So, I may have created something to rival my famous sweet potato praline bread pudding, y’all. I like to try at least one new dish each Thanksgiving, and this nutty apple cranberry bread pudding was a brand new dessert recipe I came up with last month. I documented making it in my Instagram story and asked if anyone wanted me to put the recipe up. The answer was “ASAP!” so here we are. 🙂

baked bread pudding with apples, cranberries, pecans, and maple vanilla cream sauce

Flavor-wise, there’s quite a bit going on–we’ve got spiced apple, cranberry, pecan, almond–and that doesn’t even factor in the maple vanilla cream sauce! Yes, that’s right. Maple. Vanilla. Cream Sauce. Don’t worry, though, all the flavors play together wonderfully to create a truly show-stopping dessert.

pouring maple vanilla cream sauce over top of bread pudding

This nutty apple cranberry bread pudding starts out like any other bread pudding with a brief detour to saute chopped apples in butter, sugar, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The nutty flavor comes from pecan halves and almond extract. Dried cranberries provide a tart burst of fruitiness to balance out the ooey-gooey sweetness of everything else. In case you couldn’t already tell, this is not a diet-friendly dish. The holidays seem to give you a pass, though, so gobble some of this up before the New Year New You memes start hitting Instagram and gut guilt compels you to more mindful eating. I mean, doesn’t the picture below just make you want to chomp at the screen? I won’t tell anybody you said yes. 🙂

piece of nutty apple cranberry bread pudding

If you can’t get enough bread pudding (In real life, who can?) then be sure to check out my cinnamon roll bread pudding, too. Happy holidays and thank you for reading!

Signature Dash of Jazz

P.S. More apple and cranberry recipes:

Nutty Apple Cranberry Bread Pudding with Maple Vanilla Cream Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins

A bread pudding flavored with fruit, nuts, and spices and perfect for the holidays

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cranberry bread pudding, bread pudding sauce, bread pudding with cream sauce, holiday bread pudding recipe, maple vanilla sauce
Servings: 10 servings
Bread Pudding
  • 1 loaf day-old bread like french bread or challah
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 medium apples peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
Maple Vanilla Cream Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Bread Pudding
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear bread into small (about one-inch) pieces and add to a rectangular baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together heavy cream, half & half, butter, eggs, 1 1/2 cup sugar and extracts. Set aside.
  3. Melt one tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, toss apple pieces in 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt to coat. Saute in melted butter. Add in cranberries pecan pieces and cook for about 3 minutes or until apples are a bit tender.
  4. Add apple mixture to pan with bread then pour wet mixture over top. Mix and smooth pan contents to ensure the wet mixture is evenly distributed and all bread pieces are coated. Bake for about two hours or until top of pudding is firm (but not hardened) to touch and edges have lightly browned.
Maple Vanilla Cream Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and cream and mix until uniform.
  2. Allow sauce to bubble and thicken for a few minutes then reduce heat to medium low. Stir in vanilla extract and maple syrup and simmer for another five minutes or so. Pour over top of finished bread pudding.
Nutty Apple Cranberry Bread Pudding with Maple Vanilla Cream Sauce