Get ALL the Fall feels with this rich and creamy pumpkin dessert. Step-by-step images, tips, and easy instructions so you get a perfect result every time!
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Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- It's one more way to get the great flavor of pumpkin spice into your life! Even people who dislike bread pudding love this!
- Easy bread pudding recipe is a great brunch casserole or an impressive dessert for Fall. We love it any time of year, but especially around the holiday season.
- I'll give you my tips for browning butter perfectly without burning. Check the Things to know section!
With rich pumpkin custard and brown butter pecan sauce, this delicious pumpkin bread pudding recipe has plenty of warm spices to remedy the chilliest of days.
This is one of those pumpkin desserts everyone looks forward to as the fall season approaches—it's guaranteed to become a new family favorite.
🧾 Ingredients for pumpkin bread pudding
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
- Type of Bread Cubes: French bread, Challah bread, and Brioche bread work best.
- If you've got some leftover pumpkin bread you can cube it and add it in.
- It's also tasty with raisin or cinnamon swirl bread.
- Pumpkin Flavor Overload? Feel free to use sweet potato puree, acorn squash, or butternut squash instead of pumpkin for a yummy alternative.
- Pumpkin-Spiced Custard: Two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice will work in place of the individual spices for a slightly different flavor.
- No Nuts: No problem! Omit them for allergies, or swap them with another favorite if you're just picky about pecans. Walnuts are great!
- Syrup Swap: Just ran out of corn syrup? That's okay—maple syrup will work, too, and tastes great with the fall flavors.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
How to make the pumpkin bread pudding
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, half and half cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, spices, vanilla extract, and bourbon (if you're using it).
- Carefully stir the cubed bread into the pumpkin mixture.
- Pour mixture into a large baking dish and press into an even layer.
- Refrigerate overnight, then top with breadcrumbs just before baking.
How to make the brown butter caramel pecan sauce
- Brown the butter.
- Stir in the brown sugar, bourbon, and syrup.
- Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and add pecans and vanilla.
- Drizzle sauce over the pumpkin spice bread pudding and finish baking.
🥫 How to store leftovers
This great fall dessert doesn't last long—and, by that I mean, everyone always asks for a second serving.
Refrigerate or Freeze
If you happen to have some leftover let it cool to room temperature, then cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze bread pudding for up to 2 months. I don't care for the texture after it's been frozen and thawed. Keep in mind the texture may suffer.
It's possible to reheat pumpkin bread pudding in the microwave, but for best results, use the oven. Simply cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and let it cook for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Stale bread is key to the best homemade bread pudding. Only have fresh bread? Toast it in the oven for 10 minutes or so to crisp it up!
- Soaking the pudding overnight allows the flavors to blend before baking.
- If you're making a lot of pumpkin recipes this year, don't get confused by the different product choices. For the most delicious bread pudding, be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- If you make pumpkin puree from scratch, that's great. Just be sure to really squeeze out all the moisture so your bread pudding isn't soggy.
- I like to toast the pecans before using. It gives them extra flavor.
- Butter goes from brown to burnt super quickly—so watch it closely.
- Using half and half gives this great recipe a rich, custardy texture. You can use heavy cream, as long as you thin it out with a little milk.
Tips for making brown butter
Brown butter has a nutty, rich flavor that adds a punch to almost everything. It can be tricky because it does burn quickly so you'll need to pay attention.
You can see the color of the finished brown butter in step 5 of the collage above.
- Cut the butter in equal sized chunks so that it cooks evenly.
- Let it come to room temperature. If it's too cold it may splatter.
- Use a skillet with a light bottom. This way you'll be able to see the butter change color.
- Use medium heat!
- Once the butter begins to melt keep it moving in the pan.
- I like to use a whisk. Be sure to stir constantly.
- The butter will foam up as it melts. Just keep stirring.
- The brown specks that form are toasted milk solids. This is what adds flavor.
- You'll begin to smell the rich aroma.
- Once the brown specks form and the butter looks golden remove from heat and pour into a plastic bowl. This will stop it from continuing to cook.
Tips for toasting pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Arrange pecans in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Toast for 5 to 6 minutes until golden. Stir every few minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Use as directed in the recipe.
