Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding
Every time I make bread pudding, I chastise myself for not making it more often! Maybe it’s because I don’t always have extra bread around, or perhaps it’s because I’m never quite sure if bread pudding is supposed to be for breakfast or dessert. The last time I made this fall-flavored Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I realized something: I don’t have to have a plan for it! It’s delicious hot out of the oven for breakfast, and the leftovers can be served for dessert later in the day.
This hearty dish is perfect for cold fall and winter days. When the days start to get shorter and the air crisps up a bit, I find myself craving sweet, rich food. That doesn’t always work out too well for my waistline, though. Luckily, with recipes like this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I can have my cake and eat it, too! You see, most bread pudding recipes are loaded up with excess sugars. It takes a lot of sugar to sweeten something as savory as whole-wheat bread. But, we found a brilliant workaround. Want to know how we did it?
You might be surprised to learn that cinnamon and cardamom aren’t exactly sweet on their own. They sort-of trick our taste buds into thinking they’re a sweet spice. That’s because baking recipes almost always pair them with sugar. If you were to taste a pinch of them on their own, you’d find that they’re super pungent, slightly spicy, and a touch earthy.
But, when you combine them with something sweet, these spices really bloom. They actually help fill out our palates, allowing us to really taste any sweetness in the dish. Using these spices is part-one of our super-secret hack to make this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding recipe more healthy. Part two: applesauce!
Instead of using a ton of processed sugar, we swapped in applesauce instead. It gives the bread pudding extra body while allowing the naturally sweet apples to shine.
Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding
- 6 slices whole-wheat bread , using gluten free works too
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (or, milk of your choice)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped apples
options: raisins, cranberries, nuts all work well
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and place them in the prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, applesauce, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat the mixture with a whisk until everything is well combined.
- Fold the apples into the mixture before pouring the contents over the bread cubes. Press the cubes down into the mixture to make sure each one soaks up the liquid.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the pudding is set and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. You can also insert a knife into the middle of the pudding to make sure it comes out clean.
- Allow the pan to cool on a baking rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
- This pudding can be served hot or cold. Store it in the refrigerator (covered) for up to two days.
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