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This pumpkin bread pudding is a great fall dessert. Leftover bread combines with a pumpkin custard for a luscious way to end a meal!
I’m excited to be sharing another pumpkin recipe with you! If you saw my pumpkin charlotte recipe you already know I’m a huge fan of pumpkin, and have been since before those PSLs came around.
I always keep some pumpkin on hand in the pantry, just in case I get a craving. (Pro tip: Target always has pumpkin on clearance after Thanksgiving, and it has a long shelf life!)
But while I might be craving a nice slice of pumpkin pie, I I like to look for alternatives to get that pumpkin fix. This time, I knew just what to do, thanks to the leftover loaf of bread on the counter.
This pumpkin bread pudding recipe comes together really easily, and because you have that creaminess already coming from the pumpkin to add to the custard, you don’t need to add as much milk or eggs as you would in a regular bread pudding.
I’m not going to call this dessert healthy, but it’s healthy-er? Healthy-ish? Let’s just go with the fact it’s delicious.
Ingredients for pumpkin bread pudding
Full list of ingredients with quantities is located in the recipe card.
Bread – I recommend using challah or brioche to make bread pudding. These egg breads are ultra tender and really work well when making custard-based dishes like bread pudding or french toast.
You can also use your favorite artisan or sourdough loaf. I do not recommend using packaged sandwich bread.
Pumpkin – You can use canned pumpkin purée or make your own pumpkin purée from scratch.
Don’t use pumpkin pie filling, which has added ingredients.
Milk – You can use whole milk or 2% milk. Skim milk won’t give you as rich of a custard, but can work.
If you use a nondairy milk alternative, I recommend an unflavored unsweetened variety.
Brown sugar – Both light or dark brown sugar will work.
Maple syrup – I love the flavor the maple syrup adds, but if you like, you can omit it in favor of more brown sugar. I do recommend real maple syrup!
Eggs – Standard large eggs.
Spices – This recipe uses cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg, along with salt. You can use your favorite pumpkin spice blend or apple pie spice instead, if you like.
What type of bread do I need for bread pudding?
Bread pudding of course starts with bread. It’s the base of the recipe, so make sure you use something good.
You can use any bread you like for my pumpkin bread pudding recipe. This is especially good with challah or even a brioche, but a nice artisan loaf works well too.
Just don’t use sliced sandwich bread, please! You need a good loaf from the bakery section for this.
Bonus points if it is slightly stale to soak up the custard even more. If your bread isn’t a little stale, you can place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and toast slightly in the oven.
How to make this recipe
Custards can seem really intimidating, but this one is truly easy.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, pumpkin, and spices, until completely smooth.
Cut the bread as evenly as possible into 1-inch cubes.
Add the bread, in batches if needed, and stir it into the custard. Make sure you don’t leave any pieces uncoated with the custard mixture.
Pour the bread and extra custard into a greased square baking dish. If needed, rearrange or squish down the bread to make sure it gets coated in custard.
From there, it’s just a matter of letting the pumpkin bread pudding rest before it goes in the oven.
The longer you let the bread and the custard rest, the more the bread will soak up the liquid, so this is a perfect dessert to make ahead and leave in the fridge before baking.
You can leave the bread pudding to rest for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
If you’re making this recipe for Thanksgiving, I’d recommend making it the night before or early the morning of and baking it while everyone enjoys dinner.
Trust me, you’ll be glad to have one less thing to worry about in those busy few hours leading up to dinner.
If you’re storing it overnight, make sure to cover with plastic wrap before placing in the fridge, and then don’t forget to remove the plastic wrap before baking.
When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and the bread edges are a bit toasty.
Let cool slightly and serve with your favorite toppings.
What to serve with pumpkin bread pudding
Nothing makes quite as good of a pair as bread pudding and whiskey sauce.
I really enjoy topping my pumpkin bread pudding recipe with a tasty whiskey butter sauce that I like to use for waffles. Butter, whiskey, pumpkin, vanilla… it’s all just too good.
Of course, caramel sauce is a classic, but chocolate sauce is also unexpectedly good with pumpkin.
And, just so you know, pumpkin bread pudding is just as good cold as it is warm. Putting that out there just in case there are leftovers.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 eggs
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 pound artisan loaf, challah, or sourdough, cubed (7-8 cups)
- Optional for serving: ice cream, whipped cream, whiskey butter sauce, caramel sauce
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt until well blended.
- Add bread and stir carefully to combine, making sure there are no dry pieces remaining.
- Lightly coat an 8×8 square baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour the bread into the dish, arranging evenly in the pan. Pour any leftover custard over the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and serve with your favorite topping.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…