Recipe Flash: Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread Pudding

HOLIDAY DINNER MENU: Dried Fruit Salad with Cara-Cara Orange Vinaigrette; Boeuf Bourguignon; Orange Sweet Potatoes; Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread Pudding

This Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread Pudding made its way to my Thanksgiving table this year, alongside Mom’s Apple Pie, among other festive desserts. Though we’ve featured bread puddings before–though not with any frequency or devotion–none had ever contained pumpkin. Perhaps we made those desserts in years when there was a pumpkin pie on the buffet, or perhaps it never crossed our minds then. Regardless, 2010 does seem to be the year of pumpkin, at least, as far as our readers are concerned, which makes this rich bread pudding the perfect way to celebrate as the year comes to a close.

The bread pudding does beg to be assembled in advance so that the bread involved gets many hours to soak up the custardy goodness. But other than that, this is easy as (pumpkin) pie. Easier, really.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,


Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread Pudding

Serves 8-10

1 tablespoon softened butter
6-8 cups torn challah, challah rolls, or brioche, preferably stale
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups half and half
12 ounces pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
pinch cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease an 8-cup (or thereabouts) gratin or baking dish with the softened butter. Layer the torn bread in the baking, scattering the chocolate chips as you go.
In a medium bowl, beat together the half and half, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla until completely combined. The mixture will be thick and custardy. Pour it over the bread slowly, allowing it to sink in so it doesn’t overflow. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, until puffed and brown. If you stick a tester in the middle, it will come out clean–that means the pudding is cooked through. The pudding will begin to sink almost immediately, so don’t be disappointed. Or, just serve it right away.

You can also serve warm or room temperature. If you’re my Uncle Michael, vanilla ice cream is mandatory; it’s still nice, even if you’re not him.

Posted in: Recipe Flash
  • Chelsea

    Yum! The concept of bread pudding has always freaked me out a little but this looks awesome!

  • Keisenpress

    It was SO delicious, especially the next morning! I can’t wait to make/eat it again!

  • Mpress

    Well clearly you were not taking my hint at the channukah party to make another one and bring it over…so i guess i can now make it myself…mmmmm…and it is soooooo good with vanilla ice cream….
    love your half life cook in a big kitchen uncle M

  • Lizthechef

    I have yet to make a bread pudding I didn’t like and this one is a rock star recipe!

  • Pmd999

    I just recently watched the Barefoot Contessa with your episode. Ina’s food is to die for, she would be the person I’d most like to have dinner with, you must have had a great time ! I love to ccok myself but recently had dinner with a friend who is a trained chef. She practices her craft only at home and any invitation to dine at her table is one you never pass up. She recently cooked a beef tenderloin and served it with a fig balsamic vinegar, it was divine. Her chocolate cream pie for dessert, a family favorite, was equally delicious. Enjoy your holidays and I will be checking back to see your newest recipes, the photos are a great touch.

  • Pingback: How To: Serve Fruit for Dessert | Pretty Young Professional()

  • Amanda4065

    Hi there!
    It was great to meet both of you at the Broadway Panhandler this past weekend.  I love your blog and cook book, so after meeting you girls, I’m more eager than ever to get in the kitchen and start cooking!

    So, for the crock pot party I told you about, I’m planning on making this pumpkin bread pudding.  The problem is, I the bread I have is super fresh.  How can I get it to become stale like the recipe calls for?

    Thanks so much!


    • BGSK

      Amanda–It’s a great choice – I’m sure you’ll love it! To get the bread stale, cut it into thick slices and place it in one layer in a preheated 250°F oven. Leave it for about 30-40 minutes, checking often and flipping the slices at least once. You don’t want to have the bread turn golden, so if it’s starting to brown, turn down the oven.


    • Crock Newbie

      How do you make this recipe in a crock pot

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