Pumpkin brioche bread pudding + Maple caramel sauce & a recap of thanksgiving 2013!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  This year I made full fat Pumpkin Brioche Bread Pudding with Maple Caramel Sauce and it was a huge hit.  But before I brag about that, here are some of the highlights of our Indo-American Thanksgiving. pumpkin brioche bread pudding 069

Prior to digging in, we went around the room filled with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews and stated something we were each “thankful” for.  FAMILY seemed to be the most common theme of the night.  Here are my teenage nieces, they’re all growing up so fast into smart, confident, gorgeous young ladies.  Ahhhh… make time stop!

Here I am with my niece, Sonia.  She “thinks” she’s my favorite. 

And then came the MEAL
my brother’s Corn Bread & Stuffing.
my eldest sister’s Chicken Biriyani.
my mom’s Dahi Vada (fried dough balls in a yogurt sauce topped with spices).
my elder sister’s (Mini) Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.
my aunt’s Muthiya (a Gujurati specialty).IMG_1452

My contribution – Crunchy Tortilla Salsa Mac & Cheese!  And of course, we had some turkey from Boston MarketIMG_3851

DESSERT was a meal of its own.  Standouts were…
my Pumpkin Brioche Bread Pudding.
Carrot Cake from Le Bonbonniere… Jersey’s finest bake shop!
my cousin’s (Nandini) Chocolate Pie baked from scratch.  Mmmmmmm!
my mom’s Apple Crisp.
a fruit platter.  boring.IMG_0023

Other highlights.  The DOG, Levi, he’s only 4 months old.  So cute!  IMG_1925

And now let’s talk about that Pumpkin Brioche Bread Pudding, shall we?  If you’re scared of baking or have no interest in baking, this dessert is for you because you really can’t mess it up.  pumpkin brioche bread pudding 070

Start by chopping up some brioche bread.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 025

Whisk a bunch of ingredients.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 036

And pour in some custard.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 043

And then just bake it off in the oven.  pumpkin brioche bread pudding 087

Of course, make a little sauce on the side which literally takes less than 5 minutes.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 076

And if you are lucky enough to have leftovers the next morning, nuke a slice for about 20 seconds and enjoy with a cup of coffee.  Scrumptious!pumpkin brioche bread pudding 096

NUTRITION: Although high in calories and fat, Brioche Bread and Half & Half are a good source of Protein.  Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A and Fiber.
* since it was Thanksgiving, I made this bread pudding full fat.  For a healthier alternative, substitute Brioche Bread for some kind of soft Whole Wheat roll.  Substitute Whole Milk or 2% Reduced Fat for the Half & Half.  In the sauce, use 2 tbsp of butter instead of 4 tbsp (1/4 cup), reduce the Maple Syrup to 1/3 cup, and go ahead and use Whole Milk or 2% Reduced Fat instead of Half & Half.  This will alter the taste slightly, but not significant enough for anyone to notice. 

  • Calories: 205 cals
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.3 g
  • Carbs: 23 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g

~ yields 15 servings baked @ 350 degrees in a 11” x 7” baking dish

for the bread pudding:
  • Brioche Bread – 10.8 ounces
  • Half & Half – 2 cups
  • Pure Pumpkin – 1 cup
  • Organic Eggs – 2
  • Brown Sugar – 1/3 cup (custard) + a tablespoon to sprinkle on top
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  • All Spice – 1/4 tsp
  • Bourbon – 2 tbsp  (I used Whistle Pig’s Straight Rye Whiskey)
  • Pecans – 1/2 cup  (chopped; you can use 3/4 cup if you’d like)
* raisins would be a great addition, you can soak them in the bourbon/whiskey, 3 tbsp will suffice. 
note - I haven’t tried this recipe with raisins.

for the maple caramel sauce:
  • Unsalted Butter – 1/4 cup  (melted)
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup – 1/2 cup
  • Half & Half – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – just a small pinch

for the bread pudding:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.preheat
2. Butter a baking dish.
3. Slice the brioche bread into 1 inch cubes.

