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Kings Hawaiian Custard Casserole

A couple of weeks back, I made a French Toast Casserole for brunch. It was well received and delicious, but I, personally, was hoping for a much creamier custard center that just never materialized with this recipe. As I ate it, I kept thinking about what would give me the custard quality I desired. I knew it was the “bread,” and then that light bulb in my head appeared when I thought Kings Hawaiian rolls! Let me just say I could not get this idea out of my head, so even though I just posted the French Toast Casserole in January, I had to give this a go. It turned out just as I had hoped, so I had to share this recipe as well.

I gave a couple of pieces of it to a friend to share with his husband. When he accepted it, he asked, “Is this for brunch or dessert?” I said, “YES!”

If I had to categorize, I would say that this dish is a cross between bread pudding and french toast casserole.

Kings Hawaiian

King’s Hawaiian Custard Casserole

You will need:

10×14 Glass Casserole Dish or similar
Additional Glass or Ceramic casserole dish for water bath

This brunch/dessert recipe needs to be prepared and assembled at least 24 hours prior to baking.


24 Kings Hawaiian Rolls
10 large eggs
3 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts, almonds, pecans, or walnuts
1/4 cup almond flour (pecan flour or walnut flour)**
Splash of Maple syrup

Cooking spray

Maple Syrup for serving
Powdered Sugar (optional)
Fresh berries (optional)

Kings Hawaiian


Coat a 10×14-inch glass casserole dish with butter-flavored cooking spray. Place the Kings Hawaiian Rolls in the coated casserole dish; set aside.

Make the custard. Whisk 10 large eggs, 3 1/3 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt together in a large bowl until smooth and combined.

Pour the custard evenly over the rolls, then using a large flat spatula, press the rolls down into the custard to release the trapped air. This will better allow the custard to be absorbed by the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. At the 12 to 16-hour mark, remove the dish from the refrigerator, uncover, and using that large, flat spatula to flip all of the rolls over so that the top of the roll is now on the bottom. (I’d do this before I go to bed if this is for brunch or when I wake up if it’s for a dessert.) Cover again and refrigerate for the remaining 8-12 hours. At this point, there should be no dry spots, and the rolls are completely soaked with custard.

The Next Day

About 30 minutes before baking, remove the dish from the refrigerator. Prepare your oven by making sure that you have a rack on the lower shelf and one on the middle rack. Place the additional glass, or ceramic casserole dish filled half full with water onto the oven’s lower shelf.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients for the crumble topping, including the chopped nuts, 1/4 cup nut flour, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a large bowl.
Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and blend with a fork until it forms moist small clumps. Add the splash of maple syrup and fold it into the crumble.
Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the casserole and allow to sit on the counter until time to bake.

Bake Your Kings Hawaiian Custard Casserole

Bake until the casserole is puffed, golden brown, and set in the center. Approximately 45-50 minutes. It is done when you insert a table knife into the center, and it comes out moist yet clear.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with maple syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve fresh berries.

Side Notes

Please wait until the oven and your glass or ceramic dish filled with hot water cool down before taking it out. The water will burn you if you spill it.

*A glass baking dish allows for you to see how well the custard is absorbed into the bread cubes and where you may wish to correct it before baking.

** To make your nut flour, place a heaping quarter cup in a food processor (or use an immersion blender for easier clean-up) and pulverize until reduced to a flour consistency.

Kings Hawaiian

Download Printable PDF Here -> Kings Hawaiian Custard Casserole.

Well, that is all for now!


Rick & Gary

One Comment

  1. Luci

    This sounds fabulous Rick!!! I’m so happy I’ll get to see you in a couple of weeks!!! It’s been way too long😊

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