At some point, I was watching Food Network as it played in the locker room of a gym I belonged to and Paula Deen was making Krispy Kreme bread pudding. My immediate reaction: eww. It didn't help when I saw how many donuts and how much cream went into the mix. I told myself I would never make a donut bread pudding.
But then, I saw a recipe in Women's Day for a Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. "Oh," I thought to myself. "So much easier. 3 ingredients. That's right 3." Paula Dean's recipe came to mind, perhaps because my local grocer puts out day (or two) old donuts for $0.99, ($0.50 for the 2-day old donuts). I just needed an occasion to present itself.
And then, two days later, one of my professors sent out an email about a party at his house, in honor of a visiting writer. Attendees were asked to bring a side dish, which I decided must mean dessert. It was the perfect opportunity to try making a bread pudding. When I went to the grocery store, they had the 2-day old donuts in a grab bag, so I wasn't even sure what I was getting. I also bought some instant French vanilla pudding.
When I got home, I found out I had: 1 glazed cinnamon roll, one maple covered long john style donut without filling, one vanilla covered vanilla icing filled long john, and one plain raised glazed donut. I thought to myself: "Sure, why not?" and went to work. The end result turned out well, if I do say so myself, and one of my professors even sought me out to ask me to send him the recipe--he was especially happy to learn how few ingredients it had (more than 3, less than any other donut bread pudding recipe I could find).
This recipe is also lower fat than the other donut bread pudding recipes. This is not actually a tested fact, just something I'm assuming since it doesn't use whole milk or cream, nor does it use additional eggs.
Simple Donut Bread Pudding
4 stale donuts (app. 3 ounces each)
1 3-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
1 ¾ cup 1% milk
¼ cup cold (or room temperature) coffee
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup chocolate chips, optional
Powdered sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350º F. Slice the donuts into thin slices and layer into an 8” square baking pan. Mix together the pudding, milk, coffee, and cinnamon and pour over the donuts. Press the donuts into the mixture. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, if using. Bake for 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving, or store in refrigerator and serve cold. Dust with powdered sugar, before serving, if desired.