This is a wonderful variation on the traditional pumpkin bread pudding recipes because it uses my pumpkin cranberry bread as the main ingredient, (see Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe below), but you can use any pumpkin bread. I've included the Amaretto Sauce recipe but you can also use your favorite bread pudding sauce instead if you like.
Lightly butter or butter flavor spray a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish and put the pumpkin bread cubes and cranberries into the dish.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla to blend then pour this mixture over the bread cubes. Press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, and serve.
*Tip: For individual servings, pile bread pudding into large muffin pans and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness as soon as top of bread pudding begins to toast.
Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Set aside and keep warm. (The amaretto sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BREAD
Pan Options: 3 7x3 inch loaf pans; 2 9x5 loaf pans; 2 8x4 loaf pans and 1 pan of mini size muffins; 7 mini loaf pans; 1 large bundt cake and 6 large muffins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, apple juice or water, vanilla, and sugars until well blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and dried cranberries (and baking soda if making muffins). Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Top loaves with walnut bits (optional).
Bake for about 50 minutes, less for mini-loaves and muffins, in a preheated oven and check for doneness. It will probably take more time depending on the size pan you use.
Always do the toothpick test rather than rely on cooking times. When the toothpick comes out clean they are done. Don't overcook them! Remember, cooking times are approximate because everyone's oven cooks differently.
If your oven heats unevenly, turn the pans part way through the cooking process for even cooking. If your oven cooks a little hot and the inside isn't done yet according to the toothpick test, but the tops are done and you don't want them to over-brown, put a foil tent on top until the bread is done.
*Note: If making muffins instead of bread, add 1/2 tsp baking powder to the recipe.