pumpkin bread pudding

Here is a recipe that every single person should have in their arsenal, and I couldn’t be happier that it is now in mine. After a week of flan that never set and floppy, leaky quiche crusts, there are no words for the serenity brought on by a recipe with TWO steps. Heck, the entire set of instructions tops out around 50 words.

pumpkincustardbread cubesmeasured

It was so easy that despite being at my wit’s end after Tuesday night’s fiasco, I made it anyway. Burrowing our spoons into still warm, bourbon-spiked (like I could resist) sweet fall comfort was heavenly, and as I chewed on those buttery bread cubes and pondered the ginger’s edginess, memories of cooking failures fell away, and there was just this, a blissful and eerily wholesome calm.

There is utter genius is combining two of life’s great pleasures, baked French toast and pumpkin pie, into something you could as easily eat for dessert as a decadent brunch side dish. If you dot it with vanilla bean flecked yogurt, I don’t think people would remember a single other thing you made. And if you invited me over, I might never leave.

ready to bakeready to bakecoolingpumpkin bread pudding, RIP

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007

I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference to me in dishes like this, so I figure I’ll give my arteries a break), and doubling almost all of the spices. Oh, and I added bourbon, but you probably anticipated that.

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet’s Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.

Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions: While preheating oven to 350°F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

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233 comments on pumpkin bread pudding

  1. LOL, for a minute there I thought you were going Sandra Lee on our asses by matching your site to the food you made (can you say TABLESCAPES??). The bread pudding looks absolutely delicious. I’m such a sucker for all things bread…

    1. Aurora

      This was so delicious. I added a sticky toffee- date topping and it was too good. With ice cream. At Gordon Ramsey, which is in the hotel where I work, they serve sticky toffee pudding with brown butter ice cream. I had butter pecan, which went great.

  2. gina

    omg deb (yes, i omg-ed), it’s as if you read my mind. just last night i pondered how one might make pumpkin bread pudding (as i, like most others around this time, have leftover pumpkin puree from other recipes). thank you for secretly reading my thoughts to help my desires come alive!

  3. This looks absolutely delicious! I think I’m definitely going to make it this weekend – maybe I can turn my non-pumpkin loving husband around?


  4. RA

    Ooh, I love anything pumpkin, but I can’t stomach bread pudding. I can’t get past the wet bread stage. It’s completely psychological, but I can see why this would be a good idea. If you liked bread pudding, that is. :)

    I like this rusty autumnal theme! But, as Clare suggests, it is rather semi-homemade to change one’s theme with the dish at hand, which I generally cannot condone.

  5. Nan

    I don’t know where to start….yes I do….THANKS! I discovered your site when a friend living in Buenos Aires had it on her blog – I checked in and three hours later checked out….feeling very well fed, indeed! I loved reading your blog, and can’t wait to try out more of your recipes (today I made the butternut squash and onion galette – fabulous!) You now have another number one fan, in Seattle…Me!

  6. Deb – glad you finally had some success! Plus some alcohol! Does it get any better, really? Great pics and tips, as usual. Thanks, hun (as we say in Baltimore)!

  7. Jonathan

    Hey Deb – So, this past summer I made the berry bread pudding you wrote about in “A little sweet for your suffering”… and I did it with the Angel Food Cake. FANTASTIC! And I have to say, after mixing the berries in the pot on the stove, it was pretty much the best spoon-lick ever. So – I’m thinking about trying a fall version of it with Apples, Pears, and Persimmons, and using cinnamon sugar instead of just sugar… What do you (and anyone else here) think?

  8. deb

    Clare — What scares me more is that I am exactly OCD enough to wish to have multiple color schemes so the site can always match. I mean, I never wear brown shoes with black pants, why should my blog? Is it a slippery slope from here to Kwanzaa Celebration Cake?

    Jonathan — Not only do I think you should, I think you should send me some. I found in the end that I much preferred that fruit compote over angel food cake, rather than the soaked bread. I bet I would love this, as well. Plus, it’s a dessert that keeps. Fruit kept in one container in the fridge. Cake can be good for days at room temp.)

  9. I am thrilled that you’re back in your groove, cooking-wise!

    I thought once, for about 8 years, that I was allergic to pumpkin. Last year, I just decided I wasn’t, and let me say, that the re-addition of pumpkin to my diet is just oh so welcome. I’ve found the perfect recipe for pumpkin squares (a more moist version of pumpkin bread) that is getting made about once a week around my house (my co-workers love and hate me simultaneously for starting the holiday eating early).

    I may have to give this recipe a try…Costco and your giant cans of pumpkin, here I come!

  10. Pumpkin mixed with weather getting colder and crisper, ahhhh! Heaven. I’m writing this one down for sure. My husband loves bread pudding, he’ll be begging me to make this recipe again and again after he’s tasted it…Thanks!

  11. I can’t wait to get out of college so that I can have a kitchen and try some of these things. For now, I guess I’ll have to stick to my Easy Bake Oven….

  12. OH YUM! This weekend I’m baking pumpkin pecan bars. If I have any pumpkin leftover I KNOW it’s going into this bread pudding. And, I could give a rats ass about my pants. (Yeah, I’m back on the darkside…for a bit.)

  13. Ooh! I am crazy for bread pudding in both sweet and savory versions. I thought my recent apple challah bread pudding was as autumnal as one could get but this is something else altogether. I’ll be trying it out soon as your recipes are always winners!

  14. I’ve been thinking about bread pudding and now I have the perfect recipe to try–and I can get rid of that pumpkin that’s been sitting on my counter for ages. Thanks!

