This easy to make Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding is the ultimate way to use leftover hot cross buns. Baked in delicious vanilla custard, the lightly spiced hot cross buns are filled with sweet orange marmalade and oozing puddles of melted dark chocolate for brunch or dessert this Easter.
For me, Easter is all about having fun in the kitchen and enjoying traditional treats like Hot Cross Buns, citrus cookies and Easter eggs along with all the chocolate! Easter desserts and treats like my Mini Egg Cookies, No-Bake Mini Egg Cheesecake and Lemon Biscotti are family favourites!
This year I was super happy to join forces with my favourite UK supermarket, Waitrose, and come up with a fantastic Easter inspired recipe using their quality ingredients. So, today I'm sharing with you my twist on bread and butter pudding, a British classic pudding that is a family favourite.
What is Bread and Butter Pudding?
It's a very traditional dessert made to use up stale, leftover pieces of bread. The slices of buttered bread are layered in an oven dish, seasoned with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon and then covered and soaked in an egg custard. The bread pudding is then baked and served warm with cream or ice cream. It's a cheap, comforting dish that we Brits love!
My recipe takes the basis of bread pudding but uses the humble Hot Cross Bun as the backbone as it's so quintessentially part of Easter. I've gone for Waitrose St Clements Hot Cross Buns as they have all the familiar spices, soaked raisins but also the peel of lemons and oranges for a citrus kick.
I wanted to highlight the citrus even more and so the buns are cut in half and both sides smothered in Waitrose Essential No Peel Seville Orange Marmalade. (Having no peel in the marmalade is a game-changer for my kids as they are not fans of big chunks of peel. This marmalade is perfect with its sweet orange flavour and they loved it in these buns. Hoorah!
Easter isn't Easter without chocolate so I added chopped Waitrose Belgian Dark Chocolate 54%, into each of the buns, and when baked it melts into big puddles throughout the pudding that tastes AMAZING alongside the hot cross buns spices and citrus flavours.
This is such a comforting classic that will become your next family favourite breakfast, brunch or dessert recipe. It is super quick to put together but hearty, flavourful and welcoming. Oh yeah, and it makes your house smell incredible too!
This post is sponsored by Waitrose. All views and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Emma Duckworth Bakes possible.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Uses simple ingredients. The recipe list is short and basic - a bonus in my book!
- Quick to pull together. I almost feel guilty 'creating' a recipe for this as it's so unbelievably easy to put together. But the outcome is sensational so I definitely wanted to share it with you.
- Feeds a crowd. If you have family coming over to celebrate Easter with you, this is the perfect brunch to serve in a communal family-style.
I've used my favourite ingredients from Waitrose and shared them with you today as for years I have loved the quality of their products. When there are so few ingredients in a recipe, it's in your best interest to use the BEST quality ingredients that you can find as it really makes a difference to the taste and flavour.
I understand that some of my audience can't access Waitrose ingredients, but don't worry - this recipe will work perfectly well with ingredients that you can source from your local store. Here are a couple of pointers on some of the ingredients.
- Hot cross buns - I used Waitrose St Clements Hot Cross Buns as I loved their flavour profile with the chocolate and marmalade. But you can use traditional hot cross buns or even chocolate ones. I've even seen sticky toffee ones that would be amazing here! I used 8 buns and they are best when a day or two old. The stale bread soaks up the custard better when a bit drier.
- Marmalade - Waitrose Essential No Peel Seville Orange Marmalade, was my choice was this recipe. If you prefer peel in your marmalade then choose one that has a thin or thick-cut peel in it.
- Chocolate - I've always preferred to use chopped chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips as it melts once baked. Waitrose Belgian Dark Chocolate 54% combines the perfect balance of cocoa and sweetness. If you prefer to use milk chocolate or a higher percentage of dark chocolate then feel free. Or you could use up any leftover Easter eggs (if there are any leftovers that is!!).
- Eggs - 3 large eggs are used. Make sure they are at room temperature. If you forget to take them out of the fridge ahead of time then place them in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes.
How to make Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding
In a couple of easy steps, I'll show you how to make this nostalgic pudding. You're going to love how simple these steps are! There are basically two parts to making this Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding, firstly preparing the hot cross buns, and secondly, making the custard. That's it!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Prepare the hot cross buns
1. Prepare the baking dish. Grease with butter a baking dish to prevent the buns from sticking (Image 1). Preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
2. Cut buns in half and slather them in marmalade. With a serrated knife, cut the hot cross buns in half. Then cover each cut side in Waitrose Essential No Peel Seville Orange Marmalade (Image 2).
3. Sandwich buns with chocolate. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate onto the marmalade on the bottom half of the hot cross bun. Then place the top onto it, essentially sandwiching the chocolate (Image 3).
4. Add buns to the baking dish. Place buns into the baking dish and brush any remaining marmalade onto of the buns, or dollop it around if you prefer. Sprinkle any leftover chocolate around the buns (Image 4).
NOTE: To fit the 8 buns into my baking dish, I had to stand them on their edges and lean them against each other. If you have a longer baking dish you may be able to sit them flat. Both ways come out with the same result ... a delicious Easter pudding!
Make the custard, soak the buns and bake.
5. Make the custard. Making this custard couldn’t be any easier. Add all the custard ingredients, eggs, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk until well combined. There’s absolutely no need for getting out an electric hand-held whisk for this. We’re keeping it simple! (Image 5 & 6)
6. Soak chocolate orange hot cross buns and soak. Now the hot cross buns get a lovely custard bath! Pour the custard mixture all over the buns and gently press them down into the custard. Leave the buns to sit in the custard for 10 to 15 minutes to soak up some of that lovely custard. Not all of it will soak into the bread- this is absolutely fine (Image 7 & 8). Dot the remaining butter on top of the buns.
