Nigella’s Caramel Croissant Pudding

by Maggie Battista on January 27, 2008

in Authors, Desserts


This recipe belongs to Nigella Lawson, but I like to now refer to it as My Own Personal Secret Dessert Weapon. It’s amazing to think that 20 minutes in the stove, with blissful scents wafting throughout the house, can produce such a warming, fulfilling taste experience reminiscent of old cottages, roaring fireplaces and snuggling up under warm, vintage quilts.

We ended last night’s meal of beef short ribs on tagliatelle with some of this yummy dessert and a little limoncello. We were stuffed, literally could barely move from room to room. The thick dessert is full of sugar, cream, milk and eggs, and touched with bourbon and vanilla bean seeds (my addition, Nigella doesn’t use it in hers). I always serve this dessert warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, preferably Brigham’s ice cream. It’s also very portable! On several occasions, I’ve cooled the caramel custard sauce and transported it separately from the croissants. Just pour over the stale croissants and bake for 20 minutes upon arrival at your destination.

One of my favorite variations on this recipe involved stale pandoro (panettone, without all the dried fruit). It was divine. That said, don’t go too far with variations. I’ve tried adding chocolate chips or nutella or bananas and, it’s just not the same. Keep it simple.

Caramel Croissant Pudding


  • 2 stale croissants
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 knife slide of vanilla bean seeds

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish. I often double this recipe for 4-6 people, using a larger baking dish.

    Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber color; this will take 3 to 5 minutes.

    Take the pan off the heat and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs, and the vanilla bean seeds. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

    Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. I cook it for slightly longer, about 30 minutes, when doubling the recipe.


    Maggie Battista

    Founder at Eat Boutique
    Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

    • claudia at ‘cook eat FRET’

      two words
      wowee zowee

      that is a great idea

      sprinkle with a teensy bit of good salt
      gotta have that with caramel…

    • Kate

      I’m making this for sure … and I like Claudia’s suggestion of some good salt. That *would* be great. Thanks for posting!

    • Maggie

      Ooooh, I love salt and caramel together. Not sure how it would work here, but will definitely try it next time. YUM.

    • AppetiteforChina

      Caramel AND croissants…hmm…I could probably die happy

    • Pingback: Beef Short Ribs with Tagliatelle | EAT Boutique()

    • Kristen

      This is insanely wonderful–thank you for blogging this. It made for a wonderful Sunday morning treat–

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    • Jen B

      This looks delicious and so easy to make! :)

    • claudia (cook eat FRET)

      you know, i just looked at this post – drawn in by that pudding recipe again and i saw the short rib dish which i had bookmarked back then and recently made and blogged about. i had no idea where i had seen it! funny…

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