Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce

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With Saint Patrick’s Day a little over a week away, we’re heading straight to dessert! Don’t worry, we’ll have some traditional main course recipes for you later in the week. This Green Monday we’re sharing a time-honored Irish favorite from L.A. based chef Geri Gilliland, Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce.

To be honest, St. Paddy’s Day never really meant a whole lot to me prior to meeting Pam. It really just meant bad Irish accents on the radio and cheap green beer. But that all changed after trying the first bite of this Bread Pudding, a dish she makes every year at her annual St. Patrick’s Day party. The first time I attended she said a few words to me that I will pass on to the wht readers, “This is going to be one of the most delicious things you will ever eat.” No truer words have ever been spoken! It’s creamy, warm, sweet yet savory and insanely good.

If you ever find yourself in Santa Monica, you can stop by Finn McCool’s Irish Pub to try Gilliland’s Irish Bread Pudding first hand. Even better, Gilliland shared the recipe with the Los Angeles Times and just like Pam, you can make this incredible dessert at home to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (or any time you need a little luck of the Irish).

Gilliland’s Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce

• 1/2 cup melted butter
• 12 (1/2-inch thick) white bread slices, crust removed
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/3 cup Irish whiskey, optional
• 2 1/2 cups milk
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
• 8 eggs
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

–Soak raisins in Irish whiskey (if using whiskey, which you should!)
–Brush butter over bread and toast lightly on 1 side. Cube and set aside.
–Combine milk and cream in saucepan. Scoop black seeds from vanilla bean into milk and cream and add pod. Heat, remove pod and allow mixture to cool.
–Beat eggs with 1-cup sugar and add milk mixture. Stir in bread cubes and raisins, and allow to stand 15 minutes.
–Pour bread mixture into buttered glass baking dish. Dot with additional butter. Mix together remaining 1-tablespoon sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over to taste. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 1 hour.
–Serve with Caramel Irish Whiskey Sauce, fresh fruit or as is.

Caramel Irish Whiskey Sauce
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, plus more if needed
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/4 cup Irish Whiskey

— Melt sugar in water over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
–In separate pan, warm whipping cream. Add butter and whipping cream to sugar mixture and cook until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool, and then add whiskey and more cream for desired consistency.

Makes 6 servings (each with 1/4 cup sauce).

40 thoughts on “Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce”

  1. I really love bread pudding. It is such an old school dessert. My mom often made it or rice pudding when I was a kid. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up so I think that these were affordable treats to make. What comfort food! I really appreciate this recipe. It looks delicious! I may just have to give this a try.

  2. This is INDEED the best Irish Bread Pudding your lips will ever go around! If you want to make a guaranteed crowd pleaser, without fail, this is it! After I made this for the first time, I thought that I was going to loose my mind, It’s that good! What are the chances that EVERYONE loves something you make-especially a bread pudding for that matter? Gee, I even converted my picky Mother-in-law when I first made it many years ago. She said, “oh, I don’t like bread pudding but I love yours, Pammie”. It’s so rich that I will only make this once a year for St. Paddy’s Day. I am still working off last years piece.. This is calorie laden, but worth the annual splurge! OH, one last thing.. I have used better breads than just white bread from the grocery store. I have liked using Buttermilk by Orowheat, I’m actually entertaining the thought of using croissants to see how insanely good that would be. Don’t feel like you have to trim away the crust either.. I’ve done it both ways and it really doesn’t matter in the end.

  3. I kinda fear/hate raisins, so I may have to make this without those offensive little buggers…this looks so freaking good! I think this with some corned beef and cabbage would be a perfect St. Paddy’s day meal…now I just need someone to tell me how to make corned beef and cabbage, or as I like to call it “The World’s Sexiest Meal” :)

  4. Krista, maybe it was the Irish Whiskey..Even people who ate this that hated raisins fell hard for the dish! This recipe will not quit, it’s soooooooo amazing.

  5. Raisin haters, I’ll take yours. I love them lil’ dried up buggers.

    Krista, You cracked me up with The World’s Sexiest Meal! I think this is a perfect first date meal, isn’t it? Complete with bread pudding and tons of beer. Ah, romance.

    Anyway, we got your sexy right here! C’mon back on Thursday…
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Chef’n kitchen tools – review =-.

  6. So many people hate raisins. I wonder why. They are so yummy! And I have to agree that they have an uncanny ability to soak up delectable liquids such as whiskey which leads to an even more delightful flavor sensation!

  7. GAH! Really, ladies, REALLY? You post this the very same day I start South Beach?!?
    Plus I’m lactose intolerant, so this is just a giant plate of “stuff Alyssa can’t have but desparately wants.”

    *sigh* Enjoy a slice for me. I’ll be in the corner, pouting…

  8. Wow, this sounds great! Can’t wait to try it! I’m definitely a raisin fan but my husband is not, so I guess I’ll have to eat his!

