Need something new this year on the Thanksgiving table? Or just have a hankering for fall flavors? This. Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Pumpkin Caramel Sauce is what you’ve been looking for, I promise. It is full of sugar and spice and everything oh-my-gosh good.
I was an avoider of bread pudding for a long time, way too long. I don’t know why, maybe the texture seemed odd, maybe it was the name, maybe I was just used to seeing it made with squishy raisins. I’m not really sure, but for whatever reason, I was dumb. (Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.) Because now I love it so much, and I wasted all that time. Why did I wait so long?! It’s too good! And there are so many variations! Now I LOVE it. And I’m always looking for news ways to make it, new flavors to play with and mix-ins to work with. I created this one a while back and thought, as we head into autumn, it would be the perfect time to share all of the sweet and spiced goodness with you. I chose Challah for this bread pudding because it is light and fluffy and has a uniquely rich flavor. You should be able to find a loaf in your local supermarket’s bakery section. If you can’ find any, you can use another soft, sweet-ish, white bread.
Although there may seem to be a long-ish list of ingredients, this is super easy to whip up, and can be made a day ahead if you’re entertaining for the holidays. The Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Pumpkin Caramel Sauce might actually take the place of pumpkin pie on our table this year. Crazy, I know. I don’t think I have ever had a Thanksgiving table sans pumpkin pie. When you are ready to make the bread pudding, trim the dark outer part of the Challah. (Ideally the bread should be a day old.) You can save this for breadcrumbs, or feed bits of it to your begging dogs like I do. (They’re totally spoiled, I admit it.) After trimming, cut the bread into 1″ sqaures. Let the bread sit out in open air for a bit to dry out.
While the bread is resting, prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop the pecans, melt the butter, beat the eggs, etc.
Pile the bread pieces into a 9″x13″ greased (with butter) baking dish. Then evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans and drizzle the melted butter, making sure to evenly distribute. Then pour over the egg/pumpkin/milk mixture. Be sure all the bread is soaked. I push it in to be sure it is soaking up the liquid after all of it has been distributed. The place it in a 350 preheated oven for 45 min.
While the bread pudding is baking, you can make the caramel. (If you are making the bread pudding ahead, you can wait on this step– and the whipped cream- until the day you are serving.) Combine the ingredients over low heat and whisk in the egg carefully so that it won’t scramble. Once it is tempered, you can turn up the heat a bit to medium low to reduce, constantly stirring with a whisk. Let reduce until you have a nice caramel sauce texture, about 15 minutes, maybe a bit more if you have to turn it down. Watch the pot carefully so that the sugar won’t burn. When done, remove from heat and set aside. While you are waiting for your Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Pumpkin Caramel Sauce, chill the bowl to your KitchenAid, or a metal bowl to make the whipped cream.
For the Whipped Cream: I use a 16oz. container of Heavy Whipping Cream, a tablespoon of maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and about 1/2 -3/4 cup of confectioners sugar. Place the whipping attachment on your hand mixer or KitchenAid, the pour the cream into the chilled bowl, then add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Turn to full speed and whip for 2 minutes. Drizzle in the maple syrup and spice blend. Add more sugar if need be, you should have nice, stiff peaks on the whipped cream that stand on their own. Add more sugar/syrup/spice to suit your taste. Place in refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the bread pudding. Just don’t taste too much, you don’t want to run out before you get the bread pudding out of the oven.
- Loaf of Challah Bread cut into 1"squares
- 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Melted Butter
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 6 Eggs Beaten
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 Cup Half and Half
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 1/4 Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 1/2 Cup Cream
- 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- Several hours before you are ready to make the bread pudding, chop the panettone and let dry, exposed to open air.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.
- Place the cubed Challah in the greased baking dish and drizzle with the melted butter, trying carefully to evenly distribute. Top with chopped pecans.
- Mix the sugars, eggs, vanilla, milk and cream, and espresso powder. Whisk together until well blended. Pour evenly over the Challah.
- Push the bread down so that it is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- For the Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- Mix ingredients over medium-low heat, combining carefully so that the eggs won't scramble. Mix together the granulated sugar, pumpkin, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan. Stir together until the sugar is melted.Using a whisk, blend well. Pour over individual bread pudding servings.
- Let the extra sauce cool and save in an air tight container at room temperature.
- To reheat entire pan if making the day ahead, place foil over pan and place in 350 oven for 15 min. Make sure caramel sauce is pourable, as it should be stored in the refrigerator. Then pour over individual slices and top with whipped cream.
- If reheating individual piece, I cut a square, then top with the caramel before reheating. Then top with whipped cream.
Do you think Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Pumpkin Caramel Sauce is a good swap for pumpkin pie?