Bake. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the buns are golden brown and the custard is just set. Once baked, take it out of the oven and set it aside for ten minutes. Serve and enjoy whilst warm and the chocolate is gooey!
Bread and butter pudding is a super versatile dish to make. You can change up lots of the ingredients to create different flavour combinations that would suit you. Here are some of my ideas:
Types of bread to use: Once hot cross buns are out of season, there are lots of different options you can choose from. Use sliced fruit bread, brioche bread, croissants, panettone or even spiced tea cakes. Just note that they are best when a little stale. We've made Jamie Oliver's Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding at Christmas and it is, as he calls it, totally bonkers. In an amazing way!
Switch up the marmalade to jam: Rather than going down the chocolate orange route, you can add in any type of jam that you prefer instead, such as raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry jam. In my cookbook 'Simply Sweet Nostalgic Bakes' I created a bread and butter pudding with fig jam and fresh figs. Totally delicious with a summery vibe.
Add in fruit: With whatever jam you choose to slather on your chosen bread, once the bread is soaked in the custard, then add some fresh fruit over the pudding to bake in the oven. Raspberries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries or apricots would be incredible added to this pudding.
Flavour the custard: In my recipe, I haven't included any extra spices as the hot cross buns already have them in the dough. However, if you use a type of bread that isn't spiced, or if you want a bigger boost of spice, then add extra cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice to the custard. You could even turn the custard into a chocolate custard by whisking in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the custard.
- Use stale bread. For any dish that needs the bread to be soaked in a liquid (like French Toast), the bread is best when a day or two old and it has dried out slightly. If fresh it has a tendency to soak up too much liquid, go soggy and fall apart.
- Soak for 10 minutes. Don't scrimp on the soak time. You want the Hot Cross Buns to soak up some of the custard which helps moisten and flavour the bread. Make sure to push the bread down into the custard.
- Add foil over the baking dish if necessary. You'll know that the pudding is ready when the buns are golden and the custard has just set. As there is marmalade brushed over the top of these, the sugar content in the marmalade can brown them quickly. Simply tent the dish in foil if you see this happening.
Frequently asked questions
Essentially they are one and the same thing. Bread and butter pudding is where the layers of sliced bread are spread with softened butter over each slice before layering into the baking dish and soaking into the custard.
Bread pudding doesn't have the addition of custard. Because of this, the bread is often cut into cubes and then soaked and baked.
This is most likely because the bread wasn't dry enough and was too fresh when making this dish. The fresh bread soaks up the custard too quickly and doesn't bake so well all the way through leaving the interior of the pudding soggy.
You can either leave the pudding in the baking dish and cover it well with plastic wrap, or scoop the ingredients into a plastic container. Refrigerate the pudding for up to 3 days. Re-heat the pudding a serving at a time in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
Absolutely. Place bread pudding into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat the pudding a serving at a time in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
Equipment you’ll need
- Baking Dish 20 x25cm(8x10-inches): Baking dishes come in all shapes and sizes, square, oval, rectangular and round. This recipe is pretty forgiving, so try and find a dish that is approximately the same, but it doesn't need to be exact. You could even make this in a 23cm (9-inch) round cake.
- Medium mixing bowl: To mix the custard in, you'll need a mixing bowl to do this. A medium-sized bowl works best for this.
More recipes using bread
If you tried this delicious Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding recipe or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding
- baking dish 20x25cm (8x10-inches)
- 30 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing.
- 8 hot cross buns
- 110 g orange marmalade
- 180g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 300 ml whole milk
- 120 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare the baking dish. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Grease the sides and base of a high sided baking pan with butter.
- Cut buns in half and slather them in marmalade. Using a serrated knife, slice each of the hot cross buns in half. Using a butter knife, spread marmalade across both sides of the cut halves of each hot cross bun.
- Sandwich buns with chocolate. Over the marmalade on the bottom half of the hot cross bun, sprinkle lots of chopped chocolate. Place the top half sandwiching the chocolate in the two halves. Repeat until all the buns have chocolate inside them.
- Add buns to baking dish. Place the filled buns into the prepared baking dish, flat down if they fit or standing, leaning on each other. With any remaining marmalade, brush the tops of the buns with it. Then sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate around the dish.
- Make the custard. Add all the custard ingredients (eggs, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla extract) to a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Soak chocolate orange hot cross buns and bake. Pour the custard all over the hotcross buns into the baking dish. Push down each of the buns gently. Leave for ten minutes for the buns to soak up some of the custard. Add any remaining butter in small lumps over the pudding.Bake. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the buns are browned and the custard has just set. If the buns brown too quickly, then halfway through the bake time, cover the baking dish in a foil tent.Remove the dish from the oven and set aside for ten minutes, then serve the pudding warm, with a drizzle of double cream.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Waitrose St Clements Hot Cross Buns
- Waitrose Essential No Peel Seville Orange Marmalade
- Waitrose Belgian Dark Chocolate 54%
I made this Hot Cross Bun Bread Pudding over the weekend with some left over hot cross bus from the freezer and it was a delight! I would never have thought to use them up in this way. I have a large family and it was a brilliant way to feed everyone. I slathered butter and marmalade in each bun and sprinkled the chocolate all over. Super delicious! Will definitely make again, maybe with brioche buns and add some spices into the custard.
Gotta love clearing space in the freezer. Thanks so much for making this recipe- so glad you and your family loved it!x