Warm and Inviting Cinnamon Cranberry Bread Pudding with Apples

Cranberry bread pudding with apples. It seems so decadent! It might be hard to imagine (yes, I am a mind reader, you are saying, “This can’t be healthy”), but this bread pudding recipe with sauce, a traditional classic comfort food, is healthy. If you are a bread pudding fan, this recipe is for you.

It is so simple to make and a true fail-proof dessert. Or is it for breakfast? If you ask me, this cinnamon cranberry bread pudding with apples can be eaten anytime and any way you want. So if you find yourself asking, “Is bread pudding a dessert?” Wikipedia will tell you yes. But I say, go for it any time of day.

Ingredients for healthier bread pudding

Greek Yogurt - This is a great way to add healthy high-protein into the custard. It keeps the pudding moist without all the fat and calories of adding cream.

Eggs - Eggs are the main thickener in most custards. Both egg yolks and whites contain protein that helps firm up the bread pudding when baked.

Unsweetened Applesauce - An easy swap for oil and sugar. You could also try mashing a banana.

Multi-Grain Bread - Using whole-grain bread was a suggestion from one of my clients. I had been planning to use sourdough bread, but this worked out great.

Simple ingredients for bread pudding with apples and cranberries

How to make cranberry apple bread pudding

You will be shocked at how easy it is to make. You might even make it again and again.

Mix the bread and custard in a bowl and then add the remaining ingredients. Put it in the fridge to let the custard totally soak into the bread. Yep, bread pudding does have to be refrigerated. Let it soak for at least an hour. Overnight if you would like. Isn’t that wonderful? This can be a make-ahead breakfast or dessert.

Once the custard is soaked. Bake in the oven.

Bread pudding for the holidays

When I think of bread pudding, I immediately smell cinnamon, and the thought of family gathering, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company comes to mind. It’s nice to have recipes that give the feeling of family and coziness.

Sure, you could make cinnamon toast for everyone, but why not make something that sounds old-school traditional? Like bread pudding.

The holidays are a great time to make this recipe. After Thanksgiving, you have a lot of leftover bread that you’re wondering what to do with. Bread pudding is a fantastic option. Christmas time is also a nice time to make this when you want to fill your house with the smell of full warm baked goods.

Bread Pudding for Every Occasion

I just learned of the Mexican version of bread pudding that is made for Lent. It’s called Capirotada Mexicana, and it typically includes ingredients such as toasted bread, cheese, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), cloves, and cinnamon. Some recipes might also include raisins, nuts, and other fruits.

I’d like to try making it soon, but I think that this recipe can also become a Lent tradition or even be made over Easter weekend.

Bread pudding isn’t just for one holiday.

Can you freeze bread pudding?

You can! If you haven’t baked it yet, just wrap it in foil and place it in the freezer. Pull it out whenever you’re ready for a warm treat. You can bake it off straight from frozen, allowing some extra time to the usual baking period.

As long as you have not poured any sauce over it yet, you can also freeze fully baked bread pudding. It keeps best for about a month. When you are ready, thaw in the refrigerator then reheat in a warm oven (rather than a microwave) to maintain the best texture.

If you have tried this recipe, take a moment to give this recipe a star rating and comment to let me know how you liked it. I would love hearing from you.

Mealtime conversation starters

Five smiling cartoon vegetables used as an icon for conversation topics for friends.

Want to make this recipe even more delicious? Add a bit of talk with it.

As humans, we can not deny our need to create connections with others. A few words can change the outlook on an entire day.

This is a question we recently discussed with the health coaches who write for Balancedhealthstyles.com. I feel we could have talked for hours about this ONE question. Hopefully your conversation goes well too.

QUESTION: What is one thing you learned this year that you never knew before?

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Simple recipe for bread pudding with apples and cranberries
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4.88 from 8 votes

Cinnamon Cranberry Bread Pudding with Apples

Bread pudding with apples and cranberries is so simple to make and a true fail-proof dessert.  Or is it for breakfast? You decide!
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 254
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American

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  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • cup milk sub: non-dairy milks work just as well
  • ¼ cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 loaf multigrain bread cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium apples skin on, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • ½ cup pecans chopped (optional)


  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • ¾ cup vanilla greek yogurt


  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, ¼ cup greek yogurt, applesauce,vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Fold in the bread cubes, apples, dried cranberries and optionally chopped pecans, until thoroughly coated.
  • Lightly spray a 9 x 12 inch oven safe baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer all the ingredients to the baking dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, until custard is thoroughly soaked in. [I like to leave it overnight.]
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread pudding for about 45-55 minutes. The pudding should be set when the bread begins to turn golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.
  • Cut into 12 3"x3" pieces, Drizzle with maple syrup or a mixture of 3 tsp maple syrup and ¾ greek yogurt [sweet to your taste] just before serving.



To add more protein: When making the bread pudding, you can add 3 scoops of your favorite vanilla flavored protein powder to the milk in the recipe, or a scoop to the greek yogurt for the serving sauce (you may need to add a bit of milk to thin to a pouring consistency). Added protein is not included in the nutrition information.
For more sweetness:  Try adding a mashed banana to the custard.

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Cranberry Bread Pudding with Apples
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Palm: .25
Fist: 0
Handful: 1.5
Thumb: .5

Hand Portions

Tracking macros, which involves logging the nutritional values of your meals, is a method many people use to reach their health goals and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Using the hand portion size method to gauge your food portion for this recipe is a great way to know how much to dish up on your plate. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.

Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Michelle Johnson Jerome is an expert on busting through perfectionism. She is passionate about helping others live life with purpose and joy. By drawing on her extensive experience as a nutrition coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor she helps develop a realistic approach to goal setting that allows you to make progress and stop obsessing over mistakes.

Find other articles written by Michelle on her coach profile. Discover your "easy button": learn how to manage life's unpleasant parts so you can move forward, reach your goals, and live your best life.