The Pinewood’s vanilla-bourbon bread pudding

Recipe featured in new book, Atlanta Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Big Peach
Vanilla bourbon bread pudding
The Pinewood’s vanilla-bourbon bread pudding

Photograph by Heidi Geldhauser

Ever wanted to make Bacchanalia’s signature Gulf crab fritter at home? Maybe you’ve been trying to recreate BoccaLupo’s Roman-fried cauliflower with mint and Meyer lemon. Atlanta local Kate Parham Kordsmeier tracked down these recipes and many more from other top kitchens in her new book, Atlanta Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Big Peach. For this holiday-appropriate recipe, Kordsmeier looked to the Pinewood in Decatur for their vanilla-bourbon bread pudding. Top with vanilla-bean ice cream or, as the recipe suggests, use the leftovers the next morning for French toast draped with caramelized-spiced apples.


3 cups whole milk, divided
4 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup bourbon, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 medium loaves challah bread or brioche, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch


Preheat the oven to 325°F . In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup bourbon, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 8 eggs, and light brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture over bread pieces in another large mixing bowl, combining with your hands to ensure the bread has absorbed all of the liquid.

Liberally spray at 12 X 10 X 3-inch baking pain with nonstick pan spray. Spread the bread mixture evenly in the pan and cover with foil. Bake until a pick or skewer pulls cleanly from the center, about 45 to 60 minutes.

While the bread bakes, make the bourbon sauce by dissolving the confectioners’ sugar in 1 cup milk, 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once mixture is simmering, add the remaining 1/4 cup bourbon and cornstarch and slowly whisk to thicken the sauce.

To serve, drizzle the bourbon sauce over the bread pudding.