I freaking love bread pudding. One of my dearest friends in the world, Teresa Cook, loves it too. She and I used hit up the breakfast bar at Shoney's pretty routinely and that bar had bread pudding on it.  Teresa would go up, get a plate, then stand there and belt out an original love song/power ballad to bread. pudding. The bread pudding was delicious and her song was everything!

Speaking of "everything", my dear friend Patty Millay is sharing a recipe that will blow the feathers off your Thanksgiving turkey.  For our weekly What's Cookin'? segment on my radio show, Patty is serving up Sweet Potato Bread Pudding.

From Patty:

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and I KNEW that this would be on our Thanksgiving table this year!  My family loves sweet potatoes to varying degrees from true lovers to just a bite.  This recipe is a perfect blend for everyone. 

Here's how to make it!

Patty Millay
Patty Millay


1 large (12- to 14-oz.) sweet potato (makes about 1¼ cups mashed)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing dish

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

10 cups (1-inch) cubed challah bread (from 1 [16-oz.] loaf)

5 large eggs

2 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream½ cup packed light brown sugar

 cup honey

 cup bourbon (optional)

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325°F.

Pierce sweet potato several times using a fork, and place on a microwave-safe plate. Place potato in an oven safe dish and bake for one hour or until tender in the center.  Cool and peel potato, and place flesh in a medium bowl. Add butter and ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and mash until well combined. Set aside.

Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet; bake in a preheated oven until dried out but not browned, turning halfway through, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the pan, about 20 minutes.

Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, and set aside. Combine heavy cream, sugar, honey, (bourbon if you choose to use it), and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Gently warm over low until sugar and honey are dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cinnamon and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.

Remove from heat, and gradually whisk cream mixture into egg yolks in a bowl until well combined. Add sweet potato mixture to cream mixture, and whisk until mostly smooth. Add bread cubes, and toss gently until moistened.

Spread half of the soaked bread cubes in the prepared dish, and sprinkle with half of the pecans. Repeat with remaining soaked bread cubes and pecans. Pour any remaining custard from the bowl over the mixture, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 325*oven until the center is set, about 40 minutes, rotating dish halfway through and covering with aluminum foil during the last 10 to 15 minutes to prevent over-browning, if needed. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.


There are ways to speed this recipe up by working in advance.  I baked my sweet potato the night before (heat in microwave 30 seconds before blending with the sauce if you do this.) and you can bake your bread cubes the night before and store them in an airtight container.  This cuts out a lot of time and can get you going to the oven in about 20 minutes on the day you want to serve it.

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