Sometimes I will pick up an extra loaf of bread when I am out shopping for groceries. I know at the time that it is slightly more bread than I need to have on hand – even if I’m planning to make a lot of sandwiches – but I do it anyway because I know that the extra loaf will give me an excuse to make bread pudding or french toast in an effort to use it up. My Spiced Peaches n’ Cream Bread Pudding is a dessert that bridges the gap between summer and fall. It features fresh, juicy peaches in a rich bread pudding that is kissed with a bit of cinnamon and ginger, which give it a warmth that makes it seem just right on a cool end-of-summer night.
The bread pudding recipe is a little bit different from some other bread pudding recipes because it includes cream cheese in the base. Cream cheese gives the dish a subtle tang that contrasts well with the bright, sweet peaches. It also gives the finished dessert a texture that is dense, rich and cheesecake-like. It’s very satisfying to serve up a big spoonful, but at the same time it also makes the dish a little bit more filling, so this recipe will probably make a few more servings than you might expect! The cinnamon, vanilla and ginger that also flavor the dessert take a backseat to the peaches and cream cheese, but round out their flavors nicely.
I use fresh peaches in this recipe when they are available, but frozen peaches can be a good substitute if they are not in season. Jarred or canned (in juice) peaches can also be used, but they have a much softer texture and can sometimes get lost in the pudding. I always sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top of this bread pudding, both to give it a little extra color and texture. I recommend using coarse sugar so your bread pudding will have a bit of sparkle to it, though regular sugar works just as well. The pudding is delicious when served both warm or cold, and it always pairs well with a spoonful of whipped cream on the side.
Spiced Peaches n’ Cream Bread Pudding
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 cups white bread, cubed
1 cups diced, fresh peaches (frozen are ok)
1 tbsp coarse sugar + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, mixing at medium speed until very smooth, then slowly blend in milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and ginger.
In a large bowl, combine bread cubes and peaches. Pour cream cheese mixture over the bread. Gently fold with a spatula to allow the bread to soak up the liquid and evenly distribute the peaches. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and push bread into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with mixture of coarse sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 30 minutes, until pudding springs back slightly when you touch the top and the edges begin to turn golden.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
Serve with whipped cream, if desired.