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Bread and Butter Pudding is a classic British dessert that has stood the test of time and translates easily to a gluten-free version. Layers of thickly sliced and buttered sourdough bread are slathered with marmalade, scattered with plump juicy sultanas and baked in a richly spiced custard. An incredibly flavourful and comforting homemade pudding which the whole family will love.
During my foray into achieving the perfect Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread I was producing loaves and loaves of delicious bread that still needed slight tweaking here and there.
What can one possibly do with vast amounts of staling artisanal bread? Well there really is only one option, this incredible Gluten-Free Bread and Butter Pudding. Since I was making so much bread I was also churning out loads of these desserts and giving them away to family and friends (which seemed a better offering than half a loaf of sub-par bread). The feedback on this recipe has been overwhelming and I’m so thankful I can now point everyone who has clamoured for it to this wonderful recipe.
And don’t worry it is easy to recreate with any loaf of decent gluten-free bread.
Table of contents
- What is Bread and Butter Pudding?
- Why you’ll love this recipe
- Watch the video to see how to make it
- How do you make a Gluten-Free Bread and Butter Pudding
- What kind of gluten-free bread do you need?
- These are the ingredients we need
- How to make it
- Pro tips
- What to serve with it
- Make in advance
- How to freeze
- How to make it dairy-free
- Variations on the recipe
- More gluten-free family friendly desserts you’ll love
What is Bread and Butter Pudding?
It’s a traditional British dessert where stale bread is buttered, layered in a baking dish, covered with custard then baked. Often the bread can also be spread with a jam and the layers of bread muddled through with dried fruit.
The first recipes for this dessert date back to the 1720s and was made with freshly buttered bread. It was only in the Victorian times that the dish became a means of using up stale bread.
Note. This dessert is not to be confused with Bread Pudding which is quite different as stale bread is mashed up with milk, dried fruit and spices then baked to form a firm pudding.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- The texture! The thick slices of sourdough hold up well to the custard so it has a creamly soft and giving sponge within but the crust of the dessert has a lovely toasty crunch.
- Citrus tang. The layers of buttered bread are generously spread with Seville orange marmalade and to compliment it the juicy sultanas, scattered throughout, are soaked in fresh orange juice.
- The gently spiced, vanilla-infused, rich homemade custard is absolutely foolproof to make.
- In fact the whole dessert is a very quick assembly job.
- Great for serving to a crowd or a big family.
- You can assemble the recipe ahead of time so that you only need to bake it on the day you want to serve it.
- Great use of stale gluten-free bread. That stuff is expensive to buy or make so it’s great that you don’t have to waste a crumb.
Watch the video to see how to make it
How do you make a Gluten-Free Bread and Butter Pudding
The only switch this recipe makes from a regular bread and butter pudding is to use a gluten-free bread. The custard and all the other elements of the recipe are naturally gluten-free anyway.
What kind of gluten-free bread do you need?
It can be made with any gluten-free bread but use the highest quality artisanal bread you can find if you are making this dessert especially. If you use homemade bread then you really will be kicking this recipe up a notch.
This recipe uses thickly cut and slightly stale gluten-free sourdough bread which means the layers of bread keep their shape very well when soaked in the custard. It also gives the dessert a unique sour tang which makes for a glorious contrast with the sweet eggy custard.
Homemade bread often stales quicker and is firmer than supermarket counterparts which is worth noting for the final results.
These are the ingredients we need
- Sultanas. They are a great dried fruit for soaking up flavour. Here we infuse them with fresh orange juice. You can substitute for raisins, cranberries or diced figs.
- Orange. The juice is used for the sultanas to soak in.
- Gluten-free sourdough bread. You can substitute for any gluten-free bread but a more artisanal loaf is better for flavour and texture.
- Butter. Use unsalted and soften it beforehand so it can easily be spread on to the bread.
- Marmalade. Seville orange marmalade is a great choice for its unique bitter note. However, you can use this recipe >>> or you could substitute for apricot jam which will have a more mellow sweet flavour.
- Eggs. This recipe uses medium-sized although you can substitute for large eggs if that’s all you can find but the custard will be richer and thicker.
- Caster sugar. You can substitute for any fine white sugar.
- Double cream. Or heavy cream.
- Whole milk. You could leave out the whole milk and top up with a bit more double cream.
- Vanilla extract. I recommend the Neilsen Massey brand.
- Spices. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger provide a lovely backdrop of flavour.
- Lemon. We use the zest of ½ lemon for a lovely citrus note to the custard. You can omit if you prefer.
- Icing sugar. This is for sprinkling at the end and is purely a decorative choice.
How to make it
Sultanas. You can soak the sultanas overnight but by heating up the orange juice with the sultanas they absorb the liquid and the flavour very easily.
Bread. Slice thickly. Remove the crusts, cut the slices into triangles and butter generously both sides then slather with marmalade. Create 2 overlapping layers in a baking dish, sprinkling the sultanas throughout.
Custard. Whisk egg yolks and a whole egg with the sugar until pale. Heat the cream and milk with the spices then whisk into the eggs. Pour the custard over the bread.
Rest. Allow the bread to absorb the custard by resting for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Bake. For 30 minutes
- Breadcrumbs. You will be left with a lot of crusts since they need to be removed from the bread slices for this recipe. Don’t throw them away! If you whizz them up in the food processor they make amazing gluten-free breadcrumbs which you can store in the freezer and use directly from frozen.
