Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 1, 2012 01:42 AM

Bread and Butter Pudding [split from Not About Food]

In the UK one of the most popular desserts is "Bread and Butter" pudding. When made at home you can reduce the sugar content and get enough sweetness from the dried fruit.

The best recipes use eggs as well.

One of the nicest desserts I ever had was in Austria - Topfenstrudle - which wasn't too sweet either.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. <In the UK one of the most popular desserts is "Bread and Butter" pudding.>

    Wow. I have never tried it. I want to try it (after seeing the photos on internet). :)

    41 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      And when you have tried it, then progress to the chocolate bread and butter pudding - but only this recipe - which is a "sweet" pudding.

      It is amazing - soft and fluffy - more like a soufflé when hot - but also delicious cold the next day.

      1. re: PhilipS

        Hi Philip,

        I know it is getting off topic for the original poster now, but may I ask a recipe for the bread and butter pudding? I have never had one. I thought about just ordering one, but I feel that chance is probably very low given that I live in the US and it is a UK dessert.

        I find several recipes from the same website you were using. Do you think this one looks ok?

        I know that you unlikely have tried this particular recipe, but does it "look" right to you? Thanks.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Yep - that one looks fine although I might be tempted to leave out the lemon. Most of us don't really use a recipe as such - just buttered bread with the crusts removed, layered with dried fruit and then add sugar, cream (or milk for low fat version) and eggs and a dash of nutmeg.

          Delia Smith is an excellent chef/recipe writer - IMHO the best in the UK - but probably not "high-brow" enough for some.

            1. re: PhilipS

              My preference is to leave out the candied and dried fruit and add some bittter orange marmalade to the buttered bread slices. I also prefer a richer bread such as brioche, and at Christmas a good Panettone makes a wonderful B&B pudding. Best use a full fat milk/cream mix, 'low fat' doesn't work in recipes like this IMO.

              1. re: PhilipS

                I would second Philip's recommendation of a Delia Smith recipe. Her books are often the starting point for many Brits (although her star has faded in recent years with the arrival of the celebrity chef, etc - Oliver, Ramsay, Lawson, blah, blah.)

                By the by, bread & butter pudding is one of our classic desserts. Easy to do at home and often appearing on restaurant menus. Personally, I can't abide it.

                (Hi Philip. Just looked at your profile page and realised I know you from "the other place" - regards, John)

                1. re: Harters

                  Hey there Harters. Good to see you about in here too. Thanks for the back up on the Delia Smith recipes - although some of our more high-brow posters on the other side will not agree with us.

                  1. re: PhilipS

                    I use Delia and BBC Good Food when I'm searching for a new recipe -- I figure she's much like Martha Stewart in the US -- whether you like the on-air personality and/or media figure or not-- you can't deny the vast resource of very dependable recipes that are presented.

                    1. re: PhilipS

                      I have a silly question, but I have to ask it otherwise I will remind silly.

                      I am still looking at this recipe and thinking about trying it this weekend:


                      Do you know where I can get candied lemon or candied orange peel? Like what kind of stores sells these? I don't have currants, but maybe I can use dried Zante currants.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        try a regular grocer, especially this time of year, since people are starting to gather the ingredients for fruitcake -- look around either the pie fillings, the spices, or the baking aisle -- different chains tend to put it in different places.

                        Barring that, will have it without breaking the bank and it will be very good quality (they'll have currants,, too


                        You can even make your own -- it's not difficult, although time-consuming. for Jacques Pepin's version.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Thanks Sunshine and Philips,

                          Yeah, in theory I should able to make the candied lemon candied or candied orange peel on my own, but I worry about not correctly making it. So I want to eliminate some variables. Anyway, I bought some candied orange peel -- mine doesn't look or taste all that sweet. I will give the bread and butter pudding a try this week or next. Hey, I don't see the currants on the KingArthurFlour website. I do see other stuffs:


                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            You should be able to buy Zante brand currants in most American supermarkets.

                            1. re: 512window

                              Yes, that is in fact my plan.


                              However, Zante currants are not real currant. I am, however, interested in getting anything currants because I like currants. I like currant juice (Robinson), currant candy (frutips), currant jelly, and am having a bar of currant chocolate (Lindt)....etc


                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Deliia writes for the British market of course - and candied peel is readily available in our supermarkets so I'd presume the first place to try would be your nearest major supermarket wherever you are in the world.

                          Don't get hung up about currants. They're just dried grapes like raisins or sultanas. As far as I'm concerned they are pretty interchangeable

                          1. re: Harters

                            they're currants, not grapes, so a slightly different taste as it's a different fruit, but yes, you can sub raisins or sultanas (golden raisins).

                            You can also do a pretty good imitation of a dried currant with craisins (dried cranberries) -- you get the redder color as well as that slightly sweet-tart flavor.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Actually, dried currants are grapes. They don't dry currants to make dried currants. They dry Corinth (aka Zante or Champagne) grapes to make "dried currants". No currants actually used in the making of dried currants!! I know, strange.....

                              1. re: sandylc

                                <No currants actually used in the making of dried currants>

                                Is that like "no animals was harmed during the making of this film"?

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  Yes, currants are grapes. I grow actual black currants (ribes) and they are not very good dried ...but they do make excellent jam and homemade creme de cassis!

                                2. re: sunshine842

                                  Some details about how different types of grape coem to make up raisins, currants and sultanas:

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Chemical: don't know specific stores in your area, but around here, all sorts of dried/candied fruits are now available for fruitcakes. I avoid the mixed ones, since I don't care for several of the yuckier ones, but I buy individual candied fruits reasonably priced.

