Bread Pudding with Orange Sauce

My husband and I went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant one night and ordered a desert, which we rarely do. It was a plate of the most delicious bread pudding I’d ever had in my life, and I was surprised to see they put in dried cranberries instead of raisins! I was on a quest after that to find a recipe that matched it. I looked at a hundred recipes online and in cookbooks, and I made 3 recipes that I thought would work. This one was the absolute winner! I also love things with orange, so naturally it was better than the others. There is no alcohol in this recipe, and I’m convinced that using French bread is the key to it being so light and fluffy.

6 cups French bread, cubed
3/4 cups raisins or dried cranberries (my preference)
3 eggs, beaten
1 – 14oz. can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bread cubes and (c)raisins in 9″ baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together eggs, condensed milk, water, butter, orange rind, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour over bread evenly; let sit and soak for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake 40 minutes.
  6. In saucepan, combine orange juice, sugar and cornstarch.
  7. Over medium heat, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
  8. Serve with warm bread pudding and vanilla ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and mint leaf.