The perfect bread pudding recipe for fall, this Caramel Apple Bread Pudding features a brown sugar custard sauce and cinnamon fried apples baked into a crunchy-and-tender bread pudding that is just begging to be topped with caramel sauce and ice cream.
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding Recipe
Bread pudding can be such a divisive dessert!
Not only are there the bread pudding nay-sayers, but even amongst those of us who love our bread pudding there are different preferences: crunchy, soggy, a mixture of both, enjoyed plain, with butter sauce or with ice cream, or fruit-topped.
Personally, I like my bread pudding with a caramelized crunch on the top and tender on the inside – with no soggy bites. And I usually only want it topped with vanilla butter sauce, but with today’s caramel apple bread pudding I took things a bit easier and topped our bread pudding with caramel sundae sauce and a bit of whipped cream.
(If you want to serve this caramel apple bread pudding with butter sauce, check out our Instant Pot Bread Pudding recipe for an easy Apple-Vanilla Sauce recipe – it would be perfect.)
This caramel apple bread pudding has that satisfying contrast of crunchy and tender and can be made “creamy” if you like by soaking the bread crumbs in the custard mixture overnight or reducing the baking time. The brown sugar custard takes on a caramelized flavor with baking while avoiding making this dessert too sweet, and those soft bites of baked cinnamon apples add another delicious dimension of flavor.
Caramel. Apples. Custard. Apple Pie Spice. Bread, aka, CARBS. What’s not to love?!
For a delicious twist, swap out the bread used in this recipe for croissants, English muffins, brioche bread, Hawaiian rolls (like we did for our Chocolate Bread Pudding), French bread, etc. You can also swap out the apples, if you’d like, for pears.
You can also make individual portions of this bread pudding by baking in ramekins or large muffin cups.
If you’re also a fan of tender (not soggy) bread pudding, the biggest thing you can do to ensure you get the texture you want is to use day-old bread or leave your bread out on the counter for a few hours to dry it out. You can also quickly bake the bread cubes in the oven before making the recipe – just be sure not to let them bake for so long that they get toasted.
You can use whatever type of apple you prefer for this recipe – personally, I like a mix of tart and sweeter. You don’t want to go too sweet on the apples you use in this recipe as they will sweeten with baking and there’s already sweetness from the brown sugar, cream and apple pie spice. I used Golden Delicious and Cortland apples, but you can use Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gala, etc.
I have personally never frozen bread pudding (we never have leftovers) but if you’re curious about freezing and reheating bread pudding this post may be helpful to you.
More Caramel Apple Desserts
- Caramel Apple Crumb Cakes
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Kylee Cooks
- Caramel Apple Coffee Cake Muffins
- Caramel Apple Crumb Pie
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Dutch Apple Pie Cookies
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding Ingredients
- Bread, cut into 2″ pieces <– swap out the bread for Hawaiian rolls or croissants, if desired
- Apples, cored and chopped
- Brown Sugar
- Apple Pie Spice <– grab our recipe for homemade apple pie spice
- Heavy Cream (35%)
- White Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: for best results, let the bread dry out cut overnight, covered with tinfoil or plastic wrap. If you don’t have time to let the bread dry out, bake it for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Apple corer <– I love using these apple cutters with kids, but you may want to cut the apple in half first to make it easier (I have a full post on teaching kids how to use apple cutters here)
- Apple peeler, optional
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- 9″ x 13″ Casserole Dish <– I love these Pyrex dishes with fitted lids for easy transportation to parties or leftover storage
How to Make Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
Preheat oven to 350F
Place a skillet over medium heat.
Once hot, add the butter and melt.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the apple pie spice.
Once the butter is hot, add the apples and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, white sugar, vanilla extract and remaining 2 teaspoons apple pie spice.
Stir together the bread crumbs and apples in a 9” x 16” casserole dish.
Pour the heavy cream mixture over the bread crumbs and stir to combine.
Top with additional apple pie spice, optional.
Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove the tinfoil for the last 10 minutes of baking. (Bake for less time if you desire a “soggy” bread pudding.)
Serve with ice cream and caramel sundae sauce.
Grab your free printable for our caramel apple bread pudding recipe:
- 5 cups cubed bread
- 3 apples, cored and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons apple pie spice, plus additional
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Place a skillet over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the butter and melt.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the apple pie spice.
- Once the butter is hot, add the apples and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, white sugar, vanilla extract and remaining 2 teaspoons apple pie spice.
- Stir together the bread crumbs and apples in a 9” x 16” casserole dish.
- Pour the heavy cream mixture over the bread crumbs and stir to combine.
- Top with additional apple pie spice, optional.
- Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove the tinfoil for the last 10 minutes of baking. (Bake for less time if you desire a “soggy” bread pudding.)
- Serve with ice cream and caramel sundae sauce.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 7g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
This caramel apple bread pudding makes for an indulgent brunch or dessert that is just perfect for fall.