Alexis Soyer’s cinnamon bread pudding

by Bee Wilson

A Victorian hybrid of cinnamon toast and eggy bread

This recipe was inspired by my Forgotten kitchen article on the history of bread pudding. It is taken from Alexis Soyer’s The Modern Housewife (1851), but unlike him I have left the crusts on the bread.


300g good bread, day-old, preferably challah or other soft white bread but any will do, sliced.
25g unsalted butter
3 eggs
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon plus more to serve
350ml whole milk


Preheat oven to 180C. Lay the bread in slightly overlapping rows in a ceramic ovenproof dish. If the bread doesn’t quite fill the dish, cut some more. Cut the butter into slivers and put one on each slice of bread. Whisk up the eggs, 3 tbsp of the sugar, cinnamon and milk and pour over. Sprinkle over the final tbps sugar.

Bake for around 25 mins or until nicely golden. Most of the liquid will be absorbed—this is not as custardy as a classic bread-and-butter pudding. Eat with cream, more cinnamon and sugar and, if you like, some kind of berries. Any leftovers make a fine breakfast.

Recipe: Bee Wilson