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.


  • 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


  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.


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.