Cafe au Lait Bread Pudding

Fat Tuesday is this week and I’ve never been to Mardis Gras, but I absolutely love New Orleans.  The city is so fun and so beautiful and the food is unreal. Of course, my initial thought for a Mardis Gras recipe was a King cake, but I wanted to give it my own little twist. I also considered a beignet because it’s basically my favorite food in New Orleans. But I also want to keep my recipes as easy as possible.  When I look at a recipe, even though I love baking, if it looks difficult or time-consuming I procrastinate on making it and then end up buying a box at the last minute.  Some of it is probably that I love sweets way too much and just want the final product to be ready! But a lot of it is because I live in a tiny apartment with a teeny tiny kitchen and a complicated recipe is stressful.  Especially when I know I can make something just as good with a lot less stress!

Day old challah on a cutting board
I used day-old challah from my grocery store. It didn’t look pretty, but I will be cutting it up anyway!

Since the originally planned recipes were becoming super complicated, I decided to change course.  I was watching Top Chef (are you all watching this season in my hometown of Louisville, KY?!) and *SPOILER-ISH ALERT?* they each select one of Muhammad Ali’s fights and make a dish inspired by that fight.  Kelsey from Alabama selected a fight in New Orleans, which also happened to be the last dish of a progressive meal (hello, dessert!), and that’s when my ears perked up. I was looking for inspiration for a Mardi Gras recipe, and at that very moment Kelsey is going to come up with a New Orleans inspired dessert recipe! That’s when Kelsey says that bread pudding is a traditional New Orleans dessert.  This wasn’t something I knew, but it was definitely something I could work with!

Cafe au Lait Bread Pudding in a white bowl with an orange rim surrounded by mardi gras beads with a Cafe du Monde coffee can in the background

I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use Cafe du Monde coffee. If you haven’t been to New Orleans, Cafe du Monde is the go-to place for beignets and coffee, but not just any coffee, chicory coffee, most commonly served as a cafe au lait. So the idea of a cafe au lait bread pudding was inspired, and this was an inspiration I didn’t know I needed, but am so glad I found! So thank you Top Chef, thank you, Kelsey, and thank you New Orleans. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler, y’all!

Cafe au Lait Bread Pudding in a white bowl with an orange rim surrounded by mardi gras beads, and a stream of cafe au lait sauce pouring onto it, with a Cafe du Monde coffee can in the background

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler, y’all!!! Get the SUPER EASY recipe at! #mardigras #fattuesday #LaissezLesBonsTempsRouler #letthegoodtimesroll #coffee #chicory #chicorycoffee #cafeaulait #breadpudding #neworleans #nola #breadpuddingrecipe #mardigrasrecipe #fattuesdayrecipe #coffeedessert #coffeedessertrecipe #recipe #easyrecipe #gettherecipe #recipeoftheday #quickandeasy #onebowlrecipe #onebowl #flourdeliz

Cafe au Lait Bread Pudding

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicory coffee brewed and cooled
  • 1/2 stick butter cubed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
  • loaf challah or other soft bread cubed


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicory coffee brewed and cooled
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 pan with nonstick foil.
  • Put eggs in a large bowl and beat lightly.
  • Add milk, coffee, butter, sugar, and salt.
  • Gently stir in bread cubes.
  • Pour into lined pan and bake 35-40 minutes.


  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan.
  • Stir in milk and coffee until smooth.
  • Heat over medium heat and bring to boil.
  • Continue stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter.
  • Pour over cooked bread pudding or serve warm on the side.


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