  9. I feel for you Alyssa! I honestly feel bad for anyone who can not eat what they want. I understand, but I think I’d want to slit my wrists if I could not partake! I promise to eat a piece for you.

  10. I can explain my raisin fear/hatred—back in the day when I was a wee, little lass, my mother would pack me those little Sun-maid Raisin boxes. No twinkies or cookies, or anything a kid wants, nooooo, just a small box of raisins. Do you know how hard those things are to unload in trade? No takers, ever. I think raisins almost every day from first grade to fifth will make a person never want to eat raisins again. But I’ve never tried them soaked in whiskey…
    I am excited at the prospect of learning how to make “The World’s Sexiest Meal”…*squeals with demented glee* :P

  11. Raisins were hard to unload after Halloween, too! Who didn’t think “Oh gee, thanks – another box of raisins” when yet another well meaning grannie tried to make you healthy on Halloween!

    This recipe does sound incredible!! I just know I’ll be trying my hand at it this weekend for my Irish hub and daughter…

  12. Sure, compared to candy, raisins are terrible! It’s very unfair that adults try to do that to kids. But in a salad, on a piece of celery with peanut butter and especially fattened with whiskey and put in a pudding made of bread and half a cup of butter…delicious!
    .-= stef´s last blog ..The Oscar Fashion Hall of Fame and Shame =-.

  13. Melinda—the only thing worse than those raisins at Halloween were the people who gave you toothbrushes. It’s like, “Thanks, I already have one of those at home, now how about a Kit Kat?”

  14. Oh man, toothbrushes on Halloween were the worst! I had a neighbor who would sometimes hand out a single penny instead of candy.

    I didn’t think about the whiskey soaked aspect of these raisins….that changes things….. ;)

  15. This really does look good. I have never actually had bread pudding before. Does it stay crisp or does it get soggy? I have been afraid to try bread pudding in the past because of my fear of slimy textures…. This looks like it would still have a crunch to it though.

    I can’t wait for “The World’s Sexiest Meal”! I love corn beef and cabbage. nom nom nom.

  16. Cori, This is crisp on top, while the bread pudding is moist yet pretty sturdy.. The Caramel Whiskey sauce sends this over the top.. Top of the morning to you!

  17. You guys, this is a fun dish to make too.. It smells great and you will love it to no end! Also, remember, everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day! Looking forward to having a piece of heaven! Christy, it’s insane! I’ll shut up now! HA!

  18. I did make this a couple nights ago and it was INSANELY good!! It looks great too – I’m happy to say mine looked just like yours in the top picture!! So, that means it’s easy – because something ALWAYS goes wrong with my cooking – and it didn’t! It just took me forever to finish, so everyone was REALLY hungry by the time it was ready! I put it in the oven when we sat down to dinner thinking I’d time it perfectly…but it took me so long to carmelize the sugar and water that it ended up being ready almost an hour after I thought it would! Probably I just had the heat turned down too low, but I’m paranoid about carbonizing the sugar instead of carmelizing – I’ve done that more than once! But it did turn out perfectly and all were thrilled. Thanks Pam sooo much!!

  19. Melinda, I’m so glad yours turned out so well, and am happy that you made it- You are a real trooper! It is insane! We all loved it too. This dish has a zillion calories. You just have to know that ahead of time, and just enjoy it. Just do what i do, and only make it once a year. than it will become a tradition your whole family will love. Happy St. Paddy’s DAY!
    Blessing to eveyone, Pammmie

  20. Oh yeah, this is far from light! I actually found the original, butter soaked recipe card from Pam this weekend and 1 serving, with 1/4 cup of the Caramel sauce has 1450 calories!

    But Pam and Mel, wouldn’t you say this makes WAY more than six servings too? I think they may mean six servings of sauce…If we would have cut this into sixes and I ate a piece that size, I think I’d need to go to the hospital!
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Lips, prepare to be wowed by Ellis Faas… =-.

  21. I’m surprised we’re alive after eating this! It was so good and I can hardly wait until next year!
    It’s more than six servings of bread pudding. It’s that amazing Caramel Whiskey Sauce that will really clog your arteries!

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  23. Next year is already here (yahooie)and I have all my ingred. to get this party started! This is made only once a year for a reason! I can tasted it NOW!!!

  24. Yes Pam, me too now! This recipe and your corned beef one are now what I look forward to for St. Patty’s Day – I’ve been excited for about a month to make them!!

    1. Oh Mel, It’s so yummy isn’t it! I’m actually making the whole meal and dessert in honor of a long time co-worker/owner of where I work.. He was as Irish as they come (had a great Irish sense of humor) but he and passed away last week at 91 years old! The whole company is going to be toasting Mr. Moriarty tomorrow! Happy cooking and baking!

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