Jamaican Bread Pudding

February 8, 2021

This is the perfect dessert for those casual Sunday evenings. This Jamaican bread pudding is a delicious dessert made with bread, raisins, and spices. And don't forget the warm Amaretto sauce.
  

A slice of bread pudding on a wooden plate with a white background

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I remember the first time I went into a Jamaican food restaurant and saw bread pudding under the cake display.

It was decadent looking and so smooth.

I was hooked and decided I had to make this at home.

And I did. So I'm here to share my recipe to make Jamaican bread pudding from scratch.

My family keeps asking me when next, I'm going to make some, right after they finished a batch.

It is definitely a repeater dish.

Best served hot, this pudding is not overly sweet, and the additions of cherries and the rum sauce makes it the perfect dessert, or even a brunch option.







What is bread pudding?


I think everyone has a bread pudding recipe. There are so many variations.

Personally, a simple one is the best one. At the most basic level, this dessert includes cubed bread that has been soaked in a sweet milk mixture with spices varying from nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

After those basics, you are free to make adjustments and variations. I added in some maraschino cherries, but I've also added coconut flakes. 

Then most of the time, there's a sauce that accompanies. A great rum-based sauce will take the pudding to another level.

The best bread to use


I have tried all types. I know they used to say you need to use stale bread but you really don't have to.

You do want to use bread that soaks up liquid well.

My choices have been store-bought white, whole-wheat, french, brioche but my favorite has been using Jamaican hard dough bread.

It is stiff, and sturdy, and swells well when it absorbs the milk mixture.

Ingredients to use:

I think this is a basic pantry essential dessert.

And if you don't have these on hand, they can be easily found at any supermarket.

  

Ingredients for Jamaican bread pudding - raisins, bread, eggs, sugar, spices

What you need:

Hard dough bread - any other you have on hand can work. As I mentioned I do prefer to use this Jamaican style bread because it is a thicker, firmer bread.
Milk - I use whole milk. I have never personally substituted but I am sure milk of your preference can be used.
Eggs - Regular old eggs. You can make this Jamaican pudding without eggs too. Applesauce or bananas are great electives. Use 1/4 cup of sauce or mashed banana to replace one egg. If you want more options you should look at these other egg replacement suggestions.
Sugar - granulated sugar or brown sugar
Spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
Vanilla essence
Raisins
Cherries - I say these are optional, but it really adds a great additional layer of flavor to the pudding

How to make


Take your slices and cut them up into cubes. I just stack my slices and use my bread knife and cut them all at one time.

In another bowl mix your milk with eggs and spices.

In a large bowl add the bread cubes then pour the milk mixture over it.

Make sure the cubes get saturated with the liquid. Let the bread mixture sit for 10 minutes so that it absorbs as much as possible.
  
Cubed bread soaking in a bath of milk , eggs and spices



Add in your additions: raisins and cherries. Mix them in well and transfer to a greased dish.

I use a 2-quart baking dish. The bread actually rises up high when baking so make sure your dish has sides that can contain it raising. You can also use a bread baking tin.

You can also layer this, instead of mass dumping everything into the dish. If you want to do it that way, do not add the raisins/cherries or any other additions. Add the bread mixture to the bottom of the dish, then your additions then bread, and continue that way, making sure to end with bread.

Then it's baking time.

There is no bread pudding without rum sauce


While the baking is happening, now is a good time to get this rum sauce made.

You can enjoy this dessert plain, BUT having a sauce really takes it over the top.

To make it you will need:

- Flour
- Brown sugar
- Heavy creme
- Milk
- Vanilla extract
- Amaretto - or any other dark rum you want. A spiced rum I think is the best type to use for additional flavor.

  
A slice of bread pudding with Amaretto rum sauce


Tips & Tricks


I prefer a dry bread pudding, so I bake mine till the sides are crunchy but the middle is still a bit tender to touch. If you happen to take it out and it is still a bit soggy, let it bake for 5-minute intervals till you get it to the consistency you want.

But note that the bread pudding center is never "well done". It usually appears soft even when completed.

Hot or cold pudding


I prefer to eat mine hot or warm.

Hot with some rum sauce running down the sides. But then what happens with leftovers? Some people prefer to eat it cold out of the fridge.

If you do not like it cold, just toss it into the oven for a few minutes and it gets back to its "just out of the oven" goodness.

What else can I add for more variety?


The options are endless.

Nuts - I love adding nuts like macadamia to the mixture.

Chocolate - chips or chunks are good to use. 

Coconut flakes - Another great flavor addition. I use sweetened flakes. I usually layer when I use this. And sprinkle some on the top prior to baking.

Dried fruits - cranberries, peaches, mango

And if you want even more ideas, make sure to check out these other variations.

  
Pan of bread pudding with one slice out, and a green spatula


Storage & Reheating


Leftovers? It's best to store any leftovers in the fridge.

Since there is a lot of dairy in this dessert, I opt to refrigerate it as soon as it gets to room temperature. No more than three hours sitting out.

I rather prefer to store it without any sauce added to it. I usually let my guests add the sauce as they take their slices, versus putting it all over prior to cutting.

Any leftover sauce I put in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

You can store pudding with sauce, but it will get soggy.

Make sure it is completely cooled. You can wrap it in plastic wrap then put it into an airtight container.

It can last up to five days in the fridge once the above process is done. Or you can put it in the freezer.

  
Close up slice of Jamaican bread pudding with Amaretto rum sauce



If you are going to freeze it, I wouldn't put pieces that have been drizzled with sauce. I would also go ahead and cut it up into individual pieces versus freezing it whole.

When ready to use, take down the pieces you want to use, and put them in the fridge to thaw. Once it has defrosted, get it to room temperature prior to reheating.

Reheating is pretty easy. Your two options are the microwave or back into the oven/toaster oven.

To use the microwave just places slices in a microwaveable dish and heat it up. I do spurts of 40 seconds at a time till heated through.

To use the oven, which is my personal choice, place slices in a preheated oven (350 degrees) and leave for about 10 minutes. You will get that nice crispy top like it was just baked.

If with any of the options your pudding feels like it's too dry, reheat some of the sauce and pour it over your slices. That will re-moisturize the pudding.

If you are out of sauce, a scoop of ice cream will also do the trick.

More Caribbean desserts you will love:


A good dessert on a Sunday evening is a must. Check out a few of my childhood favorites. 

Caribbean pone
Sweet bread
Currants roll
Coconut Tart

















Jamaican bread pudding, bread pudding, bread pudding with rum sauce, bread and butter pudding
Dessert
Caribbean
Yield: 12
Author: Renz
Jamaican Bread Pudding

Jamaican Bread Pudding

Jamaican bread pudding - A simple bread-based dessert with raisins and cherries. And then paired with a warm rum-based sauce. The perfect dessert.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 30 Mininactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For amaretto sauce

Instructions

For bread
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Using a large bowl, add eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk them till combined.
  4. In another bowl, add bread cubes and pour the mixture over it.
  5. Make sure all the bread gets saturated.
  6. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Mix in raisins and cherries.
  8. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes. Until a nice brown color.
For amaretto sauce
  1. In a heated saucepan add flour and sugar and mix
  2. Add vanilla, cream and milk
  3. Add rum to mixture and bring to a boil
  4. Whisk to make sure everything is incorporated
  5. Lower to medium-low heat and let thicken. KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT.
  6. Remove from stove and let cool for a little then pour over bread pudding.
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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.

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