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Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
This Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding is a great breakfast, brunch, or dessert recipe for a crowd, jam-packed with Fall flavors and spices that comes inspired by Jamaican bread pudding flavors. Fluffy, vegan brioche bread soaked in a sweet, warming mixture made from sweet potato puree, flax 'eggs', Almond milk, coconut cream/milk, brown sugar, vanilla, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, + allspice), and infused with raisins; this deconstructed bread pudding has amazing potential for any eater! All dairy-free and vegan ingredients. Addition of rum option.
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I honestly couldn't be more excited to share this recipe because it's a fun twist on what I grew up eating during my childhood coming up in a Jamaican household. Bread pudding in general is something that's a staple in Jamaica and while I often ate the traditional version which had more of a "spongy, soft" texture and could be served in a solidified slice, I really wanted to try something new and different----therefore this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding was born!
If you've been following Orchids + Sweet Tea for some time, then you're aware of me growing up a picky eater, where textures and taste were really "make or break" moments for me. And while bread pudding is absolutely delicious as whole, I was never a true fan of the texture, which is why I created this recipe and chose to highlight more softer, chunkier bites of bread with a velvety 'coating" that adds such a beautifulness to each bite.
Trust me, this is one of those dishes that might not be the most perfect look, BUT the flavors and taste are beyond this world! Haha.
Of course, here's my top Jamaican-inspired recipes that I recommend exploring this season as well:
In general, bread pudding is basically a bread-based dessert popular in many countries. It's usually cubed stale bread that is combined with a mixture of milk (or cream), sugar, and eggs that is baked together to create a creamy middle and structured "body"----similar to like french toast. Bread pudding can also be sweet or savory!
How To Make Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
When it comes to making this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, it's fairly easy! The entire process simply includes adding all wet ingredients to a large bowl, whisking them together, then adding the cubed bread, letting it soak a bit, and finally assembling everything together in a baking dish to bake. For an extra kick of flavor, I like to add a light maple glaze drizzled over the top. wallah!
Here's what you need to make this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding for a crowd:
Vegan Bread. You can use challah or brioche for the best results. I recommend using day-old bread so it can better soak up all that creamy deliciousness. I used a raisin version for extra pizazz!
Sweet potato puree. You can buy this canned or make your own by roasting a sweet potato until totally tender and pureeing it in a blender or food processor.
Warm Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, + allspices are traditionally used in many Jamaican dishes, even this one.
Almond milk. You can use any plant-based, or dairy-based milk you like. Just let it come to room temperature before adding to the mixture.
Coconut Milk. You can use either full-fat canned coconut milk or cream.
Flax 'Eggs'. This is one of my favorite egg replacers that I like to use, however, you can use chia 'eggs', egg replacement powder, or JUST egg (for a more closer to egg texture).
Brown sugar. I love to use organic to ensure that it's vegan-friendly. Also, adds a nice sweetness that's undeniable. You can sub with all maple syrup, if desired. Just reduce the amount to ½ cup of maple syrup to avoid too much liquid.
Vanilla extract. This complements the flavors.
Maple syrup. This sweetens the glaze for the bread pudding along with powdered sugar and Almond milk for a simple glaze!
Raisins. You can add raisins to the mix or simply use raisin bread. I like to soak my raisins in boiling water or rum (occasionally) for a softer, more plump bite and added flavor.
Reasons Why You'll Love This Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding:
It's super easy to make.
A true staple during the holiday season.
Is entirely dairy-free and vegan. Entirely kid-friendly for those not allergic to nuts (if using as a topping)!
Velvety, soft, and perfectly sweet!
Makes for the perfect breakfast, brunch, or dessert situation.
Perfect Fall/Winter vibes---thanks to the sweet potato + spices!
Did I mention, it's just TOO good to pass up?
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS BREAD PUDDING!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding. Everything from my fave baking sheet, liners, spatulas, hand-mixers, mixing bowls, and more.
Step 1: Gather about 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, rinse the skins, and poke a few holes all around them using a knife or fork.
Step 2: Prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment and place the sweet potato side-by-side. Rub each sweet potato with olive oil until fully coated.
