Chunky Monkey Bread Pudding

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Season: Fall, Winter
Dosha: Pitta, Vata

It’s often that a loaf of bread in our house goes just a bit stale before we get to eat the very last little nubbin. So, I stick it in the freezer for occasions when bread pudding for breakfast is a welcome treat. After a few weeks, we have plenty of nubbins to thaw, toast and toss into this quick-but-impressive dish that is certainly more fun than eating toast, serves a crowd easily and decadently and won’t require you to spend much time in the kitchen. Did I mention that it’s free of refined processed sugar? That too.

Feel free to bump up or down the “mix ins” here – the bananas, nuts, unsweetened chocolate and coconut that add texture. If you’re a chocolate fiend, add away. And if the idea of adding chocolate to your breakfast gives you the creeps, well, were we even friends in the first place? (Just kidding.)

Recipe Notes

  • On chocolate: I use an unsweetened chocolate here, because I love the bitter flavor and don’t miss the sugar. If you wish to add another chocolate by all means do so.
  • Bread: you definitely want day-old bread for this recipe – it will absorb the custard much better and make for a nicer baked texture.
  • Timing: if you have the time and space to prepare this bread pudding the night before you want to enjoy it, I recommend doing so. Allowing the bread to sit in the custard overnight will help it all bubble up better, and allow the bread to properly absorb the custard. If you’re in a rush, you can also toss everything together and bake right away. I promise it will still be toasty and delicious.

Flavor Notes

Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has four of six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.

  • SWEET: bread, eggs, milk, coconut, banana, nuts, vanilla
  • SALTY: sea salt
  • SOUR: N/A
  • BITTER: chocolate
  • PUNGENT: ground cinnamon

Chunky Monkey Bread Pudding

makes 6 servings


Active Time: 30 minutes


Serves: servings


  • 4 cups day-old bread, (sliced into 1" cubes )
  • 3 cups whole fat milk (dairy preferred, or almond or coconut)
  • 2 Tbsp ghee (plus more to grease the pan)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs (whisked)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 ripe bananas (sliced into chunks)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (unsweetened or 75% dark)
  • 4 large dates (pitted and chopped roughly)
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar


  • 1Toast your bread

    Preheat oven to 300℉. Spread the bread chunks on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through and reducing oven temperature if bread is getting too golden, until pieces are very dry and slightly toasted, 25–35 minutes. Allow them to cool, then transfer to a large bowl.

    (Dry bread will absorb the custard without disintegrating, which is why this step is so important. You can do this step up to two days in advance if the toasted bread is stored in an airtight container).

  • 2Whisk your wet

    Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, ghee, cinnamon, maple and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until incorporated. DO NOT BOIL! Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. When the mixture is body temperature (a finger poked into the milk should feel just warm), using an immersion blender or whisk, mix in the eggs until there are no egg streaks. Set aside.

  • 3Prep your pan

    Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with coconut oil (or grease with ghee). Add the toasted bread, nuts, banana, coconut, chocolate chips and dates – stir to combine a bit. Pour the milk and egg mixture over and toss to coat.

    **If you have time, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours and up to 12; this gives bread time to evenly soak up custard and will make the dish extra decadent.

  • 4Bake your pudding

    Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the center of the oven.

    Sprinkle the bread pudding with turbinado sugar. Bake the bread pudding until lightly golden, set and fragrant, about 30–40 minutes. Serve immediately with full-fat yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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