Decadent yet simple Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding features a homemade, 5-minute caramel sauce and is the perfect recipe to use up stale or leftover croissants.
For me, Valentine's desserts typically equate chocolate. But today, I thought I'd provide you with a lovely, luscious, non-chocolate alternative that's simple to put together but special enough to celebrate Valentine's Day. All it requires are a few stale/leftover croissants and a decadent homemade caramel sauce that whips up in just five minutes!
However, allow me to let you in on a little secret...it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to justify this glorious bread pudding, because bread pudding is a year-round kind of treat, am I right?
This dessert starts with flaky, buttery croissants. If that's not already decadent enough, those croissants are then drowned in a custard of homemade caramel sauce and baked into luscious bread pudding goodness. As a bonus, Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding is deceptively easy to make...but nobody will ever guess that when they taste it!
This recipe employs my favorite way to make caramel sauce...five ingredients, five minutes, and no candy thermometer. I love keeping a jar of this homemade caramel sauce in the refrigerator at pretty much all times, since you never know when ice cream or brownies or apple pie are going to demand it. And I just so happened to have half a jar of this sauce on hand at the same time that I found myself with a few leftover, stale croissants. Coincidence? I think not.
To create this amazing bread pudding, all I did was tear about four stale croissants into rough pieces and place them in a buttered baking dish. Then I scrambled up a couple of eggs, stirred in a cup of my magical caramel sauce, and poured the mixture all over the waiting croissants. After allowing the croissants to soak in their caramel bath for about 10 minutes, I popped the dish in the oven and baked until puffy and golden.
The scrumptious result? Warm bread pudding with a texture that’s simultaneously tender, flaky, chewy, and gooey…and an unadulterated caramel flavor that is absolutely mouthwatering!
I love the simplicity of flavors in this recipe, which basically boil down to caramel + buttery bread. However, I can also think of some pretty darn tasty ideas for kicking this recipe up a notch, should you so desire. For example, it would be a cinch to toss a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of toasted pecans on top of the torn croissants to give this bread pudding a turtle spin. So stick with the recipe as-is or embellish it to your little heart's desire…either way, I promise that you won’t be disappointed!
The next time you find yourself in possession of leftover croissants, I highly suggest hiding them away until you have a chance to make this Easy Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding! For Valentine's Day or to make an ordinary evening special, it's a dessert that comes together in no time and it will disappear like that. 😉
More Sweet Treats for Your Valentine
- Heart-Shaped Fruit Pizza
- Sparkling Strawberry Floats
- Warm Chocolate Cobbler
- Easy Shortbread Heart-Shaped Cookies
Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding
- 5 cups torn pieces of all-butter croissants, about 2 jumbo or 4 small croissants
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- Grease a shallow 1-quart baking dish. Place the torn croissant pieces in the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
- Prepare the caramel sauce by placing a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Mix in brown sugar and stir for 2 minutes. Mix in heavy cream and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and salt until well incorporated. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Very slowly and gradually, pour in the slightly cooled caramel sauce, rapidly whisking the whole time. (If the caramel sauce is too hot, or if you pour it in all at once, or if you're whisking too slowly, the eggs may scramble, which is not what you're going for!)
- Pour caramel sauce mixture over croissant pieces. Press down on croissants so that all of them are submerged in caramel sauce and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes; remove to a rack and cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.