The Genius Ingredient Martha Stewart Adds To Make Bread Pudding Sparkle

A domestic goddess through and through, Martha Stewart has been in the cooking and entertaining biz since way back in 1990, when she published the first issue of her long-running magazine Martha Stewart Living (via her official website). Ever since then, it's been a good idea to pay attention to Stewart's recipes, tips, and tricks — especially when it comes to baking.

The television host and cookbook author is a baker extraordinaire, as evidenced by Stewart's personal Instagram feed, where tempting photos of treats such as five-spice pumpkin pie, crispy chocolate chip cookies, and a hearty fruit crumble make it seem like a good idea to set the oven to 350 degrees — as soon as possible. So when we noticed a photo of her stunningly sparkly bread pudding, we were immediately intrigued by her technique. Leave it to the ever-stylish Stewart to use this special ingredient to create her dazzling bread pudding.

Sparkling sugar for the win

Have you ever heard of sparkling sugar? This coarse-grained sugar, also known as sanding sugar, consists of large grains of pure sucrose crystals that are clarified one extra time in order to produce an extremely clear result (via The Spruce Eats). Almost always used for decorating cookies and other baked treats, sparkling sugar gets an extra coating of confectioners' glaze for an extra-shiny finished product, and is available in white/clear as well as a variety of other colors.

Sparkling sugar is the secret to Martha Stewart's impressive bread pudding, which she shared in a photo on Instagram. A mix of brioche bread cubes, prunes, cranberries, and cherries bathed in an orange-and-Cognac-scented custard, the finished dessert is positively gleaming with the chunky sugar crystals. "Top with sparkle sugar for looks," Stewart notes on the post — but we're pretty sure the fancy sugar adds a nice crunch, as well.