This Apple Rum Bread Pudding solves a problem I have had for years! What do I do with those extra hamburger and hotdog buns that I overbought?

I love a good cookout! It’s a fantastically easy way to gather people together, which is pretty much my life’s purpose right now. Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine how many hamburger and hotdog buns you need, especially if you have an open invitation to friends and neighbors.

Have you ever hosted a cookout and realized you bought waaaaaaay too many hamburger and hotdog buns?

That happens to me every single time! Usually, I put the extras in the freezer, only to throw them away about a year later when I remembered I put them there, and they are too freezer burned to use!

Seriously, does anyone actually use those buns out of the freezer?

If you do, you are a better human than me! Please teach me your ways!

I don’t like to be wasteful, but I also don’t want to eat hamburgers and hotdogs every day for weeks!

This is what you can do with those leftover hamburger and hotdog buns

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Thanks to my friend Rose, a connoisseur of bread pudding, I set out to find a combination that she would love. This one was a hit!

Bread pudding was invented by frugal cooks way back in the eleventh century as a way to use up stale bread. It is basically cut-up stale bread with custard poured over it before it is cooked. To me, that always sounded gross… until I finally tried it.

I finally found a delicious way to use all those buns this time, so they don’t go to waste. The hamburger and hotdog buns can be a few days old or fresh out of the freezer. For this recipe, it doesn’t matter. You can actually use any bread. If you want to be fancy, use challah or french bread.

The thing that sets this recipe apart is the apples. Bread pudding typically has raisins in it, which I don’t prefer. I first tried to make this without any fruit, and then I had some kids try it. One of the kids said, “Miss Carrie, I think this needs apples.”

And that was how this Apple Rum Bread Pudding came to be!

If you absolutely love raisins, you can add about half a cup to this recipe. I have heard that soaking them in rum first adds some great flavor, but I haven’t tried it… because I think raisins are gross.

Now let’s get baking!

Put on a cute apron and wash those hands. Then tie back your hair, so nobody gets extra love in their food. I need to remind myself of this every time!

Ingredients for the bread pudding:

This shows the ingredients for Apple rum bread pudding. Words read apple, maple syrup, rum extract, cinnamon, leftover hamburger buns, eggs, vanilla, salt, coconut oil, and milk.
  • Leftover hamburger or hotdog buns– I used 4 for this recipe, but you will need about 4 cups of whatever kind of bread you have. It is not limited to buns. Use whatever bread you want to use up.
  • Eggs– The eggs are very important to this recipe. Do not omit them.
  • Milk– I used 2% for this, but any kind of milk will work. You could use half and half or heavy cream for a more decadent pudding. I haven’t tried non-dairy milk, but I imagine those would work, but it might impact the flavor; just make sure that all the bread is saturated.
  • Coconut Oil– Make sure the coconut oil is in its melted form. You can substitute melted butter for coconut oil.
  • Maple Syrup– Make sure you use pure maple syrup. I love the flavor that it gives. If you do not have maple syrup handy, you can use another sweetener like white or brown sugar.
  • Vanilla Extract– I use pure vanilla extract, but you could use vanilla paste.
  • Rum Extract– I had this in my pantry because I used it to make butter beer for my kids, but you can also use actual rum. 1/2 tsp rum extract = 1 tbsp of light rum. 1 1 1/2 tsp rum extract = 1 tbsp dark rum (according to my rum extract box)
  • Cinnamon– Cinnamon makes everything taste better
  • Salt– I use sea salt… just a pinch


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and set aside. If you forget to grease the dish, it’s not the end of the world; it just makes it a little bit hard to get out of the pan. I say this because I always forget this step… I’m too excited to make the delicious treat!

Cut up the leftover hamburger buns into about 3/4 inch chunks. This does not need to be exact. If the bread happens to be a little stale, that’s great!

This shows leftover hamburger buns cut into about 3/4 inch pieces and set into the baking dish.

Next, dump all the “non-bread” ingredients into a bowl and whisk it up! Set it aside for a minute.

Note… because we are using coconut oil, it may turn into little white balls as you add it to the cold ingredients. This is fine. You did nothing wrong! It still mixes up and ends up tasting delicious!

This shows all the ingredients for the egg mixture in a bowl.
The egg mixture is being whisked together

Next, chop the apples into thin bits. Put half aside to top your bread pudding later. You may want to add a little lemon to the bowl so that the apples don’t turn brown before you get a chance to eat them.

apples that have been diced up. Half of the apples are in a bowl. The other half are on the cutting board waiting to be added into the apple rum bread pudding.

You will now get your cut-up hamburger or hotdog buns and mix in some apples. I have found the best way to do it is to get in there with your hands and mix it up!

Hands are mixing half of the apples into to the bread.

Get your bowl of egg mixture and pour it over the top of the bread. Make sure that all of the bread has been soaked. I use my whisk to push the top bread down into the mixture until it has all been moistened.

The egg mixture is being poured into the leftover hamburger bun chunks in the baking dish.
Using a whisk to push the top hamburger bun pieces into the egg mixture to make sure they are all coated.

Bake your Apple Rum Bread Pudding for about 45 minutes or until it is set in the center. The top will feel stiff when you press it, but it will be springy.

