Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Rummy Raisins

What’s with all the pumpkin? you are probably asking right now, but don’t tell me you can resist their rock-bottom prices, rich fall colors, or a chance to make something other than pie either! I can’t promise this will be the last recipe…

I have had all these ideas in my head about building a dessert around a classic bread pudding made with a fluffy brioche, adding pumpkin puree for that seasonal flavor, plenty of spices to complement the tame pumpkin, a creme caramel-type base for added stickiness, and rum-soaked raisins thrown in just because. Sound good? It was!

(I had also though about making it with heavy cream for a crème brulée feel, but decided to add whipping cream as a garnish instead.)
The bread pudding turned out well, and as good as it was straight from the oven, I thought it was even better the next day when I warmed it up for lunch. Maybe all those flavors needed a chance to meld, or maybe I was just really, really hungry and anything sweet would have tasted like heaven. (That happens a lot)

While the bread pudding baked, the smells coming from the oven that perfumed the whole house were absolutely amazing–forget scented candles. If my windows had been opened we would have had people lining up outside the front door. Roasted pumpkin, freshly ground spices and Jamaican rum all contributed to having our home smell better than any Thanksgiving dinner you have ever sat down to enjoy.

Hmmm…, comfort food seems to be in the spotlight on Under the High Chair these days. With rice pudding a few days ago and a bread pudding today, what’s next? Pease pudding? I think I’ll leave that one up to the British – like Amanda at Little Foodies who makes her pease pudding with ham. Delicious!

And now for the recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Rummy Raisins

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for ramekins
½ cup sugar, for dissolving

1 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup rum

1/3 cup hot water
1 1/12 cups firm pumpkin puree

4 large eggs
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ inch fresh cinnamon stick
Three whole allspice
½ tonka bean
Pinch of salt
One 12-ounce, day-old loaf brioche cut into 3/4-inch cubes
(or desired size)
Whipping cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six 10-ounce ramekins or custard cups.

In a small, heavy bottomed pot, carefully dissolve 1/2 cup sugar and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. Divide evenly among ramekins to coat the bottom and allow to cool.

Place raisins in a small bowl, and cover with rum and the hot water; let soak until plump, about 20 minutes. Drain; set aside.

Combine cinnamon stick, whole allspice and tonka bean in a spice grinder and grind until fine.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, ginger, vanilla, spice mix, and salt. Toss in the bread cubes, and stir gently to evenly coat; let stand a few minutes.

Fold in the raisins. Divide among prepared dishes, pressing down slightly to make level.
Bake until custard is set in the center and top is golden, about 40 minutes.
If bread browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edges; let cool slightly.
To serve, un-mold onto plates; serve with sweetened whipped cream. It is entirely up to you if you wish to spike the cream or not!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. The string of profanities that left my mouth as I carefully studies your bread pudding is something I’m not proud of. You’re causing a lot of heart ache.

  2. Thanks Aimee – I just gained 10 pounds reading that post!! What a stirling idea. Pumpkin bread pudding with all the spices and, and, and the rum raisins – yes please! I made a bread pudding last week, one of the children loved it, the other not so much. I loved it too and was glad when I saw some mould developing so I could throw it out. I have got to stop making comfort food. I don’t have the excuse of a baby on the way to cover all these extra inches!

  3. This looks too good to be missed, Aimée – and the photo is making me drool!

  4. I can just imagine the wonderful smells wafting from your oven all the way out here in the West. Jamaican rum soaked rasins, spices, earthy pumpkins…..

  5. Hats off to you for this one, seriously great way os having pumpking. I love the stuff. And I love bread and butter pudding.I need to try this soon. But what on earth are tonka seeds? Great recipe.

  6. I’ll repost that one after reading my spelling!

    Hats off to you for this one, seriously great way of having pumpkin. I love the stuff. And I love bread and butter pudding.I need to try this soon. But what on earth are tonka seeds? Great recipe.


  7. The golden raisins were the perfect idea. Beautiful!

  8. This looks like the kind of comfort food to eat on a cozy evening while watching a tv special. Lol I’m salivating just looking at the picture.

