Banana Bread Pudding

This banana bread pudding is made with soft sourdough bread, fresh bananas, crunchy pecans, and a decadent caramel sauce. It’s baked in the oven until it’s golden on top – it’s a seriously good dessert with a scoop of ice cream but also pulls double-duty for breakfast or brunch.

a pan of banana bread pudding.

Traditionally, bread pudding is a dessert, but there’s no reason you can’t make it for breakfast or brunch like you would a baked French toast. And this banana bread pudding, no matter which meal you make it for, is one you have to try.

It starts with sourdough bread, fresh bananas, and pecans, and you add a custard base that binds everything together while it bakes in the oven. The finishing touch is a simple caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Decadent, rich, and oh, so delicious – that’s what this banana bread pudding is all about.

Banana Bread Pudding Recipe

This recipe takes some time, but none of the steps are hard. You can prepare parts ahead of time to make things easier, so be sure to check the recipe notes for ideas. Or, keep scrolling after the recipe to get more tips!

Happy baking,

April
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Banana Bread Pudding

the bread pudding with slices removed.

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This bread pudding combines bananas, pecans, sourdough bread, and a delicious caramel sauce for a decadent dessert. The custard-soaked bread bakes up soft in the middle and golden on top with crunchy nuts and fresh fruit in every bite.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (24-oz) loaf sourdough bread
  • 6 large bananas
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Dice the sourdough bread into cubes approximately 1 inch in size. Spread the cubes in a single layer on  1 or 2 large baking sheets and bake them for 10 to 20 minutes (rotating the pan once) or until they have dried out.  (see note)
  2. Remove the bread cubes from the oven and allow them to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Peel and slice four bananas (reserve the other two for later in the recipe) and place the slices in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled bread and nuts. Toss the ingredients together and then set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Pour the custard mixture over the bread crumbs and toss to coat. Allow the bread to soak for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit and lightly spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Spread the soaked bread mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown and the center is set.
  7. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add in the butter, light brown sugar, cream, sea salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture begins to boil and thicken. Continue to heat and whisk for 1 minute, and then remove the sauce from the heat.
  8. Pour the sauce over the baked pudding. Slice the other two bananas and place them on top of the bread pudding. Scoop out warm pieces of the bread pudding for serving.

Notes

Bread tip: If you are using a fresh loaf of bread, don’t skip the first step. Drying the bread crumbs in the oven first ensures they will absorb the custard without turning mushy when you bake the dish. If you have stale bread on hand (dry bread that is a day or so old), you can use it and skip the oven step.

Make-ahead tips: You can make parts of this recipe ahead. The caramel sauce that’s drizzled on top can be made a few days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also mix the custard filling a day ahead and keep it in the fridge.

Storage: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for several days. I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers because the bananas will not hold up well after they’re frozen.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 525
  • Sugar: 43.7g
  • Sodium: 473.7mg
  • Fat: 18.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 78.5g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Protein: 14.8g
  • Cholesterol: 96.2mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

Substitutions

You can easily swap out ingredients depending on what you have on hand.

  • Bread: Sourdough is great, but other sturdy types of bread will work, too. Brioche, challah, or French bread are all good choices. The key is to choose a loaf of bread that will soak up all the delicious custard without going mushy on you.
  • Nuts: Feel free to swap the pecans for other kinds of nuts like chopped walnuts or almonds.
  • Fruit: This is banana bread pudding, but you can change it to another kind of fruit! Fresh fruit like stone fruit (think peaches or plums), berries (blueberries or raspberries would be great), cherries, apples … there are a lot of choices. Or, swap fresh fruit for dried fruit like raisins, dried cranberries, or another kind you like.
  • Other ideas: You can also up the sweetness and add chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips. Mix and match them with the fruit and nuts to change it up.
ingredients for the banana bread pudding.

Bread Tips

Back in the day, bread pudding was a great way to use up stale bread. When bread is dried out, it soaks up all of the custard without getting super soft or mushy. So, if you have stale bread, use it.

If not, you can cut the bread up a day or so in advance and leave it out to dry. By the time you’re ready to make bread pudding, it will be ready to go.

Or, if you forget to leave it out (like I usually do), you can dry the bread in the oven before you make the dish. It only takes about 20 minutes, and the bread gets nice and dry. This step is included in the recipe card.

Make-Ahead Tips

You can make the caramel sauce and the custard mixture ahead of time and keep both in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to make the bread pudding, just assemble, bake, and add the sauce. Doing some of these components ahead will save you time.

Just don’t slice the bananas ahead of time because the pieces will brown. Wait to do this until you’re ready to assemble and bake it.

Different Ways to Serve It

Dessert: It’s pretty darn good all on its own, but a warm slice topped with ice cream or a spoonful of whipped cream takes it over the top.

Breakfast or Brunch: For a holiday start to the day, pair it with eggs and sausage or bacon. And then take a nap!

close-up of the bread pudding.

Still in a holiday mood? Be sure to check out more of my favorite holiday recipes:

More Holiday Baking Recipes

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