Bessie could hardly wait to share this recipe with you. She loves this recipe because it is made in a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan! Bessie loves muffin pans because they are a good way to make sure everyone gets the same amount, and who doesn’t like deserts that are jumbo-sized?!?
The wild songbirds that visit our backyard love this recipe because we cut off the raisin bread crusts and broke them into bitesized pieces for them to eat. This is a nice “make together” recipe for both children and chickens too.
If you don’t have raisin bread, you can use regular bread. Just add your own raisins, about as many as would be in the small snack-sized boxes, and increase the amount of cinnamon from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. Raisin bread is not as soft and spongy as regular bread, and I think that makes it perfect for this recipe.
Bessie’s Best Ever Raisin Bread Pudding
2 and 1/2 cups, cubed raisin bread (about 6 to 8 slices)
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg plus one egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
First, preheat your oven to 325°F. Prepare your muffin pan by coating each of the six cups with butter or cooking spray.
Trim the crusts from 6 to 8 slices of raisin bread for the songbirds. Then either cut the raisin bread into cubes with a knife or just use your fingers to pinch off pieces that are about 1/2” big. (This could be a perfect “helper” job for smaller hands.)
Place 2 and 1/2 cups of raisin bread cubes into a large bowl.
Second, in a medium bowl, add 1 cup half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg plus one egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Whisk together until thoroughly blended.
Third, pour the egg mixture from the medium bowl into the large bowl with the raisin bread cubes.
Mix together gently with a spatula so that all of the bread cubes get covered.
Let the raisin bread cubes soak up the egg mixture for 5 full minutes.
Fourth, spoon the mixture equally into the 6 muffin pan cups. It will not be enough to fill all of them to the top, but that is okay.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes. The raisin bread puddings will rise higher than the muffin cups! Amazing! They will be soft and light like little soufflés!
Let cool slightly before serving.
Remove each carefully into a bowl and serve with ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, or whatever would make them special for you. Below is a recipe for an optional sauce you can make while they are cooling in the muffin pan. (You can double the ingredients to make more, especially if you are serving with vanilla ice cream!)
Brown Sugar Sauce
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of half-and-half and 1/4 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes while whisking. Drizzle over bread puddings.
This is not a difficult or expensive recipe. The two most expensive ingredients were the raisin bread ($1.57 store brand) and the half-and-half ($1.55 store brand). Bessie guarantees it will be as good as the eggs you choose to use!