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Vegan Bread Pudding with Cardamom and Pears

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Bread pudding is such a classic comfort…so I’m giving it a bit of a glow up with fragrant cardamom, delicate pears and crunchy walnuts. This vegan bread pudding is totally dairy free and super satisfying because it’s made with sprouted grain bread which makes it high in filling fibre and plant-based protein. The perfect dessert for a chilly day – or maybe even brunch! 

You are in for a real treat…this decadent vegan bread pudding is a cozy and comforting dessert that will fill your kitchen with the most intoxicating scent as it bakes. Honestly, I should probably apologize in advance because it smells so good that it is really hard to wait until it’s time to eat!

Savoury bread pudding used to be one of my go-to special occasion mains but I don’t actually cook sweet bread puddings all that much – so I thought it would be fun to partner once again with my friends at Silver Hills Bakery to create this nutrient-dense and comforting dessert. Bread pudding is about as classic as it gets: it actually dates back to the 11th century Europe, where it originated as a way to make use of stale scraps of bread. It’s also super versatile, making it a great back pocket recipe for using up whatever fruit, nuts or flavourings are on hand.

How to make a Vegan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is really quite simple: some bread, a few add-ins and a custard. Once you have the basics down, the variations are literally endless! Of course, it’s the custard that can be tricky from a vegan perspective…because custards typically rely on eggs for thickening and texture. You can’t just add a bit of flax and hope for the best. For this vegan bread pudding, I’m starting with a creamy plant-based milk like oat or soy and then thickening it even further by boiling with cornstarch. It’s a super simple fix – no egg replacers necessary!

When it comes to comfort food, I find that using filling ingredients really ups the comfort factor. This recipe features Silver Hills Bakery’s brand new protein + fibre-rich Oat So Lovely Sprouted Grain bread to create a filling and nutrient-dense treat. Sprouted grain breads are made without flour, and sprouting helps improve digestibility of the plant-based minerals found in whole grain wheat.

Oat So Lovely is high in energizing B vitamins as well as selenium, manganese and copper. Two slices even contain 9% of your daily intake of zinc, which is an important mineral for gut health and immunity. Right now you can find Oat So Lovely at Costco locations in NW Canada, but more of you will be able to try it January 2020! If you need a swap, The Big 16 works beautifully too…as would any of their other loaves.

More Healthy Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

Vegan Bread Pudding with Cardamom and Pears

Filling, flavourful and oh so comforting, this vegan bread pudding is really simple to prepare and endlessly adaptable. Perfect for a chilly day, whether for dessert, afternoon coffee or brunch!

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time50 mins

Total Time1 hr 10 mins

Course: Breakfast, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: bread pudding, cardamom, pear, sprouted grain

Dietary Preference: dairy free, egg free, vegan, vegetarian
Author: Desiree Nielsen, RD

Ingredients

  • 6 slices Silver Hills Oat So Lovely Sprouted Grain Bread or another sprouted grain variety
  • 3 cups unsweetened oat milk or soy milk  vanilla is nice here if you have it
  • cup pure maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 apple or firm pear peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ cup pecan or walnut pieces 

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and place a sheet of aluminum foil on the oven rack to catch any drips as the bread pudding cooks.

  • Grease a 8 inch round baking dish and cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom. 

  • Cut each slice of bread into 1 inch (2.5cm) cubes. Layer half the bread, half the pear, half the walnuts into the baking dish, repeating with remaining ingredients. Set aside.

  • Whisk together oat milk, cornstarch, vanilla, cardamom salt and maple syrup in a small pan until smooth. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Let boil gently for ten minutes, whisking frequently, to thicken and infuse milk. 

  • If you need to, lower the heat so it doesn’t bubble over or scald. The custard will coat the back of a spoon nicely when you’re done. 

  • Evenly pour the custard over the bread and gently press bread into the custard so every piece gets soaked.

  • Sprinkle a bit more cardamom on top, then carefully place in oven (it will be hot!). Bake for 45-50 minutes until bread tops are golden and the custard is thick and bubbling at the edges.

  • Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm or room temperature with a little scoop of cashew ice cream if you like!

Notes

This is a really adaptable recipe!! Try a few of these fun variations:
Ginger: add 1/3 cup diced crystalized ginger, swap 1 tsp cinnamon for the cardamom, and chopped macadamia nuts for pecans
Cinnamon Bun: swap cinnamon for cardamom, add ¼ cup raisins
Dark Chocolate: Whisk ½ cup of dark chocolate chips into custard in last two minutes of cooking.

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