  15. Jessi from Boston

    Almost speechless. I am Peruvian and have grown up with my grandma making me bread pudding. It is by far the most underrated dessert of ALL time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  16. Oh sooooo good!!! I’ll have to add this to my pumpkin collection of recipes…and have pumpkin EVERYTHING for an entire day sometime soon. Pumpkin bread pudding, pumpkin soup, pumpkin roll, pumpkin spice bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin cookies… Who wants to join me in this fabulous spicey feast?!?! I’ve got a whole batch of homemade pumpkin puree in the freezer just begging to be used. :)

  17. Mama V

    what’s funny is that I just made a very similar recipe, also from Gourment…just last week! It had raisins, though, and a caramel sauce, and was made with egg bread… yummmmmmmm

  18. So glad your funk is over. BAck to regularly scheduled amazing meals, thank you very much.

    Oh and BTW I noticed that you did not RSVP for any of the punk band shows i told you about this weekend. Last night was the first one. You only have Bed-Stuy & Greenpoint left. Get on it! And wear you best punk rock outfit!

  19. My sister emailed me a link to this post and wrote one sentence: i want to eat the whole pan of this.

    I think that was a hint that she wants it for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for her, a) we’re going to be in Texas; b) I hate anything pumpkin.

    But you have her salivating.

  20. Amelia

    Amazing timing! It’s finally acting like autumn in Indiana, and this is going to go phenomenally well with my backyard bonfire-and-bourbonated-hot-cider party tonight. Thank you!

  21. dara

    I’d already cut this out and was planning on it soon. Funnily enough, I swear that when clipping it, I thought of you and wondered if it was one you’d be making! And here you are! So glad it was easy and came out great. Yes, Gourmet’s pumpkin-y recipes always seem to need double the spices. Thanks for your good humor through the disasters. No matter how seasoned a cook you are, they always seem to happen just often enough to keep you humble!

  22. Oh my gosh! This recipe sounds so deeLish and the photos only make my mouth water even more. I will definitely try making this dish and will be sure and credit you and your site with it whenever I serve it. Thank you for such a great site. junemoon

  23. P.S. – Silly me, I forgot to mention: I’m happy to hear that you were able to fully enjoy this bread pudding, and NOT think about “cooking failures” (everything you make looks perfect to me!)

  24. Nikki

    Whenever I venture from Reno, NV to San Francisco, I have a favorite litte restaurant in the Castro where I always have the banana bread pudding for dessert. Bread pudding. Made from banana bread. Unbelievably good. I’m now considering how to make the bread pudding here from actual pumpkin bread and wondering if the subtraction of some sugar would make it all work out, especially when considering the addition of a bourbon sauce.

  25. KT

    I made this tonite and while yummy was a bit eggy for me…maybe my bread should have been more dry…to guild the lily, I sprinkled a few cinnamon chips on top which was great. Will make again and cut back on the egg.

  26. Erin

    I made this today to take to over to some friends, and it was very tasty. I think maybe I didn’t have enough bread, though (even though I threw in a little extra beyond the recommended 5 cups) and I echo KT’s comment above that it probably should have been a bit more stale. Nonetheless, it was quite tasty and will likely be made again with some small tweaks. Thanks, Deb!

  27. MMMmmmmm. I am going to have to think of the appropriate punishment for you two for not showing up to ANY of the Underground Railroad to Candyland shows in Brooklyn this weekend!

  28. Brenda

    I made this today and it was fantastic, especially warm from the oven. I used some cinnamon bread and made a bit more of the custard mixture – I like bread pudding pretty moist on the bottom and chewy on top. I also melted the butter in the pan as you suggested, but let it brown just a little bit. Thanks for the great fall recipe!

  29. Kristin W

    Deb, are the spice amounts you list here the original amounts, or what you doubled them to? I also tend to go way heavy on the spices, but I don’t want to quadruple them by accident….

  30. gina

    this made a fabulous sunday-morning fall breakfast. i used a combination of apple-raisin-spice bread and pecan-raisin bread and found the occasional bites with fruit and nut to be a delicious addition. thanks for the recipe!

  31. Rachel

    This recipe inspired what I call an “autumnly fally” dinner party with friends, and it was a hit! We combined other autumnly fally food such as butternut squash sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and turkey meatloaf. Combine those tasty items with great wine, and boy oh boy we had a great time!! Thanks for the inspiration! -Texas

  32. Traci

    Made this for dessert last night, and it was YUMMY! Even my picky 11-year-old ate it and loved it. (I couldn’t convince the picky 8-year-old but, eh, more for me this way right?)
    We indulged all the way and topped the warm bread pudding with a little vanilla bean ice cream. Soooooooo good.

  33. nicole

    I was thrilled when I saw this, wanting to jump on the Fall bandwagon. I made it yesterday and after 1/2 hr in the oven it was still runny. I left it in longer, with the middle still too mushy, almost wet but the top started to burn and crisp too much. I felt disheartened by my mush of bread pudding, it having been my first real baking diseaster. I thought of you and the flan, thinking, it’s okay the best don’t always succeed. What did I do wrong?? Could it have been my oven? It can be tempermental but that seemed a little weird.

  34. Olivia

    I made this last night and it was delicious. My husband’s favorite desert is bread pudding, but he said the pumpkin version is superior. I think I’ll be making this for holidays rather than regular pumpkin pie.

  35. Kimberly

    Imagine my surprise when flipping through Philly Style magazine and I see Deb’s face staring up at me! You deserve all the recognition! Your site is the best!

  36. this provided a break for our pumpkin-carving session last night. it was perfect right between scooping the guts and doing the carving. so good. i told my husband, “the more i eat this, the more i like it,” and he said, “mmhmhhmm!”

  37. ooh – I’ll have to try the pecans next time, Becca.

    I made it with the heavy cream because I had some on hand that needed to be used up. I would NOT recommend it. With all the butter, etc, it curdled a bit and was waaay too rich.

    The recipe itself is AMAZING! Even though our version was a bit too rich, we still managed to eat it all in small servings. :) Also, I bought ice cream to go over it (cinnamon dulce de leche!) but because of the aformentioned richness, it didn’t sound so good so we skipped it.

    I think next time I’ll let it sit for 30 minutes before baking to soak up the custard better.

    I think this could be divine with a bit of real maple syrup drizzled over the top.

    Thanks for giving me this year’s go-to fall recipe! Yumm!

  38. Wow–this was so freakin’ good I can’t even begin to describe it. My family hoovered down a double batch in under 24 hours. We decided it was a perfectly respectable breakfast :-) Thanks so much!

