If you love the classic flavors of peanut butter & jelly, you will flip for this Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread Pudding!
So: confession. I’m not a huge bread pudding fan.
It’s a texture thing for me, honestly, but I feel like if it’s the right flavor combination, I could get over that pretty quickly. I don’t want some boring bread pudding with ice cream on top. Why bother wasting my calories that I have specifically allotted for anything other than fresh fruit & vegetables? I only want to try something if I find it’ll be worth it for me in the long run. There’s nothing worse than eating a dessert and thinking, I kinda wish I didn’t eat that.
And believe me, I’ve thought that too many times about dessert. It kinda makes me want to pour one out for my fallen homies, ones destined to be failures, who never quite made it as their more successful and tasty relatives. The ones who died tragically only to be forgotten by those who were last touched by them… or worse, to be scorned by those closest to them.
(Side note: should I write eulogies?)
ANYWAY. This bread pudding will not disappoint. If you like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches… or heck, anything PB&J flavored – you will flip for this version of bread pudding.
Let’s chat about this BP for a sec. So the bread is crucial to this pudding. (Hello, it’d be like using imitation vanilla for vanilla ice cream. Just no). I used a brioche loaf because brioche is eggy and buttery and wonderful and I basically want to shrink myself in a tiny shrinkometer and live on a loaf of brioche for the rest of my days. If you can’t find brioche, a thick Texas-toast kinda bread will do, or something like challah. Just don’t go old-school and use Wonder Bread or anything. That was the go-to for PB&J sammies, but it won’t work well here.
You cube up the bread into about 1″ pieces and soak it in the egg/milk/peanut butter mixture which sounds like exactly what the ingredients are. This gives the bread time to really absorb that peanut butter flavor and what gives bread pudding its texture.
Layer half of the peanut butter eggy bread into the pan and top it off with a can of strawberry pie filling. Now before you come insulting me for using what I had on hand, let me explain: it’s utterly perfect here. The strawberry goo that coats the berries is wonderful and really ramps up the ‘jelly’ part of this PB&J equation. Could you use something else? Maybe, but WHY DON’T YOU FOLLOW THE RULES! GOSH, BECKY. (Kidding. But seriously, strawberry jam would work in its place).
Layer it again and bake it until it’s set and perf, about 50 minutes or so. Let it cool for a hot minute before cutting it into pieces as big as your face. And sprinkle it with chopped peanuts if you’re human. Then prepare to swoon. Hard.
*adapted from Sept. 2014 Woman’s Day magazine
- 1 loaf (10-14 oz) egg bread (such as brioche, challah, or Hawaiian bread), cut into 1" cubes (should be about 8 cups of bread)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 (21 oz) cans strawberry pie filling (I love using Lucky Leaf)
- 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a casserole 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add in the creamy peanut butter. Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly and carefully, to combine. Mixture will smooth out somewhat. Add in the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, pinch of salt and sugar and whisk to combine. Mixture will be smooth and runny. Add in the bread and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark.
- Once bread has soaked some of the liquid mixture, spread ⅔ of the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Top with the entire first can of pie filling, gently swirling it on top of the PB bread mixture. Top with the remaining bread mixture, and lastly, top with the remaining entire can of pie filling, gently swirling it into the PB bread mixture.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 35-45 minutes (mine cooked about 40 minutes) or until golden brown and just about set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Let set for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares. Store covered in the fridge.
I may not have started out as a bread pudding fan, but I think I’m now converted! This casserole is SO dang good. I love the crunch of the salty peanuts in contrast to the gooey peanut butter-soaked bread and sweet ribbons of strawberry fruit filling. This truly is a must-make!
Have a fabulous day!