Layered Bread Pudding with Apples

This baked apple bread pudding won't disappoint either as a dessert nor as a sweet breakfast. Simply made with several layers of brioche dipped in egg and milk, grated apples and flavoured with cinnamon.

Layered Bread Pudding with Apples

This baked apple bread pudding won't disappoint either as a dessert nor as a sweet breakfast. Simply made with several layers of brioche dipped in egg and milk, grated apples and flavoured with cinnamon.
Zemlovka Recipe
Brioche Bread Pudding with Apples
Layered Brioche Bread Pudding with Grated Apples
  • Prep Time40 min
  • Cook Time40 min
  • Total Time1 hr 20 min
  • Yield6


  • 500 g apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated or cut into small pieces
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 brioche loaf, cut to 12 slices
  • 7 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 2 big heaps of butter

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Preheat the oven to 180°C.


Butter a baking dish (approx. 26 x 19 centimetres).


Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a bowl.


Mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and rum in separate bowl.


This bread pudding has 3 brioche layers with apples in between. You need 4 slices of the brioche for each layer if you are using a dish with the above dimensions.


Dip each brioche slice in milk and lay them next to each other at the bottom of the dish. You will most likely need to tear some brioche slices apart to make them cover the whole bottom.

How to make Bread Pudding

Spread half of the apples over the first layer.


Lay another 4 brioche slices dipped in milk over the apples.

Layered Bread Pudding with Apples

Spread the rest of the apples over the second brioche layer. Pour all juices from the apple mix in too, they are full of flavour.


Cover apples with remaining 4 pieces of brioche dipped in milk.


Lay slices/nobs of butter over the final layer and bake on 180°C for approximately 40 minutes.

Scattered nobs of butter over the bred pudding
Layered bread pudding with apples and cinnamon

I used to think that Bread Pudding called”Zemlovka” was a meal very specific to the Czech Republic. However,  on my travels I realised how small the world is and how similar certain meals can be. I am always excited when I find the same type of meal in different cuisines.

For example, there is French bread in France, bread and butter pudding in the UK and Zemlovka in the Czech Republic.

The origin of the bread pudding dates back to the 11th/12th century when it was most popular among the lower classes. The main idea that connects all the recipes is to use stale bread that would otherwise be thrown away.

Traditionally,  prepare our Czech bread pudding by layering slices of “rohlik” (a type of bread roll) or festive yeast cake with apples and flavour it with sugar and cinnamon. That is the basic version that I like the most, other variations contain raisins, nuts, curd cheese and even egg meringue.

Interestingly, bread pudding is often served as a main dish in my country, even our school kitchens have been serving sweet dinners once a week for as long as I can remember. For example, we have a considerably long list of sweet dishes in the Czech Republic consisting of meals like dumplings filled with fruit, pasta with poppy seeds and sugar, semolina pudding, bubble cake and bread pudding.

I wasn’t a massive fan of those when I was a child and I still believe that savoury meal satisfies a hungry stomach more. Nevertheless, once or twice a year I make a sweet dinner anyway. It’s mainly to keep the Czech tradition going.

You should see that confused looks on my boys’ faces when I put a plate in front of them. My husband is English and he isn’t accustomed to eating sweet main meals but as he is a polite person he doesn’t say anything and eats his serving. On the other hand, my sons don’t have any trouble being completely honest so it’s better to have some sandwiches on hand for them.

Don’t be fooled, we love cakes, muffins, pies and anything sweet. For us, the best way to enjoy them is with a cup of tea or coffee as a dessert or as our breakfast.

Tips on how to make a simple bread and butter pudding with apples

  • Choose a smaller dish so the bread and apples fit snuggly. This way, the inside stays moist while the top gets crispy and golden.
  • If the edge of your baking dish isn’t high enough (approx. 6 centimetres) juices might drip down during baking, it’s better to put a tray with water underneath. It will prevent burns at the bottom of your oven.
  • I recommend 7 tablespoons of caster sugar for 500 grams of grated apples, however, I used apples from our garden that are slightly tart, alternativly, you can use less sugar if your apples are sweet.
  • If you want your bread pudding to have a nice golden colour at the bottom as well as the top don’t forget to butter the inside of the baking dish and place small knobs of butter all over the top brioche layer too.

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