  39. One more comment on the bread pudding. My son got his braces on today and his mouth is very painful. I asked him of there was any soft food he might like and he immediately asked for the pumpkin bread pudding–his very own pan of it!

  40. Beth

    Two words: MORE BOURBON. Seriously, I loved this dessert – so simple, so delicious, very few dishes to do, and I second the thought that it also makes a wonderful breakfast, if any of it actually makes it to morning. And I’m not even much of a drinker, but the bourbon hardly registered. Next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time) I’ll try it with more booze.

    I was also too eager to wait around for bread to go stale so I sliced up a baguette, put the slices on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven while it pre-heated. Not toasted, just dry. (I also went for less dairy and opted for a combo of soy milk and Silk creamer instead. And 3 whole eggs as I hate having separated egg portions around. It still turned out beautifully!) Thanks Deb!

  41. Kate

    This is probably a silly question, but I’ve never made bread pudding before. About how many cups of cubed bread will a standard-ish sized baguette yield?

  42. I made this recipe this evening — fabulous! My boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin pie, but he likes this. I topped our piping-hot-out-of-the-oven pieces with Haagen-Daz vanilla ice cream. Lovely end to a fall evening. Thanks!

  43. deb

    Kate — I’m sorry I don’t have an approximation, but I can assure you that it will be way more than enough. I believe we used even a half-sized one, but I don’t want to leave you short if I remember incorrectly. Good luck!

  44. Mmmmm! I made this yesterday for our Halloween party, and it was incredible. Sorta like the best baked french toast a girl could possibly imagine. The opposite of the lazy method, I baked a pumpkin and used 3/4 cup of the innards (the rest went towards making a pie), mashed. It taseted unbelievably fresh and made an excellent brunch treat, today!

  45. Cathy

    I was actually disappointed in this recipe :( I couldn’t get my day old bread to cube the right way.. i even used an extra sharp bread knife.. most of the crust fell off… and there wasnt enough custard to cover all the bread cubes, so last minute i made extra custard (that i didnt measure out)…i dunno.. *shrugs*

  46. Nan

    I made the pumpkin bread pudding but wasn’t impressed….so I made it again and this time I added in an entire mini-bottle of my little friend, Jack Daniels. I think the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons – and I added in about 6 – trust me, it’s waaaaay better with more!

  47. hi deb. made it last night. easy easy. big hit. everyone was raving. between 5 people it was GONE. i served mine with a very small dollop of doce de leche and a sprinkle of guerande salt. it was a winner all around. i’ll post on it soon giving you all the credit again!!! where would my blog be without YOU!

    your friend in nashville of all places – claudia

  48. Illiya

    I am wondering if I can just use pumpkin pie spices for the spices??

    I am thinking of making this for Thanksgiving at my inlaws.


  49. Chaya

    This was delicious. After two hours of trying to get my baby to STAY ASLEEP already, I made this (with the bourbon, of course; my nerves were frazzled after all that crankiness) and it was so great. Thanks for the recipe, it was perfect comfort food.

  50. Sarah H

    How do you think it would be using eggnog (the kind from the carton) instead of milk? Is that too over the top? (I made a drink last week with light eggnog, canned pumpking, rum, ice, spice, blended — and it was insanley delicious). Also, if made and re-heated, any recommendations on how long & temp for the re-heat?

  51. Christina M.


    This was great! I made it for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit. My boyfriend actually had his doubts when we were in the dinner-planning stages. He wanted pumpkin ice cream and spice bread pudding, but I stood my ground, arguing for pumpkin bread pudding and homemade cinnamon spice ice cream (which has a nice visual symmetry to pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream).

    Well, it turned out fabulously, and the bf is smitten (with the pudding at least). I ended up subbing 1/4 c. of egg nog for some of the milk, because I’d run out ruining my first batch of ice cream. Skipped the bourbon, but the eggnog took care of boozy flavor. One other variation was swapping rustic cinnamon raisin walnut bread for 1 c. of the baguette.

    I baked the bread pudding the night before in two 8″ round pans, and it kept beautifully.

    Thanks for sharing!

  52. Wow. I normally don’t comment on recipies, but incredible! I bought bread at Walmart in the bakery section – in a red bag. It was a crusty egg/french bread with sesame seeds. I cut it up into squares and let it sit out for a while until it very dried out. Then I mixed some pumpkin puree, sweetend condensed milk, salted butter and two eggs, beaten. I poured this over the stale bread, covering each peice, and put it in the oven until the top peices were golden brown. I think it was so much better because it wansn’t imersed in the liquid ixture. I made a caramel sauce to drizzle on top (butter, b.sugar & soy milk) then served hot with blue bel homemade vanilla ice cream. It was so unbelievable! Thanks for the great inspiration to try different things!

  53. made this last night for my family and a few friends…absolute hit. :) in case anybody was curious, i needed to use five slices of regular sliced white bread, and i got the “day-old” dryness by sticking it in the oven for a couple of minutes. it made 9 fabulous servings; everyone loved it so much we had it for breakfast this morning, too (with french vanilla ice cream to boot). :D didn’t try the bourbon, but am looking forward to trying this again, perhaps with some orange flavoring/liqueur or maybe a light caramel sauce on top.

    can’t wait to try some of the other things on here! :) thanks much.

  54. Hi Deb,
    I am addicted to your site here. Thanks for such an incredible source of delicious recipes. Before I make this, I just wanted to see if subbing skim milk would be ok. I wonder if it would bomb the recipe if I also used Splenda sugar? I’m not a sugar free kind of person, but am trying so hard to cut calories at the moment. Thoughts?
    Many thanks! Kate

  55. Shari

    Do you think the custard makings can be made ahead of time? I am thinking about using this as a dessert for a fall dinner party I am throwing, and could bake it fresh ifI can mix the custard the day before or that morning and refrigerate. Or, can it be cooked and then just reheated in the oven?

