King Cake + Bread Pudding= Are you kidding me?

Nope. This really happened. When I was preparing for my recent Mardi Gras segment on THV11 This Morning, Hubby suggested that I really ought to make Pascal’s Manale Bread Pudding. You know the one? The recipe Hubby and Perfect Daughter managed to get Pascal’s Manale to fax to them. On Christmas Eve no less.

Yes, that one.

Now I like Bread Pudding a bunch. A whole bunch actually, but I really wanted to make this a Mardi Gras menu with a twist. You knew I would, right? 

I thought about ordering a King Cake from Sucre in New Orleans ’cause they’re just the best, I think. There again, you can walk into just about any local market or WalMart these days and find a King Cake. No twist.

So why not combine the two ala Paula Deen and her infamous Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. You remember that one, don’t you. Talk about a definite sugar overload. So I nixed the idea of actually making the Bread Pudding using a King Cake. I’m still intrigued by the idea and may go there some day just to see what results.

In the end I just decided to go with my standard Bread Pudding recipe made with stale brioche — rich enough on its own. Almost. I wanted a decadent custard, but I really didn’t want a whiskey-laced one such as Pascal’s. Foregoing that, I ramped up the vanilla by using some vanilla paste and homemade vanilla. So, so good, y’all.

After topping the pudding with a rich cream cheese – based frosting, I used Wilton decorator spray to top the it with traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green. While those were still slightly damp, I sprinkled colored sparkling sugars on their matching stripes.

Overall, I like the way the King Cake Bread Pudding turned out. I’m sure someone more skilled in cake decorating could have done a prettier job, but I was okay with the way it turned out. And the taste was absolutely “kingly.” At least the couple of bites I got were. The crew got the rest!

Something tells me it was a hit!

King Cake Bread Pudding

8 servings


  • 4 cups stale cubed brioche
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 each purple, gold green Wilton Color Mist food color spray
  • 1 each purple, gold, green sparkling sugar


  1. Spray a 3 -quart casserole with nonstick spray. Layer in the cubed brioche
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with granulated sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla extract and vanilla paste.
  3. Stir in butter and whipping cream and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour batter over bread cubes; weight with a plate if necessary to submerge the cubes.
  5. Place overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Bake at 375° for 50 to 55 minutes, shielding with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning.
  7. Let pudding stand 10 minutes before adding icing.
  1. Visually divide the pudding top into 3 sections. Spray 1 section green, 1 gold and 1 purple. Sprinkle with matching color of sparkling sugar while still wet.

Like I said.