Strawberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding Cups
A long, long time ago, I asked a friend what she wanted me to make her as a treat for her birthday. She said she wanted bread pudding, but not a fancy bread pudding, she wanted a plain bread pudding. She was very specific about this.
“What?” I said … “I can’t add any fruit? Or fancy spices?”
“Nope,” she said, “I like my bread pudding plain. With caramel sauce.”
So, I made her bread pudding plain, with caramel sauce. It was delicious and everyone loved it, but I was just dying to do something a little more creative with it. … And then, shortly after her birthday celebration, I went to the little Diner right next to our office and they had, in their fancy little dessert case, Bread Pudding in cupcake form. Baked in muffin tins, with parchment paper wrapped around them like flower petals. Now THAT would be the way to make a plain bread pudding look fancy!
I never made that plain bread pudding again (in fancified cupcake form) so that I could blog it. But then the other night, I found myself with a couple Hawaiian rolls and a bunch of stale bread and some strawberries getting past their prime … and a BUNCH of rhubarb right on the eve of my daughter leaving for her class trip to Germany. (She’s the big rhubarb crisp eater in the house!) So I decided it was time to make some bread pudding … I just couldn’t let all this good food didn’t go to waste! I decided to make bread pudding in cupcake form. And it worked beautifully. I started with cupcake liners, but then I ran out of them, so I made some with parchment paper liners (which I really was dying to do, anyway), and loved the pretty flower effect that the parchment paper gives to these little baked portable french toasts.
I took my fruity little French toast cupcakes to work and everyone gladly gobbled them up. One friend even asked for the recipe. Her name is Ann too. Here you go, Ann! Since it’s Ann’s fifth work-iversary so I want to send out a huge “Happy Work-iversary!” Thanks for being such a great co-worker, Ann. You really rock the code and I totally appreciate all the hard work that you do … and your friendship. You’re amazing, in so many ways.
- 6 cups toasted bread cubes
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 - 5 cups chopped rhubarb & strawberries
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) & raw sugar, for the top
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set the bread cubes in a layer on a baking tray and bake them for about 10 minutes, until lightly toasted and just a little browned.
- Put the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl and pour the milk and brandy over them. Let them bask in the milk for about 15 minutes, stirring a couple times to make sure they all get time to soak up the milk.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl until lightly frothy. Add the sugar, vanilla and spices and whisk until everything is nicely mixed. Add the chopped fruit, then fold in the soaked bread cubes, making sure to add all the liquid to the mixture.
- Line about 18 cupcake spots with liners or a piece of parchment paper. Fill to the top with the bread pudding mixture, adding a little liquid from the bottom to each one.
- Bake at 350 F. for 30 - 40 minutes, until the little French toast cupcakes are golden brown on top and set in the middle. They should spring back when lightly touched in the middle. They are best enjoyed while they're warm, but they're good at room temperature too.
For those with food allergies: You can substitute gluten free bread to make this recipe gluten free, and/or to make it lactose free, substitute coconut milk or almond milk. If you have allergies to nuts, leave them off!
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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