Mardi Gras

King Cake Bread Pudding

Yield 8-10 servings
12 ratings

We can’t imagine having leftovers of our traditional king cake, but just in case, here’s how you can turn dry king cake into a fabulously gooey, purple, green and gold bread pudding.



10 cups dry traditional, iced king cake, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 cup granulated sugar

9 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

2½ cups heavy cream

2½ cups whole milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Purple, green and gold sugar, for decorating

Sweetened condensed milk or vanilla ice cream, for serving


Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions, and preheat oven to 325ºF.

Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with butter, shortening or nonstick cooking spray.

Spread king cake chunks in single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until dry but not browned, about 15 minutes, switching trays from top to bottom racks halfway through. Cool king cake chunks about 15 minutes; set aside 2 cups

Whisk sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together in large bowl. In a slow thin stream, whisk in cream, then milk, until combined. Fold in 8 cups cooled king cake chunks. Transfer mixture to 9″x13″ baking dish and let stand until soggy, about 30 minutes, pressing king cake occasionally into custard so that chunks absorb more liquid.

Spread 2 cups reserved king cake chunks evenly over top of soaked mixture and gently press to flatten into the custard. Using pastry brush, dab melted butter over top of unsoaked king cake pieces. Place bread pudding on rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until custard has just set and is not easily jiggled when shaken, about 50 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool until pudding is set and just warm (not piping hot), about 45 minutes.

Cut the bread pudding into squares and decorate with purple, green and gold sugar. Serve with sweetened condensed milk or vanilla ice cream.