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Easy Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe with Brown Sugar Sauce

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This pumpkin bread pudding is sure to be a new favorite bread pudding recipe! Loaded with a gooey brown sugar sauce, this bread pudding with Hawaiian rolls tastes amazing served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. This fall dessert is a great alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and is sure to be a hit with any crowd!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding RecipeBread pudding is one of my favorite desserts! Served warm with some vanilla ice cream, it is a favorite of mine to order in a restaurant. I have only made it once before myself with not so great results. (Learn from me. When choosing a pan to bake your bread pudding in, be sure to choose something that allows for even baking.) Handstand Kids recently sent me a complimentary Baking Around the World Cookbook kit. When I spotted a recipe for South African Pumpkin Bread Pudding,  I decided to give it a try as part of our Mini Chef Monday series. I had ingredients necessary for this easy pumpkin bread pudding recipe, with some alterations.

Handstand Kids Space Apron SetWesley also received a Stars and Planets Kids Apron Set, complete with his own chef hat, apron and oven mitt.  He loved having his very own apron and I liked having something his size to protect his clothing properly. He thought the kid sized oven mitt was extra cool. While I wouldn’t let Wes pull anything out of the oven yet, I do appreciate having something to protect his hands while hot items are around. I only wish it came with two mitts!

Handstand Kids Space Apron SetBread Pudding with Hawaiian Rolls Ingredients

To make this pumpkin bread pudding, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Kings Hawaiian Rolls (or other crusty bread)
  • half and half
  • canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • brown sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • heavy cream

For any recipe that calls for bread cubes I like to use a firmer, thick loaf of bread such as french bread to avoid sogginess. But you can use your favorite type of bread that is homemade or from the bakery section of your grocery store.  Slightly stale bread works best. I had some Kings Hawaiian rolls that weren’t as fresh anymore so I decided to try them in this recipe. I love how versatile Hawaiian rolls are for cooking and baking.  If you are looking for more ways in which to use Hawaiian rolls, try juicy lucy sliders or these Maple Glaze Pumpkin Pie Hawaiian Rolls from Paula.

How to Make Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This easy bread pudding recipe has plenty of great opportunities for small kids to help in the kitchen. In a large bowl break apart rolls into larger bite sized pieces. I broke a few pieces of our rolls so I could demonstrate the size we wanted, then Wesley went to work breaking up the remaining bread cubes while I gathered ingredients. If you prefer a more uniform look, you can cut your old bread into cubed bread with a knife.

Breaking Up Bread for Bread PuddingIn a medium bowl, whisk the half and half, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla. Add in white and brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice into your pumpkin mixture. Whisk until well combined. (The whisk that came with this set was also very helpful for this recipe. I liked that Wes had a shorter whisk that was easier for his small hands to maneuver.) Pour over bread pieces and gently stir until bread is fully coated. Chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Handstands Kid WhiskTo bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan. You can use a bit of butter, shortening or cooking spray. Pour the chilled bread mixture into the pan and bake uncovered for approximately 35 minutes. To make the brown sugar sauce, grab a small saucepan. Melt the brown sugar and unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter is fully melted, stir in heavy cream until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool several minutes.Best Pumpkin Bread PuddingDrizzle sauce over cooked bread pudding and serve warm with remaining sauce and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. This bread pudding turned out absolutely amazing!. I love all things pumpkin and is my new Thanksgiving dessert!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce
I changed up the recipe based on personal preferences, experience and our overall results. Since Hawaiian rolls are on the sweeter side and this recipe includes brown sugar sauce, I reduced the amount of sugar in the bread pudding by about half. It was still sweet so nothing was missed but the calories! The original recipe for the brown sugar sauce made a lot extra so I have also cut that in half in my recipe above.  Feel free to drizzle as much over the top before serving as you want and allow guests to add more if desired. While it is delicious, it is rather rich. The brown sugar sauce is a nice variation to the traditional caramel sauce or bourbon sauce.

Easy Pumpkin Bread PuddingI really wish I had vanilla ice cream in the freezer at the time as that is my favorite, but whipped cream also tasted wonderful.  Wesley loved it! Next time I might try adding chopped pecans. This is the perfect dessert in fall months and a great way to enjoy that great pumpkin flavor in a new way. This delicious pumpkin bread pudding also makes a great addition to your holiday meal, especially Thanksgiving dinner! You can make a double recipe for a larger crowd.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This pumpkin bread pudding with brown sugar sauce is the best bread pudding and always a hit! Featuring Hawaiian rolls, this simple recipe is a great alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and makes a delicious fall dessert.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bread pudding, bread pudding recipes, brown sugar sauce, hawaiian rolls, pumpkin recipes, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dessert
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 490 kcal
Author Emilie at FindingZest.com / Altered recipe from Handstand Kids


  • 6 Kings Hawaiian Rolls 1/2 12 ct. package (or other crusty bread)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup canned 100% pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Brown Sugar Sauce

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. In large bowl, break apart rolls into larger bite sized pieces and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk half and half, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add in 1/3 cup white and 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour over bread pieces and gently fold in until bread is fully coated.
  5. Refrigerate at least one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Grease 8x8 inch square pan with butter, shortening or cooking spray.
  8. Pour bread mixture into pan.
  9. Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes.
  10. In small saucepan, melt brown sugar and butter over medium heat.
  11. Once butter is fully melted, stir in cream until mixture is smooth, about three minutes.
  12. Remove from heat and cool for several minutes.
  13. Drizzle sauce over top of bread pudding and serve warm with remaining sauce and ice cream or whipped cream (if desired)

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Best Pumpkin Bread Pudding RecipeWhen will you give this easy pumpkin bread pudding recipe a try with your own mini chef?

I am hosting Mini Chef Mondays along with 11 fabulous bloggers!  Be sure to check out each of their Mini Chef posts as well.

  1. Chocolate Caramel Apple Nachos // Courtney’s Sweets
  2. Easy Pizza Dough Recipe // Momma Lew
  3. Homemade Bread Bowl Recipe // We’re Parents
  4. Simple & Sweet Tea Party Menu // Frugal Novice
  5. Kid Friendly Meal Chicken Nugget Kabobs // Eating Richly Even When You’re Broke
  6. Mango Clementine Banana Smoothie // Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps
  7. Yummy Dutch Apple Crisp // Step Stool Chef
  8. Riceless Vegetable Sushi // Vegging at the Shore
  9. Chicken Chilaquiles with Eggs // Mom’s Messy Miracles
  10. Apple Pie Taquitos // O’Boy! Organic
  11. Strawberry Blueberry Swirl Fruit Leather // Can’t Google Everything
Try this easy pumpkin bread pudding recipe and discover how simple it is to make an amazing bread pudding with brown sugar sauce! Tastes great topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Try it for Thanksgiving dessert!


  1. It’s so great that you let your kids help on recipes that aren’t just the simple ones. This looks heavenly! Thanks for linking up with the Delicious Dishes Recipe party!

  2. 5 stars
    I have to make your Easy Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe! It looks so delicious and fun to make. I love how pretty it looks and this is a good dessert to have for the Holidays!

  3. I made this tonight. I tastes great but it was a little too mushy for me so I may add one or two more rolls next time I make it.

  4. The Easy Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe is so good to make for Thanksgiving. I like how easy it is to make and my kids would love to make it with me!

4.75 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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