This Dark Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding is the perfect easy, make-ahead recipe for serving friends and family. The rich chocolate, chewy cherries, and sweet bread make for the perfect combination.
- Bread: I recommend using stale brioche bread (see more notes about bread below)
- Sugar: I use white cane sugar
- Milk: Whole milk works great. I haven't tested this with a non-dairy alternative but I imagine that would work just fine!
- Chocolate chips: I recommend using dark chocolate as it pairs so nicely with the cherries. The dark chocolate adds a layer of richness without making the dessert overly sweet. You can, of course, substitute milk chocolate if that is what you and your family prefer (or even white chocolate for an extra sweet treat!)
- Dried pitted cherries: dried cherries work best, as fresh cherries can add excess moisture to the bread pudding. The dried cherries also make this dessert a great year-round treat!
Prep ahead tips
This is a great recipe to prepare in advance for company! You can make the unbaked chocolate and cherry bread pudding a couple of hours before dinner and keep it covered in the refrigerator. An hour before serving dessert, pop it in the oven!
Alternatively, you can fully bake the bread pudding, allow it to cool completely, and then store it covered in the refrigerator. It should last in there for up to 5 days but is best within the first few days. To reheat, pop it in the 350F oven for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through. You can reheat single-serving leftovers in the oven or slice by slice in the microwave.
What type of bread should I use for bread pudding?
I like using brioche bread for this recipe. You can try using other types of bread, however since brioche already has a little sweetness to it, the sweetness level may vary depending on the bread you use.
When making bread pudding, you want to use stale bread so that it soaks up all the liquid. To make the bread stale, you can leave the cubed bread out on the counter overnight uncovered. Alternatively, spread fresh cubed brioche on two sheet pans and bake at 350F for 7-10 minutes, or until slightly hard on the outside.
The dark chocolate and cherries pair so well together! However, you are welcome to use whatever your favorite type of chocolate is. Not a cherry fan? Feel free to leave them out or swap in your favorite dried fruit. To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute in your favorite gluten-free bread.
More make-ahead dessert ideas
Check out these other dessert recipes that are perfect for entertaining:
- Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Strawberry Crisp (with Corn Flakes)
- Brownies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
If you make this Dark Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below!
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 lb stale brioche loaf, cut into 1 inch cubes see notes
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup pitted dried cherries
- 5 eggs
- 1 qt whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Use the butter to butter the inside of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Add half the brioche to the baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with half the chocolate chips and half the dried cherries. Repeat with the remaining half of the bread, chocolate, and cherries. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well incorporated. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread, chocolate, and cherries. Allow the unbaked bread pudding to rest for 30 minutes (see note).
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow the bread pudding to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
- To make your brioche stale, cut it the night before and leave it uncovered on the counter. Alternatively, spread fresh cubed brioche on two sheet pans and bake at 350F for 7-10 minutes, or until slightly hard on the outside.
- The unbaked bread pudding can rest at room temperature. If your kitchen is hot or sunny, rest the bread pudding in the refrigerator.