Rhubarb Bread Pudding Perfect for Breakfast or Dessert

This rhubarb bread pudding is perfect for breakfast or dessert. It’s an easy, sweet and delicious version of French Toast. It has the classic egg and milk custard surrounding bread pieces with a pleasant surprise of rhubarb bits to liven things up.

no sauce rhubarb bread pudding piece
Small bites of rhubarb and a hint of orange add great flavor.

Other Bake Ahead Breakfasts: Cheese & Sausage Strata, Apple Cranberry French Toast Bake

Tasty Sides: Serve with this Orange & Mint Salad and a side of Oven Baked Bacon

Recipe For Rhubarb Bread Pudding

rhubarb bread piece ready to serve
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

A delicious bread pudding recipe using fresh or frozen rhubarb. Perfect for a sweet breakfast or filling dessert. Make ahead the night before.
Prep : 15 mins
Cook : 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Getty Stewart

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced rhubarb fresh or frozen
  • 6 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp orange zest

Vanilla Custard Sauce (Creme Anglaise)

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten (add egg white to bread pudding)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Grease a 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking dish.
  • Add rhubarb and bread into baking dish and mix well. If using frozen rhubarb, remove any ice crystals.
  • In large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and orange zest. (Plus 2 egg whites from custard sauce if making).
  • Pour over bread and rhubarb ensuring all pieces are soaked.
  • Cover and let rest one hour or overnight in refrigerator.
  • Remove from fridge while preheating oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Bake for 50–60 minutes but check starting at 30 minutes. If browning too much, cover with aluminum foil. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean or internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes to set before serving. Serve with vanilla custard sauce, ice cream or whipped cream.
  • Cool thoroughly, cover and store extras in fridge for up to 3 days.

Vanilla Custard Sauce (Creme Anglaise)*See notes

  • Over medium heat, bring milk to simmer (just before boiling). Remove from heat.
  • In medium bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks. Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring the whole time. Return everything to pot. Add vanilla.
  • Bring back to simmer, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Stir and stir until mix thickens slightly, 5-10 minutes. Going slow and low will prevent curdling and cause thickening. The final sauce will be smooth and slightly thickened. It will still be pourable, more like a gravy than a pudding.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool a little before serving.

Notes

Are you a sweetie? This recipe is not overly sweet, so if you like things on the sweet side, add extra sugar. Try 1 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 in the bread pudding recipe and 3-4 Tbsp of sugar in the custard sauce. 
About the Sauce: When making this sauce, be patient go slow and low for a beautiful smooth finish. The sauce will thicken somewhat, but it will be pourable – this is not a pudding. If you want a thick, pudding like sauce, dissolve 1 Tbsp of cornstarch in a little milk and add to sauce, heat until thickened. Sauce can be made ahead and stored in fridge for 4 days. Recipe can be doubled.
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 801kcal | Carbohydrates: 124g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 22g | Sodium: 1230mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 40g | Iron: 8mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, brunch, dessert sauce, rhubarb, rhubarb bread pudding
raw pieces of rhubarb and bread
Rhubarb Bread Pudding Before
baked rhubarb and bread pudding
Rhubarb Bread Pudding After

Common Questions about Bread Pudding

What Kind of Bread Should I Use?

Any bread, ripped or cut to the same size will do. Use baguettes, yeast bread, sourdough bread, croissants, bagels, white sandwich bread, artisan bread, Challah, brioche, etc. In the spirit of reducing food waste, I rarely remove the crust from the bread. As long as you let everything soak for 60 minutes before you bake, you won’t even notice.

bread pieces
Bread pudding is a great way to use up day old bread.

What if I only Have Fresh Bread?

It is best to use day old or slightly stale bread. Dry bread will soak up all the liquid better than fresh bread. But don’t worry if all you have is fresh bread – toss it into the oven at 250-300°F for 15 minutes to dry it out a bit.

Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Rhubarb?

You can use either fresh or frozen rhubarb in this recipe.

If you are using frozen rhubarb, just make sure to remove any ice crystals. If I notice any on my frozen rhubarb, I place the rhubarb in a colander and rinse it with cold water until all the ice has melted off. Let the rhubarb dry while preparing the rest of the recipe.

frozen rhubarb pieces
Remove any ice crystals if using frozen rhubarb.

How Do I Know When Bread Pudding is Done?

An underdone bread pudding will be runny because the custard has not set properly. An overdone bread pudding can get weepy (releases water when it cools once out of the oven). You want to get it just right. Your rhubarb bread pudding is done when:

  • the outer edges and top are a lovely golden brown (cover with foil if getting too dark)
  • there is no liquid pooling anywhere
  • the center doesn’t jiggle when you gently shuffle the pan from side to side
  • a knife inserted in the center comes out clean
  • the internal temperature is 160°F (according to Extension Services at University of Nebraska)

How do I Reheat Bread Pudding?

Actually, did you know you can eat bread pudding straight out of the fridge? My family members often sneak pieces out of the fridge, we all love it!

If you prefer to reheat it, here’s how:

  • Reheat in the microwave for 1-3 minutes. Start with 1 minute, rotate then add 30 seconds at a time until it’s as hot as you like.
  • Reheat in the oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Cover dish with foil while reheating in oven.

Can I Freeze Bread Pudding?

Yes, you can freeze your rhubarb bread pudding. But keep the sauce separate as it will not freeze/thaw well. Here’s how:

  • Cool completely. This is important to prevent any ice crystal build up.
  • Wrap in individual serving sizes (ideal for quick thawing and reheating) or in one large batch.
  • Wrap well in air tight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To use, thaw in fridge overnight, then reheat as indicated above.

Can I Freeze Raw Bread Pudding?

Yes, you can freeze bread pudding before baking. Here’s how:

  • Prepare full recipe in pan. Cover top of food with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on the food and up the sides of the pan.
  • Add another layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the pan and seal well.
  • Label well and include cooking instructions. (Thaw in fridge overnight, bake for extra 10+ minutes as needed – check frequently).
  • OR prepare full recipe in large bowl. Transfer into heavy duty freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw in fridge, transfer to baking pan and bake.
  • Keep in freezer for up to 2 months.
rhubarb bread piece ready to serve
The vanilla custard sauce is delicious. Serve it on the side so everyone can add as much as they’d like and leftovers store better.

Other Special Occasion Breakfast Recipes

If you’re looking for tasty, creative and unique breakfast ideas, try these:

Apple Cranberry French Toast Bake

French Toast Fingers with Stewed Rhubarb

Ooey Gooey Rhubarb Cinnamon Buns

Lacy Jam Filled Crepes

Apple Ring Pancakes

Three Cheese and Sausage Breakfast Bake

Heart Cut Out French Toast

When it comes to breakfast, do you prefer sweet or savory?

Let me know your breakfast favorites either down below or on Instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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