                                1. re: pine time

                                  I bought my dried orange peel candied from Reading Market in Philly last week. :)
                                  Only found orange peel though.



                        3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Bread Pudding is a common dessert in the U.S. - ?

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Is it? If so, I don't know about it and wasn't offered as desserts in the restaurants. I read that Bread Pudding is different than Bread and Butter Pudding though.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Yep - bread pudding is very different to bread and butter pudding. Bread pudding has a lower fat content and the addition of mixed spice and served cold.

                                1. re: PhilipS

                                  The bread puddings that I am accustomed to eating are made with bread, milk, butter,eggs, sugar, and raisins. They are served warm with a rum/whiskey/bourbon sauce.

                                  Also, if you read the paragraph preceeding the recipe for the chocolate bread and butter pudding for which you provided the link, you'll see that Delia has adapted the recipe from one that was provided to her by an American chef.

                                  So, basically, British bread and butter pudding is the same as American bread pudding.

                                  1. re: Vidute

                                    And it seems to have originally come from England in the Colonial period:


                                    Lots of Caribbean cultures serve bread pudding, too -- and yes, usually warm.

                                    1. re: PhilipS

                                      Hi Phil,

                                      I made my first bread and butter pudding a few minutes ago. I wonder if I should use even more liquid (milk, heavy cream and egg..) next time. The liquid only went up only to one of the two layers of bread.. I did pour the liquid from the top, so the top layer certainly had some liquid, but the second layer was completely soak in the liquid during baking. Or maybe that is the idea. To have two very different layers: a crispy dry top layer and a soft and soggy bottom layer.

                                      It is interesting, and I think I can really get use to this. Eating my second piece as I am typing. It isn't very sweet. It is sweet, but much more subtle than typical desserts.

                                      Thanks for your advise and idea.

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          It is the same recipe we were talking about earlier:


                                          The use orange peel candid instead of lemon peel candid. I also bought lime for lime zest, instead of lemon for lemon zest. I also used zante currants, but the rest is similar.

                                          Based on that photo, it looks like the top layer is meant to be drier and crispier, and the bottom layer should be softer and soggier. However, now, I wonder how their pudding looks a lot more soggier on the bottom.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            It looks like it has the right ratio of egg to liquid. I think typically bread pudding is more uniform in texture. If you want it to be so, you could let it absorb in the fridege for a few hours before baking it.

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              Yep, I think bread pudding also cut the bread into smaller pieces too. Let's see how my next one will work out.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                Good point...a lot of recipes cube the bread.

                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Yep - crispy top and soggy bottoms is the classic pudding - although the top layer shouldn't be dry in a hard to eat way.

                                          Must admit that I do tend to add a bit extra liquid as I prefer the soggy to the crispy.

                                          And you can always add an extra portion of cream to serve.

                                          Looks like you did good from the photo.

                                          1. re: PhilipS

                                            <Yep - crispy top and soggy bottoms is the classic pudding - although the top layer shouldn't be dry in a hard to eat way.>

                                            Got it. I was wondering that.

                                            <Must admit that I do tend to add a bit extra liquid as I prefer the soggy to the crispy. >

                                            Me too, which is why I wonder if I should add more liquid next time. Again. Thanks for your help.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Next try the chocolate bread and butter pudding from Delia as well. You will be in heaven (providing you are a chocolate fan).

                                              It needs to be made the day before and left in the fridge overnight. And make sure you have some left over to eat when it is cold.

                                            2. re: PhilipS

                                              <Yep - crispy top and soggy bottoms is the classic pudding - although the top layer shouldn't be dry in a hard to eat way.>

                                              Not in the U.S.!! Another of our differences, despite our close heritage....

                                              In the U.S. bread pudding has no soggy and no crisp - it is more uniform in texture and moistness.

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                I know. Based on the photos, they do look different. The US bread puddings are usually cut into smaller pieces (at the very least, not an intact slice of bread), and the liquid and the bread are mixed uniformly.

                                                This is why after my first bread and pudding, I was like..."Is this how it is supposed to be?" Then I looked at the photo and they do semi look like mine, and then I wrote an inquisition here just to be sure.

                                                <no soggy and no crisp>

                                                Soggy is probably a bad word, and it does sound bad, so I probably should have used a different word. What is definitely true is that the top layer and the bottom layer have very different texture.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  Yeah - fluffy is probably a better word rather than soggy.

                                                  We also have "bread pudding" in the UK - which is eaten cold and would probably fit in the "stodgy" description.

                                                  The ingredients are similar - but with the addition of mixed spice. and a higher percentage of dried fruit.

                                                  1. re: PhilipS

                                                    :) I just made another batch about 2 hours ago. More liquid this time. So both layers were soaked up and fluffy. However, the very surface of the top layer is crispy. Pretty cool.

                              1. Years ago I was hired to come up with recipes for your basic grocery store white bread--soft, airy and pretty flavorless--not really my kind of bread. But then I made it into a chocolate bread pudding that included cream, eggs, cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. It transformed the bread into something ethereal, a cross between pudding and souffle. It was amazing.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: escondido123

                                  Indeed - if presented unknowingly - it would be difficult to identify that it is bread. The Delia recipe for the chocolate version is very good. Also delicious cold.

                                2. My favorite bread and butter pudding recipe is in James Beard's "American Cooking" which is also one of his very best books imho.

                                  1. The original comment has been removed