hard apple cider bread pudding with fireball sauce

Recently I went to O’Charley’s Restaurant and they had a new drink specials menu that had pairings of of beers and ciders along with shots. One jumped out at me, Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider with a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Yes, please. It is a fabulous combo and that same night I picked up some of both at the store so I could have it at home. A few days later a thought popped into my head to use this new combo to make some homemade bread pudding with hard sauce. What a great thought it was! I concocted the new recipe this past weekend and it is to die for!

Fireball cinnamon whisky and Angry Orchard hard cider

My inspiration for this bread pudding recipe, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Angry Orchard Hard Cider in Crisp Apple. Even if you are not making this bread pudding recipe I encourage you to try this combo to drink regardless.

hard cider apple bread pudding with cinnamon whisky ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic for a bread pudding with the addition of sliced apple though. The choice of bread is yours. Take a look at your bakery to see what is available. Mine had this double loaf of French bread (12 ounces total) which was perfect for me. Italian bread or a mild sourdough also make for a good bread pudding I think.

cubes of bread

Slice your bread into cubes. If it is still pretty moist you can always put it in a low oven for a bit, after cubing, to dry it out a bit more.

mix bread pudding custard

Mix up the custard in a large bowl. I like to whisk it for a minute or so to get it all combined well and let the sugar dissolve a bit before I add the bread cubes.

soak bread cubes in custard

Add your bread to the large bowl with the custard mix. Use a wooden spoon to toss it gently but thoroughly and press the bread down a bit with the spoon too. You want to get all of the bread wet. Let it sit for about 20 minutes or so at least and toss it a few times during that.

layer bread into casserole

Smear the butter on the sides and bottom of your baking dish. You can use cooking spray, but I think the butter adds to the dish. Now spoon out about half of the soaked bread into the casserole.

thinly sliced apples

You only need a small apple for this. Peel it and slice it really thin. I actually used my OXO hand slicer for this – it is one of my favorite kitchen tools. You want the apple thin so that it cooks thoroughly.

layer apples in bread pudding

Now layer half of those apple slices over the soaked bread cubes. Then add the rest of the soaked bread cubes. Now slowly pour the rest of the custard mix into the dish as well. Use your wooden spoon again to smush the bread down into the custard. It will not all be covered, but that is okay.

sprinkle bread pudding with sugar and cinnamon

Layer the rest of the apples slices on top and then sprinkle with just a bit of sugar and cinnamon.

bread pudding

Bake the bread pudding for about 45-60 minutes. How long it takes depends on the amount of moisture in your bread before you start and the type of bread. Just insert a knife in the center to test for doneness – when it comes out clean it is ready. Let the pudding rest at least 15 minutes before you serve so it sets up fully. The bits of bread that were poking out the top will be a bit crunchy and the bottom part nice and soft. I love having the mix of texture in bread pudding like this.

make caramel sauce

Wait to make the sauce right before you are ready to serve. Boil the sugar and water and then remove and add the butter and cream cheese and then finally stir in the milk and the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.

hard apple cider bread pudding with cinnamon whisky sauce


Scoop out some of the bread pudding onto a plate or bowl and spoon the cinnamon whisky sauce over the top.

hard apple cider bread pudding with cinnamon whisky sauce

That’s it! Bread pudding really is not hard to make. It is not something I eat all the time because it does have lots of fat, calories, and carbs but once or twice a year I suffer through that and enjoy my bread pudding.

Do you plan on trying this recipe? What changes, if any, would you make?



Hard Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Whisky Sauce

Serves 8-10
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Website Robyns.World


Bread Pudding

  • 12oz day old French bread
  • 1/4 cup hard apple cide - I use Angry Orchard Hard Cider Crisp Apple
  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 1 Small apple
  • 1 sprinkle sugar
  • 1 sprinkle ground cinnamon


  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Fireball cinnamon whisky
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk


Bread Pudding
Cut bread into cubes. If your bread is a little too fresh still you can put the cubes on a baking sheet and dry out a bit more on a low oven for 10-15 minutes or so, just keep an eye on it. In a large bowl combine cider, milk, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk well. Now add the cubed bread and stir and smash a bit, with a wooden spoon, to coat all the bread with liquid. Set aside and let rest for at least 20 minutes, tossing a few times while it sits. Smear butter over the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish (or use butter flavored spray). Peel apple and slice very thinly. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread half of the soaked bread cubes into the baking dish. Now spread 1/2 of the sliced apple over the top. Then top with the rest of the bread cubes and slowly pour in the rest of the liquid from the bowl as well. Layer the remainder of the apple slices on top. Sprinkle (optional) with a bit of ground cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350° F or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
Combine sugar and water is a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Now stop stirring and let cook another 15 minutes or so until it becomes golden. Remove from the heat and whisk in in the butter and cream cheese until incorporated. Now stir in the Fireball cinnamon whisky and milk. Spoon over portions of bread pudding.

Hard Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Whisky Sauce Recipe