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  • Writer's picturedeborahreinhardt

Simple Coconut Bread Pudding

Stale bread, coconut, milk, and raisins steam in a slow cooker to make the ultimate comforting dessert.

Coconut bread pudding with raisins in two green floral bowls
Simple Coconut Bread Pudding

Do you have a favorite blanket, quilt, or afghan you reach for each time you take a nap or snuggle into your couch to watch TV? Mom crocheted a blue-and-white afghan for me 30-plus years ago, and that’s my couch buddy. While not on trend, it’s a way of keeping a little piece of Mom close by, and it provides warmth and comfort.

In the dessert world, bread pudding is like your favorite blanket. While not trendy, nothing is better than a bowl of warm bread pudding. Home cooks for generations have known classic bread pudding to be an economical dish because it uses bits of stale bread and a few pantry staples to make something special. What a sweet way to close out this short series of slow-cooker winter recipes.

This recipe for Simple Coconut Bread Pudding from an old cook booklet of Mom’s is unapologetically stodgy and tender because it steams in a coconut-infused milky custard inside your slow cooker. The aroma that fills the kitchen is better than any pricey candle from that northeast scent peddler. (You know the one.) This old-fashioned bread pudding begs to be served in one of Grandma’s china bowls. So, break out the home movies for later and let’s get cooking!

small bowls of sugar, milk, canned evaporated milk, coconut milk, cubed white bread, two eggs on a board

To make Simple Coconut Bread Pudding, which yields 8 servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • ½ cup sweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 4 cups dry bread cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, packed

  • ½ cup raisins

  • Coconut flakes to garnish

Puddings have a long history. Homer referenced a blood pudding roasted in a pig stomach in his Odyssey. (No thanks; I'm giving blood pudding up for Lent.) Savory puddings are common in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. In the U.S., puddings are usually a sweet dish, although there are some versions that are popular for breakfast and brunch.

Bread pudding is a sweet treat throughout many parts of the world encompassing all type of cuisines. I like bread pudding because it yields a delicious dessert for someone who may be a little uncertain about his or her baking abilities.

For Simple Coconut Bread Pudding, I used up two old hamburger buns and about four slices of country white bread, but you can use French bread, challah or other egg bread, or raisin bread. I love the way coconut flavors the custard and gives some texture to the steamed pudding. I used finer flakes, but large flakes of coconut would also be lovely in this recipe.

Directions for Simple Coconut Bread Pudding

First, coat the slow cooker with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, combine the cubed bread with milk, coconut milk, and evaporated milk. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to bread and bread bowl and stir.

Fold in coconut and raisins. Transfer combined ingredients to your slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high for three hours.

When the pudding is finished, you’ll notice bits of bread that didn’t submerge all the way that creates a mixture texture. I added a pinch of flaked coconut to the top of each serving. Because the pudding steams, it remains super moist; there’s no need for a sauce with this one. It’s a rich, delightful, and comforting dessert that immediately transports you to your granny’s house on a Sunday afternoon with the first bite.

You will note this is not a low-calorie dessert (is there such a thing other than a banana?), but if that’s a concern, you can use low-fat coconut milk and sweetened fat-free condensed milk. This recipe yielded a rich bread pudding, so I'll opt for the lower fat version when I make it again and cut back on the sugar.

When you need a hug, put up a batch of Simple Coconut Bread Pudding and tuck in with your favorite movie for the night.


Feeling nostalgic for more throwback desserts?

Buttermilk Pie is a simple recipe any home cook can make. My grandma sometimes added flaked coconut to the filling. This was one of Dad’s favorites.

Classic Snickerdoodles are always good to have on hand. Pour a cold glass of milk and kick your feet up for an afternoon break.

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

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