Bourbon Sauce for Bread Pudding

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Bourbon sauce for bread pudding can be made in under 10 minutes and you'll find so many more ways to use it. This delicious dessert sauce works well with chocolate desserts, too.

The pitcher of bourbon sauce sits next to a small dish of bread pudding.

I love how a simple homemade dessert sauce that only takes 10 minutes to prep can make you look like an amazing host at the holidays.

One taste of this creamy bourbon sauce over my favorite New Orleans bread pudding and I was immediately thinking of all the ways to put every drop to use.

Why This is the Best Recipe

Even if you don't consider yourself a baker, anyone can make this easy bourbon sauce recipe in minutes. You'll want to add this to your dessert menu because:

  1. Upgrade a Store Bought Dessert: Buy a bakery pecan pie or a plain pound cake topped with butter pecan ice cream and use this bourbon sauce to make either one extra-special.
  2. Make Homemade Treats Even Better: Even beginners can bake my bread pudding or pecan pie and you'll look like a true Baking Hero when you drizzle this bourbon sauce over the top.
  3. Skip the Starbucks: Yes it is a dessert sauce, but woah would it make an amazing coffee creamer during the holiday season. Spoil your guests with this as an option in that after-dinner coffee on Thanksgiving or Christmas.


The ingredients to make bourbon sauce are on the counter.

Homemade bourbon sauce only needs a few simple ingredients:

  • Bourbon: The flavor of the bourbon will shine through in this dessert sauce, so use a bourbon you enjoy. That said, I'm not personally a bourbon drinker so I just bought a budget-friendly small bottle to keep in my pantry for cooking. You can use it in my New Orleans bread pudding or my easy pecan pie, it won't go to waste.
  • Heavy Cream
  • Half and Half
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch

How to Make Bourbon Sauce

Since cooking the bourbon sauce will go very quickly, it is best to pre-measure your ingredients.

Measure the heavy cream, half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a large saucepan and set aside.

The saucepan has cream in it. The bourbon is in a measuring cup next to it with cornstarch sprinkled in.

In a separate measuring cup, measure the bourbon.

Add the cornstarch to the bourbon and whisk it in until smooth.

The bourbon and cornstarch have been whisked together and are creamy and smooth.

Bring the cream mixture in the saucepan to a rolling boil over medium-high heat while whisking all the time.

As it begins to boil, it will really bubble up. Pull it off the burner so it doesn't boil over the sides.

Add the bourbon mixture and whisk it in. As the bubbles settle down, return the saucepan to the burner and simmer the sauce for one minute or until it has slightly thickened.

The saucepan of bourbon sauce is at a rolling boil and the whisk is stirring it.

NOTE: This is a very thin cream sauce that is meant to drizzle over your desserts. If you want it to be thicker, you could add more cornstarch to the bourbon before you add it to the cream.

Do not try to add more cornstarch to the already-boiled sauce. It will clump up immediately and you'll have lumps in your sauce.

Always add cornstarch to a cold liquid where it will dissolve smoothly before adding to a hot sauce.

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Make Ahead Tips

You could prep the bourbon sauce up to 3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

It is best served warm so you'll want to gently reheat it in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat before using.

Be sure to whisk it to restore consistency and prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Serving Suggestions

The bourbon sauce is ready to pour over the bread pudding sitting behind it.

Creamy bourbon sauce is the perfect dessert sauce to drizzle over my homemade New Orleans bread pudding with golden raisins. They are a match made in heaven.

But once you've tasted this, you'll be looking for more ways to use it. Why not pair it with my chocolate flourless torte? Bourbon and chocolate go so well together!

A drizzle of bourbon sauce over a fresh slice of pecan pie would elevate your Thanksgiving dessert so easily. It would also be a fun twist to pour over a slice of fresh apple cake if you want to skip the brown butter frosting that goes with it.

More Easy Dessert Sauce Recipes

I think a homemade dessert sauce takes a good treat to great in just minutes. If you want to upgrade your desserts, don't miss these easy recipes:

📖 Recipe

The pitcher of bourbon sauce sits next to a small dish of bread pudding.

Bourbon Sauce for Bread Pudding

5 from 1 vote
This creamy bourbon sauce is perfect for drizzling over a homemade bread pudding but you'll find so many ways to use it. Upgrade a slice of pecan pie, a chocolate cake, or even a brownie sundae with a generous pour. Offer it to guests as a coffee creamer on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
TOTAL TIME 10 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 5 minutes
YIELD 2 cups


  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons sugar


  • Measure the bourbon into a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk it in. Set aside.
  • Add the heavy cream, half and half, vanilla, and sugar to a saucepan a whisk them together. Heat the mixture over high heat and continue to whisk for 3 minutes.
  • When the cream begins to bubble, add the prepared bourbon mixture. Continue to whisk and cook until the cream fully boils. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk until the sauce is blended and slightly thickened.
  • Return the bourbon sauce to the burner over low heat and simmer for one minute. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead Tips

You can prep the bourbon sauce up to 3 days in advance and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Reheat the sauce gently in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat while whisking the whole time so it doesn't stick to the pan.

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The photo collage shows the pitcher of bourbon sauce next to the bread pudding it goes with for dessert.


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