  56. Kathryn

    I just made this with croissants and it was SO GOOD. I’ve never tried it with the regular bread but it is very decadent dessert with croissants. This is definitely going on my Thanksgiving menu this year. Thanks!

  57. deb

    Shari — I think you definitely can. You could also toast or stale the bread before-hand, and keep it in a bag until you are ready. This recipe is infinitely flexible. Good luck!

  58. Vicky

    I was so excited when I found this! I LOVE bread pudding and wanted to find more pumpkin/festive recipes. I’d never made bread pudding before, in fact I cook way more than I bake and even then I usually only do basic cake box recipes. After struggling to get stale bread (wound up getting Publix to slice a loaf, though they were more like thin strips than cubes) I was able to make this. I used 1.5 cups water and 1.5 cups evaporated milk as a substitution for whole milk. I cooked it a bit over 30 minutes as I wasn’t sure what “set custard” really looked like. Otherwise I followed the recipe. Certainly for a first time from scratch attempt it was great! That said, it wasn’t super creamy/custardy. I’m afraid it didn’t get coated evenly enough and the bread size may have affected things. Regardless I really liked it. I can’t say it tasted pumpkiny at all, though the pumpkin spices were very noticeable and yummy! I tasted like a nicely spices regular bread pudding. Next time I might add more pumpkin, if it doesn’t affect the consistency then it might improve the pumpkin taste.

    Thanks again so very much! Now I’m off to find more reasonable fall recipe ideas! (Those that don’t require a stand mixer, grrr!)

  59. Dancer who eats

    I like pumpkin pie. I’ll eat it on the holidays. I have made it from scratch. I got nothing wrong with it. Really, I don’t. But I have a “thing” for bread pudding. So does my father-in-law. Thanks goodness, because when you go out to dinner and the group splits dessert you need someone to back you up when you declare the bread pudding looks good. Needless to say, I would happily substitute the pie for this dessert. I missed fall last year but have had this on the brain for over a year….. Pumpkin pie is “too” pumpkinny for me and since I am obsessed with anything that remotely tastes custard like, this is it for me. Pumpkin pie, who?

  60. kristen

    i made this last night and it was wonderful – not even a speck left over!

    do you have any thoughts on making this with a whole grain baguette and maple syrup instead of refined sugar? we’re kind of health food freaks…

  61. Elizabeth

    Mine’s in the oven right now! It wasn’t done after 30 minutes, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for 40 minutes. I substituted nutmeg for allspice because I didn’t have any, and I used brown sugar because I would eat brown sugar plain for every meal if it wouldn’t kill me. Ohhhh I hope the top doesn’t burn before the middle is done!!! Send me good cooking vibes!!!

  62. Sara

    Thanks for this recipe, Deb. It was a hit at our family dinner yesterday — no one even wanted the pie after tasting this. I added fresh whipped cream on top, which made it even more rich and decadent. Your recipes never disappoint!

  63. Earline

    I made this with a very dense spiced pound cake a friend gave me. Predominant spice in the cake was clove. I didn’t use allspice because, well, I’d run out and didn’t realize it. *gentle cough* I added a pinch more cinnamon and ground ginger, and substituted a big teaspoon of vanilla for one of the spoonsful of bourbon (I used Jack Daniels).

    This was almost unbelievably good–just phenomenal. I served it warm with a dollop of whipped cream, and I could tell from the bulging eyes of the other diners and their clean plates that they agreed with me.

    I’m convinced that this is what the angels eat in Heaven. Thanks, Deb!

  64. pam

    it’s a little late but wanted to tell you how much my family LOVED this recipe over Thanksgiving and Christmas! It is definitely a new family favorite and quite possibly, a new holiday tradition. The bourbon gave it just the right amount of punch and the butter soaked into the bread was divine. I added golden raisins (thinking of soaking them in the bourbon next time) and they just sent this recipe over the edge.

    Thanks for sharing your passion for cooking with the masses…you inspire me and are my favorite go-to gal when a new dish is required. :-)

  65. meaux-meaux

    I wanna try the pumpkin recipes but I have oodles of pumpkins in the garden and I wanna use them instead of canned puree (at least this time). How do I get from pumpkins to a puree that I can use in the kitchen? Thanks.

  66. Just made this with leftover Rosh Hashana raisin challah (homemade). And added a bit of orange zest. Delicious! Best bread pudding I’ve ever made. Searching for any other bread pudding recipes you have, now. Thanks so much. Hope the baby is good.

  67. This recipe was EXACTLY what I was looking for! I have a baguette, a can of pumpkin and a need to do some fall baking! Thanks! Its in the oven now. I added walnuts (and the bourbon) I’m so excited to try it!

  68. Thanks Deb! I made this for friends this weekend, substituting nutmeg for allspice, challah for stale bread and topping with brown sugar whipped cream (recipe below, from epicurious). You made the right move doubling the spices – I may even increase a bit more next time. It smelled fabulous baking during dinner, and put as all in the mood for the season. Thanks again for being a trusted resource!

    Brown sugar cream:

    * 1 cup chilled whipping cream
    * 1/3 cup chilled sour cream
    * 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    * Additional ground cinnamon

  69. I made this last night, it was delicious! I added a caramel sauce as well, just sugar and a little water boiled until it turns color and then a little whole milk whisked in. Lovely :)

  70. Susan

    I made this tonight with some pumpkin puree that I slaved over all day (what in the hell was I thinking..I swore I’d never do it again, but the cuisineart, which I didn’t have last time, made it less painful) where was I..oh! pudding, right. Anyway, it was fabulous. This is the first dessert that I’ve put burbon in that I’ve throught was THE perfect pairing . I also added about 3T of maple syrup as well. It’s so good and so easy and everyone loved it. I know I”ll be making this more often. Thanks, Deb.

  71. jill

    Okay, so I am so not a bread pudding person, but the husband loves it. He found the recipe, and bought the baking pumpkins.

    Well, we just finished our first serving, and everybody (including me) loved it!

    Thank You! — I’m keeping this recipe. (BTW — we doubled it, and baked in our Dutch Oven, and it turned out glorious!)

