Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Dried Cranberries

by Joseph Erdos
Print Email

breadpuddingEver since I first tried it, bread pudding has become one of my favorite homey desserts. Growing up I never knew it even existed. In my household, old bread was made into breadcrumbs not dessert (blame it on eastern European frugality). If you like French toast then there's no reason you wouldn't like bread pudding—they have similar preparations but with different cooking methods. I actually love it more than French toast, which is hard to say for someone who, as a kid, demanded his mom make French toast for breakfast every Saturday morning.

There's something special about the soft, moist cubes of bread in this dessert that makes me go weak in the knees. When I traveled through England during college, I couldn't help noticing bread and butter pudding (or spotted dick as they commonly call it) on almost every restaurant menu—and I always ordered it without restraint. It always came drenched in custard, which is the traditional way to serve it.

With this recipe I put a seasonal spin on the comforting bread pudding by adding puréed roasted butternut squash and replacing the classic raisins with dried cranberries. Once you dig into it, you'll be surprised how much it tastes like pumpkin pie—you might even consider making it every holiday from now on. Serve it for dessert with vanilla ice cream. It's also not bad for breakfast with some maple syrup.

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Dried Cranberries

2 tablespoons butter
1 16-ounce loaf Brioche, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2-1/2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes until dry and light brown.

Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoons butter. Add bread and cranberries.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, beat together milk, eggs, squash purée, and sugar. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour over bread and toss to incorporate. Let soak in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Dust top with cinnamon. Dot the top with remaining butter. Tent with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Bread should be puffed and custard set. Let cool slightly before serving.


Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.

Add comment

Security code


restaurant news

Surfas Cafe
Los Angeles
by Laraine Newman

surfas2.jpgThe other day, my daughter Hannah and I stopped by Surfas. It always surprises me when she wants to go there, since their prepared food is, lets just say..um..esoteric.  She ordered the 72 layer...

Bar Chloe
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari and Anna Harari

chloe_sm.jpgIt's sort of hidden.  You can't see it from the street and it's beneath a hotel that doesn't seem nearly as nice, the Hotel Carmel, that is.  It's called Chloe, the Westside complement to Laurie...

The Smoke Shack
by Lisa Dinsmore

smokeshakeI am a planner. I never go on a trip without scoping out what there is to do and the best places to eat. We never do everything on the list, but I hate to be bored or to eat boring food. We aren’t...

Caracol Mexican Coastal Cuisine
by Nancy Ellison

caracolCaracol is not my idea of a Mexican Restaurant. My idea of a Mexican restaurant is that small family owned local café in Toluca Lake or Carmen’s on 3rd St. that we would go to on Thursday night,...


Popular Today