Skip the traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and make this decadent pumpkin bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce instead!

When it comes to Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law has the right idea. His take on dessert? “You need a little sweetness to take away the fullness.” Truer words may have never been said, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving day dessert.

But, I can almost see you shaking your head, “no. way.”

There’s no way you’re going to forego your favorite pecan pie for T-day dessert. And don’t even think about me suggesting you skip the classic pumpkin pie flavors that reel in childhood recollections of fall’s favorite holiday.

Take a deep breath. There’s no need to despair, you can have all of those flavors and more, because bread pudding is here.

But is bread soaked in drippy goodness really a worthy of this hallowed day dessert? You bet! I’ll take it in my favorite baked french toast, or baked in the bird’s turkey day stuffing, or even as a hot roll dipped in mashed potatoes and gravy.

Bread pudding always reminds me of cajun and creole flavors thanks to a waitressing job I had in college at a New Orleans flavored restaurant that served it for dessert. I’d never tried it before working there, and how I got to college without ever doing so is a shocking mystery to me. Because once I tried it, laced with a dripping whiskey sauce, I was a goner.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Ingredients

The beauty of homemade bread pudding is that it requires minimal ingredients and there’s no pressure to make it look perfect. You basically just throw everything into a dish and bake! Here’s what you’ll need to make this pumpkin bread pudding with whiskey sauce:

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Heavy cream
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Maple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon raisin bread
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pecans
  • Whiskey

How to Make Pumpkin Bread Pudding

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the bread cubes and let them sit in the egg mixture for 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake until the bread pudding is set and golden on top. Once the homemade bread pudding is out of the oven, you can start on the bread pudding sauce.

Cook the cream, egg yolks, and sugar over medium heat until thickened. Remove from the heat, then stir in the whiskey. Then, toast the pecans and brown the butter. Stir everything together, then spoon the whiskey sauce over the pumpkin bread pudding.

What’s the Best Bread for Bread Pudding?

Bread pudding is best made with a sturdy bread so it can stand up to the soaking of the egg mixture without disintegrating into a mushy mess. For this recipe I used cinnamon swirl bread, just like in my favorite baked french toast. You could also try using chunks of stale bread that will moisten as the bread bakes.

Is There a Heavy Cream Substitute I Can Use?

This pumpkin bread pudding with whiskey sauce isn’t the recipe to make if you’re trying to save calories. If you have heavy cream on hand, I highly recommend making this easy bread pudding as written. It’s a special treat, enjoy it!

If you’re determined to make this pumpkin bread pudding a little healthier, you may be able to get away with using a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream in the bread pudding. But the heavy cream is a must in the bread pudding sauce!

Tips for Making the Best Bread Pudding

Pumpkin is whisked into the egg mixture along with the traditional pumpkin pie flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you have a favorite pumpkin pie spice, insert it here __________ and add away.

This whiskey flavored topper really brings the flavors all together. It could also be called a bourbon sauce as the two are interchangeable. The whiskey bread pudding sauce can be made ahead and warmed or brought to room temperature to serve. Do not add the whiskey while the sauce is over a hot flame or fire will be on your side. Remove from the heat before ever adding alcohol to anything on the stove!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Skip the traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and make this decadent pumpkin bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce instead!



Keywordbread pudding

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time45 minutes

Total Time1 hour 5 minutes

Servings8 -10 servings



For the bread pudding:

  • 1tablespoon butter , softened
  • 6large eggs
  • 3cups heavy cream
  • 2/3cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3cup pure maple syrup
  • 1tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-pound loaf cinnamon-raisin bread , cut into 3/4-inch cubes

For the whiskey pecan sauce:

  • 2cups heavy cream
  • 3large egg yolks
  • 1/2cup granulated sugar
  • 6tablespoons butter
  • 2/3cup pecans , chopped
  • 1/3cup whiskey


  1. To prepare bread pudding, preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9×13-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Add bread cubes and let stand 5 minutes. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown and center is set. (The bread pudding will puff as it bakes and will deflate once it’s cooled from the oven.)
  3. To prepare the whiskey pecan sauce, add the cream, egg yolks and sugar to 2-quart saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, whisking constantly, or until mixture thinly coats back of spoon. Remove from heat and let the mixture stand, stirring often as it cools.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan on medium heat and add pecans. Cook 4-5 minutes or until butter browns and you smell a nutty aroma.
  5. Stir the browned butter and pecans into the cream mixture. Stir in the whiskey.
  6. Serve bread pudding warm drizzled with bourbon pecan sauce. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving.


Calories: 1001kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 78g | Saturated Fat: 43g | Cholesterol: 426mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 5946IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 3mg


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