  72. Jeff

    I can’t quite tell from the picture of the can, but are you using plain pumpkin or pie filling pumpkin? The addition of your own spices points to plain pumpkin puree, but I’d like to make sure. Also, having never used canned pumpkin is there any one stand out type/brand you would recommend, or any that you would purposely not use.

    1. deb

      The recipe calls for plain pumpkin puree, not for the stuff already spiced and sweetened. If I remember correctly, the first time I made this, I used the “pie filling” by accident and deeply regretted it. I’ve never tested out brands, just grab whatever is available.

  73. I just made and served this to extended family and it was wonderful. I did not have regular sugar or bourbon so I subbed brown sugar and a teaspoon or so of vanilla I served it with brown sugar vanilla bean speckled whipped cream and it was like a warm autumn hug in a bowl. Yum…thanks for the idea.

  74. Alicia

    Just made this for the second time and bringin home to the fam for Thanksgiving! Love it! Substituted agave for sugar for my diabetic dad. Did a taste test and it’s great! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  75. Jillian

    I want to make this for Thanksgiving tomorrow. What do you think about adding crystallized ginger into the bread pudding? Any thoughts would be helpful!


  76. Rita

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving. It was so good I made it for our office holiday potluck. INSTANT hit. It DISAPPEARED (I’d made a double recipe too.) I don’t even like bread pudding (texture gags me) but this is AMAZING. Sorry I didn’t give kudos where they are so due last year…but just wanted to say “THANK YOU!” =-) for posting this. This year, I couldn’t find the link for this recipe and was panicking…then I remembered “smitten kitchen” (which I thought at first said “Smitten Kitten,” thought that was the cutest name EVER) and WHEW! Here I am. Needless to say it’s on the dessert list for this year’s Turkey Day as well!

  77. Shanti

    I made this for my sister for thanksgiving and it turned out great! Made a really delicious treat for breakfast the next morning! I know I will make this one again. Thanks :)

  78. jules

    I made this for thanksgiving, substituting buttermilk for 1 cup of the milk in the recipe (I had buttermilk on hand for sweet potato buttermilk pie, which was delicious. I covet that recipe). The bread pudding came out just ok — not very spiced, not very desserty, sort of meh, which made me sad ’cause I had high hopes.
    Then today I still had leftover bread, cream, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree, so I thought, whaddaheck, I’ll make another load. I am SO GLAD! This time it turned out rapturously good. I increased the sugar (brown) to 2/3 cup to make up for last time (could it be that using buttermilk made it more tart?), and went a little heavier on the ginger/cinnamon/nutmeg (instead of allspice).
    I had bread pudding for dinner tonight. I went back for seconds. I will have it for breakfast tomorrow. Look at what you’ve done!

  79. This recipe was recommended to me, and so I had to try it to use some of the pumpkins I grew in my garden this year. The result: delicious! I would recommend that anyone wary of cooking try this recipe as it is very easy. If it looks watery after cooking 30 minutes, let it sit on the counter for a bit ~ it will thicken.

  80. David

    Nice recipe! I added a T of molasses. Have you tried doing this in a pumpkin shell? It makes the pumpkin quite yummy to eat! cook the pumpkin first, then use it as the container, and when finished, slice in weges (there is a good recipe in the Victory Garden Cookbook)

  81. I made a bread pudding today. I added walnuts and rum-soaked raisins and wish I’d thought of candied ginger, but this looks good! How about bread-and-butter pudding?
    Rita, I keep calling this site Smitten Kitten, too! It’s so confusing!

  82. These pumpkin recipes look amazingly delicious. I think I will make some of them. But first I have to buy a lighter holder because its a terrible day when you lose your lighter but now with a lighter holder all of my troubles are gone.

  83. Erin

    I just want you to know that I’ve started using your blog almost exclusively for my baking recipe needs. If I see a recipe in Cooks Illustrated, Epicurious, Joy of Baking, or anywhere else, I’ll check to see if you have a version first, and then I’ll abandon the other recipe in favor of yours. That’s exactly what happened for this Pumpkin Bread Pudding. I saw it on Joy of Baking, googled it, found yours, and that’s that. It turned out fantastic!

  84. unsightly

    I made this recipe this morning and gave it to my kids (2 and 3 years) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top. Needless to say they ate it faster than any other breakfast. Perfect!

  85. Rory

    I am going to try this recipe for (Canadian) thanksgiving – with day old cinnamon buns instead of baguette. I may add some fresh cranberries as well…

    1. Helen in CA

      The good thing about pumpkin in a can is the consistency of the product. Which, for baking, is important. ‘Course, the time saved is a plus as well.

  86. John Coyle

    This is amazing! I’ve been debating whether or not I thought I could pull this off but I tried yesterday and it did not disappoint. Thanks for all your recipes. You’ve convinced my wife that I can cook!

  87. Maria

    I love love love this recipe. Its so easy and delicious, and I am so excited its Fall so I can make again. I know its canned pumpkin and you can get that most any time of year, but there is something about the smell of this wafting through the house that just shouts “Autumn is here!!” in a delicious kind of way.
    Thank you for always inspiring me to cook and explore and eat!

  88. pam

    oooohhhh…..i love this recipe! so happy it’s fall so i can make it again. and by fall, i mean barely under 80f here in lovely california. haha…..we make it work, folks, we make it work! ;-)

  89. Lara

    This looks amazing and the bourbon is a great addition that I am definitely planning on using in my Turkey Day bake-off! One question though, as I have never made bread pudding before, can it be made a day ahead? Or does it work better to make it ahead??Thx for any tips!

  90. brooklyn cook

    i have some leftover pumpkin pie filling that didn’t fit in the pie shell, and at this point i can’t really fathom making yet another pumpkin pie. do you think i could just pour that all over the bread cubes? it has essentially the same ingredients, and i hate to waste!

  91. Joanna

    Hello, I just found your blog, and needless to say, I jumped right into your recipes! I just tried this one, and I absolutely loved it. Thank you for sharing all your hard (and yummy) work with us.

