Bread Pudding with Espresso Syrup


This Mother’s Day Weekend has been brought to you by the letter B. B is for Bread. And Bacon. Both of which I have eaten far too much of in the past two days. And because both days featured giant lunches right in the middle of them, we haven’t eaten an actual dinner since Friday.

Saturday my family came for lunch – and since my Mom’s favourite thing to eat out is bacon and eggs, that’s what we had, with crusty homemade bread and sauteed spinach and maple sausages on the barbecue. Saturday night my sister and I brought our boys to Chuck E. Cheese. Yes we did. Not for the food, it must be stressed (we didn’t eat), but to cash in the hundred or so tickets my 6 year old nephew had inadvertently brought home from a birthday party, which were haunting his every waking moment. (His mom needed to bring me along to ease the pain a little, and so that she would have someone to roll her eyes at.) Ben wore his skinny jeans, which were really his jeans left over from when he was 4. Those two hours I’ll never get back are two hours I’m sure W will cherish forever – as he walked into that lit-up video game heaven, it was like the Mother Ship was calling him home. The only way it could have been improved upon would have been if the whole of Chuck E. Cheese was lifted up and dipped in chocolate, then coated in sprinkles.

On the way home we stopped at Home Depot to buy tomato plants. (Yes, my Saturday nights are decidedly different than they were a decade ago.) We closed the place, and while loading up the car, and stupidly allowing W to sit on the roof (don’t gasp – it’s a low, smallish car, not an SUV or a minivan) he kicked the trunk closed with my head in it. I spent the rest of the evening with a bag of frozen wild blueberries on the ostrich egg on my forehead, wondering if it really was a good idea to fall asleep (Mike was out), and if I was a good enough make-up artist to shoot a few TV segments I had to do today without looking like an alien. (Fortunately there was not much in the way of bruising, but my entire right hemisphere is still puffed enough to smooth out any forehead lines – who needs botox?)

Today – Mother’s Day – started off as most others do, with W pinching my cheeks and poking my head, which woke me up faster than usual. Mike got up (from W’s bunk bed – most nights it’s a game of musical beds/couches in this house), went downstairs and reheated me the leftover Tim Horton’s from yesterday, and brought it up, then put the road runner on for W and went back to sleep on the couch. Not that I wasn’t appreciative, but my breakfasts in bed can only go up from here.

Later in the morning I was back in our bedroom, changing, ranting to Mike about the big blue truck that was parked directly in front of our house, ousting us out of a parking spot for the better part of a week. I walked over to the window and was standing there, blinds open, wondering aloud who it belonged to, hands on my hips in a –humph– sort of way, when I realized I had no shirt on. I have recurring nightmares about scenarios such as this. I actually wondered if I had drifted back to sleep.
I had not.

The second string – Mike’s Mom and sister – came for lunch today. Since his Mom adores bread pudding, I made one out of the extra loaf of no-knead bread I had baked on Friday night for Saturday.

Of course there are a million things you could do with this blank canvas – use raisin bread and add a grated apple and a handful of pecans, or add shredded cheese and slivered ham with a few chopped green onions or wilted spinach, saute a whack of mushrooms in butter with garlic and add them with a handful of grated Parmesan (omit the honey or maple syrup if you’re making something savoury) – really the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. But Shirl likes hers just plain-old, straight-up. So I thought I’d make a quick espresso syrup I read in an old Donna Hay book (besides beautiful photos, she has great ideas) for the option to drizzle overtop. After all, bread pudding is just like French toast, in casserole form. (Yes, it is espresso. It’s not expresso. Not expresso!)


Plain Old Bread Pudding

Recipe link


May 10, 2009

You can use any kind of milk - or even eggnog - to make bread pudding. Obviously the heavier the cream the richer it will be - but even using all 1% works just fine.


