No products in the cart.

Fit for a King

A Carnival bread pudding

If you are like most New Orleanians your new year’s health and fitness resolutions checked out the morning after Twelfth Night when the first king cake of the season hit the office conference table. As your teeth sunk into that achingly sweet bite—crackly on the outside with colored sugar, soft on the inside with brioche dough—you vowed to revisit your goals after Mardi Gras when you’re giving up everything, anyway for Lent.

Of the king cake you choose as the base for this over-the-top confection Shalonda Berry, pastry chef at Palm & Pine on the edge of the French Quarter advises, “I’m a huge fan of Dong Phuong King Cakes – any flavor. They use a soft dough that is incredible. Then I’d say Hi-Do, which is a very traditional king cake. Bywater Bakery is also awesome.” 

Tip: Read through this recipe before starting. There are some decisions to make before you begin.

King Cake Bread Pudding 

Shared by Pastry Chef Shalonda Berry, Palm & Pine

3 large eggs

2 cups half & half

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

Zest of 1 lemon or orange, chef’s choice (I went with orange)

9 – 10 generous cups of 1-inch cubes of king cake

Colored sugars for sprinkling (optional)

Oil for frying, optional

Accompaniments for serving, optional. See NOTES

  1. Butter a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. 
  3. Add the cubed king cake to the custard and let sit for at least 30 minutes. 
  4. After 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  5. Stir the mixture with a spatula to ensure complete coverage.
  6. Dump the mixture into the loaf pan, pressing down gently with the spatula.  Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet.  
  7. If you do not intend to fry the king cake after baking sprinkle the top of the loaf with colored sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake the bread pudding for 40 to 50 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the pan. The liquid should jiggle but not slosh around. The custard should be nice and puffy. 
  9. Allow the king cake to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
  10. If you intend to fry the king cake allow it to cool overnight, then cut it into even slices using a serrated knife.
  11. Add the oil to a deep fryer with a frying basket. Heat the oil to 350ºF.
  12. Working in batches so the slices do not overlap, add the sliced bread pudding to the fryer basket and lower into the hot oil. Fry until the slices are golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  13. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels.
  14. Decorate each slice with colored sugar and serve with sauce, if desired.

Digital Sponsors

Become a MyNewOrleans.com sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.