Pineapple Bread Pudding

This unexpected twist on classic bread pudding has all the flavors of a tropical vacation.

Pineapple Bread Pudding
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
10 hrs 20 mins
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 slice)

There's no better way to use extra bread from around the kitchen than a sweet batch of homemade bread pudding. This unexpected version has all the flavors of a tropical vacation. With ingredients like pineapple juice, soft Hawaiian dinner rolls, and macadamia nuts, this updated twist on the classic dessert is guaranteed to dazzle your guests.

Before you begin the pineapple bread pudding recipe, note that the bread and cream cheese mixture must be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or overnight. We'd recommend getting a jumpstart on this dinner party-worthy bread pudding a day in advance, and you'll have half the work done well before your friends and family arrive. Simply pop the dish in the oven during dinner, then drizzle with caramel sauce, top with macadamia nuts, and you'll have a showstopping dessert that's ready to serve.

Take it from us, this is one after-supper treat that your guests won't soon forget. Don't be surprised if they ask for the recipe at the end of the night.


  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 8 large eggs

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 (12-oz.) pkg. Hawaiian dinner rolls (such as King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls), torn into 3/4-in. pieces

  • 1 (20-oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained and patted dry with paper towels (about 2 cups)

  • 2 (6-oz.) cans pineapple juice

  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz.) spiced rum (such as Sailor Jerry's) (optional)

  • Chopped toasted macadamia nuts


  1. Beat cream cheese and brown sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla and salt until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Gradually add milk and cream, beating on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds.

  2. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with butter. Arrange half of the torn dinner rolls in dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup pineapple tidbits; cover with remaining torn rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup pineapple tidbits. Slowly pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pineapple-roll mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight (or 8 hours).

  3. Stir together pineapple juice and 1 1/2 cups of the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly and turns a light golden-amber color, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter cubes until melted and incorporated. If using, stir in rum. Let mixture cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use or up to 3 days.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove baking dish from refrigerator; remove and discard plastic wrap. Sprinkle casserole evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bake in preheated oven until set in the middle, about 1 hour, rotating baking dish 180 degrees after 30 minutes and, if needed, tenting with aluminum foil after 40 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Remove from oven.

  5. Remove pineapple-caramel mixture from refrigerator; transfer to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Drizzle bread pudding with warm caramel; garnish with macadamia nuts.

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