November 5, 2012

Semi-Homemade Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Phew!  We got through Halloween unscathed and happy!  Not only does Halloween represent all things fall, it marks the start of a busy holiday season.  Once Halloween rolls around, it's nonstop action through New Year's, full of holiday parties, gatherings, and school celebrations.

Honoring family traditions is a big part of the holiday season for me, and since I am now raising food allergic children, new family recipes must be created and will be hopefully handed down.  As a child, my favorite Thanksgiving dishes included my mom's ambrosia and yams with toasted marshmallows, both of which I've been able to modify as part of a selection of allergy-safe sides for Thanksgiving.

Over the years, I've come to understand the importance of making most or all of our Thanksgiving feast safe to eat for all the kids, instead of just one or two dishes. They are amazed at such a vast offering of foods, and we can really share in a wonderful common experience--trying new foods, and enjoying one other's company.

This year, I was inspired by a Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding recipe out of Food Magazine's October 2012 issue, which was recreated in Jun Belen's blog, and posted on my friend Sabrina's Facebook page (there's something to be said for spending time on Facebook).  I had some bananas ripening and had never made bread pudding before, so I thought it might be a good recipe to experiment with.

But then I had an even more brillant revelation on the heels of my Pumpkin Spice Latte officially being added to Starbuck's fall beverage menu--Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding.  A bit fancier version of the Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips I usually make the kids around this time of year, but uses the same Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix.  Perfect with soy or other safe vanilla ice cream.

If you need to go gluten-free, try out The Family Chef Amy Fothergill's Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Muffin recipe, where she uses her tried and true Gluten-free Flour Blend.  Otherwise, you can use the Trader Joe's box mix.

I ended up halving the original bread pudding recipe, which was perfect because it's a really rich dessert.  Half uses one bread recipe, whereas the whole would require a double bread recipe.  And because of how sweet and deliciously rich it was on its own, I omitted the powdered sugar for dusting.

Semi-Homemade Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding (NO Dairy, Egg, or Nuts), based on Food Magazine's Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

For the Pumpkin Bread
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix
2 egg equivalents of Ener-G Egg Replacer (1 T. Ener-G + 4 T. warm water)
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Water

For the Chocolate
1 cup safe milk (dairy-free milks include soy, flax, almond, or rice)
1-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (try Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for a dairy-free option, or Baker's Chocolate for a soy and dairy-free option)
1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder (I had Starbucks VIA in my cabinet)
1/2 tablespoon butter or margarine (Earth Balance or soy-free Earth Balance are dairy-free)
1-1/2 servings Ener-G Egg Replacer (that's 3/4 Tablespoon Ener-G and 3 Tablespoons warm water, whisked)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Bake pumpkin bread according to box instructions (or make Amy's GF vegan version)

2. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan with Earth Balance.

3. Cut pumpkin bread into slices, then cubes, and place evenly in one layer in the baking pan.  Place in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to lightly toast.

4.  Stir milk, chocolate, coffee, and butter or margarine in a double broiler.  If you don't have a double broiler, you can use a metal bowl or small pot in a big pan or pot with simmering water.  Stir constantly until chocolate melts and ingredients are combined, a few minutes.

5. Whisk Ener-G, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Add warm chocolate mixture.  Press the bread down to absorb the chocolate.

6.  Bake about 25-30 minutes, until pudding puffs and is firm.

Here is my pot in a pot method of melting chocolate!

Halving the original banana bread pudding recipe was more than enough!

Ala mode was my favorite way of eating this dessert!

Inspired?  Check out our other pumpkin recipes, like Curried Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Ice Cream!


  1. That looks good! I'll have to try this just to see how an egg-free recipe tastes like which I'm really curious about.

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