Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
Pecan pie bread pudding takes the classic custard dessert and combines it with ooey gooey pecan pie filling for the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert!
This pecan pie bread pudding is just one in a long line of pecan pie desserts. We just can’t get enough of that ooey, gooey pecan pie filling.
We’ve made mini bread puddings in the past but this recipe combines the flavor of your favorite pie with the warm, comforting sweetness of bread pudding. It’s one of the best things about the upcoming holiday season, and it won’t take you all day to make.
And even better, you’ll end up making more pecan pie filling than you need, so you can use it for another recipe, such as puff pastry pecan pies.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s break it down into two sets of ingredients- one for the pudding itself and one for the pie filling.
Here’s what you’ll need for the bread pudding recipe:
- Challah bread – You can use a different, white bread, but we find Challah works great for this.
- Fats – You’ll need butter, whole milk, and heavy cream.
- Sugar – You only need white sugar.
- Eggs – You’ll need 4 large ones and 1 large egg yolk.
- Vanilla extract – We prefer pure vanilla extract or imitation.
- Chopped pecans – You can start with whole, halved, or chopped pecans.
- Pecan Pie Filling
For the filling we’re going to take everything we use to make our pecan pie, minus the pie crust and bake it until it is ooey gooey and ready to be added to the bread pudding. This is something you can do up to 1 week ahead of time. Just store the filling in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Corn syrup – Yes, corn syrup is one of those things you need to use to get the right consistency for pecan pie filling.
- Vanilla extract
- Pecans – I roughly chop up my pecans before adding them to the mixture.
What is the Best Bread to Use?
We love challah bread or brioche, but you can also use a white bread such as sandwich bread or Italian bread.
You should stir away from sourdough bread due to its strong flavor. Also, rye or pumpernickel bread are not great options due to their strong flavors.
When making the pudding, you should use slightly stale, 1 to 2 day old bread. Stale bread is slightly dried out, which helps absorb more of the liquid.
Here’s how to make the pudding.
Step 1 – Prep the dish. Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with the tablespoon of butter. Make sure you cover the bottom and sides of the dish entirely.
Step 2 – Layer with bread cubes and pecan pie filling. Place half of the bread cubes in the prepared dish and use a spoon to place scoops of pecan pie filling in among the bread cubes. For the first layer, you’ll want to use about half of the prepared pecan pie filling.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of pecan halves.
Next, add the remaining bread cubes to the dish and then top with small scoops of the remaining pecan pie filling, nestling them in with the bread cubes.
Step 3 – Prepare the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
Once combined, pour the mixture over the bread and make sure to cover all of it. You can gently press down on the bread cubes a few times to help them absorb the milk mixture before covering with plastic wrap and placing in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. You can store it for up to 24 hours.
Step 4 – Preheat the oven and bake the casserole. When you are ready to bake the casserole, remove the dish from the refrigerator and let it sit out while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Before placing the dish in the oven, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Place the dish in the oven to bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving your hungry family.
Making Pecan Pie Filling
To make your own pecan pie filling, follow these steps.
Step 1 – Prep the filling. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
As it heats, mix all the ingredients for the filling together in a medium sized bowl. Once ready, pour the filling into a greased 8×8 inch casserole dish or 9 inch pie pan.
Step 2 – Bake the filling. Bake the filling for 45 minutes. As it bakes, use a spoon to carefully stir the filling every 10 minutes.
Once it is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before using.
Note: We use this same technique to make the pecan pie filling used in our pecan pie cake roll. People always ask me if they really have to bake it and I have to tell you after many tests this is the best way to do it. It gets the pie filling to the exact right texture and consistency and it doesn’t require all of the stirring like it does if you’re cooking it on the stove top.
Put it in the oven and do other things while it cooks. Make it a week in advance if you want to have it in the fridge and ready to go when you are ready to start your bread pudding.
How Do You Tell if Bread Pudding is Done?
There are two easy ways to tell if the pudding is done.
The first is to stick a fork or knife into the center of the dish. If it comes out clean, it is ready to go. This method is generally effective but not super accurate.
If you really want to make sure it is ready, you can insert an instant read thermometer into the center. If the temperature is 160 degrees, it is ready.
How to Store It
You will need to store this in either the fridge or the freezer. Here’s how:
- Refrigerator – Bake according to instructions and then let cool completely. Tightly cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer – Bake the dish according to instructions and then let cool completely. Cut into individual pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and then place them in freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat Bread Pudding
If you decided to freeze the pudding, allow it to thaw for 24 hours in the fridge before using.
To reheat, remove the plastic wrap, cover the dish with foil, and then heat in a 350 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through.
If you are heating an individual portion, start checking at 10 minutes to see if it has been warmed through.
Bread pudding can get a little dried out on top when you reheat it, so we highly recommend serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, a dollop of whipped cream, or both.
Looking for More Easy Dessert Recipes?
- Southern Pecan Pie
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Easy Cherry Turnovers
- No Bake Cherry Cheesecakes
- Coconut Sheet Cake
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Chess Pie
- More Dessert Recipes…
Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
- 16 ounces Challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 4 Large eggs + 1 Large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Chopped pecans
- 15 ounces Pecan Pie Filling
- Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish with the tablespoon of butter making sure to cover the bottom and sides of the dish.
- Place half of the bread cubes in the dish and using a spoon place scoops of pecan pie filling in among the bread cubes. Use approximately half of the prepared pecan pie filling.
- Add the remaining bread cubes to the dish. Top with small scoops of the remaining pecan pie filling nestling them in with the bread cubes.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, heavy cream, sugar, eggs and egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture over the bread making sure to cover all of it. You can gently press down on the bread cubes a few times to help them absorb the milk mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
- Remove dish from the refrigerator and let it sit out while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the dish and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
- Place in the oven to bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Pecan Pie Filling:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then pour into a greased 8×8 inch casserole dish or 9 inch pie pan/dish and bake 45 minutes. Use a spoon to stir filling every 10 minutes.
- When ready remove filling from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before using.