  92. Piperspice

    Hey, I just made this on the snowy Seattle night I’m enjoying, and although it’s in the oven as we speak, it smells AMAZING!!

    I made it with gluten-free bread and added dried cranberries to the top, and I’m so excited to try it!!

    Thanks for such great recipes Deb!

  93. Cali gal

    This looks wonderful. I noticed that both recipes call for using a baking dish, but it looks like you used a metal pan. Does it matter?

  94. Made this last night, with a few minor adjustments. And by that I mean, I added a bit of cardamom & (of course) chocolate because I couldn’t resist. Delicious. The addition of the whiskey is really nice. I also baked it in a casserole dish, for lack of a more appropriate pan. Testimonial that the baking dish doesn’t really matter. Beautiful looking dessert with the crispy top & all. Serve warm & top with ice cream or whipped cream.

    Thanks for sharing!

  95. Melissa

    I made this tonight after a long day at work. I must say, this was a fabulous end to a midweek meal. Easy, smells fabulous, and is perfectly comforting. Before bed both of us went back for seconds and topped our seconds with a little caramel sauce and bourbon. Soaked in bourbon but tamed by caramel…. LOVELY! This will be a new family recipe for sure!

  96. Minda

    this was incredible, and a big hit at a recent dinner party where i was a guest! (thankfully people didn’t have room for much dessert, so i ended up taking a lot home with me…) i also adapted this and used the remaining pumpkin to make french toast yesterday for brunch which was soooooo delicious too!

  97. KLP

    AWESOME! I was just thinking about making a pumpkin bread pudding with PUMPKIN BREAD, but that was wasting a already tasty treat! Plus you want your bread cubs dry. I am ever grateful that you posted it!

    I took your idea and added a little creative touch to it.
    1/2 cup of DRIED CRANBERRIES. Raisins will work, but surprising the tartness of the cranberries were perfect with the pumpkin.
    (1 package of cream cheese cold; it cuts better cold.) Place small cubes of CREAM CHEESE a long with the bread and cranberries.
    (OPTION): a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
    Final touch: dust with powder sugar.
    Rum works great too, but tastes great without any liquor.
    If you are looking to add a little twist to your PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING, give this a try. Thanks again for posting!

  98. Kristin

    I’ve never commented on this site but felt compelled after making this the other night for a little, autumnal inspired soiree. Perfection, pure and simple. A guaranteed success and who doesn’t like those? Thank you, Deb, for the guidance and inspiration.

  99. Sheila

    Oooooh, after the timer went off and it looked dramatically NOT done, I re-checked the recipe and saw that you call for 3/4 *stick* of butter not 3/4 *cup* of butter. I was so looking forward to surprising my husband with this recipe! My evening has been officially ruined.

  100. anna

    Hi there, was wondering if you think it would be okay to prepare everything, pour the custard over the bread in the pan and all, but then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night, and bake the next day?

  101. i noticed someone else had asked this question, but didn’t find an answer. do we think it would be okay to substitute pumpkin pie spice for the ginger, allspice, and cloves? if so, how much? i’m just trying to use up what i have in the cupboard before buying anything new. thanks!

    1. deb

      danielle — I don’t have pumpkin pie spice so I don’t know how it works. If it’s a blend of all of the spices, though, I’d swap the total amount of spices for it.

  102. liloh

    i just wanted to comment on the pumpkin pie spice, which i use ALL the time, and that’s exactly what i do.

    also i mix up the ingredient proportions all the time (because i don’t like to waste/have leftovers) and i still get asked for the recipe:
    1% milk, a whole can of pumpkin puree, and 3 whole eggs, and pumpkin pie seasoning are all shortcuts i use to make this simple recipe even lazier.

    thanks for posting such a fool-proof and crowd-pleasing recipe.

  103. zadzi

    Holy $#*%! I am so making this for Thanksgiving, it looks amazing!
    Yes, I will be using cream with milk, because I love the richness :)

  104. Leah

    hi! i am going to make this for thanksgiving,and, ideally, i’d like to assemble it ahead, and then bake it at about 8pm. how early do you think i could assemble it?
    thanks for this and all of your great recipes!!

  105. ChefCharlotte

    This recipe is just like you described, a heavenly combination of pumpkin pie and french toast! The buttery cubes are irresistible and delicious. I used cubes of day old pumpkin bagels instead, and it turned out amazing. One of my favorite holiday desserts to make for friends and family!

  106. Mindy

    I’d like to say, I followed this recipe to a T. It came out great. Baked it last night, reheated it this morning & took it to work. Boy am I a SUPER STAR, they loved it, & were talking about it all day.

  107. Julie

    This may be sacriligious for a New Yorker, but do you ever read Southern Living? I haven’t made your pumpkin bread pudding, but I’m obsessed with one of their versions. It’s the perfect rich pumpkin pudding with a wonderful caramel pecan sauce. Made in one dish because I can’t be bothered with individual servings.

    October 2009 Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings

  108. mary

    I made this last night for three friends and they hailed me as a baking genius! These girls are super skinny, and I’ve never seen them inhale dessert like that. It was epic, thank you!

  109. Jen from TX

    I am contemplating making this for a work brunch next week. Other than doubling the quantities, I’m thinking of two changes/additions and I would like an opinion. Subbing maple syrup for the bourbon (and possibly a tiny bit of the sugar) and here’s where it might be radical: bacon. Maybe candied, maybe not. Thoughts? Thanks!

  110. Chrish

    I made this this morning to go on the dessert menu where I work. I used pumpkin challah bread that I had made this past weekend. This is, by far, the best bread pudding that I have ever tasted. It’s hard to stop eating it. Looks like I’ve just shot my Weight Watchers week all to hell, but it was worth it!

  111. Jackie

    I found this on pinterest, and while I won’t be following this recipe, it inspired be to make my own. This week I made my 1st ever from-scratch fresh bread. I also made pumpkin butter from scratch. I’ll try to use these 2 as the base for the recipe, but you better believe if it doesn’t turn out, I’ll be back to follow yours to the letter!!

