Bread Pudding photo by Enrique Meza
Bread Pudding photo by Enrique Meza

Cracked Pepper Bistro Bread Pudding

Posted by alisamanjarrez on Feb 24, 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting with Chef Vatche from The Cracked Pepper Bistro for our first TasteFresno episode on The No Network, and he was happy to allow us to publish the recipe here! I think the cheese danishes and the brandy sauce are the secret ingredients that make it so amazing. Try it for yourself and let me know how it turns out!


For the pudding:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 10 small, day-old dinner rolls, chilled
  • 3 day-old croissants, chilled
  • 2 day-old cheese Danishes, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the brandy sauce and garnish:

  • 2 cups heavy cream for the sauce, plus more to whip as garnish
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, or more, to taste

Special equipment needed:

  • Candy thermometer
  • 5 (3-by-5-inch) mini loaf pans


The bread pudding:

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar. Set aside. Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place heavy cream and vanilla bean into the saucepan, and simmer over low heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 180 degrees, but be sure the temperature does not rise higher. Remove from heat.

Remove vanilla bean, then very slowly pour the hot cream into the egg-yolk mixture while whisking vigorously with a wire whisk. (Be sure not to scramble the eggs.)

Whisk in brandy and rum. Set the custard aside.

Cut cold dinner rolls, croissants and cheese Danishes into 2-inch cubes. Place half the dinner-roll pieces into a large bowl, then top with half the croissants. Then add half the Danish pieces. Repeat layers until the bread is all used up.

Pour the custard over the bread. Using a large spatula, very gently fold the bread into the custard, just until it absorbs the liquid. (Do not overmix. The bread pieces should remain chunky, not mushy.)

Cover the bowl, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. (You also can let it sit overnight.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the mini loaf pans with softened butter, then divide the bread-pudding mixture among them. Bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm in loaf pans until ready to serve.

The sauce:

Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take the saucepan off the heat, and add brandy to taste. Set aside. Whip enough heavy cream to garnish the puddings. Set aside.

To serve, pour a few spoonfuls of brandy sauce on 5 dessert plates.

Flip the mini loaf pans upside down over a cutting board. Tap the bottoms of the pans until the bread puddings pop out. Place each bread pudding, crispy-side up, on a sauced plate.

Finish with a dollop of whipped cream, and serve immediately. (One loaf yields two servings.)

_Vatche Moukhtarian, Cracked Pepper Bistro



just a test image

Tari Pie  |  Thu, 2011-02-24 12:17

I've been looking for a good Bread Pudding to help fatten up my Baba. This is definitely the one!

Thank you, Chef Vatche, for sharing this.

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

Luke Mundy (not verified)  |  Thu, 2011-02-24 13:56

This made my day. So excited to try it!

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

Maral (not verified)  |  Sun, 2011-04-24 20:17

My hubby Elo and I dream of cracked
Peppers bread pudding now that we moved to the bay. Can't wait to try to duplicate a masterpiece.

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

julia (not verified)  |  Sat, 2012-06-09 10:09

This is the most elegant, delicious bread pudding ever! A MUST have recipe, beyond comfort food, it takes you to heaven.

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

Gaby (not verified)  |  Sat, 2012-06-09 10:13

This is flat out crazy good!

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

K4RL (not verified)  |  Fri, 2012-06-29 21:43

Cracked Pepper has the best bread pudding (that I have ever had)! I've been trying to recreate this at home and have come close but, not quite the same.  Now, I can make the exact thing!  Thank you Chef Vatche!!!!!!!!

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

CLHC (not verified)  |  Tue, 2012-12-04 15:12

I used to take pride in frowning an informing people that bread-pudding is a horrible dessert and I do not eat "that stuff."  I had already tried too many variations...

However, this bistro has converted me and EVERY time I fly out from the east coast to visit my CA client, I go the Cracked Pepper.   I agree with a previous post: This is FLAT-OUT CRAZY GOOD! 

This user has not uploaded a profile picture

Diane Nunes (not verified)  |  Fri, 2012-12-21 20:51

Enjoy !!!  Worth every penny.