A delicious rhubarb bread pudding, with a base of stewed rhubarb, topped with bread and an egg and milk custard mixture. Take it to the next level and serve it topped with crème anglaise. A wonderful Spring dessert, that can be made with fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb.
Why I love this rhubarb bread pudding
- I think bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food and cooked rhubarb is right up there in the comfort food department, in my opinion.
- This pudding starts with a layer of cooked and sweetened rhubarb on the bottom of the pan, followed by the bread that is lined up in neat rows. Pour over the egg and milk mixture, then a bit more of the stewed rhubarb is then spooned on top, along with some almonds.
- And if you really want to take rhubarb bread pudding to the next level, top with a luscious crème anglaise.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Rhubarb – You can use either fresh or frozen rhubarb for this bread pudding.
Bread – Technically, any bread will work here, but I find day-old baguette to always work out well. Be sure the bread is day old or slightly stale bread, for best results. If you only have fresh bread around, cut the slices and you can place them on a baking sheet in a 350 F. oven for a few minutes to dry them out a bit.
- For the rhubarb, you can cook it down just until just broken down a bit and leave it a little chunky, or allow to simmer down to a thick sauce. Either way it’s great. Just be sure your rhubarb is nice and softened. Be sure to taste once it’s cooked down and add a bit more sugar if you find it too tart for your taste.
- I love to take the time to make a Creme Anglaise for bread pudding, but it’s really optional. The pudding is lovely without it (it’s just lovelier with it ;) You can make the crème anglaise ahead and keep it in the fridge for hours. The rhubarb can also be cooked ahead and refrigerated, then assemble the bread pudding later before baking.
Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise
For the Optional Creme Anglaise (can be made ahead):
- 1/2 cup milk, whole milk recommended
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 35% b.f.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla , or vanilla bean paste
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 Tablespoons white sugar
For the Stewed Rhubarb:
- 4 cups rhubarb, chopped, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons water, (omit if using frozen rhubarb)
For the Bread Pudding:
- Day-old baguette
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 35% b.f.
- 2 1/2 cups milk, whole milk recommended
- 2 teaspoons vanilla , or vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tablespoons white granulated sugar, for topping
- Sliced or slivered almonds, optional, for topping
- Icing/confectioners’ sugar
- For the Creme Anglaise: Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return the custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain sauce into bowl. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
- For the Stewed Rhubarb: Combine rhubarb, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to combine and stir regularly until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until rhubarb is soft and thick. (*You can simmer less if you'd like a chunkier sauce or cook more for a less chunky sauce). Remove to a bowl to cool or make ahead and refrigerate until needed.
- For the Bread Pudding: Preheat oven to 350° Slice baguette into 1/2-3/4 inch slices and set aside. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, cream milk and vanilla. Whisk well to combine.
- Lightly grease and 8×8-inch baking pan. Spoon 2/3 of the stewed rhubarb into the bottom of the pan. Lay the sliced bread in two rows on top of the rhubarb. Pour the egg mixture over-top (it should all fit, but if not, let pudding stand 5 minutes, then add the rest). Sprinkle the exposed top of the bread with 1 Tbsp. of white sugar, then spoon the remaining stewed rhubarb down the middle of each row of bread. Stop with sliced or slivered almonds, if using.
- Place your baking pan on to a baking sheet (to catch any bubble-overand bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until set (I test with a knife. It should come out without any runny buts on it).
- Allow to cool slightly, then dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with some Creme Anglaise poured over-top or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
I am making this bread pudding right now.
I used frozen rhubarb and did not add water as instructed but there seems to be an awful lot of water forming as rhubarb is thawing.should some of this water be stained off or should I used it as is.
Hi Carol, if you have an opportunity to pour off some of the water, I would. Most will bake off, but always better to start with less, when you can :)
So I will finish this pudding today. As I cooked that rhubarb I did pour off some of the water, I could see there was way too much moisture. So now it seems like there is still some, but maybe not too much so I am glad to have your advice and I will take a bit more off.
I have the lovely Creme Anglaise ready and waiting for when I finish this now, so I am going to get to it.
I was wondering how the topping would be if I swapped a bit of brown sugar for a bit of crunch,in place of the icing sugar, or would that be too sweet with the sauce?
Sounds good Carol and yes, you could certainly do a sprinkling of brown sugar on top for a bit of crunch. I would even do a sprinkling sugar, too, as I always thinks it looks pretty and a dusting adds little sweetness, really. Enjoy!
This is the best bread pudding ever…everyone just loved it..will definitely be in my must make again list
So glad to hear, Peggy :) Thanks so much!
I have only made bread puddings with chunks of bread. How big are the slices in this recipe?
Hi Georgia, as detailed in the recipe instructions, the slices should be 1/2-3/4 inches. Hope that helps.
I was assuming that the 1/2-3/4 inches indicated the thickness of the bread but like Georgia, I can’t tell how larges the bread is. Not all baguettes are the same size.
Hi Mary, Yes, the 1/2-3/4 inches is how thick you should cut the slices. While baguettes do vary somewhat in size (height), it’s not a wide variation generally, so whatever baguette you start with should be fine.
I made this for a co-worker’s birthday and I have to say, it was fantastic!
So glad to hear you enjoyed this, Janna! Thanks :)
Please pass me a spoon, this bread pudding looks simply divine! :)
Thanks Laura :)
Jennifer, this is truly a masterpiece! Love absolutely everything about this bread pudding!
Thanks so much, Julia :)
Jennifer this bread pudding sounds amazing! It is one of my favorite comfort foods! My Mom loves rhubarb too, so this is on my list for when she comes to visit in a few weeks!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann. It’s a nice treat for rhubarb lovers :)
What a delightful combination Jennifer! Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts but I never thought to make it with rhubarb, yum! And the creme anglais sauce is the crème de la crème for sure!
Thanks Chris. The rhubarb was so nice with the bread pudding and if I could, I would put that sauce on everything ;)
Jennifer – this is beautiful! I love the creme anglais sauce too! Such a perfect touch. I don’t know what it is about my area but it seems like we never got a good amount of rhubarb so I am totally envious.
Thanks Jessica. I think rhubarb loves a cooler climate. It grows like a bad weed around here, so there’s always a lot of it around :)
JUST had the idea to do rhubarb bread pudding. How funny! Yours looks sensational. Creme anglaise is the perfect touch :)
Great minds think alike, Sarah :) I was looking for something different to do with my rhubarb, too!
You are an artist Jennifer – this is beautiful on so many levels. So rich and soft and I would love it!
Thanks so much, Tricia :)
We still have some time before local summer produce kicks in here. I’m still seeing rhubarb at the store and love the idea of this recipe. I feel rhubarb gets the short end of the stick, almost always relegated to the traditional pie before summer hits. This elevates it so and gives it a whole new destiny!
Thanks Toni and we are the same here. Local strawberries won’t show up here until mid-late June, so rhubarb is still the only fresh, local thing around.
I have to confess I’ve never made a bread pudding, but you’ve tempted me with the rhubarb and that gorgeous sauce!!
Thanks Sue. For a number of year, I thought I wasn’t really a bread pudding lover, but then I had one at a restaurant and was totally won over. I think I had become jaded by dry bread puddings. I love a moist and creamy one and yes, that sauce helps, too :)
Bread pudding is absolutely the ultimate comfort food!! And this rhubarb version is calling my name. Girl, seriously, if you’re ever in Montreal we need to get together and just go wild making rhubarb treats! Pretty sure I’ve pinned every single one of your rhubarb creations!
Thanks Katrina :) I have always loved rhubarb and the fact that it freezes so well means it’s an almost year-round treat for me!