Lemon Raspberry Bread Pudding

by Jillian
Buttery, flakey croissants baked in a lusciously tart and lemony custard and topped with the most delicious homemade raspberry topping!

Buttery, flakey croissants baked in a lusciously tart and lemony custard and topped with the most delicious homemade raspberry topping!

I know it’s still February and spring is technically not for another month, but I can’t help but dive into the more bright and refreshing flavors that the warmer seasons have to offer. Call it the winter blues, but I’m SO ready for spring and summer to be here. I’m also SO ready to not be freezing my booty off every single time I leave the house.

So since I have about as much patience as my dogs when it comes to feeding time, I’m jumping ahead a few weeks and sharing a dessert that’s LOADED with all kinds of delicious spring flavors!

This Lemon Raspberry Bread Pudding combines so many delicious elements into one comforting treat. With flakey, buttery croissants that have been baked in a rich lemon custard, as well as a sweet and tangy raspberry topping, this bread pudding is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

As with most of my bread pudding recipes, I prefer to use croissants. Not only are they much softer and fluffier than your average baguette or bag of sliced bread, but they have a way of really soaking up all that delicious custard, creating an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture once it’s been baked. I’ve used croissants in several of my bread pudding recipes, including my Salted Caramel Bread Pudding, Apple Pie Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Needless to say, croissants are my favorite kind of bread to make bread pudding with.

One of the keys to great bread pudding is to use dry/stale bread. It might sound counterintuitive since we always think of fresh as best, but dry bread ensures that the bread soaks up as much of the custard as possible. However, if you’re like me and rarely keep bread long enough for it to dry out, try the oven method instead. Simply scatter your torn-up bread into an even layer on a baking sheet, then dry/toast in a preheated 350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes. It’s ok if they get a little toasted–just make sure they don’t get too dark! 

A holiday classic loaded with a hefty dose of luxuriously sweet salted caramel!

Now let’s talk about the GLORIOUSLY rich lemon custard that these croissants get to bathe in. I like to use an even ratio of milk to heavy cream since it provides the perfect amount of richness and creaminess. I also remove most of the egg whites from the eggs to prevent that not-so-appetizing sulfuric egg taste. To round out the delicious flavors of this custard, a dash of salt, a splash of vanilla, and a few drops of almond extract are added. As far as sweetener goes, I added 1 and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, however 1 cup would suffice if you like your bread pudding a little less sweet.

Since lemon is one of the stars of this smoke show dessert, I didn’t hold back on the lemon flavor. I added 2/3 cup of lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest. I’ll admit that I was a little worried I might’ve added too much lemon, but thankfully, my worries immediately vanished after the first heavenly bite. 

Now that you’ve got your custard, toss the croissants in and stir until every piece is fully saturated. As far as soaking time goes, I like to soak my bread pudding overnight. While a couple of hours is definitely adequate, I’ve found that the longer you let the bread soak in the custard, the more the flavors are able to develop since the ingredients have had plenty of time to “mingle”. If you do decide to take the overnight route, I would recommend taking the bread pudding out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking to take some of the chill off.

Just before baking the bread pudding, I like to sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top. This not only creates that super thin, delicately crisp crust on top of the bread pudding, but it also adds a little extra sweetness. Definitely a win-win!

While the bread pudding is baking, it’s time to make the lusciously tart and tangy raspberry topping. And no, canned store-bought raspberry pie filling will NOT do. I know it’s super convenient, but it simply doesn’t compare to the flavor of homemade. And if you’re worried about spending an arm and a leg on fresh raspberries during the off-season, worry no more! This topping is made with frozen raspberries. Because why spend more on fresh raspberries when you’re going to cook them up anyway?

The homemade topping is really not much harder than opening a can of raspberry filling. Literally, all you have to do is heat your raspberries in a medium saucepan on the stove until their juices begin to release. Then combine your sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and stir it into the raspberries. Cook this mixture for a few minutes until it thickens into a scrumptious ruby red topping. That’s it!

This bread pudding definitely gives me Lemon Meringue Pie vibes. It’s absolutely BRIMMING with lemony sweetness! And when combined with the blissfully sweet raspberry topping, it’s nothing short of heavenly. This Lemon Raspberry Bread Pudding is definitely the most delicious way to defeat that winter blues.

Buttery, flakey croissants baked in a lusciously tart and lemony custard and topped with the most delicious homemade raspberry topping!

Buttery, flakey croissants baked in a lusciously tart and lemony custard and topped with the most delicious homemade raspberry topping!

Lemon Raspberry Bread Pudding

Buttery, flakey croissants baked in a lusciously tart and lemony custard and topped with the most delicious homemade raspberry topping!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 7 Servings


  • 12 ounces croissants, torn (about 5 croissants)


  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk

For Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Raspberry Topping:

  • 3 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Scatter the torn croissants evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, about 8-10 minutes.* Allow croissants to cool while you prepare the custard.

Make the Custard:

  • In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, the egg yolks, egg, lemon juice, zest, extracts, and salt until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and milk until combined. Gently fold in the croissants.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish, gently pressing down on the bread to ensure that all of the pieces are completely saturated in the custard. Allow to sit and soak for at least two hours**.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the bread pudding, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and toasty.

Make the Raspberry Topping:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the raspberries over medium heat until they soften and their juices start to release, about 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add mixture to the raspberries and continue cooking until it begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.
  • To serve, slice/scoop bread pudding into bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of the raspberry topping, and enjoy!


*If your croissants are already dry/stale, you can skip this baking step.
**You can also prepare this bread pudding the night before, allow it to soak overnight, then bake it in the oven the next day.
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