Brown butter pumpkin bread pudding is an indulgent dish that blurs the line between breakfast, brunch, and dessert. A great make-ahead dish!
Photography by Kelly Neil
This brown butter pumpkin bread pudding is no-holds barred, decadent, and proud of it. Sour cream mixed into the pumpkin custard base adds tang that contrasts well with the richness of the brown butter. These puddings are simple, seasonal, and best of all, can be made well in advance of serving.
If you’re feeling ambitious, be sure to check our our post on how to make homemade pumpkin purée, as well as our recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice. To be honest, it doesn’t take much longer to make either, and the difference in flavour is remarkable!
Use day old, or even stale bread for this recipe. Dry bread is better for soaking up all of that luscious pumpkin custard! And if you’re feeling extra indulgent, serve the pudding warm with a drizzle of your favourite caramel or butterscotch sauce.
💖Why You’ll Love This Recipe
✔️ It’s in individual servings for a nicer presentation, perfect for holiday dessert.
✔️ It makes excellent use of stale bread that would otherwise go to waste.
✔️ It’s the perfect fall bread pudding – the season in dessert form!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Milk: you can substitute 35% or 18% cream for the milk of you like an even more decadent pudding.
- Pumpkin purée: canned or homemade. Puréed butternut squash or sweet potato are good substitutes for the pumpkin.
- Sour cream: Greek yogurt can be swapped in for sour cream.
- Pumpkin pie spice: ground cinnamon or homemade chai spice are tasty alternatives to pumpkin pie spice.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
STEP 1: Brown the butter, either using the microwave method outlined or on the stove.
STEP 2: Whisk the wet ingredients together.
STEP 3: Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
STEP 4: Pour the browned butter over stale bread cubes.
STEP 5: Mix the wet ingredients into the bread and chill. Spoon into a muffin tin when ready.
STEP 6: Bake until golden, about 40 minutes.
1. Use stale bread. It allows the custard to better soak into the bread than fresh.
2. Top it off. While it’s not mandatory to top the puddings, it makes them all the more decadent – even store bought caramel sauce is delicious.
3. Let it rest. It’s key to chill the pudding before baking to ensure even absorption of the custard into the bread.
- Browning the butter adds an extra layer of flavour and richness to the pumpkin bread pudding, however, you don’t have to brown the butter if you don’t want to. Just melt it, and proceed with the recipe as written.
- You can bake this pudding all together in a 8-inch (20-cm) square or round baking dish if you prefer that to individual servings.
- Most bread will work in this recipe. We like French bread, country loaves, brioche, or sourdough bread for this recipe.
While we think this pumpkin version is best served warm, bread pudding can be served any way you like, hot, cold, or in between.
This bread pudding should be refrigerated. It’s moist and contains pumpkin, so it will spoil quickly if stored at room temperature.
It’s best to reheat in the oven. Cover loosely with foil to prevent drying and heat at 350°F (180°C) for 5-10 minutes for these individual serving sizes.
🎃 More Spiced Pumpkin Recipes
Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Baking vessel must be heat and microwave safe
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
- Muffin tin
- muffin cups
- Wire rack
- Brown the butter by placing it in a heat and microwave-safe vessel and cooking it in the microwave in one minute increments. Do this until it is dark brown and smells nutty and rich. Be sure to cover the vessel as the butter cooks to prevent splattering. Alternatively, brown the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove over medium heat until deep rich brown in colour. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin purée, sour cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until well mixed. Add the eggs to the bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Place the bread cubes in another large bowl. Drizzle the bread with the brown butter and toss to combine.
- Pour the pumpkin custard mixture into the bowl of bread and fold everything together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, making sure all of the bread is well coated.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for one hour, and up to overnight. This gives the bread time to soak up all of the rich pumpkin custard.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
- Lightly grease the cups of a six-cup jumbo muffin tin, or a 12-cup standard muffin tin with butter.
- Spoon the bread pudding mixture evenly into the muffin cups, pressing lightly into the tin to compact.
- Bake the bread puddings for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the middle is set.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before running a knife along the edges of each pudding and twisting gently to remove.
- Serve the pumpkin bread pudding warm topped with your favourite caramel or butterscotch sauce.