Put the perfect fall spin on a classic dish by turning regular bread pudding into Pumpkin Bread Pudding! Warm, deliciously spiced, and packed with your favorite pumpkin flavor, this amped up dessert is taken to a new level of baked goodness. Great for parties, potlucks, family gatherings, or any occasion you may want to treat yourself!
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Why bake up a batch of regular bread pudding when you can make a pumpkin flavored version instead? Everything is better with a little pumpkin spice after all! Add in chopped pecans and a decadent caramel drizzle and you’ve got a fall flavored dessert that’s ready to warm your kitchen and stomach as the weather gets cooler and those sweaters get thicker.
Don't get me wrong, we love our Caramel Bread Pudding and always make Eggnog Bread Pudding around the holidays. This Pumpkin Bread Pudding is one of our favorites, especially during the Fall and for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dessert.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or maybe even butter pecan?) for dessert. Or have a serving with your morning coffee to really start your day off right!
- loaf of white bread: Each piece of bread should be cut into 1-inch cubes then laid out to dry overnight
- eggs: You’ll need 7 for this recipe.
- milk: Whole milk is recommended.
- pumpkin puree: Be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling.
- sugar: White, granulated.
- pecans: Chopped, but these are optional.
- light brown sugar: For that warm, caramelized flavor.
- butter: Melted then cooled.
- vanilla extract: Can you bake without vanilla extract? It’s the perfect addition.
- pumpkin pie spice: You could also substitute cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, or allspice if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand.
- salt: Just a pinch.
- caramel sauce: We like to use our homemade caramel sauce for this recipe, but a jar of store bought works great too!
How To Make Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch or 11x7-inch casserole dish.
- Add the bread pieces to the casserole dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, pecans, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour it evenly over the bread ensuring that all of it gets covered and is able to soak. Don’t add too much liquid that the bread becomes completely soggy. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and uncover. Bake the bread pudding for 35 to 40 minutes or until it springs back when pushed in the center.
- Serve the pumpkin bread pudding with a warm caramel drizzle on top and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Make sure your bread has had time to dry out (or use bread that’s beginning to go stale) before letting the liquid soak into it. You can pre bake the bread to pull any moisture out. If bread isn’t dry or too much liquid is added, the bread pudding will end up soggy and mushy after baking.
- Add in chocolate or white chocolate chips for a rich, sweet burst of flavor.
- Make sure you grab pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pie filling already has spices and sugar added and won't work for this recipe.
- Half and half or heavy cream can be used instead of whole milk.
Can I use bread out of the package?
Nope, not straight out of the package. We like to use very dry bread that has the texture of croutons. There’s a lot of liquid in this recipe, so the bread should be well dried out in order to soak up all that liquid.
If needed, place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake it on 350°F for 15-20 minutes until dry and crunchy.
Can pumpkin bread pudding be made ahead?
Yes, this bread pudding can be made ahead. It’s actually best to prepare the bread pudding a little ahead of time so the bread has time to soak up all the liquid. It’s fine to make it several hours ahead or even the night before, cover, and set it in the fridge until to bake.
How to Store Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Refrigerator: Store any leftover Pumpkin Bread Pudding in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.
Freezer: Let the bread pudding cool completely, then wrap in several layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. The bread pudding will stay good in the freezer for about 2 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven.
Reheating: To reheat, simply heat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 20 ounces bakery-style bread, (each piece of bread cut into 1-inch cubes then laid out to dry overnight)
- 7 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted then cooled
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store bought
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9x13-inch or 11x7-inch casserole dish.
- Add the bread to the casserole dish and set aside.20 ounces bakery-style bread
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, granulated sugar, pumpkin, pecans, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour it evenly over the bread ensuring that all of it gets soaked. Stir if necessary to combine the ingredients.7 large eggs3 cups whole milk1 cup canned pumpkin purée¾ cup granulated sugar½ cup pecans¼ cup light brown sugar3 tablespoons unsalted butter1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until it springs back when pushed in the center. A knife inserted in the center should come out mostly clean.
- Serve the bread pudding with a warm caramel drizzle on top.1 cup caramel sauce
- See post for tips and storage options.