I’m starting your week off right with an easy, delicious dessert recipe. I’m talking about the insanity that is Butternut Squash Bread Pudding. With caramel sauce. And pecans. And chocolate chunks. Oh, and it’s vegan.
It’s a combination of a bunch of things I had on hand and was inspired by half a loaf of stale wheat bread. We basically never buy bread any more, since I’ve become a sourdough-baking fiend, but I didn’t have time to make any before I left town recently. So I picked up a loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread for Mr. X to have while I was gone. It was calling my name last Monday, begging to be transformed into something much greater than itself. Thus, this recipe was born.
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
- 1/2 loaf of bread, torn or cut into pieces
- 1 cup coconut/almond/soy/whatever milk
- 1 cup of roasted butternut squash flesh (or canned pumpkin or sweet potato)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
- 1 square of Baker’s chocolate, chopped (optional — can sub chocolate chips, of course)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/3 recipe of Easy Caramel Sauce (or another sauce you prefer — butter rum sauce is popular)
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, add the bread pieces, milk, most of the sugar, butternut squash, coconut oil, vanilla, and spice(s), stirring to combine. Now fold in your chocolate chunks and pecans, if using. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and use a rubber spatula to press everything down lightly. Top with the rest of the sugar. It’ll look like this:
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the bread starts to brown. Meanwhile, if using the Caramel Sauce, make it now or in advance. I already had some from the blondies, so I reheated it on the stove just until it was warm and any sugar solids dissolved. When the pudding is cooked, pour the sauce on top and return to the oven for five minutes.
It’s delicious enjoyed alongside some fall tea (Celestial Seasoning’s Apple Spice, to be exact):
The pudding tastes like heaven warm from the oven, but it is a mess to remove. If you let it cool, slicing will be much easier. As you can see above, I enjoyed my first piece with approximately zero patience.
If you have everything on hand, the recipe comes together in a jiffy. The pudding is a warming, comforting treat that is familiar but still a little unexpected. It may make an appearance at our little Thanksgiving celebration this year.