Simple and delicious, "poor man's pudding" is the ideal dessert for the holidays.

Jennifer Davick

Planning your Christmas feast is one of the most important tasks you undertake during the holiday season. Do you serve the traditional sides, such as sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole? Or do you take a risk, veer off course, and offer new twists on old favorites, such as Sweet Potato Fettuccine or Slow-Cooker Green Beans? As important as the mains and sides are, everyone at the table always anticipates a delicious dessert. Impress your family and guests with this easy Christmas pudding. Developed by the queen of Creole cuisine, New Orleans chef Leah Chase, this delicious Creole Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce will please everyone at the table. Read on for three reasons why this is the perfect Christmas pudding for your holiday menu. And yes, the recipe does call for five tablespoons of vanilla extract!

Short Prep Time

Twenty minutes is all you need to put this recipe together, and you can even prep it a few hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Simply whisk together the liquid ingredients, stir in the cubed bread, fruits, and sugar. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and pop it in the oven. This fragrant dessert can bake while you are enjoying dinner with the family. If you did prep the recipe early, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and leave it on the countertop for about 20 minutes, just to take the chill off, and then put it in the oven.

Simple, Uncomplicated Ingredients

Unlike some of the more labor-intensive holiday desserts that require special ingredients, bakers love bread puddings because the recipes make use of everyday pantry staples. Bread, eggs, and milk form the base, then cooks can add whatever is available on-hand, i.e. fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Served alone or topped with your favorite sauce or whipped topping, what was once dubbed “poor man’s pudding” becomes a dessert fit for a king.   

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Reader Recommendations

Southern Living recipes are tested and tasted by the Test Kitchen professionals; before the recipe goes to print we make sure the ingredient measurements are just right, cooking instructions are easy to follow, and the recipe will look and taste appealing to our readers. No pun intended, but we believe “the proof is in the pudding” when home cooks comment on our recipes. This recipe, which has become a top-rated reader favorite, made a believer out of one of our readers who claimed she didn’t even like bread pudding before making this recipe. She wrote that the pudding looked festive on their Christmas table, and the family unanimously voted the recipe in as a new holiday tradition. Another home cook reported that she substituted pears for the pineapples because that is what she had on-hand, and the result was delicious.