I’ll start by saying that this vegan pumpkin bread pudding is probably the only pumpkin or pumpkin pie-spiced recipe I will be sharing in the foreseeable future. I guess I’m just not really feeling the pumpkin this year. I don’t dislike it, of course, but I don’t feel motivated to buy another can of it right now. Especially when we have so many CSA goodies at the moment! More of that in the next post. So I hope this blog will be a safe space for pumpkin haters this autumn, haha. Or however long the pumpkin mania usually lasts? I’m not really sure…
This bread pudding recipe is based off of my classic version, which I actually have yet to share here. I will get around to it eventually! I do have a chocolate chip eggnog version posted, which in my opinion is one of the most underrated recipes on this blog. Anyway, I swapped out some of the milk for pumpkin puree, reduced the amount of alcohol, and tweaked the spices to be more pumpkin pie spice-y. The result is a decadent-tasting, but not heavy, pumpkin bread pudding that hits the spot with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Also, if I made this again, I would totally add chocolate chips too.
Man, several years ago, I would have thought you were crazy if you told me I’d be making vegan bread pudding, or vegan eggnog. A while back I wrote about my slightly embarrassing high school boyfriend and our failed attempt to make bananas foster. His mom, who in that story wouldn’t allow us teenagers alone with a few tablespoons of rum, makes (made?) amazing bread pudding. It got to the point where I was raving about it so much that she would make it for me on a weekly basis. I think back fondly on my teenage metabolism… also, I am now questioning why she always had so much stale bread.
Anyway, when I figured out how to make vegan bread pudding and it was just as good as the infamous High School Boyfriend’s Mom’s bread pudding, that was one of those moments when I realized that I was definitely gonna be able to do this vegan thing. I have to confess that plain vanilla is my favorite flavor – what can I say, I’m boring. But for the pumpkin lovers, this version hits the spot. =]
- About 4 cups cubed leftover bread (see notes)
- 1 and ¼ c. cold, plain, unsweetened almond milk (divided)
- 1 tb. coconut oil (soft or melted state)
- ¼ c. coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ¼ c. + 1 tb. maple syrup
- ⅓ c. whole raw cashews, soaked over night (or ¼ c. cashew pieces)
- 1 c. pumpkin puree (not the pie filling, just plain pumpkin)
- 3 tb. cornstarch
- 2 tb. rum, whiskey, other dark liquor of choice, or additional almond milk (I used Crown maple-aged whiskey)
- ½ tb. vanilla extract
- (optional) ¼ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. sea salt (less if your bread is salty)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cubed bread is not stale, spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the bread, checking on it every 5 minutes, just until the moisture has gone away and the bread is firm and crisp.
- Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of the almond milk, coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup, cashews, and pumpkin puree. Blend until completely smooth, which may take a couple of minutes in a food processor. Pour the mixture into a bowl, through a mesh sieve if it has any grittiness to it.
- Whisk together the cornstarch with with the reserved almond milk until there are no lumps, and stir it into the mixture in the bowl. Stir in the liquor or additional milk, vanilla and almond extracts, spices, and salt. Taste the mixture and add more spices if desired.
- Place about half of the bread pieces in the greased loaf pan. Toss the other half of the bread in the bowl with the pumpkin pudding mixture; let sit for a minute. This is so that the top half of the bread pudding absorbs enough moisture.
- Pour the mixture with the additional bread pieces over the pieces in the bowl. Do not stir.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until pudding has set, and it feels springy when you press gently on the top.
- Let cool 5 minutes before eating. Serve (if desired) with ice cream or additional maple syrup. Store for up to 5 days in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
Fluffy white bread works best - I've used baguette, brioche, etc. I have also made a variation of this bread pudding using stale whole wheat Hawaiian rolls.
So there you have it! Vegan pumpkin bread pudding. Happy October/autumn!