- Icing sugar. The dessert looks beautiful if you sieve some icing sugar over the baked dish before serving. However, if you do then you must wait at least 30 minutes before doing so otherwise the icing sugar will melt.
- Equipment required: Ovenproof Glass Baking Dish.
What to serve with it
This Sourdough Bread and Butter Pudding is incredible if you serve with any of the following:
- Fresh cold cream (single or double)
- Ice cream
- Ice cream and cream (tell me you’ve tried this!!!)
- Custard – definitely a choice for those cooler months
Make in advance
This is a great dessert for making ahead. You can assemble the whole dish including when you pour the custard over the bread layers. At this point you can cover the dish and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days before you bake it. The longer you keep it the more custard the bread will soak up so it will be a firmer finished result. Bake in exactly the same way as the recipe instructs.
How to store
Once baked it is best to store the gluten-free bread and butter pudding covered in the fridge. You can keep in the baking dish if you have room then you can simply stick the whole dish back into the oven to reheat. Or you can transfer to airtight containers.
How to reheat
Place the whole baking dish in an oven pre-heated to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4 and bake for 20-25 minutes.
How to freeze
If you want to freeze this sourdough bread and butter pudding then cool completely after baking. Cover the whole dish with a double layer of cling film then tin foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To defrost, leave on the kitchen counter overnight before removing the cling film and foil and re-heat as above.
If you are freezing leftovers then you can freeze portions in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight on the kitchen counter. For portions it is better to re-heat in the microwave otherwise it will dry out in the oven.
How to make it dairy-free
All you need is to make a couple of substitutions:
- The butter. Swap with a plant-based butter, there are lots of different brands on the market.
- The double cream. Swap with coconut milk.
- The whole milk. You can either swap with a nut milk of your choice or use more coconut milk.
Note. Do make sure then that the bread you are using is also dairy-free.
Variations on the recipe
Chocolate Chip Bread and Butter Pudding. Omit the orange soaked sultanas and use dark chocolate chips instead. Keep the marmalade for a luscious orange flavour.
Cranberry and Pecan Bread and Butter Pudding. Swap the marmalade for cranberry sauce and use roughly chopped pecans instead of sultanas.
Brandy Apple Bread and Butter Pudding. Omit the marmalade and instead spread a layer of apple sauce at the base of the dish and then in the middle of the two bread layers. Soak the sultanas in brandy instead of orange juice.
More gluten-free family friendly desserts you’ll love
- Apple and Blackberry Crumble
- Raspberry Pudding
- Coconut Crisp with Blueberries
- Lemon and Ginger Cake with Lemon Custard
- Plum Nectarine Cornbread Cobbler
- Blackberry Lemon Pudding
- Spotted Dick
- Steamed Chocolate Pudding with Chocolate Custard
- Rice Pudding
- Sticky Toffee Baileys Pudding
I urge you to give this Gluten-Free Bread and Butter Pudding a try. If you do then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own culinary creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread and Butter Pudding
- 60 g sultanas
- ½ orange - juiced
- ½-¾ loaf sourdough bread - about 600-700g
- 60 g unsalted butter - softened
- 80 g marmalade
- 1 egg - medium
- 3 egg yolks - medium
- 100 g caster sugar
- 250 ml double cream
- 50 ml whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ lemon - zested
- 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar
- Place sultanas and orange juice in a small saucepan and heat until orange juice is just about to boil. Remove from the heat and allow the sultanas to cool whilst you prepare the rest of the pudding.
- Cut the bread into 8 medium-thick slices. Then cut each slice into triangles.
- Spread the bread generously with the butter on both sides. Then spread with the marmalade.
- Butter an ovenproof dish.
- Arrange the triangles of bread in the dish to overlap each other slightly. Once you have arranged one layer then sprinkle over half of the drained sultanas.
- Arrange a second layer of the bread triangles, overlapping in the same way as before then sprinkle over the rest of the sultanas.
- Beat egg, egg yolks and caster sugar in a large jug until pale and creamy.
- Heat the cream, milk, vanilla with the spices and lemon zest until just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the hot cream into the whisked eggs very slowly in a thin stream, whisking the eggs all the time to avoid them curdling in the heat. Whisk together until totally combined.
- Pour the hot custard over the bread layers, making sure every inch of bread is covered. Spoon the custard over any dry bread that has been missed.
- Place the dish in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight) for the custard to soak up into the bread.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4.
- Bake the bread and butter pudding for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven then allow the pudding to rest for at least 30 minutes then dredge with icing sugar.
EquipmentThe ovenproof dish used in this recipe is a Glass Baking Dish 27 x 17cm
- Sultanas. Swap for raisins, dried cranberries or diced dried figs.
- Sourdough bread. You can swap for any gluten-free bread. The better the bread the better the dessert. A very good gluten-free artisanal bread is best to use. You can use this Homemade Gluten-Free White Sandwich Loaf.
- Butter. You can swap for a plant-based butter if you need the recipe to be dairy-free.
- Marmalade. You can sub for apricot jam.
- Double cream. You can sub for coconut milk if you need the recipe to be dairy-free. Whole milk. You can sub for a nut milk or just use more coconut milk if you need the recipe to be dairy-free.
- Save the crusts for making into gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Make sure to wait 30 minutes after baking to sprinkle over the icing sugar so that it doesn’t melt.