Improv Challenge: Oatmeal Raisin Bread Pudding

Confession: I don’t like raisins. I never have. I’ve always thought they were gross. Initially I planned on skipping the challenge for this month so I could avoid making anything with raisins. But, Tom asked me what I was making for this challenge. I told him I wasn’t participating because of the raisin issue and he asked that if he came up with something creative enough, if I would make it.

I can’t turn down a challenge. I mean, look at me. I participate in bi-weekly recipe swaps and participate in this challenge and the Secret Recipe Club on a monthly basis. What is this challenge you ask? This is the Improv Challenge. Kristin, our awesome host, has come up with two ingredients for each month. We have pretty much free reign to do whatever we want with those ingredients, they just must be part of a recipe that is new to our blog. Then, we all share them on the third Thursday of each month. Cool, huh?

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, Tom was able to come up with something creative enough. It didn’t take him very long to tell me that he wanted me to make oatmeal raisin bread pudding. I gladly accepted the challenge and then he threw in the little caveat that I also needed to make the oatmeal raisin bread from scratch as well. Fine then, dear husband, I shall meet your challenge!

Oatmeal Raisin Bread Pudding
Source: A Sweet Fantasy
Servings: 8-10
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Oatmeal Raisin Bread Ingredients:

    • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
    • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup raisins 

Bread Directions:
1. Stir the buttermilk and old-fashioned oats together in a bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 8×4 loaf pan and then dust with flour.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
4. Add the butter, eggs, sugar and raisins to the oat mixture and stir until combined. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top.
6. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cinnamon Custard Ingredients:

    • 4 eggs
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup raisins

Custard Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spray a 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the custard ingredients and whisk until smooth.
3. Cut the cooled oatmeal raisin bread into 1 inch cubes.
4. Layer half of the bread cubes in the baking dish. Pour half of the custard mixture over the bread. Use a fork to press the bread down into the custard. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of raisins over the mixture. Repeat with the remaining bread and custard. Top with another 1/4 cup of raisins.
5. Create a water bath by placing the 8×8 dish into a larger dish and filling it with water until it reaches halfway up the 8×8 dish.
6. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Toffee Sauce Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp. vanilla 

Toffee Sauce Directions:
1. Combine brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted. Add the cream and vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture has slightly thickened.
2. Serve oatmeal raisin bread pudding with 1-2 tbsp. of toffee sauce drizzled on top.

Pull on your sweatpants and kiss your diet and waistline good-bye. I refuse to even enter this into MyFitnessPal because I’m pretty sure it has the same amount of calories as a Five Guys Burger. But, like all things super unhealthy for you, this is so tasty. There is just a bit of crunch from the top of the bread that didn’t get soaked in the whipping cream. Then there is this melt-in-your mouth middle and bottom layer of bread, raisins and general unhealthiness. So of course, you must top it off with a drizzle (or two. or three) or a melted butter brown sugar concoction that could probably put someone into a diabetic coma.

While I’m still not a fan of raisins, I have to admit, when baked into bread and then baked again into whipping cream-sugar goodness, they aren’t so bad.


  1. Ahhh, I'm a sucker for any type of bread pudding. And my confession is even though I love most dried fruit, I'm not a big raisin fan (but I don't mind the golden raisins.) But I look forward to making this, raisins and all!

  2. Beautiful! Nothing like a good bread pudding!

  3. What a helpful husband! The only way mine helps in my cooking endeavors is by eating the results! This looks really yummy; great choice for the improv challenge.

  4. What a great idea by doing oatmeal raisin bread for this! I'm not a raisin fan either and only eat it in Raisin bran which is probably a really weird choice to eat it in!

  5. Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts. I love this! 🙂

  6. WOW! This looks absolutely amazing. I'm not a fan of raisins either, but I certainly think I could tolerate them in this dessert. Especially drizzled in that toffee sauce 🙂

  7. Oh, you went ALL out for this challenge and the results are amazing! What a fantastic bread pudding!

  8. My Mom makes yummy bread pudding. She is one of those toss and taste as she goes cooks.

    I have never thought about soaking oatmeal to use in bread pudding. It sounds hearty.

  9. I love bread pudding … yours look luscious!

  10. Kudos to your husband for coming up with a sensational dessert idea! Bread pudding is one of my ultimate comfort foods.

  11. Yum! we love bread pudding and this looks like a winner.

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