4. Add the bread to the buttered dish.
5. Here are your custard ingredients sans the pecans.
6. In a mixing bowl, add the half & half, pumpkin, eggs, bourbon (whiskey), brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and salt. 
7. Whisk it well until all the ingredients are well blended.
8. Pour the custard mixture all over the bread.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 043
9. Using a flat wooden spoon, press the bread down into the custard making sure all the bread is evenly coated.  It may appear that you need more custard, but you really don’t, trust me. 
10. Now top off the bread with a little more brown sugar, perhaps just a tablespoon, not more than that.
11. Add the chopped pecans.
12. Into the oven for 40 minutes, maybe a little less depending on your oven.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 016
13. This is what you should have.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 019
for the maple caramel sauce: 
14. Melt the butter in a pot on low-medium heat.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 018
15. Once melted, add the maple syrup.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 020
16. Add the half & half as well.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 022
17. Whisk well and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes until it starts to bubble.  Turn off the stove and the sauce will begin to thicken slightly.pumpkin brioche bread pudding 023
18. Serve the sauce on the side, or you can pour it all over the bread pudding.  Slice into cubes and serve immediately. pumpkin brioche bread pudding 079

TELL ME: How was your Thanksgiving?  What did you make?  What dish is a family tradition during Thanksgiving? 


  1. Hhhmmmm simply superb.... Hope you have had a great get together....

    1. Thanks Ajunan.. we did. :-) Hope you did as well.

  2. Wonderful ! Hope you enjoyed your Indo -American Thanksgiving !!

  3. Seeing that hearty delicious spread is making me feel left out :-P
    Hoping you all had a great time together. Your nieces are indeed smart and gorgeous girls. God bless them.
    And last but not the least, your pudding sounds like an absolute winner!

    1. Awww.. no. Thanks for the compliment.. I'll pass it along to them, I'm sure they'll be thrilled. This bread pudding turned out really good! :-)

  4. Your nieces are beautiful, N! So glad you got to spend time with your family. I always make mine go around the table and talk about what they're thankful for. It's a nice touch!! :)

    And your bread pudding looks delicious - do you think a handful of chocolate chips would work?

    1. Thanks Parita, I'm sure they'd love that. Yes, you can use chocolate chips, I'd use mini semi-sweet chips though, and use 1/4 cup of sugar instead of 1/3 cup and i wouldn't sprinkle additional sugar on top. :-)

  5. Looks like you had a lovely Thanksgibing! This bread pudding sounds so decadent and perfect for holiday meals.

    1. Thanks Bianca.. I did. The bread pudding was really good. :-)

  6. Oh my, this sounds fantastic! My husband is a huge pumpkin fan and I know he'll love this! Sounds like you had a lovely Thanksgiving with your family. Have a great week my friend!

    1. Thanks Anne. I love pumpkin, it's pretty subtle, you can always add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

  7. You and your family are gorgeous! Superb meal your family put on..we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here or Aust, but I got to experience in America once and loved it.

    1. Thanks for the compliment Amelia. On behalf of my nieces, thank you! It's a lot of fun, at the end of the day it's just about family/friends, eating, and being grateful. Like any other holiday really! :-)

  8. Aw, your nieces are adorable...or I suppose I should I say beautiful since they're teenagers now ;) I love that your family all says something they're thankful for. That's such a nice tradition. Holy cow, your Thanksgiving menu sounds amazing!!! Can I come next year?! Love the variation of dishes...and the dessert, oh my. This brioch bread pudding is right up my alley!

    1. Thanks Amy. Haha.. yes, they are beautiful young girls. The menu was really good, it was actually nice to have an Indo-American Thanksgiving. Sure, come on over, we had a lot of extra people who joined this year, the more the merrier. :-)

  9. Sounds like a fun time! That pumpkin brioche bread pudding looks amazing! Great recipe - thanks.

    1. Thanks.. it was. The bread pudding was really good. :-)

  10. Your nieces are all gorgeous! Love that picture of you with Sonia. Where are the little kids? :)

    Ali loves bread pudding...this looks delicious. Full fat, all the way!

    1. Thanks Ameena. The 2 little ones were upstairs watching TV. The 2 groups are in separate age groups so getting them to mingle isn't quite easy. Definitely full fat over the holidays. :-)

  11. I've never had bread pudding! Now I must try it. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Bread Pudding is delicious Shefali... and so easy to make. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

  12. This bread pudding looks fantastic. I would take your food feast over the turkey traditional ones any day. What a wonderful family.

    1. Thanks Miryam. Me too.. a lot more flavor in the Indo-American Thanksgiving menu.


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