Who doesn’t love pumpkin bread? Pumpkin bread pudding combines the wonderful spice of pumpkin bread with the custardy goodness of bread pudding.
Hi everyone, this is Joan’s cousin, Kim Roberson. I’m excited that I now have the chance to share some of my favorite recipes with you, Joan’s readers. I hope you’ll enjoy what I have to offer as much as my friends and family do, and you’ll feel I am doing Joan credit with what I share here.
A brief introduction for those who don’t know me – first the family connection to Joan and Gail. Our moms are sisters, and our grandparents were born and raised in Charlottesville, VA. (You’ll meet my mom, Kitty, and my sister, Jennifer, next month when they also join the CC&M team). Gail, Joan, Jennifer and I saw each other at the holidays at our grandparents house, and one family tradition for the four of us was at some point in our 13th year, we would go to stay with the others family.
For Gail and Joan, they came down to Florida in the summer for a few weeks of fun in Florida and a visit to Disney World. Jennifer and I were on year-round school so our visit was in the fall (when we had school vacation), and in the fall of 1983, I spent a couple of weeks tagging along with Joan at her High School in Delaware (not quite Disney World, but I remember I had a good time with the “older” kids.)
After graduating from High School, Joan decided to move down to Florida, where it was a lot easier for us to go visit – I remember her cat that would fetch, and she had a convertible Camaro that we loved to cruise around in. I was in her wedding (amazingly, the only time I have been a Bridesmaid), and know how happy she was being a mom to first CJ, then Cassie, and finally Grace.
I knew she liked to cook, but had no idea how much so until she started formulating the idea of creating Chocolate, Chocolate and More. She found her niche in life the day she started blogging, and while I am sad that she isn’t here to provide you with her favorite recipes and insights, I am proud that she felt I was worthy of helping to carry on the work that she started here.
I live in the Washington DC suburbs of Virginia, am single, and thanks to my normal work schedule and daily commute I don’t often get to bake for more than one or two at a time. I love the fact that I now have an excuse to revisit my baking skills to help carry on Joan’s blog (as do my co-workers, who are the beneficiaries of my baking efforts.)
I know we are coming to the end of the fall flavor season, but I love bread pudding, and really, is there any bad time to use pumpkin in a recipe? Pumpkin bread pudding is adapted from one I found on-line from a local grocery store a while back, and I have yet to have a bad review from the folks who have found it on their plates for dessert (or on the counter in the office with a “try me” note attached.) One of the things I like about this is you can adjust the size of the recipe easily up or down depending on how much you need to make for your occasion. You can also use different kinds of bread (the original recipe called for using an Italian loaf, but I always like using Challah for my bread pudding recipes.) The most important thing is to use bread that will soak up the wet ingredients without becoming a soggy mess.
The original recipe called for a maple syrup topping, but my mom really dislikes maple, so my pumpkin bread pudding is topped with a basic vanilla buttercream icing with some cinnamon.
Bread Pudding Ingredients
- cooking spray (I used canola oil-based spray)
- 1 can (15 oz) 100% pumpkin
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Loaf challah bread cubed 1/2-inch (about 5 cups)
- 1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 Cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons whole milk
- 3-4 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Spray baking dish (I used an 8” x11” glass dish) with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt and stir until thoroughly integrated.
- Add bread cubes to pumpkin mix and gently stir to combine.
- Cover and set aside to allow bread to absorb liquid for about 10 min.
- Add soaked bread to baking dish and pour any remaining pumpkin mixture from bowl across the top. Place baking dish in center of oven and bake 60 minutes, or until center is set
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly blended. (You can either use a hand mixer, although a stand mixer with a paddle attachment is the preferred method. If you don’t have the stand mixer, just make sure you take time to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure all of the vanilla has been incorporated into the butter.)
- Add powdered sugar, milk, 3 Tbsp water and cinnamon, mixing until a creamy consistency (again, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times if you aren’t using a stand mixer). You can add an additional Tbsp of water if needed to get desired consistency.
- You can use the icing two ways – either as a “dollop” or a “drizzle” on an individual slice of the bread pudding. In either option, I would only ice after the pudding has been cut and plated for serving, as icing the entire baking dish of bread pudding while warm might make any “leftovers” soggy.
- To use the dollop method, I provide the icing as a side to the bread pudding, serving it in a small bowl with a spoon so that diners can serve themselves as much or as little as they want. Since the pudding will still be warm, placing a dollop on the top will allow the icing to “melt” across the top.
- To drizzle, I simply put the icing into a quart-sized storage bag, trim off a small piece of the corner, and run the icing back and forth across the top of the slice of bread pudding after slicing and plating, but before serving. This will also allow the icing to melt across the top, but tends to look “prettier” if you are trying to impress guests in a more formal setting.
- Serve warm.