Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream39

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Experimental Recipe,Nuts (Saturday October 7, 2006 at 11:24 pm)

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream

Sometimes I am just so enamored with a cupcake. This is one of those times. These little babies are tasty. Deliciously chocolately while not being too sweet, the burnt taste of the toffee with the cool cream, and add to that the texture and flavor of the nuts!?! Yum!

I had a little trouble with this recipe. The trouble lied mostly with getting all the bread soaked with the chocolate mixture and into the cupcake papers. My first attempt involved filling the cupcake cups with bread chunks then pouring in the batter. This proved very messy. My second, more successful attempt, which I really should have done in the first place, involved pre-soaking the bread chunks in the batter then scooping into the cupcake cups… One simple change and all was well.

Aside from that, I can’t say enough about the flavor experience that these cupcakes provide. The chocolate is right there, not too sweet, the sort of chocolate flavor you get from a perfect warm chocolate cake… The toffee, oh, the toffee… you can use store-bought toffee to save time, but I plead of you, do not! The deliciously complex taste of a slightly burnt, homemade toffee is the perfect crunchy companion to the already stellar chocolate thing going on. Seriously! Well worth the effort. The walnuts and whipped cream round things off resulting in what I consider to be my favorite cupcake creation so far.

The flavor combination was by request from my husband whose birthday is tomorrow. Unfortunately, between the two of us we have already devoured a number of his birthday cupcakes… Oops.


3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup sugar

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring everything to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. The mixture will start to boil with vigor. Do not stir. Let the mixture boil over medium-low heat until the mixture turns a deep nutty brown, about 20 minutes
3. Pour on to a prepared baking sheet (either covered in a silpat or oiled parchment paper) and leave it to cool.
4. After the toffee has cooled, break it into small chunks.

Note: I like my toffee very dark – almost burnt. Getting the toffee just right for your taste can be a challenge. I think a nutty brown is a good place to start. One additional warning, if you cook it very long you could nearly ruin your pan or at a minimum create bunch of cleanup work for yourself. Don’t use your favorite pot or pan!

very dark toffee
cooled toffee

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes
27 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1-pound loaf dense white bread, 1 or 2 days old (I used Acme Pan de Mie, but you could use challah or brioche)
10 ounces Valrhona or any bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
toffee from recipe above, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the cream, milk, vanilla, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Chop bread into 1/2″ cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Bring mixture back to boil and stir in chopped chocolate. Take off the heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted.
4. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined.
5. Pour the mixture carefully over the bread cubes. Stir until all cubes are covered. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
6. Set aside about 1/4 cup each of the walnuts and toffee. Sprinkle the remaining into the bread cubes. Stir to combine.
7. Scoop soaked bread cubes into cupcake papers until bread cubes are level with the top of the rim.
8. Carefully pour the remaining liquid into each cupcake filling until nearly full.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for ~22-25 minutes until set.

baked cupcakes
baked cupcakes

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whisk until combined.

1. Top cooled cupcakes with some cream
2. Topped with crushed toffee and chopped walnuts.

soaking the bread in chocolate

39 comments for Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream »

  1. Gorgeous cupcakes, Cheryl!! You have outdone yourself again. I bet they taste yummylicious…*licking screen* lolz..

    Comment by Jacelyn — October 8, 2006 @ 1:11 am

  2. These are stunning! Possibly a bit rich for everyday baking, but I can see these making a wonderful treat for a special occasion :)

    Comment by Ellie — October 8, 2006 @ 1:15 am

  3. I’m almost speechless.. what a fantastic idea of making breadpudding into cupcakes! I love, love, LOVE this idea and what you’ve done with it!

    Comment by lisa — October 8, 2006 @ 4:28 am

  4. ooohh…these look sooo yummy! Will definitely try baking these when my oven comes in…

    Comment by Angeleyes — October 8, 2006 @ 9:18 am

  5. This is a nice recipe and the pictures are fabulous !

    Comment by CĂ©cile — October 8, 2006 @ 10:12 am

  6. Wow! These sound incredible. A very good idea.

    Comment by Jennifer — October 8, 2006 @ 11:39 am

  7. These sound like heaven.

    Comment by Jane — October 9, 2006 @ 1:40 am

  8. Wow! These look absolutely lovely.
    I will try them out this afternoon…
    have you ever done any cupcakes with Lemon Curd?
    Thanks again for your great ideas.

    Comment by Teresa Mac — October 9, 2006 @ 4:34 am

  9. I love bread pudding! Having them as cupcakes is a fantastic idea.

    Should the bread be slightly stale?

    Comment by LE — October 9, 2006 @ 4:51 am

  10. LE, good catch. The bread was 2 days old. I will update the recipe.

    Comment by chockylit — October 9, 2006 @ 7:32 am

  11. No way – bread pudding cupcakes?! Awesome! You are so darn creative! These just have to be sooo delicious. I mean, c’mon, cupcakes and bread pudding! YUM!

    Comment by Laura — October 9, 2006 @ 7:46 am

  12. OMG…………ok the drool factor here……….I’m going to go stale some bread and make these as soon as I possibly can – WOW………bliss cupcakes, indeed!
    THANK YOU for this

    Comment by Shonna — October 9, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  13. PS I bet this would also go well with sour cream ice cream……..sounds bizarre but tastes….wow…..

