Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante

Julia’s Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) + An Honor: The Legacy of Julia Child Award, IACP

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante
Julia’s Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) + An Honor: The Legacy of Julia Child Award, IACP

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante

There are some mornings when you know exactly what to do. When your determined feet step into the kitchen, your tastebuds expect certain flavors, your eye squints behind the viewfinder. Fingers fly across the keyboard.

That was me the morning the world celebrated what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. I woke up inspired and in less than a few hours time, I had cooked and celebrated, my tribute joining the hundreds that fluttered across twitter, and all forms of media.

A month or so later, I saw that the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) was commemorating Julia Child’s 100th birthday and place in American food culture with a writing contest: The Legacy of Julia Child Award. I thought of my post and hesitated. Should I submit it? It’s just a simple story. But it was my story, and it was my tribute. Why not?

So I did.

And I was so very deeply honored when they selected my piece, Homework with Julia, as the winner of The Legacy of Julia Child Award. I am extremely grateful and feel very privileged to have my writing recognized, along with such esteemed food writers.

I wanted to celebrate with Julia in the kitchen, once again. With her Cinnamon Toast Flan.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Toast
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Eggs

Julia’s marriage of a classic bread pudding with a silky flan had me dreaming of eggs and creme Anglaise for days. I have to admit that even after I baked this bread pudding and scraped the last bit from the baking dish, I found myself returning to the kitchen to whisk more eggs into silky ribbons.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Creme Anglaise
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Cranberry Sauce

Her recommendation: eat it warm, eat it cold, at room temperature, topped with fresh fruit, or even a fruit sauce.

I did. And I hope you do, too.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | With Cranberry Sauce

Julia's Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding)

Serves 6-8. | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 40 minutes

Bread pudding meets silky flan in this lovely recipe from Julia Child. To make it even more decadent, I used slices of cinnamon swirl bread and topped the warm pudding with rich ice cream and cinnamon kissed cranberry sauce.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices cinnamon bread
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 large eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups hot milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Preheat the broiler. Prepare a baking dish by greasing with 2 tablespoons of the softened butter. Set aside.

Butter the slices of cinnamon bread with the remaining butter on one side. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Arrange on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler for a few seconds, until the bread is toasted and the golden. This takes just a little bit of time. Remove from the oven and cut into triangles, quartered.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the crème anglaise by whisking the eggs in a small saucepan using an electric beater (this an also be done by hand). Incorporate the sugar in a slow steady stream, and continue whisking until the eggs are paler in color and thicker, about 3 minutes or so. Drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the scalded milk while whisking, and slowly incorporate all the milk. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken. This transformation can happen very quickly, be careful not to overheat the custard as it can curdle. Once the custard coats the back of your wooden spoon, strain the crème anglaise into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

Layer the slices of bread buttered side up in the baking dish. Drizzle with a coating of crème anglaise, then place another layer of bread on top, followed by more crème anglaise.

Bake in a water bath by placing the baking dish in a larger pan and filling halfway with boiling water. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about an inch away from the edge of the baking dish comes out clean.

Adapted from Cinnamon Toast Flan (A Bread Pudding), Julia Child, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom (Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2000) via Epicurious.


    • liren

      I’m so pleased you liked the post, Lindsey. Thank you!! One day, I’ll have to revisit Paris, and hopefully you can join me in toasting Julia at one of her old haunts :)

    • liren

      Azmina, thank you my friend!! I’m so glad they appreciated my simple story, too :)

  1. Brian

    Congratulations friend! You deserve this recognition of your beautiful work. And now I must try this recipe. I really must.

    • liren

      Aw, Brian, you’re so sweet. Thank you. And yes, do try it, I know you’ll like it. (Add a slash of bourbon to the creme anglaise!)

  2. Joan Nova

    Congratulations, Liren, but I must add that it is no surprise and it is well-deserved. I just read your piece and I was totally transported and enchanted by your words and images.

    • liren

      Aw, Joan, thank you! I’m so glad I was able to take you back with me in reliving that fond memory :)

  3. Debi Shawcross

    Congrats, Liren! You are very talented behind the camera, in the kitchen, and on paper. Happy to see you getting the recognition you deserve.

    p.s.: This bread pudding looks pretty amazing BTW

    • liren

      Thank you so, so much Debi, for your kind words! You’ve seen my work since the beginning (the good and the bad, heh), and I appreciate your friendship :)

    • liren

      Aw, Lisa! Thank you so much! I just write from the heart, I’m so glad this food adventure has brought our worlds together!

  4. Holly

    Congratulations, Liren! I have been an admirer of your writing and photography for a long time, and this award is well deserved.

    • liren

      Thank you so much, Holly! Your kindness has always meant a lot to me!

  5. TKB01

    Congraulations! Finally getting the credit you deserve! I could not be more proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I know that this is just the beginning!

    • liren

      It is because of you that I am able to do what I love, don’t think that is ever forgotten. I started this because I love it, not for any credit, but it is definitely nice to be appreciated :) It is your support that keeps me going, and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

  6. Mary

    Liren, Congratulations! I am SO happy for you. I’m not at all surprised – you are a wonderful writer. I remember reading that post and how much I loved it. You have a gift – actually, you have many.

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