You can. I like all half & half cream because I prefer the rich texture it creates. You can use all whole milk or part milk and part half and half. Skim milk doesn't work as well in my opinion.
Just like when making a cake, you can do the butter knife test. Stick a knife into the center—if it comes out clean, you're good to go! You can also use an an instant read thermometer stuck in the center. It will ready 160F when done.
You can, and it'll safely keep for up to 2 months. The texture may change a bit.
It's a dessert (and brunch dish) that's made from old bread and a custard mixture. Typically it's flavored quite simply, with cinnamon and brown sugar. The bread soaks up the milk so it's soft and gooey.
Bread pudding is one of those easy recipes that almost everyone has tried, but they haven't always gotten to enjoy the best version. A good bread pudding hits the spot—try it and see what I mean!
📚 Related recipes
- If you're looking for something a smidge more classic, you can't go wrong with Pumpkin Cheesecake—the gingersnap crust is heavenly!
- Hearty and delicious, this Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal makes eating a balanced breakfast feel like a special occasion. Plus, it's easy!
- Air Fryer S'more Stuffed French Toast is a fabulous brunch or dessert treat. It's unique, easy, and fun—and everyone will want s'more of it.
🍽️ Serve with...
I love this sweet casserole with my Tex-Mex Eggs Benedict and a caramel latte for brunch. It makes any special morning feel even better. We like to have one savory option and one sweet for a well-rounded brunch.
Now, if you're talking dessert then I'm going to suggest either the Vanilla Ice Cream or the Cinnamon Gelato. Either will turn pumpkin bread pudding into a decadent dessert after a holiday meal. Add a cold scoop and serve the pudding hot!
🥄 Restless Chipotle recommends
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You'll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
I love this enamel skillet for browning butter. The bottom is light colored and it's heavy enough that it heats evenly. No scorching! I suggest keeping it just for browning butter if possible. That way the bottom doesn't get discolored.
Who doesn't need more pyrex casserole dishes? They are the workhorse of my kitchen!
📞 The last word
This is an extremely moist, flavorful bread pudding which, by the way, isn't usually one of my favorites.
I am thinking a steaming plate of this, a good cognac, and a fire in the fireplace would be a great end to a chilly evening. I think it'd make you feel a bit like Badger in Wind in the Willows.
This easy dessert is creamy, rich, and full of the pumpkin flavor we love - especially during the fall months. It's so easy to make that you don't need to save it for special occasions, either.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pumpkin Pecan Bread PuddingPrint Pin Recipe Save Saved!
- 4 large eggs
- 30 ounces pumpkin puree, 2 15-ounce cans or 4 cups homemade
- 2 ½ cups half and half
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup bourbon, may use ginger ale instead
- 12 ounces of bread cubes from challah or French Bread, brioche or French bread - about 10 cups fresh cubes
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs, I used Panko
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Caramel Pecan Sauce
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup butter
- 4 tbs bourbon, optional
- 1 tablespoon white corn syrup, I use Karo
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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- Whisk together all ingredients except the bread in a large bowl until well blended. Add bread pieces, stirring to thoroughly coat
- Pour in a greased 13x9 inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Remove the pudding from the fridge and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle on bread crumb mixture, and cover with aluminum foil.
- Mix bread crumbs, cinnamon, and ¼ cup brown sugar.
- Bake, covered, at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes.
- During last 15 minutes of baking, prepare Caramel-Pecan Sauce:
- Heat pecans in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove pecans and add butter.
- Melt and heat until golden brown.
- Add brown sugar, bourbon, and syrup.
- Cook brown sugar, butter, bourbon, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and pecans.
- Remove bread pudding from oven; drizzle with Caramel-Pecan Sauce.
- Bake 5 minutes longer or until sauce is thoroughly heated and begins to bubble.
- Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Soaking overnight allows all the flavors to blend before baking.
- If you use homemade pumpkin puree make sure to press as much liquid out as possible.
- Slightly stale bread works best.
- Be sure to press down the bread cubes into the custard mixture so that all the bread gets soaked in the custard.
- It's done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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First published October 23, 2009. Last updated August 2, 2023 for more helpful information and updated images.