Recipe: Cinnamon-Raisin Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

Cinnamon-raisin bread pudding. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Tea can be worked into so many delicious recipes! Cinnamon raisin swirl bread is beginning to appear in many local supermarkets this time of year, and it is delicious in bread pudding recipes, although you could use any kind of bread and just add the raisins and more cinnamon to the cream cheese filling.

This is a nice recipe for breakfast, although it can easily become a dessert with the addition of cream sauce, rum sauce, or vanilla ice cream … I developed it at my mom’s request, for her birthday breakfast in August.  It turned out well!

Cinnamon-raisin Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices cinnamon-raisin swirl bread
  • 1 package plain cream cheese
  • 3 cups milk, plus extra
  • 2 to 3 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black tea leaves, plain or spice flavored (or chai)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • coarse sugar crystals, for garnish
  • unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim the crusts off of the cinnamon-raisin bread, and place 4 slices in the bottom of the prepared dish. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of white sugar and a splash of milk until it is light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon. In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of milk to a gentle boil, add the tea leaves, and remove from the heat. Allow the tea to steep in the milk for 3 to 5 minutes, then strain the tea leaves out and allow the flavored milk to cool. While the milk is cooling, spread a generous tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture over each slice of bread in the baking dish. Top with 4 more slices of cinnamon-raisin bread. Beat 2 or 3 whole eggs in a bowl, and add the cooled milk and brown sugar. Mix well and pour over the bread and cream cheese in the dish, soaking every part of the bread. Add extra milk and an extra egg to the mixture as needed to cover the bread. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top, and place in the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and browned on top.

Serve this bread pudding for breakfast, with a cup of tea and fresh fruit, or for dessert with whipped cream, vanilla or rum raisin ice cream, or caramel or rum cream sauce!  It will be a perfect treat on a cool fall day!

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

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