Cranberry-Almond Bread Pudding

The Inspiration: A loaf of leftover challah from Shabbat, and a freezing cold day.

I live in a co-op building, and one day this past week they shut off the heat for an entire day to repair the boiler. It was raining, cold, and altogether dreary. I was desperate to bake something to warm my house, but couldn’t decide what.  I found a whole challah leftover from Shabbat, and nothing warms up a house faster than bread pudding. It’s easy to make, bakes pretty quickly, and is delicious right out of the oven.

The Innovation: Using oil instead of margarine to brown the bread.

I hear so much about how margarine is not good for you. Even if it is trans-fat free, there are much healthier alternatives. I wanted to see if I used oil if I would get the same result I do with margarine. I love bread pudding with a gorgeous, toasty crust and a soft center. Finding a bit of cottonseed oil in my cabinet, I got to work.

My interpretation: Cranberry-Almond Bread Pudding:


I was very pleased with the result – a delicious bread pudding with a crispy, nutty top that is not too sweet, a soft, light center, and none of the greasy mouth-feel that margarine can sometimes leave behind.


6 cups of challah, cut into large cubes (I used water challah, but you can also use egg challah, but leave it to dry first)

1/3 C cottonseed or other light-tasting oil suitable for baking

2 C vanilla flavored almond milk

1 and 1/2 C sugar, plus a 1/4 C for sprinkling

2 capfuls of best quality vanilla extract 

Generous pinch of salt

9 meduim eggs

5 oz dried cranberries

3 oz slivered almonds

Heat a large pot, adding the challah then the oil. Stir repeatedly, to ensure all the bread is well-coated, and lower flame so it will gently toast. Take care not to over-brown; stir til bread is a light golden brown, then turn off flame. Do not remove pot from burner.

Prepare the rest of your ingredients except the slivered almonds in a separate container, whisk well to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the challah, fold gently to combine well and pour into a oven-safe casserole dish or oven-to-tableware.

Sprinkle the slivered almonds and the sugar on top. Bake in oven at 350F for about 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out hot and clean. Leave sit in oven til mostly cooled for best result.




  1. I nneed to start appreciating bread pudding. I think this is the recipe to do it 🙂

  2. cozy and good looking!

  3. I like any kind of bread pudding. Goodie to warm you up for sure. But I have to ask: how do you wind up with leftover challah! I never have a morsel left over. Btw, does Earth Balance have trans fats? I use it a lot.

  4. I never make bread pudding, our challah always turns into french toast. this looks yummy, though, I may have to try bread pudding next time. if we’re trying to be healthier, I’d stay away from cottonseed oil, too. it’s full of pesticides since it’s not produced as food (cotton) and there’s no regulations. if you want a flavorless oil, try grapeseed or safflower oil instead

  5. I love bread pudding. It reminds me of a once forgotten family dinner.

  6. What a great way to use the leftover Challah!

  7. I love the idea of non dairy bread pudding, sounds amazing!

  8. I must try this. I can smell the heavenly smell through the computer just from your photo!

  9. i know how you feel! our heat broke on the coldest day of the winter and we had to hang out in the kitchen! i put baby in the high chair and started baking so we could both warm up!

  10. oh my gosh this sounds so amazing! I love using almond milk in everything, but have never tried using it with bread pudding! looks like it definitely works!

  11. Bread Pudding is the perfect way to warm up the kitchen. This sounds delicious, good to know that the oil works in place of margarine.

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