Imagine satisfying your chocolate craving through a dessert that is like biting into a Warm Soft Brownie with Toasted Walnuts throughout, a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream with Drizzled Hot Chocolate Ganache and Fresh Strawberries. This is exactly what this Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Pudding is like.
Don’t have Hot Cross Buns? No worries! Simply use another loaf of bread because it’s all about this Chocolate Custard creating one Amazing Dessert.
The time has come when you find yourself with more bread than you know what to do with. You’re off to a good start if you’re thinking of bread pudding. A dessert I thought I’d never make, let alone actually enjoy. But am SO glad that I did!
I didn’t grow up baking bread pudding as my family’s standard choice as a homemade dessert, and so for many years, I didn’t know what it really was. It wasn’t until at some point during food blogging when I came across it. To me, it always had a sloppy, soggy, unrefined presentation. And for a dessert to carry this look, I couldn’t fathom why anyone would dare spoon into this mess. After a while (or more like 2 days ago), I came to terms of its popularity by putting aside its uninviting look and really think to myself, “if people made this, which is more often than I thought, then this HAS to be good. Right?”
YES, it’s true! Deceiving dessert as is, because I was amazed! Is it soggy at the bottom? Yea, a little bit. But now that I’ve learned, that’s one of bread puddings’ best feature. This pudding is a cross between having the texture of a super juicy tres leches cake with the warmth and flavor of cinnamon brownies. All thanks to its chocolate custard!
The bread chosen here is my two-day old Chocolate Hot Cross Buns which already had its own lightly sweetened spiced flavor, much like cinnamon raisin bread. I added more cinnamon to the chocolate-custard afterall, this is a large pan of pudding, but it was mainly done to give the chocolate a greater depth in flavor. I could have added rum or bourbon but decided to keep it simple. What I love most about desserts like bread pudding, is the plethora of flavors and add-ins you can chose from. If you want to sprinkle in pecans or almonds or use different fruits, it’s so simple to swap out and tailor this recipe to your own liking.
For me, I was craving chocolate. It’s not often these days that I do but this time, I went all in! I poured about 1/4 cup of ganache over the top to give it an extra oomph in that chocolatiness that any chocolate fanatic would love. I’m a huge fan of walnuts in brownies so I’ve included this into the pudding. as well. And of course, whenever something resembles brownies, it’s best to eat it warm with a scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream. Okay you don’t have to, but trust when I say, you will want to.
Note that this recipe uses slightly different ingredients to the traditional bread pudding “custard.” Rather than using heavy cream, I opted for sweetened condensed milk and because I had sugar free oat milk on hand, this was used over regular milk. You do not have to go with these exact ingredients. You can switch to the traditional version in the same quantities as listed below in the recipe card and you will still have a fantastic dessert! Just remember that the biggest contributor to creating the custard flavor and texture of the pudding are the eggs with some form of a milk product – this you cannot change.
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Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Pudding is like a Warm Soft Brownie with Toasted Walnuts throughout, a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream with Drizzled Hot Chocolate Ganache and Fresh Strawberries!
- 2 1/2 cups (600 grams) sugar free oat milk or regular milk
- 1 cup (312 grams) sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream
- 2 cups (448 grams) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, divided
- 4 to 5 cups of 1 to 2 day old hot cross buns, sliced 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick or cubed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large (220 grams) eggs
- 1 large (20 grams) egg yolk
- 3 teaspoons (18 grams) pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts, chopped and toasted
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, optional
- 1/4 cup (36 grams) fresh strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring oat milk and sweetened condensed milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly pour over 1 cup (224 grams) of chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; set aside.
- Grease bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch (33×23 cm) baking dish with cooking oil. Line bread in pan as desired; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Slowly pour in 1 cup of chocolate mixture and whisk. Be sure to pour in the mixture slowly to not curdle the eggs. While continuing to whisk, pour the remaining chocolate mixture into the egg mixture to create a chocolate custard. The custard should be thin but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour half of the chocolate custard onto the arranged bread in the pan. Gently press the bread into the liquid to absorb the custard. Pour the remaining custard over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and allow the bread to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the liquid.
- In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together. Sprinkled over the bread. Sprinkle 1/2 cup (112 grams) chocolate chips and walnuts. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until the edges of the bread are crisp to the touch and the chocolate custard begins to thicken.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring 1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over a bowl of a 1/2 cup (112 grams) of chocolate chips. Stir until all chocolate has fully melted.
- Pour ganache over the finished bread pudding. Garnish with strawberries and serve with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. ENJOY!
- If hot cross buns are not available, you may use another bread variety, preferably one that is bland in flavor to not interfere with the chocolate custard flavor.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate hot cross buns, bread pudding, hot cross bun pudding