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Instant Pot: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

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Pumpkin is all the rage this fall. Everywhere I look, pumpkin is incorporated into desserts, drinks, dips, soups, etc.

That said, I'm joining in the pumpkin love fest and baking with it! There's something comforting about bread pudding to me, which I've explained here... so I took this opportunity to use pumpkin in making this Instant Pot Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe.

The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon captures the flavors of fall with every bite, perfect for this time of year.

What I liked about this recipe is the ease in putting it together. Just the aroma of all the ingredients makes me anxious for the leaves to start turning color. And if the pumpkin bread pudding wasn't enough, the rich, buttery caramel sauce made with dark brown sugar puts this over the top!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
recipe adapted from Epicurious/Bon Apetite

Bread pudding
1 cup half and half
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1  teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes French bread


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Place the trivet into the bottom of IP and add 1 cup of water.

In a large bowl, whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract to blend. Fold in bread cubes. 

Transfer mixture to a 3 cup baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. 

Place dish on top of trivet inside the IP. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 25 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 25 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 25 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce (recipe below) and preheat broiler.

Remove bread pudding from IP and transfer to a baking sheet. Place under broiler to brown the top until desired toasted color is achieved.

Serve warm with caramel sauce (recipe follows below) and sift powdered sugar over bread pudding if desired.

Caramel sauce
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)

Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.