Croissant Bread Pudding with Caramel

Croissant Bread Pudding is decadent yet simple, featuring an easy, homemade, 5-minute caramel sauce for the perfect recipe to use up stale or leftover croissants!

Croissant Bread Pudding with text overlay.


 

For me, Valentine's Day desserts typically equal 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 Croissant Bread Pudding...because bread pudding is a year-round kind of treat, am I right?

In dish and on plate with whipped cream.

Ingredients

This dessert starts with flaky, buttery croissants.

If that's not already decadent enough, those croissants are then drowned in a custard made with whisked eggs and homemade caramel sauce before being baked into luscious bread pudding goodness.

As a bonus, Croissant Bread Pudding is deceptively easy to make...but nobody will ever guess that when they taste it!

Croissant Bread Pudding in baking dish.

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.

Serving of Croissant Bread Pudding on plate.

How to Make Croissant Bread Pudding

Making this amazing Croissant Bread Pudding is ridiculously easy!

(You'll find a quick overview below, but for the full ingredient list and directions, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  1. Whip up some caramel sauce (in just five minutes!) and set it aside to cool.
  2. Tear some stale croissants into rough pieces and place them in a buttered baking dish.
  3. Scrambled a couple of eggs.
  4. Stir a cup of caramel sauce into the eggs.
  5. Pour the mixture all over the waiting croissants.
  6. Allow the croissants to soak in their caramel bath for about 10 minutes.
  7. Pop the dish in the oven and bake until puffy and golden.

The scrumptious result?

Warm Croissant Bread Pudding with a texture that’s simultaneously tender, flaky, chewy, and gooey…and an unadulterated caramel flavor that is absolutely mouthwatering!

Croissant Bread Pudding in baking dish with missing portion scooped out.

Variations

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.

Other commenters have shared that they jazzed up their Croissant Bread Pudding with cinnamon and raisins, sliced apples and toasted pecans, mashed bananas, or even canned apple pie filling!

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!

Croissant Bread Pudding in dish and on plate with whipped cream and berries.

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 Croissant Bread Pudding!

As one of the most delightful V-Day desserts or to make an ordinary evening special, it's a recipe that comes together in no time and it will disappear like that. 😉

Aerial view of Croissant Bread Pudding on plate and in dish.

More Sweet Treats for Your Valentine

Croissant Bread Pudding with Caramel on plate.

Croissant Bread Pudding with Caramel

Croissant Bread Pudding is decadent yet simple, featuring an easy, homemade, 5-minute caramel sauce for the perfect recipe to use up stale or leftover croissants!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Calories: 448kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 5 cups torn pieces of all-butter croissants, about 2 jumbo or 4 small croissants
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Freshly whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • 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. Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a shallow 1-quart baking dish. Place the torn croissant pieces in the bottom of the dish in an even layer.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Very slowly and gradually, pour in the (warm but not hot) 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 the goal!)
  • 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 with optional whipped cream.

Notes

  • TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM: (1.) Using the wire whisk attachment(s) of an electric mixer, beat ½ cup chilled heavy cream at medium speed until soft peaks begin to appear. (2.) Sprinkle 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract over the whipped cream. (3.) Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks just form. (Be careful not to overbeat or you'll end up with butter instead of whipped cream!) TIP: Whipped cream beats up the fluffiest when your heavy cream, your whisk, and your bowl are all chilled.

Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very easy to make and turned out so yummy. I could eat the caramel sauce with a spoon. A great way to make sure stale croissants don't go to waste!

  2. 5 stars
    I made some croissants and forgot the egg wash. duh. so I found this recipe. easy. fast. I heated up some canned apple pie filling and spread on top. just great.

  3. 5 stars
    What a fantastic recipe. Simple and spectacular. I have made it many times and we have taken to adding a healthy amount of cinnamon and raisins too.

    My husband, being British requests custard sauce to boot in case it’s not decadent enough.

  4. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe. I've made it twice now, and the only thing that I would change is adding sliced apples and pecans that are toasted. Thank you for the great base recipe.

  5. I made this according to the recipe, which I've done with a lot of recipes on Pinterest - some have worked and some haven't.

    Let me say, this was so good I thought I would cry. Seriously. So many possibilities - and I needed a win right now when the Xmas madness is in full swing. I would have to say this is my Number 1 success on Pinterest and I've been here a long time. Simple.... spectacular.

    Thank you Samantha...Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

  6. What a wonderful recipe!
    I want to incorporate bananas into this somehow! How would you recommend doing that?
    Thanks!

    1. Gosh, Sarah...I'm really not sure! I haven't tried (or even thought of) adding bananas to this recipe. Maybe just layer banana slices between the torn croissants before pouring the caramel sauce on top? I hope it works if you try it...good luck!

      1. You can mix mashed bananas to the torn croissant pieces in a separate bowl , before placing them in baking dish . I have a different recipe with the same ingredients + the bananas 🙂

  7. What are leftover croissants? I'll have to figure out what these things are you call "leftover croissants" so that I can make this bread pudding. Yum!

    1. Ha, Meaghan...that is so true! "Leftover croissants" is pretty much an oxymoron, isn't it? Well, let's just say buy extra croissants to make this dessert then! 😉

  8. I love bread puddings of all sorts. I like making them. In fact I am at my day job and I had brought leftover from the Super Bowl, bread pudding made with cinnamon rolls. I am getting lots of compliments. I love it.
    I also LOVE this recipe. Perfecto!

    1. I totally agree, Carol...bread pudding is awesome. But bread pudding made with cinnamon rolls? Wow...that sounds unbelievably good! Coming soon to a blog near you... Ha ha -- just kidding! Love the idea though...I can imagine why it was getting compliments at work. 😉