Confession #110: I’m Not Perfect… Strawberry Cake Bread Pudding
Perfection is boring, right? There’s lots of advantages to being imperfect, like… making three strawberry bundt cakes in the span of a few days, just so you can finally get it right. Sure. Orrrrr it could have just turned out perfectly the first time – just saying.
But since I’m not perfect, everyone in my house was recently inundated with strawberry cake for a few weeks. It was the breakfast/dessert du jour for a while, until we were eventually left with just one wedge of cake left, a neglected piece of one of the trial versions that had definitely seen its better days. It was still edible, but dry and just… blah. And I couldn’t throw it out. I wanted to, and I was this close, but I kept thinking that there was hope for it yet. Then, inspiration struck. If you can make bread pudding with stale bread, then why not with cake? Possible? I think yes.
Bread pudding, cake pudding, I don’t even know what to call this, but it works. Somehow, you can take dry, boring cake and make it delicious again, in the weird way that only bread pudding can do. And I have to say, bread pudding just seems to me like one of the oddest creations bakers ever came up with, but who cares? It’s good. Especially when you add chocolate chips, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Seriously, imperfection never tasted so perfect.
Have some leftover cake that's lost its pizzazz or was just too dry to begin with? Turn it into bread pudding, toss in some chocolate chips, and you've got a whole new treat that you'll actually WANT to eat.
12 3/4 ounces milk (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 1/2 ounces cake, cut into about 1/2" - 3/4" cubes (3 1/2 cups when cubed)**
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place four 6-7 ounce ramekins on a baking sheet and grease them lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Divide the cake cubes between the ramekins. Divide the chocolate chip evenly between the ramekins, sprinkling them on top and using a spoon to toss them in just a bit (too much and they'll all fall to the bottom).
Transfer the egg mixture to a large container with a pourable spout (like a liquid measuring cup) and pour an equal amount into each ramekin. If you're using 6-ounce ramekins, they'll be full to the brim.
Bake for 40-50 minutes (mine took 45), until the bread pudding has puffed up and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean or just with chocolate on it. Cool briefly, then dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
*Since this is bread pudding made with cake, and there are semisweet chocolate chips mixed in, I didn't use much sugar. However, you can feel free to increase the sugar a bit if you'd like.
**Any type of cake should work. Some glaze or frosting on the cake is fine, but you'll probably want to scrape off any excessive amounts.