Pumpkin pie’s not the only game in town – get your pumpkin fix with this cozy, comforting pumpkin bread pudding recipe. Eat it plain, add a drizzle of cinnamon syrup, or dress it up with whipped cream–however you serve it, this bread pudding is sure to become a family favorite.

Slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding on a white plate, drizzled with cinnamon syrup.
Want to save this recipe?
Get this sent right to your inbox, plus great new recipes weekly!

🍂 Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie gets most of the love and attention this time of year, but there’s a pumpkin dessert I love even more: pumpkin bread pudding. It’s got all the familiar fall flavors of pumpkin pie, but in a different (yet equally delicious) package. It’s versatile, too–you can serve it warm with a cinnamon syrup drizzle, or cold with a spoonful of softly whipped cream on top. So if you’re looking to bring something new to the Thanksgiving dessert table this year, allow me to make the case for bread pudding.

What the heck is bread pudding?

Bread pudding is typically made by tossing chunks of stale (or toasted) bread with a simple milk-and-egg custard, then baking it until it’s set. The bread absorbs the custard, and through some culinary magic, these humble ingredients are transformed into an indulgent dessert that can rival any fancy cake. The best bread puddings have a soft, moist interior, with a pleasantly crunchy top. Bread pudding is often served in slices, topped with a dessert sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding baked in a large casserole dish, on a white marble surface.

Why you should make this recipe

I admit: bread pudding could use a rebrand. The name doesn’t do it any favors, and neither does the fact that it looks a bit like a casserole. But once you get past its humble appearance, there are SO MANY reasons to give it a try!

  • It’s super easy to make. Cut bread, whisk liquids, give it a stir, and slide it into the oven!
  • Have old bread you want to use up? Bread pudding gives it new life!
  • It uses simple ingredients most people keep on hand.
  • You’re not limited to plain French bread. All kinds of carby goodness will work. Try brioche, challah, and even croissants.
  • It feeds a crowd, and the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
  • It’s a great make-ahead recipe, and freezes well too!

Obviously we’re huge bread pudding fans around here. After you make this pumpkin version, try a few other variations, like Brownie Bread Pudding, Pannetone Bread Pudding, and Cinnamon Bun Bread Pudding!

Table of Contents

🧾 What You’ll Need

Overhead shot of ingredients needed to make Pumpkin Bread Pudding.


Ready to bake? Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Bread: As you can imagine, bread is THE most important part of bread pudding! I recommend using a good-quality French bread, or an enriched bread like brioche or challah. You want the bread to be stale before making bread pudding, so if your bread is not already stale, you can either cube it up and leave it to sit overnight, or do a quick toast in the oven to dry it out a bit.
  • Pumpkin puree: Make sure you’re using pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Evaporated milk: This recipe uses equal parts evaporated milk and regular milk. Make sure you’re using evaporated and not condensed milk — they look similar but are not the same. If you don’t have evaporated, you can use all regular milk instead.
  • Milk: As is so often true, fat makes things taste better! I recommend using whole milk if possible — it makes the bread pudding richer and creamier. Half-and-half is another good option. Other milks will work (including non-dairy options!) but the final texture might be less than ideal.
  • Pecans: These are optional, but I love a little crunch in my bread pudding. You can omit them entirely, or swap in another nut you like better.
  • Spices: We’re using cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but you can use what you have on hand. Allspice and ginger are also good additions, or if you have pumpkin pie spice, you can use that instead.
  • Sugars: A combination of brown and granulated sugar is the best of both worlds: brown sugar provides a deeper flavor, and white sugar helps the top crisp up.
  • Eggs: The recipe calls for large eggs, at room temperature.
Slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding on a white plate, drizzled with cinnamon syrup.

Here’s a step-by-step of how this recipe comes together. Grab printable instructions in the recipe card below!

1. Toast the Bread

Bread pudding works best with bread that is either stale or slightly toasted–this way, the extra-dry bread can soak up more of the delicious custard without becoming too soggy or mushy. So, if your bread is not already stale, you’ll want to toast it briefly until it dries out. Don’t let it get dark and crunchy, though, we’re not making croutons! Just 10 minutes in a low-ish oven should do it. Cool the bread cubes before moving on to the next steps.

Two photo collage showing how to make Pumpkin Bread Pudding custard.

2. Make the Custard

  • In an extra large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla, and whisk again until blended.
  • Whisk in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Two photo collage showing how to bake Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

3. Soak the Bread & Bake

  • Add the bread cubes (and pecans, if you’re using them). Stir everything together with a spatula, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to soak up the custard.
  • Transfer to mixture to a baking pan and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. The pudding is done when it is puffed up, looks crispy on top, and doesn’t jiggle much when you tap the pan.
  • Let cool, then serve with cinnamon syrup drizzled on top.
Slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding on a white plate, drizzled with cinnamon syrup.

🥄 Optional Praline Topping

One of my favorite variations on this recipe is to add a quick praline topping, made with brown sugar and pecans. It’s definitely optional, since the bread pudding is absolutely delicious on its own, but if you love a good crunchy, streusel-y topping, give it a try! You’ll need:

  • 3.75 oz packed brown sugar, (1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 oz flour, (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 oz cold butter, cubed, (6 tbsp)
  • 4 oz toasted, coarsely chopped pecans, (1 cup )

Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes and process in quick bursts until it’s mixed into the dry ingredients and starts clumping together. Add the pecans and pulse a few more times to mix them in. If you’re not using it right away, refrigerate the topping until you’re ready to bake.

