Home Cooking: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

photo credit: livewelbakeoften.com

Pumpkin is currently in short supply on Kaua’i. I don’t know if that’s because people here love pumpkin, or because tourists have been coming from the mainland and buying it all, but the shelves where it should find it in stores have been emptied out. Seriously – we went to three stores this past week and finally found a few (overpriced) cans of pumpkin puree on the back of a bottom shelf at Big Save Market. Safeway and Walmart were completely sold out.

Anyway, this is another great pumpkin recipe to add to this month’s theme. I love bread puddings and stratas, especially because they’re so versatile and, depending on the ingredients, can be used for breakfast, as a main dish, or as a dessert, and this one with pumpkin was a great addition to my collection of favorites. I’ll never forget that Meiling’s reaction when she took her first bite of this was, “It tastes like Christmas!” I remember as well that the whole house smelled like the holidays when the pudding was baking.

One fun thing about making a dessert bread pudding is that you don’t have to stick entirely with the bread called for, or even entirely with bread for that matter. Leftover muffins, pound cake, croissants, and other baked items can be added to the regular white or French bread or whatever that’s typically called for to punch things up a bit. I like to use challah, a sweet egg bread, for dessert bread puddings, but brioche is delicious as well.

This recipe came from C&H sugar along with a coupon I received. The ingredients listed below are the original from C&H, but I usually lightened things up a bit and used egg substitute for the whole eggs and yolks and nonfat milk instead of heavy cream. I also used actual rum for the flavoring when I made this, but rum extract would probably work just as well, as would vanilla. I also skipped adding the butter on top. Raisins or chopped pecans are walnuts were also a nice addition to the recipe, layered in among the toasted bread.

Leftovers were delicious for breakfast, so besides being a great dessert this also worked well for a breakfast/brunch dish. I usually served it with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt in the morning, but whipped cream or ice cream were added otherwise.


  • 4 cups white bread, cut into small cubes
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 TBSP cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the bread cubes on a large baking pan and toast in the oven for around 10 minutes.

Place the toasted bread cubes in a well-greased 9″ x 13″ pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, yolks, pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, rum or brandy and spices; stir until well-blended and sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture over bread cubes.

Let everything sit for around 10 minutes, or until all the bread is fully soaked. Place pieces of butter around the top of pudding, then bake for 40-50 minutes, or until center is set but not dry.

Pudding can be eaten warm or chilled.


13 thoughts on “Home Cooking: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  1. Once I settle into my new home, I will give it a try. It looks scrumptious. Thank you for sharing!


    1. Oh no – moving! It’s difficult no matter where you move to, next door to across country, so I hope it goes as smooth as possible for you and that you’re able to settle in easily.


  2. Ooh, this sounds great. I think I will use some high-fiber bread with regular bread. I do this with strata or bread stuffing, too. I keep a bag of bread scraps in the freezer at all times.
    I see that the dollar stores have lots of off-brand canned pumpkin. Sweet potatoes or cooked leftover squash is a possibility, too.
    Do they grow fresh pumpkins and winter squash in Hawaii?


    1. The high-fiber bread would work well – that’s the beauty of bread puddings and stratas! These days we no longer have bread scraps, but back in the day I used to keep them in the freezer as well. I even saved the crusts I cut from the girls’ sandwiches and used them in bread puddings from time to time.

      The only pumpkin grown on the island that I’ve seen in kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin (which I love). We can buy whole pumpkins now, but they’re really for carving and very expensive, in my opinion. No dollar stores on the island either – they’d have to be $2 or $3 stores here!


  3. HI Laura, I don’t often comment but just thought I’d let you know that I do enjoy your blog and your recipes : ). If you’d ever want to swap apts with me in Montreux, Switzerland, I’d love to come back to Kuai’i at some point! You can see my apt at http://www.airbnb.com/h/montreuxmusicbnb. I’m in touch with someone else on another island about swapping too, so maybe I could miraculously work it out for you both to swap with me one after the other so I can stay on 2 islands! One can dream. Anyway, thanks for your blog which I enjoy. Lynn (a Texan in Switzerland)


    1. A swap for an apartment in Montreux would be a dream come true for me! I will definitely keep this in mind, although our travel plans are set through 2022. But afterwards . . . I will definitely keep you in mind. We loved our short time in Switzerland, and wanted to see more.


    1. I’m thinking of making this again but lightening it up and then serving in small pieces for Brett and my dessert. It would be a nice change from cake.

      Love reading your blog – Brett has been to Turkey, courtesy of the navy, but it’s still on my dream list.


  4. Pumpkin purée has been impossible to find here in Texas as well, for several months. Can’t find out why. Your recipe sounds delicious!


    1. That is weird. I’ve always seen it around here, but for some reason this year it has been nearly impossible to find, and more expensive than usual when you do. Wonder what’s up with that? Maybe there was a pumpkin blight?

      Anyway, I hope you get to try it because it’s a delicious recipe!


Comments are closed.