    Comment by Shonna — October 9, 2006 @ 9:58 am

  14. Damn it, Rob is now demanding I make these as he loves bread pudding more than anything. I guess it’s more kitchen time for me! ;)

    Comment by Garrett — October 9, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

  15. your cupcakes are always an inspiration.

    how i long to lick the bowls that come out of your kitchen

    [hm, that sounded a little creepy]

    Comment by connie — October 9, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  16. OMG! I love bread pudding. This is a great thing you did.

    Comment by peabody — October 9, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  17. This sound sooo good.I’m going to try it with pound cake that has been oven dried. double yummy!

    Comment by barbara — October 10, 2006 @ 7:52 am

  18. Wow, I just love your creative combinations! Sounds delicious!

    Comment by Dianka — October 10, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  19. Hi,
    I love all of your cupcakes. I tried baking today with those paper liners that you use but the cake shrunk and pulled away from the sides of the liner. I made a Chocolate cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart. Is there something I’m doing wrong. The same happened with a red velvet recipe.
    Help! I was hoping to give these away to friends but they look really bad.

    Comment by Lena — October 11, 2006 @ 7:24 am

  20. Holy cow, what a treat! keep up the good work!

    Comment by An Occasional Chocolate — October 11, 2006 @ 8:08 am

  21. Yumm-y! These babies look like heaven. Your photos are beautiful and the idea is fantastic.

    Comment by Kate — October 11, 2006 @ 9:00 am

  22. I heart this site. It makes me happy.

    Comment by Cakegrrl — October 11, 2006 @ 11:50 am

  23. Wow, is all I can say.

    Comment by Lauren — October 11, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

  24. Oh, jesus. Oh. I might just go and die right now.

    No, no, I am going to MAKE these, eat one, THEN die.

    Comment by Fatemeh — October 11, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  25. oh heaven, how I simply MUST try this one. good lord, how do you do it!??

    Comment by Carol — October 11, 2006 @ 7:12 pm

  26. This is a great idea. I burnt some cupcakes awhile ago and threw them in the freezer hoping to find a use for them eventually. I’m going to try this with them instead of bread and cut down the sugar. It is worth the experiment!

    Comment by Elyn — October 12, 2006 @ 7:20 am

  27. Blog very good!

    Comment by pembeli — October 13, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  28. These sounds divine – oh how I love toffee!

    Comment by gilly — October 13, 2006 @ 7:45 am

  29. absolutely amazing!
    I love the comb. of flavours…
    totally mouth-watering, well done!

    Comment by Julia — October 15, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  30. i can’t wait to try your pumpkin cupcakes. they are so cute and look yummy!

    Comment by acaligurl — October 22, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  31. hello there,
    i’m part of a homeschool speech/debate league, and this year i’m doing an expository speech (with visual aids) on, yes, cupcakes.
    i was wondering if perhaps i could have permission to use some of your photos for my visual aids
    (no, i wouldn’t be claiming them to be mine, everyone uses outside sources for their pictures)

    you have great photos, & are the only person with pictures of vintage individual molds i could find (what year are those from, btw?)


    Comment by Erinbelle — November 6, 2006 @ 7:58 am

  32. this recipe sounds wonderful! however, my husband, who is the prime ravager of bread puddings, prefers that the recipes include some type of liqueur.
    i know i can make the whipped cream with a hint of something, but do you have any suggestions as to what flavor/liqueur i should use (e.g. bailey’s, frangelico, kahlua, etc.) that would also complement the toffee?

    Comment by kimistar — November 15, 2006 @ 11:25 am

  33. oh my, that looks absolutely decadent! may i ask what kind of plant is that whose branches you use in the first picture? beautiful!

    Comment by stef — November 20, 2006 @ 4:26 am

  34. Yumm, absolute yum. I followed the recipe mentioned in the note. Visiting your blog is becoming a sweet habit now. But even if i don’t eat so much sweet stuff, I still enjoy your write up.Thanks

    Comment by Casey — November 23, 2006 @ 3:07 am

  35. so i made these little darlings for our family thanksgiving (to help with portion control) – and they were a hit! i’m not a huge fan of typical thanksgiving desserts, so this chocolatey goodness was perfect. i also made a whiskey sauce as an additional topping and that went over well with the combo. THANKS Cheryl! I look forward to trying out some of your other ideas.

    Comment by kimistar — November 24, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  36. Fabulous looking cupcakes, and a worthy entry to the Death by Chocolate contest. I voted for your entry and I hope it helps!

    Comment by kate — February 4, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  37. those look gorgeous, and I love the flavorful additions of walnut and toffee:)

    Comment by Mansi — February 4, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  38. My Sister-in-law and I made these over the summer for my son’s birthday! They were outstanding!!!! They are hands down my favorite cupcake ever. I agree with the homemade toffee as well. Amazing recipe!

    Comment by Caitlin Nyunt — February 27, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

  39. Chiming in a few years late here but I just discovered this recipe and decided to adapt it to include white chocolate and cranberries along with the delicious homemade toffee. What a fantastic idea to turn bread pudding into a single-serving cupcake! You can read about my version here:

    Comment by Lina — August 19, 2010 @ 5:49 am

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