Once the bread is properly soaked, scatter about a cup of the praline topping over the top of the bread, and toss it with your hands to work down into the middle of the pudding. Scatter the remaining praline topping all over the top of the bread pudding, covering it evenly, then bake as directed.

Spatula holding a slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding over a dish of baked bread pudding.

💡 Tips and FAQs  


I love using enriched breads like challah or brioche for bread pudding. Good-quality French bread also works well. (I specify “good quality” because the extremely light, airy, and sponge-like French bread sold in some grocery stores is not a great choice.) Breads that are substantial but not overly dense are perfect.


In my opinion, yes! Of course it’s possible to make bread pudding with fresh bread, but this usually leads to soggy pudding. The bread will soak up too much liquid and start to disintegrate, and the resulting dish is not very tasty. Stale bread is able to absorb the custard without turning to mush.


Bread pudding can be served at either temperature, it’s really a matter of personal preference. I prefer the texture of warm bread pudding (and think the flavors come through better that way) but you should try it both ways and see what you think! You know, for science. (exaggerated wink)


Yes, bread pudding is a great make-ahead dish. If you want it baked fresh, you can assemble it the night before and refrigerate the dish before baking it the next day. Just cover the dish before refrigerating so the top doesn’t dry out, and you’re good to go. Don’t let it sit more than 24 hours before baking, or it will become too soggy.

You can also bake it in advance–after it’s out of the oven, let it come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Serve it cold, or warm it up before serving.


Yes. I recommend freezing bread pudding after it has been baked and cooled, but before adding any sauces or toppings. Wrap it well in several layers of plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight, then serve warm or cold.

Slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding with a scoop of whipped cream on top.

🧡 More Pumpkin Recipes

If you love pumpkin as much as I do, check out my collection of pumpkin dessert recipes! Here are just a few of my favorites:

2 Pumpkin Cream Filled Donuts on a small gray plate with one leaning against the other and a bite removed from one to show the pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Cream Filled Donuts

Brown sugar and cinnamon sticks give this homemade syrup a deep, rich cinnamon flavor. It’s delicious on  pancakes and waffles, or add a splash to your favorite drink.
View Recipe
Slice of pumpkin spice cheesecake topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce with a fork next to it.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

This cheesecake has a graham cracker crust made with cinnamon and sugar and is filled with the most delicious mix of pumpkin and cream cheese.
View Recipe

Leave a Review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Slice of Pumpkin Bread Pudding drizzled with cinnamon syrup, on a white plate.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

5 from 9 votes
Get your pumpkin fix with this cozy, comforting pumpkin bread pudding recipe. Eat it plain, add a drizzle of cinnamon syrup, or dress it up with whipped cream–however you serve it, this bread pudding is sure to become a family favorite.
Prep30 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Soaking Time30 minutes
Total1 hour 45 minutes
Yields12 servings


  • 1 loaf good-quality bread, (14 oz. loaf), recommend: French bread, brioche, or challah
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 can pumpkin puree, (15 oz can)
  • 8 fl oz evaporated milk, (1 cup)
  • 8 fl oz milk, (1 cup), whole milk recommended
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 7 oz granulated sugar, (1 cup)
  • 3.75 oz brown sugar, (½ cup, packed)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 oz pecans, (¾ cup chopped), optional
Save this recipe!
Get this sent right to your inbox, plus great new recipes weekly!


  • Cut the bread into 1” cubes. If it is not already stale, you’ll want to toast it a bit.
  • To toast: Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet, and put it in a 310 F oven for about 10-12 minutes, stirring every 3 or 4 minutes so that it doesn’t burn. The bread should just start to take on a golden color, but shouldn’t be dark and hard—you don’t want to make croutons! Let the bread cool completely.
  • In an extra large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla; whisk together until blended.
  • Whisk in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • Add the bread cubes and pecans, if you’re using them. Stir everything together with a spatula, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to soak up the custard. Periodically stir to make sure everything gets distributed evenly.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • Scrape the bread pudding mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until it is puffed up, crispy on top, and the center doesn’t jiggle much when tapped.
  • Let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve slices of bread pudding warm, with a drizzle of cinnamon syrup and whipped cream. If you prefer it cold, let the pudding come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
  • Store leftovers, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 5722IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Collage of four pumpkin desserts in a square grid.

Pumpkin Dessert RECIPES 🎃

We’ve rounded up over 50 deliciously cozy pumpkin dessert recipes to help you make the most of fall baking.  Click here to get all the recipes!

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate This Recipe!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This looks perfectly fab with or without that sexy beast of a sauce. There’s another Lifetime movie for ya! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks so amazing All of your recipes are amazing. I have enjoyed making several of them too. Thank you for all you fo for us Home Bakers. You really have made me shine.

    1. What a sweet message Donna! I’m so glad my recipes make you shine – just as you should! I hope you get to try the Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It’s a winner for sure.

  3. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! This is the ultimate comfort food dessert. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. This was a fantastic idea to use my pumpkin that I have stored. Love the bread pudding idea so this would be great for a nice dessert on thanksgiving too.

  5. I start eating pumpkin in October and I don’t stop til January so I will definitely be making this awesome looking Pumpkin Bread Pudding! Thank you!

  6. The fall spices in this pumpkin bread pudding were so good! I’m going to make it again on Thanksgiving, it was so good!