Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker
Serves 12

Time: 2 hours, plus overnight to dry bread. This hearty dessert also makes a tasty breakfast, with maple syrup in place of the tres leches sauce.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut bread into 1-in. cubes and spread them on a baking sheet or clean counter. Let sit overnight.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°. With a fork or sharp knife, poke holes all over squash. Microwave it on high 10 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Halve squash lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Flesh should be tender when scraped with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high (cut side down) in 1-minute intervals until tender.

Step 3

Scrape flesh from 1 squash half into a blender. Whirl with 2 cups half-and-half, the granulated sugar, nutmeg, and five-spice powder until smooth. Add eggs and whirl just to combine.

Step 4

Put bread cubes in a large bowl and pour half the egg mixture over them. Stir remaining 1 cup half-and-half into remaining egg mixture and pour entire mixture over bread. Let sit 30 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, scrape flesh from other squash half into a medium bowl. Add brown sugar and mash coarsely with a fork.

Step 6

Gently stir mashed squash into bread mixture. Butter a 9- by 13-in. pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake until set in the center, about 30 minutes. Serve warm, with Tres Leches Sauce.

Step 7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving without sauce.

Ratings & Reviews

melroed's Review

February 20, 2014
I love this recipe, made multiple times with different types of bread. I've tried with milk to lighten up with good results, also I skip the sauce & just use maple syrup - I agree it makes a great breakfast! Similar to someone else's note I really don't understand the point of step 4 & usually end up just stirring all together anyway. I would love it if someone could enlighten me regarding the purpose of adding in the remaining 1/2 & 1/2 into the already mixed ingredients.

altitudemama's Review

October 30, 2011
Oh yum! Make sure you've had a good workout at the gym before diving into this decedent delight - just delicious. The directions seemed unnecessarily cumbersome (step 4, for instance), but I followed them as written, and it all worked out perfectly. Do yourself a favor, and have the squash cooked ahead of time, cooled, mashed and ready to go. I'm sure pumpkin pie-type spices would suffice, but the 5-spice seasoning is worth using -- adds a unique flavor that will be hard for most to guess and balances the sweetness (and it's not overly sweet). The Tres Leches Sauce is the piece de resistance -- worth making to go with this yummy dish. Enjoy!

andreathea's Review

November 21, 2009
This is wonderful, I was asked to bring it again this year! I used kabocha instead of butternut, better taste and texture and I used more squash than they called for and less bread. The sauce is delicious and makes much more than needed for this sweet dessert, it's great on left over squash, vanilla ice cream, and pancakes/waffles, yum!

Copperopolis's Review

October 16, 2009
Was a huge hit at a Garden Club brunch. Everyone wanted the recipe. I didn't have Chinese five spice powder so substituted Pumpkin Pie Spice. Cloves or cinnamon would also work. We have an over abundance of butternut squash in our garden this year so I jumped on this recipe. It was easy to double the recipe. Will definitely make it again.

honucooks's Review

November 21, 2008
WOW. The bread pudding itself is great; the tres leches sauce is EXCELLENT.