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April 03, 2018

What We’re Making with those Leftover Doughnuts

We Goodwill shoppers know how to make the most of what we have, and we’re frugal enough to make something new to avoid wasting anything. 

In this week’s installment of “Making New Food Out of Old Food You Already Have,” we’re going to talk about a crazy easy way to turn leftover doughnuts and sweet rolls into an all new, sophisticated dessert. Well, kind of sophisticated. Like, that new version of sophisticated that’s all about making everything homey? Actually, I guess that’s kind of on the way out and restaurants are going back to beautifully crafted, artistic desserts with complicated flavor profiles that work thanks to the superior training, experience, and palate of the pastry chef. I like those, too! But most of us can’t make those. You can make this one at home, with leftovers.

The original batch of Bejeweled Cranberry-Orange Rolls

I recently made a batch of Bejeweled Cranberry-Orange Rolls, this year’s winning recipe from the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I made them not to stuff my face with sweets, though that part was fun, but for research. (We food writers have pretty great lives. Research is fun for the whole family!) But that was research for another article. (Want to read that one? Follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, because I’m into shameless self-promotion and will post a link.) Anyhow, we ate the rolls, but we didn’t finish them, probably because my most dependable sweets-eater gave up his favorite treats for Lent. We ended up with leftovers and I knew exactly what to do.

“Un Vrai Pain Perdu”


Leftover Sweet Roll Bread Pudding

  • butter or vegetable cooking spray
  • leftover sweet rolls or doughnuts
  • some eggs
  • some half and half or milk (half and half is better, but I don’t want you to run out to the store or anything)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Chop sweet rolls or doughnuts into rough cubes.

Grease a casserole dish big enough to hold cubed rolls and spread them in the dish.

In a bowl, mix eggs and half and half, using about a tablespoon of liquid per egg. Use enough eggs and liquid to just cover the rolls. 

Pour into dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve, with ice cream if you like! 

NOTE: The sweet rolls or doughnuts shouldn’t be completely immersed, just barely covered. If you accidentally mix too many eggs, set them aside and make an omelet for your next meal, or just scramble them. 


If you search the web for “doughnut bread pudding” or similar, a lot of recipes include added sugar. Resist! If this really isn’t sweet enough already, you can always sprinkle powdered sugar over the top later. In fact, that would be really pretty, so go for it.

This dish may look an awful lot like French toast casserole because that’s pretty much what it is. As you probably guessed, the French don’t call it “French toast.” They call it “pain perdu,” which translates to “lost bread.” This dish is best made with the bread that would otherwise be lost to the trash when it gets stale. If your rolls or doughnuts are stale and you aren’t ready, cube them and toss them in the freezer for your next dinner party. Bon appétit!