Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding {Maple Bourbon Sauce}

A creamy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding studded with Bourbon-soaked dried cherries and topped with a rich Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce! A decadent, yet incredibly easy dessert to pull together!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

A long, long time ago I shared my long-running obsession with Bread Pudding. If it is on the menu, I will order it. Rarely does it live up to my standards: too dry, too dense, too bland. I solved this problem by crafting my own. It is an easily adaptable recipe that I have adjusted here to include pumpkin, brown sugar and spices.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

You will love the pumpkin custard spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger! I like to keep the bread in larger pieces so that they are small enough to form a cohesive pudding in the custard but large enough to still keep their shape. It is also nice not to feel like you have a brick in your stomach after dessert. This trick eliminates the brick effect.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

Every few bites you get a burst of flavor from a bourbon-soaked tart cherry, which balances the sweet custard. The crunchy, sweet pecan-studded bread topping contrasts nicely with the creamy pudding. A symphony of textures and flavors.

And then there is the Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce. Oh, the sauce! Maple and brown sugar temper pungent Bourbon and all that is left is a creamy, sweet maple bourbon flavor. It blends together beautifully with the pumpkin, spices and tart cherries.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

Bite after bite, plate after plate, you won’t be able to resist the sensational flavors and textures of this dessert. I suggest you make room for this dish at your holiday table or, it’s so easy to pull together, I suggest you whip this up tonight and wow your guests, family or just yourself.

And if you do make it for the holidays, it will be gone before the pumpkin pie!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

This easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding is currently tied with these Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes for my favorite pumpkin dessert that I’ve made this season!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

There are many factors that determine if a bread pudding is going to be good; this is my formula.

Tips and Tricks for The BEST Bread Pudding:

  1. Pick the right bread. I LOVE Challah because of its flavor, texture, and crust. Dense, whole-wheat breads are not a good choice because they make the pudding heavy. Buttery brioche is always a safe choice.
  2. Age your bread like a fine wine, okay, maybe not quite as long as a fine wine, but do allow it to dry out a bit. I like 3 day old bread. It also helps it not dissolve into one dense mass.
  3. Large pieces of bread – I like to cut my bread into ½ – ¾  inch cubes. This allows for the custard to soak into the bread and create a cohesive pudding but it does not allow it all to melt together into one solid brick. No bueno.
  4. Keep the crusts. This is not a PB&J, the crust has a function here: it doesn’t absorb as much of the custard so it will provide a different texture.
  5. Butter is not always better. I don’t use butter in my bread pudding custard because I don’t feel it adds anything here. And that is that.
  6. La Sauce: I am not as strict about my bread pudding sauce as I am about other aspects. I love a good Bourbon sauce, caramel sauce, or sticky toffee sauce. But a sauce is a must. Why? Who doesn’t love sauce? Nuff said.
  7. Dried fruit is a requirement for me. It just is. Even better if they are soaked in booze.
  8. And the secret that tops all secrets for an excellent bread pudding is a crispy topping. It’s all about the sweet, crispy topping. Right before putting my bread pudding in the oven I mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, toasted pecans and melted butter and toss a cup of reserved bread pieces in it. These top pieces are slightly submerged so they are crispy on top and softened by the pumpkin custard on the bottom. Heaven on Earth.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce

So far, my favorite bread puddings can be found in St. Louis. If you are visiting or you live there, and you are craving bread pudding, you must go to Remy’s in Clayton and Cyrano’s in Webster Groves. On a side note, I don’t know if Cyrano’s still has it but they used to have the best Gooey Butter Cake in St. Louis (according to me and my best friend, Julia).

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce


Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding {Maple Bourbon Sauce}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding {Maple Bourbon Sauce}

A rich, creamy Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding that is studded with Bourbon-soaked dried cherries and topped with a rich Maple Bourbon Cream Sauce! Decadent, yet easy dessert!


