Do the ’wave! Fast & easy blueberry bread pudding

pudding

Ah, fast and easy – two of my favorite words!

Especially in the heart of summer, when there are a million things to do outside.

Like mow the lawn, take a bike ride, or simply sit on the deck with a cold drink and some homemade salsa and chips.

And then, there’s berry picking. This is the time of year when raspberries and blueberries and blackberries, some growing wild, some at the local farm, await my arrival, bowl in hand.

All I need is time – a limited commodity. In order to spend more time outdoors, I spend less in the kitchen – not an unhappy prospect, given the weeks of temperatures in the 90s we’ve experienced this summer.

Still, I can’t give up on dessert. “Sweet nothings” in my house have more to do with easy desserts, than with anything whispered in my ear.

And the fastest, easiest dessert I’ve come up with this summer is this simple Fast & Easy Blueberry Bread Pudding, cooked in the microwave.

MICROWAVE, you say? Absolutely. Read on…

Let’s start with a 1/2” slice of soft sandwich bread. Our Classic Sandwich Bread is, well… classic!

Butter the bread, and sprinkle it with cinnamon-sugar.

Cut the bread into bite-sized cubes – 1/2” to 3/4” is good.

Next, mix the following in a measuring cup or small bowl:

1 large egg
1/3 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar; use the greater amount of sugar if your blueberries are tart

Layer the buttered bread with the berries in a microwave-safe bowl. Pick a bowl large enough to leave room for expansion.

Frankly, this bowl wasn’t QUITE big enough. You’ll see why in a minute.

Pour the milk mixture over the bread and berries.

Hmmm, looking kind of full. As you can see at the bottom, some of the milk has already overflowed.

Well, let’s see this through to the end.

Microwave the pudding for 2 minutes, uncovered. At what power? Not sure; our microwave only seems to have one level. But 2 minutes should be safe to start.

Whoops! Lucky I planned ahead and set the dish onto a plate to catch any spills.

Check and see if the pudding is still liquid. If it is, microwave in 30-second bursts, till pudding is cooked all the way to the center; the very center can still look a bit uncooked, but it shouldn’t be liquid.

Remove from the microwave. Yup, this dish was definitely too small.

This is what you call a “rustic” presentation. Rustic is a great all-purpose adjective for when things get a little messy.

Garnish with fresh berries, if desired. Serve warm; whipped cream or ice cream are always welcome.

Can you make this with raspberries and oatmeal bread? How about chopped peaches and whole wheat? Can you NOT spread the bread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar?

Yes, yes, and yes.

This recipe is nothing if not versatile – it’s as much technique and inspiration as anything else. Go wherever your imagination takes you…

A few comments: If you have time, pour the milk/egg over the bread and let it rest 10 to 15 minutes before microwaving. This will make a softer, “creamier” pudding.

Also, when you cook the berries in the pudding, they release their juice. Some testers liked this; some thought it looked messy. If you don’t want purple juice in your pudding, cook it without berries, then garnish with berries after it’s cooked.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Fast & Easy Blueberry Bread Pudding.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Barbara

    This looks fast and easy, are these directions for a single serving?

    That’s right, dessert for 1, in only 11 minutes. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne from NJ

    This looks scrumptious and EASY… what better combo for a lazy, hot summer day? Will it work in a larger bowl, say a 9 x 13? Or a couple of round or square cake pans? I need a dessert for my card club of 12 – 16 people. How should I adjust quantities and cooking time?

    This is for a single serving recipe. I think if you multiple itby 6 It will fill a 9″ pan (square or round) nicely. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  3. Kathleen

    I have some blueberries sitting in my refrigerator, and I think they’re going to find their way to this concoction tonight! Thanks.

    Reply
  4. Marcia

    The mind runs wild with possibilities — the first that popped into my head was what a wonderful alternative to traditional french toast for breakfast. Thanks for the “rustic” recipe ;-)

    Reply
  5. Lois

    This is so good, and no heating up the kitchen. For those that like bread pudding, this is a great summer treat; especially with all the fresh berries now!

    Reply
  6. Becky

    If you wanted to bake this in oven instead of using the microwave what temp and how long? Say using a ramekin.

    Start with a buttered baking dish. Then 325 until a knife through the center comes out clean. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  7. Yvonne VB

    I just read this recipe, went in the kitchen, & made it for my hubby. His words: That’s really good for something out of the microwave!! This will be a keeper!!

    Reply
  8. Wei Wei

    Sorry about that last comment! As I was saying, this looks absolutely amazing, and since vie seen a LOT of bread pudding around the inter webs lately, I think this is the perfect way to end my long, agonizing craving. Bookmarked, thanks!