1 large loaf good-quality crusty bread, or an assortment of bread ends (a loaf of untouched no-knead bread is perfect)

4 large eggs

1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

1 1/4 cups 1% milk

1 1/4 cups half & half (or more 1% milk)

2 tsp. vanilla

a shake of cinnamon (optional)


1Cut or tear the bread into 1” chunks in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, milk, cream and vanilla. Pour over the bread and let sit for an hour or two, stirring gently once in awhile. All the liquid should be well absorbed, but the bread shouldn't turn to mush (thus the good-quality crusty loaf).

2Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pour the bread mixture into a 9”x13” pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, or any baking dish that will accommodate the quantity you made. If you like, douse it with cinnamon.

3Bake for an hour or so, until puffed, golden and set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

4Espresso Syrup (adapted from Donna Hay's New Classics): bring equal amounts of strong espresso and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan with a capful of vanilla. (Instant espresso works very well for this - just add it right to the pan.) Cook for about 15 minutes, until it has reduced slightly and has a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat.

5 If you like, add a splash of half & half - it won't make it completely creamy, it just sort of takes the edge off.


One Year Ago: Spiced Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Falafel, and Greek Salad



About Julie

24 comments on “Bread Pudding with Espresso Syrup

  1. Dana mccauley
    May 11, 2009 at 3:06 am

    So,you’re a flasher…I always suspected! Great photo and a fun post. Hope you had a fab mother’s day!

  2. heather
    May 11, 2009 at 4:41 am

    oh wow! I am alllll over this… and amen to ‘not expresso!’



  3. natalie
    May 11, 2009 at 5:16 am

    ohh yum! that looks good! i had bread pudding for the first time not too long ago and have been wanting to try making it myself! this looks like the perfect recipe!! thanks for sharing!

  4. Barb
    May 11, 2009 at 5:49 am

    LOL lol LOL sorry – laughing too hard to make a legible comment!!!

    I have also had my head banged by the trunk lid and the logical part of my brain knows that this is not even a little funny but the way you tell it logic is blown away.

  5. Ann
    May 11, 2009 at 5:52 am

    LOL. Oh, Julie, I love reading your blog! I hope your head feels better today.
    The bread pudding looks great!

  6. Carol SB
    May 11, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Soo… a happy mothers day to you, and to anyone with the view as well!
    And “expresso” is right up there with “nucular” and “orientated” (shudder… fingernails on a blackboard couldn’t be worse)
    Wondering about how long the truck’s been parked there; my daughter had a car parked in front of her place that, when she eventually called it in (after a month+), turned out to be stolen/ dumped. So it’s not ALWAYS mean to call the city and ask for an orange sticker to be put on the car (they’d have had a better chance of finding the car thieves if the report had been more timely). If nobody’s been near the truck for a few days, consider 311.

  7. JulieVR
    May 11, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Oh yes.. that’s what we were discussing – when to call 311 (I’ve seen it around – suspect it belongs to a neighbour at the rental across the street) whilst I was giving my peepshow.

  8. Elaine
    May 11, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Good lord, that’s quite a Mother’s Day weekend you had. Lovely recipe, though–except that I might have to opt out of making the bread pudding and just eat spoonfuls of that espresso syrup…

  9. Lindsay
    May 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Julie, I have a question about your no-knead bread. I was looking at your original post with the recipe, and it recommends baking it in a heavy covered cast iron, enamel, pyrex or ceramic pot. I don’t have anything like this. Could it be done in a roaster or a pyrex dish covered with tinfoil or something? I really want to make this recipe, but I’m worried it won’t turn out if I don’t use the right pot! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  10. Melissa@ For the Love of Health
    May 11, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Wow- eventful weekend!! Bless your soul for surviving Chuck E. Cheeses.
    That’s too bad about your head! Hopefully it is better now!

    The bread pudding looks amazing!

    Have a great day!