Pinable image of Apple Rum Bread Pudding with vanilla sauce and apples. It says "The best way to use those extra hamburger and hotdog buns. Apple rum bread pudding.
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How to make the Sauce

Ingredients for the Vanilla Rum Sauce:

This shows the ingredients for the vanilla rum sauce. The words read, "butter, half & half, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and rum extract."
  • Butter– I used salted butter for this recipe, but unsalted would work too. If you already have unsalted, there is no need to run to the store. It will still be good.
  • Half and half– Heavy cream can be used for this recipe. I used half and half because that is what I always have in my fridge!
  • Granulated Sugar– You definitely need sugar. Sugar makes the vanilla rum sauce good!
  • Brown Sugar– If you don’t have brown sugar, you can make it with white sugar and molasses. (If you happen to have molasses lying around). Use 1/2 cup white sugar and 3 teaspoons of molasses.
  • Rum Extract– I originally came up with this recipe because I happened to have rum extract from making butter beer. You can omit this and add more Vanilla. It would then become a Vanilla Sauce. You can also substitute rum. See the ingredients above.
  • Vanilla Extract– You can also use vanilla paste.
This shows half and half being poured into a pan that already has butter, sugar, and brown sugar to make the vanilla rum sauce.

Dump the butter, sugars, and half & half in a 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat. I use a whisk, but a wooden spoon will work as well.

a pot with all of the ingredients melted and mixed together.
The vanilla rum sauce for the apple rum bread pudding has come to a rolling boil.

Stir occasionally until it comes to a boil and begins to thicken up. Once it is at a rolling boil, I stir it more often because I am terrified that it will boil over on me and get sticky everywhere. This has never happened to me… it might be an irrational fear.

Vanilla is being added to the vanilla rum sauce. It is at a rolling boil.
Rum extract is being added to the vanilla rum sauce. It is at a rolling boil.

Once the sauce has thickened up, carefully add the vanilla extract and the rum extract. Mix it together and remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce into a mason jar or mini milk pourer.

The sauce is in a creamer pourer, ready to be served on the apple rum bread pudding.

Serve the Apple Rum Bread Pudding with the Vanilla Rum Sauce, cut-up apples, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (I had to get my vanilla ice cream from a carton of Neopolitan… It was quite the adventure) Whipped cream will work too, but the added ice cream made me have to take the bread pudding and sauce to the neighbor’s house so I wouldn’t eat it all myself.

This shows a single serving of apple rum bread pudding served with apples, vanilla rum sauce, and vanilla ice cream.
This shows a bite of apple rum bread pudding.

Pin this recipe and share it with a friend! They will thank you for it!

This shows the apple rum bread pudding fresh out of the oven. It has sliced apple chunks and the vanilla rum sauce on the side.

Apple Rum Bread Pudding

This Apple Rum Bread Pudding is the perfect recipe to use up extra hamburger and hotdog buns after a cookout. The apples really take this bread pudding to a whole new level.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
  • 1 1½ quart baking dish
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 1 quart sauce pan


  • 4-5 hamburger or hotdog buns
  • 3 eggs
  • cups milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple honeycrisp or granny smith

Vanilla Rum Sauce

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp rum extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Grease 1½ quart baking dish and set aside
  • cut up buns into about ¾ inch pieces and put them into the baking dish
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, rum extract, cinnamon and salt.
  • Pour mixture over the bread in inteh baking dish. Make sure that all the bread has been soaked by the egg mixture. You may need to push some of the top pieces down to dip them in.
  • Cut the apple into small pieces. Sit aside half of the apples. Mix the other half into the bread mixture. (I add some lemon juice to the remaining apples so that they won't brown while it cooks. )
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until set in the center. The top will feel firm, but springy.
  • Spoon into individual dishes. Top with Vanilla rum sauce and apples. You can also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Vanilla Rum Sauce

  • In a 1-quart saucepan, combine butter, half and half, and both sugars.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring ocassionally until it comes to a boil and thickens up. This should take 6-8 minutes.
  • Carefully add in vanilla and rum extract and stir.
  • I pour it into a mini milk creamer pitcher or a small masen jar and set it aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Drizzle it onto the Apple Rum Bread Pudding



This recipe can be made with any kind of bread. Use about 4 cups once chopped up.
You can use 1 tbsp spiced rum in place of rum extract.
Top with sauce, apples, and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Keyword apple rum bread pudding, bread pudding, leftover bread, leftover hamburger buns, leftover hotdog buns


  1. 5 stars
    This looks like the perfect fall treat. I love the bonus idea to use leftover hamburger and hotdog buns, too. I can’t wait to give this apple rum bread pudding a try.

  2. I use my leftover buns for garlic bread (takes me back to elementary school lunches, lol!). I’ve never made bread pudding before and this looks really easy to do. My husband hates raisins so I like the idea of using apples instead.

  3. What a great way to use leftover hot dog and hamburger buns!!! This bread pudding looks so good! I only ever make one version (my grandma’s recipe) but I am going to give this one a try. That vanilla rum sauces sounds delicious! Thanks for the new dessert recipe!

    • Oh… this would be a delicious breakfast! The house smell so good while it is baking!

  4. 5 stars
    Bread pudding is a great way to use up leftover buns and bread. And I like that you added apples to this recipe. Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This looks absolutely amazing!! I am so excited to try it! I always love seeing what you have to share and challenge me with:).

  6. 5 stars
    It is a really interesting recipe. Usually, I cook something tasty and hot for after school snack. I m going to try this pudding next week.

  7. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious and the perfect comfort food for these colder seasons. I’ll be making it this weekend, thanks for the recipe.

  8. This looks good! I have to maintain a gluten-free diet, but I do find myself with too many gluten-free rolls sometimes (when they get stuck in the back of the freezer, and I find them just before freezer burn strikes!). I just may test this out in a gluten-free version.

  9. Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts because it can be so many versions of itself with all of our favorites and it is usually pretty easy to tackle! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    I love a good bread pudding. The idea of adding apples is genius; looks delicious. l vanilla rum sauce is devine. Thanks for sharing

  11. This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never had bread pudding before but now I can’t wait to try it! 😀

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