It's about that time for pumpkin everything. From your morning latte to your pasta dinner. Here's a dessert that is actually also wonderful for breakfast or brunch. This Pumpkin-Pecan Bread Pudding recipe tastes a lot like a pumpkin pie, but with a great texture and a crunchy top.
When a running magazine asked me to create a Fall recipe utilizing pumpkin, with no sugar, and that would be great for breakfast, I started thinking bread pudding. Instead of adding sugar, I substituted maple syrup. This adds the perfect amount of sweetness and a subtle maple flavor that works wonderfully with pumpkin. The pecans on top are optional of course, but they do add a lot.
Bread pudding is one of my all-time favorite desserts. It’s like a baked French toast pumpkin pie. It can be made ahead and is wonderful for brunch or a holiday dessert, and can be served warm or cold.
If I see bread pudding on a restaurant menu, I am always tempted to order it, but they are so often disappointing. It is just so much better when made at home. Oh, and did I mention how easy it is to make?
How Do You Make Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding really is simple to make. You combine day-old bread cubes with a basic custard mixture (in this case: eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and pumpkin purée) to let it soak together for 30 minutes. Then you bake it for about an hour to cook it through and get a crunchy, golden top.
How Do You Know When Bread Pudding is Done?
Bread pudding bakes for 45 to 60 minutes. It will puff up and spring back when gently pushed with your hand and have an internal temperature of around 160 degrees. You can also stick a knife in and it should come back mostly clean.
What Kind of Bread to Use for Bread Pudding?
For bread pudding you can really use any kind of bread that is somewhat dried out. You want dried bread so it absorbs more of the custard. Brioche, sourdough, or even croissants are great to use in your bread pudding recipe.
How to Store Bread Pudding
Bread pudding should be cooled on the counter, then covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
How Reheat Bread Pudding
Bread pudding can be served cold, warm or at room temperature. To warm it after it has been refrigerated, simply place it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on how hot you like it.
- 12 oz egg bread , such as brioche, cut into 1” cubes (yields 12 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup maple syrup , plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup pecans , coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 215 degrees.
- Cut the bread into 1” cubes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Dry the bread cubes in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is slightly dried. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and pumpkin purée.
- Gently stir in the cubed bread.
- Pour the mixture in a 8” x 8” buttered baking dish and top with pecans.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes. The bread pudding will puff up and should spring back when lightly pushed.
- Let cool slightly and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.