    Wei Wei

    Reply
  9. Carol Press

    My husband grows blackberries and this recipe looks to be something he can do himself. I read the recipe over to make sure it is Arthur-proof (not King, my husband is also Arthur) and I see no measure for the berries. Rather than eyeball, I turn to you for help.

    Since the sugar only contributes flavor, not texture, we intend to use a sugar-substitute.

    I think a 1/4 cup of berries will do it. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  10. timmy

    I don’t have a microwave. Tell me how I can take a detour with an oven. Thanks in advance.

    Start with a buttered baking dish, bake at 325 until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  11. Helen Taylor

    Might this technique work also if all I have are frozen blueberries? Think I’ll give it a try and let you know!
    Yes you can use frozen berries for this recipe. JMD@KAF

    Reply
  12. lucyg22

    I love that you forge ahead and post the pictures when things don’t work out perfectly. (Doesn’t ANY other test kitchen have mishaps?) It’s very refreshing and also a great help to less-experienced cooks. While those beautiful pics of what the perfectly-executed dish is supposed to look like are nice, the “oops” versions are very instructive too!

    Reply
  13. Joy Dhar

    I made this yesterday. It made enough for 2 servings – for my 95 year old dad and myself. It was very good! We ate it hot from the microwave. I made it again and it tasted better at room temperature. I was heavy handed with the cinnamon and sugar and I let it sit before microwaving for 15 minutes. Excellent! We are calling this Emergency Bread Pudding. I am going to make this with peaches today. Thank you. Joy

    Reply
  14. Tory

    Love the idea of using this for breakfast! Our son will be commuting to college this year and I’m ALWAYS keeping an eye out for quick, healthy breakfasts. With whole grain bread, egg, and fresh fruit… this looks like a winner. (Guess we’ll have to give it a trial run with mixed berries tomorrow morning!)

    Reply
  15. AJ

    Thanks for something really great! The possibilities are endless.
    I made it with chunky applesauce, a few chopped dates and was in bread pudding heaven! I get cinnamon swirl bread for french toast and
    a slice of it with fruit on hand would be good. You could try a new combination every day.

    Reply
  16. Lyna

    Made this for breakfast with carrot bread and canned peaches since that’s what was available–a definite keeper! Will send link to the 20-something kids cooking for themselves.
    Side note–could your Search terms include “single-serve” or “cooking for 1 or 2″ categories? Even receipes for 4 servings can seem huge to a single person, some with limited or no freezer space for later meals.
    Thanks!
    Thank you for the suggestion-I will pass it along to our test kitchen. JMD@KAF

    Reply
  17. Deborah

    Oh my goodness, I am enjoying this treat right now!! Thank you for such an easy & delicious recipe. The possibilities are endless for this one :)

    Reply
  18. Lisa @ www.bakedinmaine.com

    This looks blueberry bread pudding looks absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait to try it! I just posted a healthy wild blueberry cake recipe on my blog if you LOVE the blues! Lisa @ http://www.bakedinmaine.com

    Thanks for the link, Lisa – looks fabulous. Where are you in Maine? Wondering if you’ve ever been to the Union Fair, as they have wonderful blueberry desserts of all kinds… I lived in Camden for 14 years. State o’ bliss… :) PJH

    Reply
  19. Rebecca

    I made this recipe using Hawaiian rolls that you get at the store (or with your Kentucky Fried Chicken meals that I had left over from the night before). I also put in mine, black berries, blueberries and a few sliced strawberries. This was very good! And quick and easy to make. I microwaved it for about 2.75 minutes, due to that it had more fruit in it which created a little bit more liquid as it cooked. Thanks for a great quick recipe for Bread Pudding which is one of my favorites. I make a White Chocolate Bread Pudding to die for, but this is fast and easy for a great breakfast.

    Reply
  20. Rebecca

    I tried making this blueberry bread pudding with Hawaiian dinner rolls – the kind you get with Kentucky Fried Chicken or you can purchase them at your grocery store. I spread on it Olive Oil (Light used for sauting and grilling), instead of butter and some Cinnamon Sugar. I also used blueberries, some blackberries and a few sliced strawberries. I microwaved mine for about 2.75 minutes due to that because I added more berries once they were cooking they created more juices. It was very good. I make a to-die-for White Chocolate Bread Pudding, but this was very good for a quick nutritious breakfast fast!

    Love your variations, Rebecca – thanks for sharing. PJH

    Reply

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