Lighten Up!: Bread Pudding

Picture a warm, gooey, decadent bread pudding.


Now picture that summer bikini.


Ha! Bet you thought you couldn’t have both. 🙂  Well, you totally can. You just have to lighten up that old classic and make it a little more bikini season friendly.

Bread pudding is a notoriously rich dessert that is essentially bread soaked in custard-y goodness, then baked and drizzled with some type of sweet sauce. So how do you give it a makeover and still get your fix?  Simple! Replace cream with milk, use wheat bread (you can’t tell the difference in this recipe!), and decrease the amount of sugar without sacrificing flavor.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, but I did make a few adjustments due to my incessant need to lighten up desserts….and because I didn’t have some of the ingredients. Feel free to try both versions and choose your favorite!

Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Click here for the original recipe.

Makes 8 servings

Bread pudding:

  • 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed wheat French bread
  • 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs


  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon (I didn’t have this so I just replaced it with more evaporated milk….didn’t taste as rich and awesome, but still good)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
  • 6 Tbsp evaporated fat-free milk, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I increased this to 2 tsp since I omitted the bourbon)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until lightly brown.

Whisk together evaporated milk and next 7 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl. Add toasted bread cubes and let stand 20 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to soak up milk.

Prep sauce by combining brown sugar, bourbon (or equal amount of evaporated milk), and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring so it doesn’t burn.  Simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.  Stir in 5 Tbsp evaporated milk; simmer 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup. Remove pan from heat. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt. Keep warm

Spoon 1/2 of bread mixture into a 9X5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle 3 Tbsp sauce over bread mixture. Spoon remaining 1/2 of bread mixture over sauce and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm sauce with bread pudding.


Estimated nutrition info: 270 Calories, 3.2g Fat, 47.4g Carbs, 1.2g Fiber, 33.6g Sugar, 7.6g Protein

Yes, it’s still a splurge. But it’s a LOT better than a traditional recipe.


Question of the day:  What’s your favorite dessert that could use a healthy makeover?

I’m always looking for new ideas for this site, and I LOVE a good makeover….especially if it turns guilty into guilt-free. So let me know if you have any ideas!


4 thoughts on “Lighten Up!: Bread Pudding

  1. This sounds AMAZING!! Just FYI-its 7 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving…just incase any WW folks (like me) plan on making it 😉

  2. I have really enjoyed reading about the banana pudding cake, it looks de-lish! Also, your family receipe for banana pudding,and the bread pudding. I put raisins, in mine, just add what you would like. Sometimes I put more than I usually do, then other times it may be just a fourth of a cup. Can’t wait to try “ALL.”

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