If you play your cards right, this tasty use-it-up trick can transform your Mother’s Day brunch remnants into Father’s Day dessert.
Photo: Getty Images
| Credit: Getty Images

Just a little insight into how we handle holiday at a food brand—months and weeks leading up to the holiday, our staff thinks about what sorts of recipes, ideas, and inspiration you all might want and need for whatever holiday, and then do our best to make sure we get all of it to you in a timely fashion. And then, the day after said holiday, we feel this moral obligation to give you more recipes, ideas, and inspiration for addressing the leftovers from whatever foods we originally told you to make. So naturally, it being the day after Mother’s Day, that’s what was on my mind this morning… but I was drawing a total blank.

For one, I feel like most folks I know aren’t in the same city as their moms and don’t typically see her on Mother’s Day. I mean, I didn’t drive 6 hours to cook my mom brunch yesterday, I sent her a pink Himalayan salt lamp and told her I loved her. OK, yeah, I saw my boyfriend’s mom… but we ordered pizza, and leftover pizza is fairly intuitive to deal with. Point being, I am not personally dealing with this food conundrum, and honestly never have given that I haven’t cooked for a Mother’s Day celebration since I was of “let’s make mommy breakfast-in-bed” age, so I have a hard time feeling the struggle.

But when I think of Mother’s Day brunch leftovers that would actually necessitate some level of addressing, my mind goes to one place and one place only—all of the baked goods you’d make or buy as a special Mom treat, but realistically, no one ever really eats more than one of them and you’re left with a dozen muffins/biscuits/doughnuts/breakfast rolls/croissants that are already starting to go stale. Thankfully, all of these leftovers have a common delicious solution: bread pudding.

Seriously, almost any excess, staling baked good can be the inspiration for a downright scrumptious bread pudding. Whether planned for or not, bread pudding is legitimately one of my all-time favorite desserts to enjoy; it’s an excellent way to make use of your eftover carb scraps and it’s one of those impromptu sweets you don’t really need a recipe for once you’ve made it a couple of times. So, here are 4 easy steps to transforming whatever breakfast bread you broke on Mother's Day into a wholly comforting and delicious bread pudding:

1. Tear up your leftovers.

Biscuits, doughnuts, whatever… tear ‘em into bite-sized pieces and toss them into a big mixing bowl. You’ll want to aim for around 10 cups of torn up bread items. For baked goods that are a little more cake-like in consistency, say blueberry muffins or banana bread, you probably ought to mix in 30%-50% regular bread (you can use whatever you have laying around like plain ‘ol sandwich bread or a baguette that’s getting hard). Keep in mind, bread pudding is (obviously) highly customizable, so if you have leftover fresh fruit that you don’t foresee yourself finishing this week, slice it up and toss it into the mix. Love nuts? Lightly toast a couple handfuls of chopped pecans or walnuts, and add those in too. That said, I wouldn’t suggest incorporating other brunch leftovers, like quiche or hash browns here… you should probably just eat on those for a day or so then toss what’s left.

2. Add eggs, cream, and sweetness.

For 10 cups of torn-up breadish stuff, whisk together 5 large eggs, 2 cups of whole milk, 3 cups of heavy cream, 1/2-1 cup of sugar*, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Pour this mixture over your scraps and stir them gently to coat. Let this soggy bread mixture stand for 15-20 minutes.

*Scale the amount of sugar you add to how sweet the base of your bread pudding already is. For example, if you’re using buttery biscuits, go with the whole cup; if you’re using glazed doughnuts, maybe scale back to 1/2 or 3/4 cup, depending on how sweet you like dessert.

3. Bake it.

Pour all of that carby, custardy goodness into a greased 9-x13-inch glass baking pan and pop it into an oven preheated to 325°. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until lightly puffed and golden-brown; the cook time will vary slightly based on what you use as a base, so keep an eye on it. Allow the pudding to cool down a bit. And if (in the same way you didn’t want to feel obligated to eat a dozen stale doughnuts this week) you don’t currently want a casserole dish full of carb pudding staring you in the eye, let it cool completely before wrapping that sucker up and popping it into the freezer until the next time you need dessert for a group (*cough* Father’s Day).

4. Sauce it.

When you are ready to dig in to your glorious carb pudding, saucing each serving with a warm bourbon-spiked caramel sauce is highly encouraged. If you felt called to also drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on, I guarantee no one will be offended.

By Darcy Lenz and Darcy Lenz