‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Delicious Panettone Bread Pudding Recipe ‘Is a Crowd-Pleaser’

Ina Garten created a new twist on a basic bread pudding recipe by using a loaf of Italian panettone, which has candied fruits and raisins, for a unique taste. The delicious dessert recipe makes use of leftover bread and is so simple to assemble before baking.

Ina Garten sits at a table holding her 'Cooking for Jeffrey' cookbook at the Food Network and Cooking Channel New York City Wine and Food Festival
‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten | Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Ina Garten puts a fun twist on bread pudding

While showing how to make the panettone bread pudding recipe on the Barefoot Contessa cooking show, Garten shared the inspiration for the delicious dish. “At Barefoot Contessa, we used to make bread pudding from leftover croissants,” she explained. “I decided it would be really fun to do a twist on that bread pudding and do it with an Italian panettone.”

“It tastes a lot like brioche, I have to say — it’s like an egg bread, it’s a little sweet, and it has wonderful raisins and candied fruit in it,” she added.

Garten cut the bread into cubes and baked it so it dried out a bit. “When it’s a little drier, it’ll absorb everything,” she noted.

The custard for the recipe is a whisked-together combination of eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, vanilla, almond extract, and sugar. “So it’s really classic custard with the volume turned up,” Garten explained.

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Ina Garten said her panettone bread pudding recipe ‘is a crowd-pleaser’

Garten shared that her panettone bread pudding recipe “is a crowd-pleaser” and with all of the rich flavor, it’s not surprising.

“I love the idea of a panettone bread pudding,” she noted. “All that wonderful egg bread and the brioche, it’s a little sweet.” (You can find the recipe on the Food Network website.)

Garten includes a crunchy addition to her bread pudding for texture and taste. “The real flavor here is the almonds on the top,” she explained. “And the good news is, when it bakes, the almonds are going to get nice and toasted and browned.”

“And so the creamy custard and the crunchy almonds and the incredibly rich panettone — a fabulous combination,” she added.

Ingredients

  • 1 Italian panettone, about 1.2 pounds, cut into1 inch cubes
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish
  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 8 extra-large egg yolks
  • 5 cups half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the cubes of panettone on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes.

Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish with butter and spread the bread on the bottom on the pan. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extract together and pour the custard over the top of the bread. Press the toasted bread cubes into the custard, allowing it to soak for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top.        

Garten offers a tip when baking the bread pudding that maintains an even temperature. She places the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and pours hot water around the custard, about halfway up the pan.

Cover both pans with aluminum foil and bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, then uncover the pan and bake it for another 45 minutes. Allow the dessert to cool slightly before serving.