Step 3: Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-45 minutes or until their insides begin to bubble outwardly and they become super tender once tested with a fork or knife. Let cool until easily handle when cutting them open and scooping out the flesh.
Step 4: Using a food processor or blender, puree the flesh of the sweet potato along with water or veggie stock, until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever sweet potato recipe you'd like, store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Topping Suggestions for This Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
I like to add a bit of extra comforting, indulging flavor to my Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, which is why I chose to add a simple maple glaze atop as well as the straight-forward filling ingredients used throughout the recipe. But I wanted to share a few more ideas incase you make this bread pudding more than once and want to switch things up!
Great toppings to add:
Your favorite nuts (i.e. walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc.)
Dairy-Free yogurt (Great for a breakfast/brunch option)
Dairy-Free ice cream
Coconut whipped cream
How to Toast the Chopped Nuts
If you'd like to toast your favorite nuts (i.e. pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.), it's super easy! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped nuts unto the baking sheet, ensuring that they are evenly spread out and toast them for 10 minutes, tossing them halfway to prevent browning on just one side.
Should I Soak The Raisins?
Personally, I love soaking and draining my raisins to create a softer, more plump texture that really highlights the dish that they're added to. In doing so, you'll simply add the raisins to a bowl and cover them with boiling water for 5-10 minutes until them become swollen. Then you drain and let them cool a bit before adding them to the recipe.
For additional flavor and a nice twist, you can also soak the raisins in actual white rum which is amazing also!
The Best Brand of Jamaican Rum for this Bread Pudding
Based on popular belief, Appleton's Special Rum which is a spiced rum and adds great flavor. However, the best contender to this brand would be Wray and Nephew's Rum, which has sweet notes of vanilla, banana, coconut, and and molasses---the perfect addition to this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding!
How to Store + Reheat Leftover Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. To serve, reheat bread pudding and enjoy with your favorite topping.
Can I Make this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding Ahead?
Absolutely! You can easily prep this bread pudding dish ahead of time so it's ready in the morning or right before dessert time. Simply assemble the baking dish with the bread and liquid ingredients. Then cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven. Then bake as directed, top, + enjoy!
In a bowl, add the flaxseed meal and water and mix together until combined. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and "paste-like".
TO MAKE THE BREAD PUDDING:
Lightly grease a baking dish (9 x 9″) with vegan butter or oil and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, coconut cream/milk, flax 'eggs', sweet potato puree, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Add the cubed bread and raisins (if using), tossing them in the mixture until coated and set aside so that everything marries and soaks together, about 5 minutes.
BAKE THE BREAD PUDDING:
Next, add the bread and mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread around evenly.
Bake the bread pudding for 40-45 minutes or until fully cooked through (less 'jiggly' in the center) and edges and tops are golden brown (or slightly dark brown, if preferred). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
TO MAKE THE MAPLE GLAZE:
In a bowl, add the powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and milk, whisking everything together until the glaze is smooth and thick. NOTE: Add 1-2 Tbsps of milk at this point, if needed. Glaze should be thick, but able to slowly run off whisk.
Once cooled a bit, drizzle the maple glaze stop bread pudding and serve WARM immediately as a breakfast, brunch, or dessert with your favorite topping.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. To serve, reheat bread pudding and enjoy with your favorite topping.
RAISINS: You can totally soak your raisins in boiling water (for about 30 minutes) or actual rum (for about 1-2 hours) to make them soft and infused with flavor, if preferred.
COCONUT CREAM: If you don't have full-fat coconut cream on hand, you can use canned full-fat coconut milk and refrigerate it overnight so that it thickens into a "cream", which you separate from the water in the can.
SWEET POTATO PUREE: See post for more + how to make this!
MAKE AHEAD: You can easily prep this bread pudding dish ahead of time so it's ready in the morning or right before dessert time. Simply assemble the baking dish with the bread and liquid ingredients. Then cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven. Then bake as directed, top, + enjoy!
EQUIPMENT: Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Deconstructed Vegan Sweet Potato Bread Pudding. Everything from my fave baking sheet, liners, spatulas, hand-mixers, mixing bowls, and more.