Ina Garten’s Croissant Bread Pudding Recipe Is the Barefoot Contessa’s Friends’ Favorite Dessert

Ina Garten has the perfect hack for a delicious bread pudding dessert — use stale croissants and a handful of rich ingredients. The Barefoot Contessa’s croissant bread pudding recipe comes together with just seven ingredients total and is her friends’ “favorite dessert.”

Ina Garten during 'Seth Goes Day Drinking with Ina Garten' on Late Night With Seth Meyers
‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten put a new spin on classic bread pudding

While demonstrating how to make her genius dessert recipe on the Barefoot Contessa cooking show, Garen explained just how much people love her croissant bread pudding.

“When I ask my friends what their favorite dessert is they always say croissant bread pudding,” she said. “And what’s amazing is, it’s so easy.”

Garten started the recipe by making the custard — and, as she promised, it’s easy to assemble. She whisked eggs, egg yolks, half and half, sugar, and vanilla together.

She acknowledged, “It’s a lot of half and half, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this every day. It’s a special occasion.”

Garten fans looking for a simple and delicious dessert will want to put this bread pudding in their menu rotation. “The good news is you’re not going to believe how easy this is to make,” she explained. “This is really like a bread pudding except I sort of turned up the volume and made it with croissants.”

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Ina Garten’s croissant bread pudding recipe was a happy discovery

Garten said that using fresh croissants is fine for her croissant bread pudding recipe, but she prefers using stale ones. “It’s really better, interestingly, to use stale ones because they’re drier and they absorb that custard better,” she said.

As for how she developed this recipe, Garten shared that she wanted to see how a bread pudding made with croissants would work out. “I actually decided to try it with croissants because I thought they’re sort of lighter and airier than bread and I thought it’d be really nice to see how it worked,” she noted.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, half and half, sugar, and vanilla and set the mixture aside.

Slice the croissants in half and place the bottom halves in an oval baking dish, then sprinkle raisins over the top. Place the other halves of the croissants on top, with the brown side up, then pour the custard over everything. Press the croissants into the liquid and allow the pastries to soak for 10 minutes to better absorb the custard.

Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and fill it with an inch of hot water. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven, then uncover the bread pudding and bake it for 45 minutes.

The custard will be set and the croissants puffed. Allow the bread pudding to cool slightly before serving.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.