I baked my first King Cake in 8th grade for a Mardi Gras party in my French class. It lacked authenticity since I used a yellow cake mix from a box, but I still enjoyed hiding the plastic baby inside and showering the cake with green, yellow, and purple sugar sprinkles.
Although I downsized last year and celebrated with individual King Cupcakes, my tummy still balked at the idea of more sugar so soon after Valentine’s Day and requires an unfrosted, not-so-sweet dessert. To satisfy it, I searched for another classic Mardi Gras dessert recipe. My bananas sat as green as limes on the countertop, so I crossed “Bananas Foster” off of the list.
Next came bread pudding. With all of the cards my tummy has currently been craving, it sounded like the perfect treat. After shaking in a little extra cinnamon and raisins, I tapped my foot impatiently until the timer buzzed and I could spoon myself a generous portion, eyeing the pan for seconds as I ate the last bite off of my plate.
Happy Mardi Gras!
Raisin-Studded Bread Pudding
modified from this recipe
While day-old bread works best, I used fresh and it still turned out just fine, although you may want to cut back on the milk by a cup or so if you do use fresh bread. Serve warm, topped with berries or a chocolate drizzle for a more decadent indulgence!
8 c. cubed French bread
6 c. milk
1½ c. granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¾ c. raisins
¾ c. golden raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly coat a 13×9” baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour the bread cubes into the pan and distribute evenly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except the two types of raisins. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, pressing the bread down with a spatula to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle the raisins over the bread, and press them down into the bread cubes with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 30-35 min. (Optional: Broil for 2-3 min to develop a slight crust on top.) Serve warm. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Note: This recipe is easily halved; simply use a 9×9” baking pan instead. Check after 28-30 min.