  112. Rob

    Couldn’t get out of my neighborhood today, and I figured what better reason did I need to finally try this recipe out? Its fantastic! I used french bread, and may have left them a little on the big side, but there’s something nice about having each chunk be a forkful. Thank you!

  113. Andrea

    Such a great recipe! I just gave it a trial run for Thanksgiving and it turned out really good!

    I only had skim milk and egg nog in the house, so I used egg nog. After adding the sugar I was worried it would be too sweet, but it was perfect!

    Thank you…this is on the Thanksgiving menu!

  114. Malika

    I searched high and low (in India) for canned pumpkin yesterday but no luck! Do you think I could substitute with overripe bananas? Having no idea how sweet canned pumpkin actually is, would you suggest adjusting the sugar if I try that? Any other bright ideas on fruits that could work?

  115. HeartChai

    I just made this… and created an awesome mod on accident since I thought I had canned pumpkin in my pantry and didn’t. Sub 1/3 cup dark molasses for the pumpkin. So amazing! The spices and bourbon work perfectly with molasses, too.

  116. Claire

    I made this a couple weeks ago for a morning tailgate. I baked it the night before, refrigerated it, and then reheated it in the metal pan on the grill. The crispy top had gone soggy. It didn’t seem that anyone minded as it was gone in a heartbeat, and I had several requests for the recipe. I’m making it again for Thanksgiving Day brunch tomorrow. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe. I’ve made quite a few of your things, and never had a flop yet!

  117. I made this for Thanksgiving dessert, and it was a total hit! I doubled the recipe with no trouble, used 6 full eggs (no separating), and topped it with bourbon whipped cream (a few tablespoons of bourbon, a few teaspoons of vanilla, and a little cinnamon)- delicious!

  118. EJ

    This is truly a great recipe- I am a professional chef and I have been using this recipe for years as a base for a million different flavors of bread pudding with simple substitutions and small adjustments to measurements. The texture is that perfect middle between too dry or stodgy, and too creamy like custard. Thank you for sharing.


    You may like to know that recently (in a London pub) I enjoyed a house-made ice cream called Ferrero Rocher. It emulated the candy with these ingredients: an ice cream custard base, Nutella, hazelnut praline and pailleté feuilletine. The last ingredient was a new one for me. It added just the right texture and crunch to simulate the candy. I made a batch yesterday. I’m happy to say it is VERY GOOD!

  120. Hi, I made this yesterday as a test run for Thanksgiving. My husband doesn’t like bread pudding, so I told him it was pumpkin pie French toast, and he was totally receptive to it. Very good taste, but it was somewhat soggy. Do you think it would have been better to have baked it a little longer? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Belinda — If it seemed soggy, you might prefer to use extra bread next time to offset it. Or, a firmer bread that won’t absorb so much of the custard that it gets that soft.

  121. Julie

    Can’t wait to make this for Thanksgiving! Just wondering if it would be wrong to cheat a bit, and use pumpkin pie spice instead of all the separate spices?

  122. I made this today (for about the 5th time) and added bits of candied ginger (in addition to the ground ginger) and chunks of granny smith apple. Both were good decisions. :)
    Also I used cardamom instead of allspice, because it’s what I had. Thanks for the great recipe!

  123. Heather Basler

    I made this around Thanksgiving/Christmas time for a church brunch last year. It was DELICIOUS!! But my husband is not a big pumpkin fan. Tomorrow I’m making a Thanksgiving-ish meal (I know, weird, but we go to so many family meals around the holidays that I don’t actually get to cook one myself. So after Christmas I bought a turkey and froze it, and decided that when we were far enough out from the holidays for all that stuff to sound good again, I would make my own mini-Thanksgiving meal. Anyway, all that to say that since we’re not having a big group over, I’ve scaled down the meal a bit and will not be making pumpkin anything, since my husband and son wouldn’t eat it. But I’m thinking I will use this recipe and sub in sweet potato puree. I don’t want a side dish of sweet potatoes, again because I don’t want too huge of a meal, and I need a fall-ish dessert. My husband loves bread pudding, so I’ve got my fingers crossed! Any suggestions?

  124. Jessica W

    I know this is one of your older recipes, but this is one of my favorite recipes ever! I have a slight obsession with pumpkin (as does 90 percent of America.. Haha) and this is my “welcome fall!” Recipe. I’ve made it too many times to count. Thank you for making fabulous recipes, Deb. Please keep it up.

  125. Farrell

    I just made a non-dairy version of this recipe. I served it with a Bourbon Sauce and Pumpkin Ice Cream for the dairy eaters. It was great. My sister in law has named it one of her all-time favorite desserts. It will be the star of this years’ Thanksgiving dessert. Thanks Deb!

  126. Farrell

    I forgot to add that I used my homemade Challah Monkey Bread, my favorite bread dough with Deb’s Monkey Bread recipe, sans cream cheese. The extra brown sugar and cinnamon along with the rich bread were a match made in heaven. I cut the sugar called for in the recipe back to 1/3 cup since the bread is already sweetened. My husband topped his with Pumpkin Ice Cream for a triple layer dessert.

  127. Deema Bayrakdar

    This looks delicious! I recently made a banana pumpkin chocolate chip bread and it’s quite dense…yet still very tasty. I’d like to convert the loaf into a pudding for the holidays. Any suggestions how I could use this loaf that already has bananas, pumpkin, spices, and chocolate chips into a new delicious pudding for the holidays? I’m also a fan of possibility incorporating some caramel and bourbon.
    Thanks for your insight!

  128. Sandi Davis

    I’ve been wanting to make this for some time. This morning I opened up a large can of pumpkin puree instead of sauerkraut, so today is the day! Good thing I notice before I dumped in the crock pot over the pork roast!!

  129. Cam Cam

    I don’t even like bread pudding… But after reading all these comments for like the past 2 hours I might have to try it. Might set the house on fire, but that’s ok. It will be worth it :D.

