I love it when I find family recipes that don’t take too much work in order to reinvent them into Instant Pot recipes. So when I find a recipe that already calls for a pressure cooker, it’s a win win. And when that recipe also happens to be a delicious dessert, it’s a win win WIN! Cuban Bread Pudding is traditionally made in a pressure cooker, so it only needs a few tweaks to make it in the Instant Pot. And the best part about this recipe is it is so easy to put together and is very inexpensive and uses ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.
The basis of this recipe comes from Nitza Villapol’s book Cocina Criolla , but with a few changes. The first change is Nitza uses a traditional Cuban sweet bread called Pan de Leche, or milk bread. I recognize that this can be almost impossible to find outside of Cuba and though I have found some great recipes if you want to make Pan de Leche from scratch, I have come up with a substitute that is easy to find anywhere and has a very similar texture and sweetness to milk bread. I also added a small step, soaking the raisins in Rum, to boost the flavor and when is adding Rum a bad thing? Right?
Instant Pot Cuban Bread Pudding
Recipe by Lana Horruitiner Perez adapted from Nitza Villapol’s book Cocina Criolla
1 1/2 cup Sugar (3/4 for Caramel and 3/4 for the pudding mixture)
6 oz Hawaiian Bread (6 rolls), the staler the better
1 1/2 cup Whole Milk
3 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla (I like using Dominican Vanilla, but you can use whatever you have.)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Rum
-First I want to talk about the pan I cooked the bread pudding in. I think the best pan to cook bread pudding in is a flan pan. Most people have never heard of a flan pan. It is a 6 inch round pan with a top that clips on. If you are an avid Instant Pot user I would recommend buying one online. They are very inexpensive and you can use it for lots of different recipes. (If you don’t have a flan pan, you can use any 6 inch cake pan that has a solid bottom. Do not use a spring form pan.) Here is a link to buy the Flan Pan on Amazon. IMUSA Flan Pan
-In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup Raisins (I like using Golden Raisins, but you can use whatever you like). Pour 1/2 cup of Rum over the Raisins and let them sit while you continue making the caramel and pudding.
-In a medium sauce pan on medium low heat, add 3/4 cups Sugar. The key to making caramel is DO NOT STIR SUGAR until it has started to melt. You do not need to add anything to the sugar. Just leave it alone and it will start to melt and turn brown all by itself.
-Once the sugar starts to melt then you can stir it occasionally until it has completely melted and is a light caramel color. Then carefully pour the caramel into the pan you are going to use to cook the bread pudding. Wearing oven mitts, tilt the pan around so the caramel coats an inch up the sides of the pan. Be very careful when working with melted sugar! Once you have coated the sides, set the pan aside.
-In a large bowl tear the 6 oz of Hawaiian Rolls into medium size pieces. Pour 1 1/2 cup Whole Milk over the bread and place in the fridge to soak while you complete the next few steps.
-In another mixing bowl, whisk 3 Large Eggs, 3/4 cup Sugar, 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp Vanilla, 1/4 tsp Salt, and 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and milk mixture. Drain the Raisins and add just the Raisins (not the Rum….you can drink that if you want!) to the bread mixture. With a spatula, lightly fold the ingredients together. You want to combine everything, but don’t mix it too hard or it will turn into mush. Try to keep as many big pieces of bread in tact as you can. Pour the mixture into the flan pan right over the caramel. Level out the top with a spatula and then clip the lid in place. (If you are using an different type of pan, you can just cover the top tightly with foil.)
-Pour 1 cup of Water into the Instant Pot and insert a trivet. Place the Flan Pan on the trivet above the water and lock the Instant Pot lid into place and make sure the valve is set to SEALED.
-Cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes and then Natural Release for 10 minutes. Remove the Pan from the Instant Pot and remove the lid or foil from the pan. Place the uncovered pan into an oven set to BROIL for 10-15 minutes until the top (which is actually going to be the bottom once it’s inverted) of the Bread Pudding gets slightly brown and toasty. Set on a wire cooling rack and cool for 30 minutes.
-Run a knife around the edge of the inside of the pan. Place a plate on top of the pan and turn out the Bread Pudding onto the plate. Serve warm or cover and place in the fridge. Enjoy!