The recipe I found looked pretty good. The blog Raised on a Roux has some great recipes and I knew this one wouldn't steer me wrong. But the first thing I noticed was that it called for a store-bought king cake. Now, I don't have a problem with store bought king cakes but if I can make it myself, I'm going to! I've tried a few recipes over the years, and none of them have worked out the way I wanted them to (mostly because they were really elaborate recipes, and I'm a simple kind of gal). But when I found this one over at The Catholic Foodie, I knew I had found gold.
I made the king cake on Friday, and let it sit in my oven (after the oven had cooled, of course) until Sunday afternoon. The thing about a good bread pudding is that you want the bread to be a little stale so it will soak up more of the milky goodness that makes the pudding part of bread pudding. The only change I made to the king cake recipe was to sprinkle cinnamon on the dough before rolling it all up. I didn't use a filling, and I didn't make the glaze.
I'm not going to duplicate either of the recipes (they're both long!), but I will tell you how I assembled the bread pudding. I did make some changes to the bread pudding recipe, and the whiskey sauce recipe, and I'll note those here, too.
So the king cake sat out for a couple of days. I sprayed a 9x13 glass pan with cooking spray and broke the King cake up into manageable pieces.
After that, I made the milk mix. The recipe from Raised on a Roux calls for:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 C half-and-half
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 C sugar
- 2 t cinnamon
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
I let that sit for about an hour, until the bread had soaked up almost all of the milk and then baked it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. It came out perfectly.
Another change I made: I didn't make the traditional king cake glaze that the bread pudding recipe called for. I felt like having THAT plus the whiskey sauce was a little overkill. So I made the whiskey sauce out of powdered sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. I don't have exact measurements, but I probably used 2 tablespoons of butter, twice that much milk, a couple of cups of powdered sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. I just mixed it all together until it looked like...bread pudding sauce (thick, but able to be poured). I took out about a fourth of this (for those who don't care for whiskey in their sauce, the weirdos), and then added whiskey to the larger portion (again, no measurements, but probably a couple of shots of whiskey). I drizzled that over the warm bread pudding and then sprinkled sugar that I had colored purple, green, and gold (those are the colors of Mardi Gras after all). The end result was delicious!
The only two things I think I would do differently next time is add more cinnamon and use regular milk instead of half-and-half (just for the sake of saving some calories and fat!). And instead of putting the cinnamon in the milk mixture, I would just sprinkle it liberally over the king cake before adding the milk. Lots of it. And maybe a little nutmeg, too!
This was so good. SO good. I can't wait to make it again. BUT, the next thing I'm going to do is make the king cake again...and fill it and glaze it just like it's supposed to be made. Because when we broke up the king cake to put the bread pudding together, we munched on a few pieces and it was amazing. I'm so happy to have found a king cake recipe that is ridiculously delicious.