  130. Louise Smith

    Just made this with gluten free bread – divine! I also threw a chopped up honeycrisp apple on the top. Super duper tasty. The entire dish is fairly light. I can’t stop eating it…

  131. Tim

    Hi Deb–I have a question. I made this on Saturday, and generally liked it, but mine had a small separate layer of custard under the bread bc the bread didn’t soak up all the custard. Yours looks like that didn’t happen–am I right? Curious whether you think letting it soak longer or using more bread would help. My version was good but next time I want to aim for a more bready consistency. Thanks!

  132. Sarah S*

    Just made this earlier today – insanely easy (and thank you for the lazy instructions)! I used an entire Trader Joe’s panettone instead of day-old bread: the quantity was perfect, and the raisins already in the panettone were a nice extra touch!

  133. Christi-Lynn

    This is dinner tonight, with no guilt at all. pumpkin has vitamin A; eggs, milk, etc etc. I used whole wheat bread and halved the sugar to make it less “dessert-y” and then doubled the recipe so, you know, no one would go hungry. Delicious!

  134. Shawne

    Thanks for the recipe! I doubled it and baked it in a lasagna pan to feed a Twelfth Night Party crowd and it came out nice. However, because of the size it needed an extra 20 minutes in the oven before the knife came out close to clean in the center. Used 10 cups homemade wheat bread, which was nice, and simply used 6 whole eggs for the double recipe, and a full 15 oz. can of pumpkin. It had a fantastic texture and taste, however, one thing I might do next time is increase the sugar just a tad, maybe to 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups for a double recipe, or half white and half brown sugar. Wonderful with whipped cream. :)

  135. Liana

    I absolutely love this recipe and I just wanted to say I’ve made it many, many times since I first discovered it five years ago. It’s such an easy crowd-pleaser and it tastes a lot fancier than you’d expect from throwing the ingredients together. I sometimes use pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices when I’m feeling ultra lazy (as other commenters have pointed out) and it’s just as delicious. This is great plain or with ice cream :)

      1. Monica

        So, I tried freezing after baking and when defrosted it had lost the flavor nuances and creamy texture that made it amazing… it wasn’t terrible, just diminished. I froze in a muffin tin and then once frozen, put them all in a freezer bag. Wouldn’t recommend.

  136. Rose

    Our Colorado grandchildren love pumpkin, so when I saw this recipe, I knew we had to try it. Mixed it up last night after dinner and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Baked it for brunch this morning. Everyone thought it was very good. Two of three grandchildren had seconds. A big thumbs up from our corner of Colorado.

  137. becky albrecht

    Just finished our creamy pumpkin pudding thingies – wasn’t that yesterday’s post? (Washed down with a wee – or two – or more – dram of good Scottish “Water of Life”.) And now I have to make this?? Brunch!!! BTW: the pumpkin puddings are delish, even without the sour-cream topping ‘cuz *someone* forgot it was Saturday and the one store in our village closes at 6:00 on Saturday, and we had no sour cream. But still, YUM. And bordering on healthy, as desserts go…

  138. Abby

    So delicious and the perfect thing to make for dinner when you have half a loaf of stale bread on hand and really nothing else. I chopped up some apple and pear to add and then topped it with leftover streussel I had in the fridge. Two helping in I am so happy.

  139. K

    I’m unclear on what the texture is supposed to be like here. I cooked it for 30 minutes and it was still liquid enough to eat with a spoon. All other bread puddings I’ve had (though I’ve never made it myself before) where more cake-like and solid.

    1. Another K

      I had this same problem with mine! I ended up baking it over twice as long as recommended to try to prevent it from basically being soggy bread. It kind of worked? Next time I’ll probably do what other comments mentioned and let it soak overnight before baking.

  140. Barb White

    Made this with gluten free bread. For once the GF bread worked very well. My only change was to let it soak a bit longer before slipping it into the oven. I too used 2% milk and will double the spices next batch. Used roasted pumpkin and mixed the liquid ingreadients in the blender to smooth out the roasted pumpkin.
    A great healthy recipe for A fall dessert.

    1. I’ll be curious to hear how brioche worked! We’ve made this more times than I can count, and have found that crusty breads work really well, but I do like to balance with a softer bread too. You get so much texture and moisture/custardy pieces that way, as they soak up the custard really differently. My favorite versions have used either a super crusty “cranberry bog bread” or apple pecan bread AND a few day or two biscuits or scones mixed in (done the first time cuz we had them, and day old biscuits are just … yeah, to be repurposed!). A nice crusty baguette certainly has always worked too, but we like to use what we have, and the addition of a bit of the dried fruit/nuts from the breads has been a nice mix-up. But I do adore brioche …

  141. Lauren Jeanne

    This year, and every, I am thankful for the delicious traditions that Deb Perelman has brought into my home. Thank you for this fantastic recipe, Deb! You are a treasure. I have been making this every year since you published this. A crowd favorite, for a tiny household this year.

    I usually bake one regular, and one with added guitard milk chocolate chips (or whatever I can get my hands on, depending on where we are in the world.)

    Thank you for all you do for people like me, and for making our gourmet dreams accessible!

  142. Ranjani

    This recipe is amazingly delicious and has become my family’s Thanksgiving morning breakfast tradition for the last few years. I always assemble the whole thing the night before to let the bread soak up the custard, and give it a stir in the morning before putting it in the oven. Lovely, comforting breakfast, and doesn’t add to the cooking tasks of the day.

  143. Aurora

    This was so delicious. I added a sticky toffee- date topping and it was too good. With ice cream. At Gordon Ramsey, which is in the hotel where I work, they serve sticky toffee pudding with brown butter ice cream. I had butter pecan, which went great.

  144. Allison

    So I accidentally made this without the sugar and it was REALLY good, I just drenched it in maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt – delish! This way everyone could decide what level of sugar they wanted. When I ate the leftovers I sprinkled some brown sugar and cinnamon on top and it was divine.

  145. juliaef

    I have made this at least once a year since 2007… sometimes in a 9×13 pan if I want more crunchy top, sometimes with half a bag of fresh/frozen cranberries. It’s a perfect recipe.