This Air Fryer Bread Pudding is infused with cinnamon, vanilla flavors, and plump raisins. It's effortless, straightforward, easy, and ready in 30 minutes. It is heavenly served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
What is bread pudding? It is a classic baked dish made with cubed stale bread, soaked in sweet egg custard, and baked until golden brown. It is soft, creamy and tastes divine like creamy instant pot rice pudding.
This air fryer bread pudding leans more towards a bread and butter pudding style. It features two layers of cubed bread dotted with golden raisins, soaked in a rich egg custard before air frying until the custard sets perfectly.
The tops develop a beautiful golden, crusty exterior while remaining soft and custardy inside. Once you take a bite, it becomes hard to stop like the peach crumble recipe.
If you prefer, you can create individual portions in ramekins, resembling those served at upscale bistros. Opt for four six-ounce ramekins, similar to the ones used in the air fryer lava cake recipe.
Why this recipe works?
This recipe yields a small 6-inch pan of pudding, ideal for serving two generously or four as a delectable dessert. It's a wonderful treat to prepare for your family over the weekend, and the best part is, you don't have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy this air fryer bread pudding.
The air fryer cooks food primarily from the top, using hot air to achieve a gorgeously golden-brown exterior while maintaining a wonderfully soft and creamy interior.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Bread - I prefer using soft Italian, French, Brioche, or Challah bread. I don't recommend crusty baguettes because they don't have sufficient time to soften and absorb the custard during the short 15-minute air frying process.
- Milk and cream - I prefer using mostly whole milk with a ¼ cup of heavy cream for added richness. However, you can also use a total of 1 ¼ cups of whole milk and omit the heavy cream if desired.
- Eggs - It helps the custard set like in mango clafoutis.
- Butter - Just 2 tablespoons for melted butter adds richness and flavor.
- Raisins - As the air fryer bread pudding cooks, the raisins plump and soften, imparting a natural sweetness and a burst of chewy texture.
- Flavorings - I use vanilla extract and ground cinnamon as in sweet potato pie recipe.
Best bread for bread pudding
The best bread is usually a day-old or slightly stale bread with a dense or firm texture that can absorb the custard without disintegrating completely.
You can also use standard supermarket sandwich bread, burger buns, hot dog buns, or avocado dinner rolls for this recipe.
Very crusty breads like baguttes, like the one used for goat cheese crostini or seeded whole grain breads, because the because they don't have sufficient time to soften and absorb the custard during the short air frying process.
- Skip raisins and use semi sweet chocolate chips like in banana mug cake.
- Experiment with spices like nutmeg, cloves, cardamom or pumpkin pie spice like in pumpkin mug cake.
- Add chopped toasted pecans or walnuts like for air fryer oatmeal.
- Replace some of the milk with coconut milk and sprinkle shredded coconut along with raisins.
- A splash of alcohol such as bourbon, rum, brandy or Grand Marnier adds depth and richness.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Add the eggs to a bowl and whisk to combine. Then, add the sugar, milk, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Next, stir in the hot melted butter. This prevents the butter from clumping when mixed with the cold milk.
5.Layer half of the bread cubes in the cake pan, then sprinkle half of the raisins.
6. Pour approximately half of the egg mixture evenly over this layer.
7. Add the remaining bread and raisins, then pour the remaining custard evenly over the top.
8. Use the back of a spoon, gently press the bread into the liquid.
Tip: Raisins on the surface tend to brown quickly during air frying. If you find too many raisins on the surface, gently press them into the mixture to prevent over-browning.
9. Cook for 11 to 13 minutes in a preheated 350 degree air fryer or the top gets a deep golden color.
How to serve?
Air fryer bread pudding is traditionally served warm like the healthy apple crumble, shortly after it's been cooked. The warmth of the pudding topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes an irresistible treat.
It is a outstanding served with a sauce such as vanilla custard sauce, chocolate sauce, or rum sauce. I like this sauce recipe from thespruceeats.com
However, some people also enjoy at room temperature or chilled. When chilled, the pudding can set further and may have a slightly firmer texture like the mango mousse, compared to when served warm.
A light sprinkling of powdered sugar, cinnamon, or cocoa powder lightly over the top for a finishing touch. A garnish with mint or fresh berries add a pretty touch.
It can also be a comforting breakfast or brunch dish, especially when drizzled with maple syrup and fresh fruit, like the air fryer french toast.
Storage and reheating
- Fridge - Cool the pudding to room temperature, then tightly cover or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Yes, you can freeze your bread pudding. Transfer the cooled pudding to a air tight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
- Thawing and Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw frozen pudding in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in microwave until warmed through.
Make in advance
To prep your pudding in advance, assemble it in the pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day.
When you're ready to cook, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before air frying according to instructions.
- Bread - Use a soft Italian or French loaf, brioche or challah.
- To use soft bread - If using soft loaves such as white sandwich bread, burger buns, hot dog buns, or dinner rolls, place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and let it air dry for a few hours before air frying.
- Beat the eggs - I prefer to lightly beat the eggs before mixing with milk. This helps the eggs to be thoroughly combined.
Air Fryer Bread Pudding
- 6-inch cake pan
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream or use whole milk
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter hot
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups cubed white bread cut into ¾-inch cubes, refer notes for bread choices
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- Add the eggs to a bowl and whisk to combine. Then, add the sugar, milk, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Next, stir in the hot melted butter. This prevents the butter from clumping when mixed with the cold milk.
- Grease a 6-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Layer half of the bread cubes in the cake pan, then sprinkle half of the raisins.
- Pour approximately half of the egg mixture evenly over this layer. Add the remaining bread and raisins, then pour the remaining custard evenly over the topUse the back of a spoon, gently press the bread into the liquid.
- Pre heat air fryer to 350°F. When hot, place the baking pan inside the air fryer basket and bake for about 11 to 13 minutes or the top is deep golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes clean.
- Rest for a few minutes, dust the top with powdered sugar. Serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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