Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Warm Butter Sauce

Comforting and creamy Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding, flavoured with fresh cranberries and orange marmalade and topped with a warm Butter Sauce.

As subscribers to my Newsletter already know, I’m celebrating cranberries this week, starting with this Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding! Cranberries are near and dear to my heart, not only because I love them, but because I live in cranberry country. Cranberries grow natively here and there is also a large commercial Cranberry Marsh nearby, so I have ready access to the freshest of cranberries every Fall.

I paid a visit to the Cranberry Marsh a few weeks ago, just as the Fall harvest was beginning. For those that aren’t aware, cranberries grow on very low shrub-like bushes. They aren’t “picked” in the classical sense though. To harvest cranberries, the field is flooded and the berries are loosened from their bushes by agitating the water with a tractor fitted with a rotating rake. Once loosened, the cranberries float to the top and are skimmed off. It’s a unique process and great fun to witness.

Here are a few photos from my visit to the Cranberry Marsh …

Cranberry Bushes
Cranberry Field before flooding
Cranberry Harvester

Did you know? The cranberry harvester doesn’t float on top of the flooded fields (I always thought that!) It has tires and it actually drives on the ground. Although the field is flooded, it doesn’t need to be deep as the cranberry bushes are so low to the ground.

Flooded Cranberry Field
cranberry tractor
Cranberries ready for harvest

Did you know? Fall harvested cranberries are a very tart berry, but if you were to leave the cranberries on the bushes over the winter, by the Spring, they would be sweet! Of course, you’d have to fight off the bears and deer to get at them ;)

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Warm Butter Sauce

So obviously, I brought back a huge bag of fresh cranberries, which will keep me in cranberries for some time. One of the first things I baked up was this bread pudding. Cranberry and orange are a perfect combination and of course, bread pudding is classic comfort food.

This bread pudding is flavoured with orange marmalade. If you don’t have marmalade on hand, simply substitute a bit of orange juice and zest instead.

To top my bread pudding, I made an old fashioned Butter Sauce, made simply and quickly in a saucepan by warming together butter, sugar, cream and vanilla. It’s a delicious sweet complement to the tart cranberry and orange flavours.

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Warm Butter Sauce

Did you know? Cranberries freeze beautifully. They don’t need any pre-freezer preparation. Just pop the cranberries into a freezer bag and enjoy them from the freezer for up to a year!

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Vanilla Butter Sauce

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Warm Butter Sauce

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas dessert recipes, cranberry and orange bread pudding
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Energy: 404 kcal
Author: Jennifer
Delicious bread pudding, studded with fresh cranberries and flavoured with orange marmalade. Alternately, you could use a bit of orange juice and zest to flavour the custard.


Bread Pudding:

  • 1/2 large baguette day old, cut into cubes (if bread is fresh, toast cubes in 350oven for 5-7 minutes to dry)
  • 1 cup half & half cream (10%) 10% bf
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange marmalade (or orange juice/zest)

Butter Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste


  1. Cut bread in to cubes and place in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half & half, cream, vanilla, eggs and sugar. Pour over cubed bread. Allow to stand at least 30 minutes and up to an hour, stirring a couple times while it stands.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F Prepare individual serving dish (or one 8-9-inch-ish large dish) by greasing and placing on a baking sheet (to catch any boil overs).

  3. Add cranberries and marmalade to bread/cream mixture and stir well to combine. Using a slotted spoon, spoon bread in to serving dish (or dishes). (*I like to extend the bread above the edge of the dish, as I like the crispy bits at the top in addition to the creamy bottom.) Pour remaining liquid over-top, allowing at least 1/4-1/3 inch at the top of the dish.
  4. Bake in pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean (*check at the 40 minute mark and cover loosely with aluminum foil if tops are already golden enough).
  5. Meanwhile, prepare Butter Sauce by combining all ingredients except the vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring regularly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
  6. Serve with warm Butter Sauce.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Butter Sauce


  • Hi Jennifer, I didn’t see a size for the baking dish for this recipe? I’m guessing it’s an 8×8 or a 9×9 based on the amounts but thought I may as well ask. I’m going to be making this for one of my desserts for our Christmas brunch. It sounds divine!

        • Hi Kathy, I haven’t refrigerated this one specifically, but I have refrigerated other bread puddings overnight successfully, so I think it would work just fine. I find they are a tiny bit more dense, as the bread is quite saturated, but still very enjoyable texture.

  • I have loved bread puddings since my grandfather would sit me on his lap to mix all the ingredients in a big bowl while he told me stories. He never cooked but he did love his bread puddings so that’s what we’d make together. His was very plain but he would have been wowed by this amazing deliciousness! Holy smokes, Jennifer – those flavours are fantastic and the sauce!
    Love seeing the pics of the cranberry fields. I’v only seen them in BC. I’ve got to go pay a visit!

    • Thanks Robyn and yes, you must take in the marsh in Bala sometime. They have a fun “Bog to Bottle” tour, that includes a wine tasting at the end! And of course, absolutely everything cranberry :)

  • I didn’t know you live in cranberry country! How cool is that?! Love those shots and I’d love to go wadding in that cranberry filled water! I’m excited for your cranberry week and this is one heck of a way to start! This bread pudding looks absolutely incredible!!! Plus that butter sauce has me drooling! I need this in my life. ;) Cheers, friend!

  • This is absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing this field trip – I just love to see how things grow. There are some cranberry drink commercials where they stand in the water surrounded by floating cranberries so I figures they got them in the water somehow – but never knew! Thanks again and especially for the recipe. It looks and sounds fantastic. Would you believe I’ve never made bread pudding, sweet or savory. I better get with it!

    • Thanks Tricia and yes, you must try a bread pudding! It’s a great way to use up stale bread. I always seem to have lots of that, so I freeze it for bread puddings in the winter.

  • Sounds like a fun time at the Cranberry Marsh Jennifer! I’ve actually always wanted to visit one. I guess you can cross that off your bucket list! One of my favorite desserts is bread pudding. I never liked it when I was young, but let’s just say I’m making up for it now! I love the cranberry orange flavor of this one. I think I may substitute some challah for the baguette because that’s my favorite! Thanks for the fun facts! Can’t wait to try this one!

    • I was the same way, Mary Ann. Maybe it’s an acquired taste :) And yes, challah would be perfect. I can’t get challah anywhere in my little town, so baguette it usually is (must learn to make challah!)

  • I love seeing pictures of the cranberry bog. I had no idea how they grew. What a beautiful fall sight! This bread pudding looks AMAZING and I’m pinning it as I know it needs to be on our November menu!

    • Thanks Sue! It was such a perfect Fall day the day we visited. We did the Bog to Bottle tour, ending with a (cranberry) wine tasting :) And thanks. That Butter Sauce is so lovely and a nice change from the usual.

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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