This Strawberry Cheesecake Bread Pudding is a creative riff on bread pudding that resembles and tastes like strawberry cheesecake!
I decided to take strawberry cheesecake and turn it into bread pudding. I took all the flavors of a cheesecake, the tangy, cream cheesy filling, the graham cracker crust, and the syrupy fruit topping, and waved my magic wand. Poof! Strawberry cheesecake bread pudding!
Obviously, it could never be a spitting image of its inspiration, but especially at room temperature or cool, the bread pudding really mimics that tang and classic flavor of a good cheesecake. Making the graham cracker crust on top instead of on the bottom allows for a great crunchy texture.
And of course there are no gelatinous berries from a can here. Just simple macerated strawberries to top or serve with your bread pudding. If you're topping with the berries, make sure you do so at the last minute or else your crust will get soggy.
To make it seem even more cheesecake-like, I made this in a round cake pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. It was super easy to lift from the pan and slice into wedges, just like a real cheesecake!
A beautiful presentation along with fresh and delicious flavors makes this a great bread pudding option for any special occasion!
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Strawberry Cheesecake Bread Pudding
- 1 pound strawberries hulled and sliced
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 cups stale* ½-inch bread cubes such as Italian, challah, or brioche
- 8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 4 graham crackers
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- Place the oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, allowing the parchment paper to line the sides and hang over the edges as necessary. Trim the excess parchment to allow about 1-inch overhang on either side. Fill the pan with the stale/dry bread cubes. When you add the bread, it will weigh down the parchment. The overhang will allow you to easily remove the bread pudding from the pan for slicing.
- In a mixing bowl, toss together the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. Allow the strawberries to macerate in the refrigerator for about an hour or longer until needed.
- To a blender, add the cream cheese, milk, remaining ⅓ cup sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Puree until smooth. Add the eggs and blend again. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes, pressing down lightly with your hands or the back of a spoon and making sure that all the bread starts soaking in the custard. Soak for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the graham crackers in a plastic bag and smash them up by hand until you have a crumbly texture with a mixture of fine crumbs and some larger pea-sized chunks. Alternatively, pulse them in a food processor a few times to achieve the same texture (if you want to wash extra dishes *cough cough*). Mix the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the top of the bread pudding.
- Bake until the filling is set and the top is lightly browned, crusted, and puffed, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Allow the bread pudding to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove the bread pudding from the pan using the parchment paper overhang, and place onto a cutting board. Allow the bread pudding to cool to room temperature (it will taste more like cheesecake if it isn’t warm). Use a serrated knife to cut the bread pudding into wedges (like a cake), and then serve with the macerated strawberries.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*