Coconut Banana Caramel Bread Pudding, Gluten Free

To say that there is too much really good gluten-free bread in the house right now for the two of us to reasonably eat would probably make many people laugh themselves silly. Too much good gluten-free bread. Terrible, huh?

The freezer is full, the counter not quite big enough and every time I passed by those loaves of bread, I swear, they were winking at me. Or snickering. Bread should be seen and not heard.  I did consider a bread box.  Not seen, not heard would be ok with me.

But then I had this wacky idea that I could make bread pudding. But not just any bread pudding.  I had some gnarly bananas (again) turning all shades of crypt keeper. And it made me think of banana pudding. It was not much of a stretch to imagine banana bread pudding. And from there it only got more interesting.

Coconut milk seemed like a good match for the banana. And since we were using some coconut milk, how about we add some flaked coconut – just because we seem to heading toward tropical bread pudding.  Also,  we might as well pile on the calories and add a rich buttery caramel sauce for the bananas and pour that over the  top right before it gets baked.  And rum. Who could forget the rum? And there it is – baked coconut banana caramel bread pudding.

This is best served quite warm. As it cools off the caramel sets up and you really want this pudding gooey soft. If the pudding cools down to room temperature, heat it up before serving. You could make or buy some extra caramel and drizzle it over the top.

It took longer to write out the recipe than to make the entire pudding. It’s what’s for dinner if you get cracking because we all know everyone has a gnarly banana or two slowly becoming a science project in a bowl. And that gluten-free bread that’s in the back of the freezer will do just fine – old bread is best.

On my wish list. Sound-proof bread box. Or a bigger freezer.

Coconut Banana Caramel Bread Pudding, Gluten Free
Got old bread? Got some almost dead bananas? Coconut? Coconut milk? Then you've got a fabulous bread pudding in your future. This is a great way to use up leftover bread and make a great dessert, or breakfast. 9-12 servings.
  • 58 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 50 grams light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark Rum
  • 2-3 medium (almost rotten) bananas, sliced in thick rounds
  • 350 grams challah or other GF bread, cubed (about 5 cups)
  • 70 grams coconut flakes, toasted lightly (about 1 loose cup)
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 550 grams milk (not non-fat) (2 cups) (we use lactose-free)
  • 240 grams full fat canned coconut milk (1 cup)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a cast iron or nonstick skillet melt butter. When it begins to foam, add brown sugar and stir. Add cinnamon and then Rum (very carefully) and stir. Add bananas and cook, stirring gently for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x9 baking pan. Cube bread and place in baking pan. Toast coconut on a small baking pan until very lightly browned. Cool. Set aside. In a medium large bowl whisk eggs with milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  2. Place ⅔ of the toasted coconut on the bread and mix lightly with fingers so it gets lightly incorporated. Set aside the remaining ⅓ coconut. Whisk and pour milk/egg mixture over the bread/coconut. If the caramel is too cold to pour, heat slightly until it can be poured onto the top of the pudding covering most of the top.
  3. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes or until the bread soaks up some of the liquid. Add the remaining coconut to the top.
  4. Bake about 45-55 minutes or just until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Cool. Serve warm or reheat to serve.
  5. Optional: add a drizzle of homemade or commercial GF caramel sauce to each serving.


  1. I made this yesterday and it was delicious!!
    I used Malibu Rum instead of dark rum, and it still came out delicious!
    Great recipe for all the leftover bread I have accumulated!