Rudi Sodamin’s Bread Pudding Recipe

We received this plaintive cry for help and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to share a Rudi Sodamin recipe with you:

We have sailed on the Westerdam before and loved the trip and the bread pudding. I know I found the recipe on line before but can’t find it now. Could you tell me how to find it or e-mail it to me. I would be soo grateful.


Here’s the recipe for Classic Bread-and-Butter Pudding from Rudi’s “A Taste of Excellence” cookbook:

1.5 pounds good-quality day-old sliced white bread, crust trimmed and slices cut into cubes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 quart whole milk
6 eggs, beaten
3 egg yolks, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins
confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Try soaking the raisins in a little rum or cognac for 30 minutes before adding them. Or instead of raisins, substitute dried cherries or chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter 8 12-ounce ramekins or a 9×13-inch baking dish. Have on hand a roasting pan large enough to hold the ramekins or baking dish, and line it with a folded kitchen towel.

Place bread cubes in a bowl. Drizzle and toss with the melted butter. Spread out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring once, until lightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Custard sauce: In a saucepan, bring milk to simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until blended. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Stir in vanilla.

Divide half the bread cubes among prepared ramekins or layer in prepared baking dish. Top with half the raisins. Cover with remaining bread cubes and raisins. Ladle custard evenly over bread cubes and raisins. Let stand until some custard is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Bring a large kettle of water to boil. Place ramekins or baking dish in roasting pan and transfer to oven. Add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of ramekins or baking dish. Bake pudding in over for 45 minutes or until puffed and just set. Carefully remove roasting pan from oven and remove cooking dish(es). Let cool slightly and serve while still warm, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.

You may also sweeten up this classic version with sauces such as your favorite vanilla custard, chocolate sauce or the whiskey sauce from Rudi’s popular twist on traditional bread pudding, “Chocolate and Raisin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce” featured in the related post below. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Vanilla Custard Recipe

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
1 tablespoon dark rum.

In a large bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch; whisk until light in color and well blended. Set aside.

In a heavy, medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over medium heat. As it heats, use a blunt-ended knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and then add the whole bean, too.

As soon as the milk mixture simmers, remove the vanilla bean. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture in a slow stream, then add the remaining milk, whisking constantly. With a spatula, scrap the custard back into the saucepan and cook it over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it becomes thick and starts to bubble, about 8 minutes. Allow the custard to cool slightly and whisk in the rum. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap (to keep skin from forming) and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours. (The custard can keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)


Join the Discussion


  1. Sharon Leipert April 25, 2024 at 8:20 am - Reply

    We just returned from the Mexican Eclipse Cruise on the Zaandam and I was desperate to find the recipe for the bread pudding. Both my husband and I indulged ourselves in many servings of it and I want to make it for my family. I am grateful to have found the recipe here. I had bread pudding many times as a child but this far outshines any of my childhood.

    • Julie April 25, 2024 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hi Sharon, the bread pudding is a guest favorite! Let us know how is turns out at home. Enjoy!

  2. Suzanne Lofton February 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Many years ago I was on a cruise on the Westerdam and I still remember
    the bread pudding. It was the best I have ever had. I never have been able to order any bread pudding as good. I will try to make it, thanks for posting the recipe.

  3. Carolyn erickson November 24, 2018 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Just finished a wonderful cruise on the Rotterdam.
    The bread pudding was the best! My lunch every day.
    So happy to see the recipe posted. All the food was delicious but the bread pudding and vanilla sauce were outstanding.

  4. JAKE W JANZEN May 31, 2018 at 2:09 am - Reply

    Just got back from our Alaskan Cruise on the Volendam. Such good food, but the best is the bread pudding with the sauce!! So happy to find the recipe on line. Thanks for posting it – so delicious and now we can have it at home!!

  5. Julie November 13, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Maggie, there’s no creaming in this recipe. I will remove that tip.

  6. Maggie November 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    The recipe for bread pudding omits the amt. of butter to be creamed with the sugar. Am looking forward to getting this so I can try it. Thanks.

  7. Julie October 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Donald, we’ve gotten the vanilla custard recipe and added it to the post. Check it out.

  8. Julie October 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Donald, the quantity is listed under “ingredients” above. Follow these directions using those quantities. Custard sauce: In a saucepan, bring milk to simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until blended. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Stir in vanilla.

  9. ELAINE LABELE October 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed the bread pudding on our last cruise. Will share it with family over the holiday season. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  10. Donald A Buettner Sr. October 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Love your recipe: but on the custard sauce it don’t tell how much of each ingredient are to be used,like how many eggs,yolks,and how much milk,and vanilla are to be added. Thank you:

  11. Ronnie October 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    I have the bread pudding everyday on the ship, love the vanilla custard sauce as well. Well be on Holland in a few weeks again. please share custard sauce with us. Thank You,

  12. IAN STOCKS October 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I worked on the rotterdan as a musican drummer ,,,,, bread & butter pud was served around 3,30 that was my highlight of the day even beat the music,,,regards chef

  13. Patricia October 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I was on the Westerdam Sept. of 87 and loved it the picnic outside with salmon on the grill with alderwood . everything was oh sooo great.

  14. Ann October 25, 2013 at 11:50 am - Reply

    My favorite desert is the souffle with vanilla custard sauce. Actually anything with that sauce is great!!!

  15. Erin October 25, 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

    You just can’t have this bread pudding without the custard sauce! Can you please share that as well?? Thank you!

  16. Annemarie March 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Is there also a recipe for the vanilla custard sauce, that is served along with the bread pudding? I would love to see that added to the list. It’s just delicious!

  17. InTheWASide May 20, 2009 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Two things that can make any bread pudding recipe better during the holidays:
    1) For the holidays, use Italian Panetone bread instead of regular white bread. The bits of fruit but a great, and edible :-), twist on fruit cake.
    2) Add 1-2oz of your favorite liqueur to the sauce before heating it. Tuaca (Vanilla) adds a great flavor, so does Amaretto (Almond/Cherry) or Grand Marnier (Orange)

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