    For the Pudding:
  • 5 cups day old Challah bread, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1 cup 2 % milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (I used freshly grated…so much better)
  • ½ cup tart dried cherries
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • For the Topping:
  • 2 cups bread, cut into ½ - ¾ inch cubes (some can be slightly smaller)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt (or use salted butter)
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans
  • For the Sauce:
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (Grade B)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, unpacked
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • Small pinch of salt


    Make the Bread Pudding:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Microwave Bourbon and cherries on high in a small bowl for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk together in a large bowl the milk, cream, pumpkin puree, and eggs until completely incorporated. Whisk in sugar until dissolved. Add the spices and Bourbon soaked cherries and any remaining Bourbon; whisk to incorporate.
  4. Add the 5 cups of bread to the custard and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until all of the bread is coated and has started to absorb the liquid. Pour carefully into an 8 inch square baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare your topping while your pudding rests: mix all topping ingredients together in a medium bowl until the bread is coated in sugar and butter. Distribute on top of the pudding, pressing down slightly so that the larger pieces are partially submerged.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set and no longer jiggles when shaken. I also use a toothpick to test the center to make sure it is not still liquid. It will never come out clean like a cake.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes prior to serving.
  8. You can serve it warm, room temperature or cold. I prefer it warm or room temperature – after refrigeration, the topping will begin to soften and lose some of its charm.
  9. Make the Sauce:
  10. While the pudding is cooking, make the sauce.
  11. In a small saucepot, stir together all ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.
  12. Sauce can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. It will separate in the refrigerator, reheat and stir to mix back together. This is the maple syrup’s fault.


I halved this recipe as written to bake a more reasonably sized bread pudding that should serve 4-6, or just two people two days in a row! 😉

No loaf of bread is going to produce perfectly sized 3/4 inch cubes and that is great! A little variation is okay, even encouraged.

*Prep time includes allowing the pudding to rest 20 minutes.

**You can easily make this ahead through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Start with step 5.


Bring On the Pumpkin & Maple! {And Bourbon}

Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Traditional Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll


 Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread with Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy, Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

Easy Foolproof Pumpkin Pie


Maple Caramel Pecan Bars {These are soooooooo gooood!}

Maple Pecan Caramel Brown Butter Blondies


This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Merry Monday, Munching MondayTwo Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever


    • AmericanCooking22 says

      This is perfect for a party! And easy to pull together! The hard part will be not eating a piece before you arrive 🙂

  1. says

    Lindsey. This bread puddings looks absolutely delicious, but I must say that I’m surprised there’s no mace in the recipe. 😉 But that maple bourbon sauce? Umm…seriously?? I think I need to just pour that into my coffee in the morning. Or better yet, just pour it straight into my mouth. Can that be arranged? I also have to give you props for your pics here. I’ve been too scared to go for a bread pudding recipe because I’m not sure I can make it look good. Your version looks awesome!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LOL! I *knew* you were going to call me out! I thought about it when I was making it, but I was worried that mace or cloves would completely overwhelm the pumpkin and bourbon flavors. I ate the sauce on my yogurt with pears and it was fabulous! Thanks for the props! I was worried about the pictures…how to make a lumpy, soggy mess look appetizing! 😉

  2. says

    This bread pudding looks totally DREAMY. Seriously, I am in LOVE with that maple bourbon sauce. I kinda want all of your leftovers. 😀
    [email protected] recently posted…Homemade English MuffinsMy Profile

  3. says

    I have kind of a love/hate relationship with bread pudding. I love it when it’s prepared right, it’s such a comfort food dish to me. But I hate it when it lacks in flavor and is too mushy and just plain blah. So I’m always hesitant to order it in restaurants! But this version looks so amazing, Lindsey! I absolutely love this flavor. And you give such great tips, too! Pinned!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Whole Wheat Pumpkin MuffinsMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I feel exactly the same way! I guess I figure that the times when I get it and it is perfect, are worth the dozen other times when it is a dense, flavorless brick! You should just make it at home! Problem solved.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for the pin, Dorothy! My husband almost ate the whole pan! It was soooo good. I even ate it cold.

  4. says

    I steered clear of bread pudding for years because of the brick effect. No bueno indeed! The only breads I’ll ever use are pain de mie or challah, and I agree about the larger pieces! This flavor combination sounds so incredibly good, and a resounding yes to the maple bourbon sauce! This looks amazing. 🙂
    marcie recently posted…Turkey Sausage Jalapeño White Bean ChiliMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks, Rachel! I think you’ll find it’s beyond easy to make! And so delicious….can’t forget the sauce!

  5. says

    Lindsey – I am at a loss for words – this bread pudding has me mesmerized! I am loving all the crunchy and creamy and sweet and tart textures and flavors in this – each bite is like an adventure! Thanks for the tips – I used to always cut the crusts off – the few times I attempted to make bread pudding – oh, I would butter the slices!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Ooo butter on the slices! Now that is an interesting idea! I love my bread pudding! In case you can’t tell 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks, Emily! Thanks for clicking on my link! It’s soooo delicious! Probably in my top 2 bread puddings ever


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