  9. Oh Aimée, that first photo got my taste buds working overtime! I can imagine the aroma of that bread pudding spreading through the house. What a wonderful pudding and perfect for autumn. keep the comfort food coming! 🙂

  10. Do you know, just last night, I said to Chris that bread pudding would be wonderful, cause I was so cold. Then I view your page today, and it’s bread pudding! It looks great!

  11. Aimée, what a warm and inviting, perfect autumn day dessert! It sounds heavenly, and pumpkin is the perfect comfort food for this time of the year. It lends itself so well not only to ever popluar pies and breads, but yummy treats such as this bread pudding, and muffins, cakes and souffles…the list goes on and on. And rum soaked raisins?! Count me it!

  12. This sounds really good! Nice photos.

  13. I love the idea of adding pumpkin to bread pudding. And why not? It’s incredibly versatile, adds a ton of healthy ‘good for you’ fibre and tastes fantastic! I love fall flavours and this one looks perfect! I only wish your blog was a scratch-n’-sniff blog!

  14. Now Zaak, there’s really no reason why you can’t duplicate this in your own home, is there?

    Hi Amanda- Uh oh, we’re just coming up to the holidays and there is going to be lots more food coming to say “Yes please” to!

    Hi Patricia- Ah, if only you could have smelt it!

    Hi Valli- Maybe one day we’ll be able to upload smells as well as photos!

    Why thank you David for you lovely comment. I believe Tonka Beans are in the Nutmeg family and my life has been enriched greatly by discovering them! You must WIki them.

    Hi Abby- Thanks!It helps that I have gobs of raisins around the house for my fruitcake baking!

    Hi Angel- It certainly is a cool weather comfort food!

    Hi Nora- Thanks for your support of the comfort food, because I just can’t seem to help myself.

    Hi Andrea- How funny! Next time I’ll give you a call. I don’t usually consider bread pudding a dessert to serve guests, but this one just may make the cut!

    Hi Belinda- There are two kinds of people out there: those who appreciate pumpkin and those who don’t. It’s pretty clear what kind of a person you are. Cheers!

    Hi Kevin- You are having fun with pumpkin this fall too, hey? Your shrimp dish looks amazing.

    Hi Mandy- Ok, yes, you belong to the group of ‘people who love pumpkin’. That was a great ad for the vegetable! 🙂

  15. This was definately the most memorable bread pudding I”ve tasted!

  16. Aimee this seems like a wonderful dessert . Its true about pumpkin all over the place, but also i never knew so many creative ways of consuming this veggie. Your bread n butter …or rather brioche and pumpkin pudding looks fantastic.

  17. Aimee, all I can say is….I do not know what to say! This looks and sounds awesome! Especially those rum soaked raisins.
    Thank you for such a great post. I enjoyed every moment being here!

  18. I can just imagine how good this smells, even though I am not a pumpkin fan. 😉

  19. Mmmm, that sounds heavenly. Your home must smell so good! What is a tonka bean?

  20. Note to self: read comments all the way through before leaving comment. I’ll Wiki the tonka bean. 🙂

  21. I can’t get enough of pumpkin this season! Looks good.

  22. No. Well, yes. I don’t have access to brioche or tonka bean. I actually don’t know what those are.

  23. Hi Miranda- Don’t tell mum!

    Hi Kate- Thank you. I know, this fall has been an aye opener for me with all the pumpkin featured on blogs.

    Hi winedeb- I’m so happy you stopped by and enjoyed your read!

    Hi Mandy- What? No pumpkin!! 🙂

    Hi Lynn- I should have really given some background on the tonka bean…not to self, next time!

    Hi Kickpleat- Thanks,and I know what you mean about not getting enough pumpkin!

    Hi Zaak- Tonka beans mostly come from Northern South America, you might be able to find some…as for brioche, well…I can’t help you there.

  24. When you DO look up tonka bean (thank you, Aimee, for the suggestion), it’s banned in the US for a chemical that’s an anti-coagulant and lethal in large doses.

  25. Hi anonymous- I guess that’s another reason I am proud to be Canadian!
    ..Seriously, though, I did know it was banned, but i know a few Americans who cook with it…so, hmmm.You do know that nutmeg is lethal as well, eh? Everything in moderation, that’s what I say!!

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