{recipe} Orange-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chunks

When I was but a youthful lass of 22, I worked at the fabulous Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego for about a year. If you’re ever in San Diego, I highly recommend stopping there for one of their scones (the best I’ve ever tasted, to be sure) or to dazzle your friends with one of their heart-stoppingly gorgeous cakes. I learned a lot there, but probably the most important thing I learned was that the way to a good bread pudding is simple: make creme brulee mixture and don’t use regular bread. This opens up a realm of delicious and easily adaptable flavor possibilities and combinations that are blissfully simple to make, as well as very forgiving.

For this occasion, I bought a soft loaf of Semifreddi’s cinnamon twist bread and made an orange zest-infused vanilla brulee mix, then dotted it all with dark chocolate chunks. It took about 5 minutes to put together and tasted like a million bucks. With a scoop of Bi-Rite Creamery’s salted caramel ice cream, it was almost transcendent.

Orange-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chunks

serves 4-6


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 loaf cinnamon bread (1-2 days stale is better than fresh but it will work either way)
  • large handful semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks (can use chocolate chips)


  • Preheat oven to 250.
  • Heat cream in saucepan until hot but not bubbling. Turn off heat and add zest. Set aside.
  • If bread is a few days old and a bit stale and hard, just use it as is. If it’s fresh soft bread, toast in a 350 degree oven or toaster to dry out a bit before using. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.
  • Whisk yolks, sugar, and vanilla into cream until fully incorporated.
  • In a loaf pan or half-size casserole pan, arrange half the bread in the bottom and pour half the cream mixture over. Sprinkle with half the chocolate. Repeat with remaining bread, cream, and chocolate. Press mixture down with the back of a large spoon or your hands, so it’s tightly packed in and all bread is moistened.
  • Bake at 250 for about 20-30 minutes, until custard is set but wobbly. Serve warm with ice cream.

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3 Responses

  1. Victoria says:

    This sounds divine!! I randomly decided to search my fave breakfast bread (semifreddi’s cinnamon twist!) and came across this recipe. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be trying it out! 🙂

    • karen says:

      Very cool! I’m glad you found it. It’s super easy too… the yummy bread does a lot of the work for you 🙂 ENJOY!!!

  2. Michele says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I found it via Google and made it today for a Father’s Day brunch, where it was a big hit. Easy to make and delicious to eat. Thanks again!