sinfully delicious as you're imagining.

By some fantastic turn of events, I ended up with two extra bags of homemade apple cider donuts after taking my class on a field trip to the apple orchard last week. It was a gorgeous day, and the donuts were still warm when we bit into them. They just screamed fall.

I could have eaten several of them. But I knew that really, rationally, I couldn't (shouldn't) eat all the donuts by myself.

I baked this bread pudding with a three-year-old with incredible self restraint. Her job was to help me crumble the donuts into pieces and spread them out on a pan.

She asked if she could try one right at the beginning, and I said, "Of course! Dig in."

Trouble was, I expected her to continue crumbling donuts and spreading them out without any additional snacking.

And boy, was she persistent.

After every few donut pieces made their way into the pan, I'd hear her little voice.

"Katie, can I try one?"

"Just one little bite?"

"Just a tiny little piece?"

"Now can I try one?"


Remarkably, all the rest of the donut pieces made their way into the pan, which we appreciated because this bread pudding was a real treat. It's got just the right amount of sweetness, and the apple flavor permeates the entire dish. With just a dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream, we ate ourselves silly.

Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding
recipe adapted from Taste Savant

This recipe serves at least 8 for a generous dessert portion and potentially many more if your guests are more moderate in their dessert intake. Use the best quality apple cider donuts you can find!

12 day-old apple cider donuts (dried out on the counter overnight or lightly toasted in a 300 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes to dry them out before using)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups whole milk
1 cup fresh apple cider
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large apples, cored, peeled and chopped into chunks
Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream

Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the day-old (or dried-out) donut pieces in the bottom of the baking pan.

In a separate bowl, combine sugars, milk, cider, vanilla and cinnamon, whisking gently until combined. Pour the custard over the broken donut pieces. Allow the mixture to absorb for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sprinkle chopped apple pieces over the donuts, and gently stir the donuts and apples together. 

Bake the bread pudding for 1 hour, or until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve warm, topped with barely sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


  1. I am SO trying this! I'm thinking a drizzle of caramel sauce would be completely over the top amazing.

    1. This is what I thought of when I saw your donut recipe a week ago! Yum!

  2. Would it be totally insane if I made my own apple cider donuts to put in this? Probably. But I might still do it! Gorgeous!

    1. Yes, in the most fantastic kind of way. That sounds incredible.

  3. I would probably eat the doughnuts just like she did! It would be a miracle if I could get them into the pan to make bread pudding

  4. This looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.