  11. Kathy
    May 11, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Oh Julie this was the highlight of my morning. LOL at the shirtless. in fact more like ROFLMAO. And I worry about being being caught in my PJ’s…

    Love bread pudding. Sorry about your owie. Hopefully you are feeling better now and careful makeup will cover any bruising. Your past few days make mine seem tame lol …

    I needed the laugh, a former coworker of mine and a friend with whom I’d lost touch with over the years passed away last week and her funeral is Thursday, my father in law is recuperating (poorly) from knee replacement surgery and I have a PMS headache. And it’s only Monday sigh.

  12. Carolyn
    May 11, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Lindsay — maybe I can answer your question. You can use a pyrex casserole, or a cast iron frying pan covered with foil. The key thing is that whatever you use has to be able to withstand the high heat used in baking this bread. Lately I’ve been baking this bread with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds folded in. Absolutely amazing.

  13. Melanie
    May 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Your mother’s day blog totally made my day! You rock!

  14. robyn
    May 11, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Expresso is like “unorganized”. UNORGANIZED? What? It’s DISorganized! Gah.

  15. Aimee
    May 11, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Your life is like a sitcom, seriously. Amen to the tomato plants, unintentional flashing and Bacon.
    Never been to Chuck e Cheese and wish more ppl would get it that it’s not eXpresso.

    Awesome recipe.

  16. Manon from Ontario
    May 11, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Wow, a very memorable mother’s day, if I do say so myself. Love the way you tell us all about your weekend and love the comments you got here, LOL!

    I think you read minds, I was just looking for a bread pudding recipe, thanks, it looks delish.

    I’m making your maple rosemary ribs, with chicken maple rosemary thighs (no bone or skin). I precooked the ribs and the chicken thighs, on a rack in the oven and then I poured the maple rosemary sauce all over them in a different pot. I will heat this up tomorrow in the oven. I can’t wait to taste this.

    Love your blog, and I agree that your life is a sit come, you have connections at CBC, you should create the Julie Show :)

    #1 Fan,


  17. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer
    May 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    OH MY that looks so DAMN good – I love bread pudding but adding that decedent sauce just puts it over the top!!

  18. glenda
    May 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Once again, sitting in front of my computer, alone in the room, and laughing out loud! thanks Julie!

    And yes to espresso! Maybe we could compile a list of ‘words that make my teeth hurt’?

  19. Kathryn
    May 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Whew! The worst part about that story is that you had to attend the mind-numbing vortex that is Chuck E. Cheese. How I loathe it. To avoid constant begging, my kids know they go there once a year, on the last day of school. At the most, I will only have to set foot in the place 13 more times. Presumably less as I’m sure the allure wears off at some point.

    Sorry about your head. And your public nudity. My neighbours have had more than a few glimpses of me streaking through the house en route to the basement laundry seeking clean clothes. Nobody can look me in the eye anymore when I’m out in the garden.

  20. Sophie
    May 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    OOOOh Julie! This bread & butter pudding looks fabulous!!!! i love your espresso syrop!!! yummie!!!

  21. Nikki
    May 31, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I just have to say… I seriously dont know HOW I found your blog but I am OH SO Grateful I did!!! Im totally addicted. Finding each recipe is like shaking a Christmas present, Cooking each recipe is like OPENING a Christmas present… Im so excited! Im not one to twitter, still dont know the lingo, but how else can I follow you????

  22. G. Fanuiel
    January 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    How do you save your recipes. Woud love to hear from you. Thank you.

  23. Jackie!!!
    January 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hi! Julie!!! Sorry to hear about your boo-boo on your noggon. I’m dieing to try your recipe for bread pudding. I probably will leave out the expresso suryp. I never thought of trying raisen bread in it. My mother usued to make it years ago,with a lemon sauce poured over it. That was also very yummie. sincerely a new friend. Jackie!!

  24. BARBARA G.
    January 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I would like to print your recipes but I don’t want to print 9 pages to get to it. Is there a way to just print the recipe???

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