Bagel bread pudding is a great way to use up leftover stale bagels! This bread pudding with bagels has dried fruit for added sweetness and texture. You can use any type of sweet-flavored bagel and any type of dried fruit to create your favorite flavor combination.
What are you going to do with that bag of bagels getting stale on the counter? After the first day those bagels aren't at their absolute best, but they are still good, so it's a shame to just throw them away. Well, this recipe for bagel bread pudding is the perfect solution. By re-purposing those not-so-fresh bagels as the base for bread pudding, you can create something totally new, interesting and of course, really delicious!
And, making bread pudding with bagels is a great way to get those people in your life who hate bread pudding to give it another try. For example, my husband usually hates bread pudding ("too squishy!!"), but he loved this recipe. Since bagels are firmer than regular bread, they give more texture to the bread pudding. He likened it more to a French toast casserole than traditional bread pudding.
So if that sounds good to you, and you have some leftover bagels you have no idea what to do with, this bagel bread pudding recipe may be just what you're looking for! (Special bonus - you can also prep this recipe a day in advance!)
- Bagels: like regular bread pudding, this recipe works great if you have some stale, kind of dried out bagels. But, if you only have fresh bagels, those will also work.
- Dried fruit: this time I used dried blueberries to go with the blueberry bagels I had, but I've also used raisins and those were delicious. Feel free to use any type of dried fruit you like, such as dried cranberries, currants, chopped dried apricots, etc.
Step by step photos
Here is a step by step breakdown of how to make bread pudding with bagels. For the full recipe, please see the recipe card down below!
1. The first step is to split the bagels and toast them. This is optional if the bagels you are using are already pretty dried out. Toasting the bagels helps to dry out fresher bagels so they absorb the liquid better, and also provides a little bit of a toasty flavor!
2. The next step is to mix up the liquid part of the bread pudding. First, crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them. Then add the half and half, vanilla, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
3. Now we turn back to the bagels. Cut them up (or tear them) into bite-sized pieces, and then add them into the bowl with the half and half mixture. Also add in the dried fruit at this time.
Give everything a good stir so the bagels are all coated in the liquid. Since the bagels are more dense than bread, they need some time to soak up the liquid. Let the bagel bread pudding mixture rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. Give it a stir a couple times during the rest.
4. While the bread pudding mixture is resting, grease a 2-quart casserole dish or 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Also, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Once the bagels look quite soft and saturated, the soak is finished. It's ok if not all of the liquid is absorbed. But, most of it should be, and the entire mixture should look more gelled together and softened, as you can see from the image below.
Stir once more, then scoop the mixture into the prepared dish and spread it out evenly. If desired, sprinkle some extra sugar on top of the bread pudding (this gives the top a nicely browned, slightly crunchy coating!).
5. Bake the bagel bread pudding in the preheated oven for about 40 - 45 minutes, or until the bread pudding is jiggly and the center is just set.
Tips and tricks
- If the top of the pudding is getting too dark in the oven, you can loosely drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top as it finishes cooking.
- For extra texture, try sprinkling coarse sugar over the top of the pudding before baking. Regular granulated sugar will also work!
- The texture of this pudding really benefits from the added fat from the half and half. You could get away with using whole milk instead (or a combo of half and half and whole milk). But, I recommend against using 2% or skim milk.
- For the most delicious bagel bread pudding experience, serve it warm, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!
There are so many different flavor combinations you can create when making bread pudding with bagels. Here are some suggestions:
- Blueberry: blueberry bagels + dried blueberries.
- Cinnamon raisin: cinnamon raisin bagels + raisins. For a more intense cinnamon flavor, you can increase the cinnamon to 1 ½ teaspoons! (If you love cinnamon raisin flavor, try my recipe for oatmeal raisin breakfast bars!)
- Chocolate chip: chocolate chip bagels + mini chocolate chips (instead of the dried fruit).
- Pumpkin spice: pumpkin or pumpkin spice bagels + dried fruit of your choice (raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates would all be delicious) + 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice (instead of cinnamon).
You can make this recipe with any variety of sweet-flavored bagel, such as blueberry bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels, or chocolate chip bagels. You can also use plain bagels; the bread pudding will just be a tiny bit less sweet, and the dried fruit you choose will be the prominent flavor.
And of course, I wouldn't recommend using a savory flavor of bagel (such as onion or jalapeno), unless you are really into that sweet/savory combo! If you are looking for a savory bread pudding, may I recommend my recipe for cheese pudding?
Yes, you can prep this recipe ahead of time! Just prepare the recipe as-written, up to the point where you will start the 15 minute soak. Rather than letting the bread pudding soak on the counter for 15 minutes, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
When you want to bake the pudding, remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit out while the oven preheats. Give the mixture a final stir and then bake as instructed in the recipe.
You can store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. To reheat, I find it easiest to just microwave individual servings for about 1 minute or so, or until warmed through. The texture of the pudding will get drier as it sits in the fridge, so you can serve it with whipped cream or ice cream to add some moisture back in.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
Bagel Bread Pudding
This is the perfect way to use up day-old or stale bagels! Make this easy bagel bread pudding with any sweet flavor of bagel, and only a few other basic ingredients. There are so many different flavor combinations you can make — see the notes below for flavor suggestions!
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Rest time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- five sweet-flavored (preferably stale) bagels (520 g, or about 10 cups when cubed)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups (720 ml) half and half
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, plus 1 - 2 teaspoons granulated or coarse sugar for topping (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (80 g) dried fruit (any type, see notes for flavor suggestions)
- oil or butter to grease the casserole dish/pan
- Split the bagels and toast them — this helps dry them out and gives a little toasty flavor. (This step is optional if your bagels are already quite dry.)
- Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Whisk until slightly frothy. Add in the half and half, ¾ cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- Cut or tear the bagels into bite-sized pieces and add them to the liquid ingredients. Add the dried fruit (chop first if using larger fruit such as dates or dried apricots). Stir well to combine.
- Let the bread pudding sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to allow the liquid to absorb. Stir once or twice during the rest period. After resting, most of the liquid should be absorbed, but it's ok if some still remains at the bottom of the bowl. The bagel pieces should look softened and saturated. Depending on how dry the bagel pieces are, this may take a little more than 15 minutes. (Or, cover the bowl and rest in the fridge for several hours to overnight.)
- While the bread pudding is resting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and grease a 2-quart casserole dish or 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking pan with butter or oil. (If you did the longer rest in the fridge, remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit out while the oven preheats).
- After resting, stir the mixture once more, then scoop the bread pudding into the greased pan or casserole dish. Smooth out the top and evenly sprinkle 1 - 2 teaspoons granulated or coarse sugar over the top (optional).
- Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the pudding is jiggly and the center is just set. If the top of the bread pudding is browning too much during baking, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Flavor combination ideas:
- Blueberry: blueberry bagels + dried blueberries.
- Cinnamon raisin: cinnamon raisin bagels + raisins. For more intense cinnamon flavor, increase the amount of cinnamon to 1 ½ teaspoons!
- Chocolate chip: chocolate chip bagels + mini chocolate chips (instead of fruit).
- Pumpkin spice: pumpkin spice bagels + dried fruit of your choice (raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates would work well) + 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice (instead of cinnamon).
The nutrition information below is an estimate only; the nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. This information was provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
- Calories: 442
- Sugar: 33.6 g
- Sodium: 366 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 68.5 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 11.8 g
- Cholesterol: 127 mg
Keywords: bagel bread pudding, bread pudding with bagels