Hi y'all!

Welcome to my little Louisiana lifestyle blog.

This site celebrates the delicious food, southern style + the colorful culture of "my" Louisiana. 

My husband and I met + fell in love in New Orleans, but now we live in a 1800s historical home in Lake Charles, LA. In case you're wondering where that is, it's in the heel of the boot ;) 

New Orleans, family, food, travel, photography, writing, Game of Thrones, cats and scarves are just a few things I'm obsessed with. 

I hope you enjoy your stay + you come back now, ya hear! 

Simple King Cake Bread Pudding (aka Mardi Gras Magic!)

Simple King Cake Bread Pudding (aka Mardi Gras Magic!)

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I'm not one of those people who keeps a good recipe a secret, and let's be honest, not much is a secret these days now that you can Google a recipe for PRETTY much anything. Even though that's the case, sharing a good recipe--whether I've made my own twist to it or not--truly brings me joy. 

Like most recipes these days, I can't claim it to be an original. However, I can claim to have made a dozens of little tweaks to this recipe through the years in order to make it, IMO, the best version possible. 

A brief history: I was studying abroad in Oxford, England my junior year at college, and I asked my mom to send me a basic bread pudding recipe because me and my fellow LSU suite mate were hosting a "Louisiana Night" at our dorm. My suite mate was responsible for the gumbo, and I was responsible for dessert.

Since bread pudding is a traditional dessert in both Louisiana and England, I thought it was a perfect fit. We can't remember where she found it (out of a magazine like Southern Living most likely), but when I saw how simple the recipe was, it was love at first sight. Needless to say, it was an immediate hit and instantly became my go-to dessert recipe! 

Simplicity is key for me, and the ingredient list and prep + cook time is the indicator on whether or not it gets made in my kitchen 99% of the time. When I make something particularly delicious, my husband likes to think that I've been cooking all day, whipping up something from scratch from our imaginary garden and sweating over the stove...so I let him think that;) 

So let me tell you about my KCBP story. Back in 2013, I was stalking the #kingcake feed on Instagram (normal, right?) and came across a pic from @tattooedgothqueen that changed everything: KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING. 

I'm sorry...did you just say KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING?!
(This should be your response.)

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My mind started doing cartwheels, and plans began immediately. Those plans included making a quick trip to Winn Dixie to pick up a large plain king cake, and that's it because the rest of the ingredients were already in my kitchen. Don't you love it when that happens?!

Since my friends and I were getting together for the Super Bowl, I figured it was the perfect time to try it out using my tried & true 10 year old bread pudding recipe. 

People in Louisiana are crazy about their King Cake. Even though we have 2 months every single year where we can buy an unlimited amount of king cake, we still act like it's the last time we'll ever get to taste it again. Every. Single. Year. 

In fact, we are so obsessed with king cake, that we start thinking up different concoctions--new ways to devour it. Check out my Top 10 King Cake Spin-Off Concoctions post here. You can also check out my all-time favorite king cake here. Here's an important tip: don't use a king cake that costs over $15 for this recipe; just buy a plain one at the grocery store for $7-$10. You're going to soak it in all kinds of goodness, so you don't need anything fancy.

OK, here's what you'll need:

  • One large dry* king cake (for a 9x12 pan) or two medium-sized king cakes (for a 10x13 pan) 
    {for regular bread pudding, I use 1-2 French bread loaves or croissants.}
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups of milk (I prefer 2%)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use just enough to sprinkle them on top. You can also add whatever topping you prefer, like chopped pecans or white chocolate chips.)
  • Purple, green and yellow sanding sugar (optional.) 
    {I ordered my sprinkles on Amazon (see below for links) because my local grocer doesn't carry them.}
  • One plastic baby (should come with the king cake)

Instructions:

  • *Cut the king cake into slices and leave open all night. This will dry it out and make it hard, which makes it easier for the bread to soak up the mixture. 
  • Cut the slices in half to make cubes of bread and toss with melted butter inside the 9" by 11" pan.
  • Let stand until bread soaks up most of the butter (at least 30 minutes).
  • In a separate mixing bowl, lightly blend eggs together first.
  • Then add milk, sugar, nutmeg & cinnamon and blend into the eggs.
  • Pour liquid mixture over bread into pan and let stand until bread puffs (I have found the longer it stands, the better it is, but I'd say 2 hours max before putting into oven.)
  • Add chocolate chips on top, evenly. Again, make sure the bread cubes have soaked up most of the mixture; at this time I may add additional cubes of bread if needed to soak up liquid mixture.
  • If I don't have extra sanding sugar on hand, I try to arrange the cake cubes that have the sanding sugar on top to maximize the colors.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for one hour or until firm.
  • Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Hide the baby.
  • Enjoy heaven (and your future sugar coma!)
PREP.jpeg
Pre-baked and about to go in the oven! 

Pre-baked and about to go in the oven! 

The finished product...KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING!

The finished product...KING CAKE BREAD PUDDING!

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #SMYNRECIPES. I'd love to see what you cook!

Insider's Mardi Gras Guide: Everything you really need to know for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Insider's Mardi Gras Guide: Everything you really need to know for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

My Favorite King Cake in Nola!

My Favorite King Cake in Nola!

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