Do you have leftover bread pudding and are you worried it might go bad? If so, you’re probably wondering how to keep it longer, and the first thing that came to mind was freezing it.
So can you freeze bread pudding?
the short answer
You can freeze the bread pudding for 2 to 3 months. To do this, let it cool to room temperature, cut it into portions, wrap it well and freeze it. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat before serving for optimal results.
That is the gist of it.
Interested in the details? Here’s what we cover next:
- how freezing affects bread pudding (does it freeze well?)
- how to make sauces and dressings
- Step-by-step frozen bread pudding
Let’s jump right in.
Can bread pudding be frozen?
You can freeze bread pudding, and the dessert freezes quite well.
Since bread pudding is a moist baked good, some of that moisture will turn to frost in the freezer, no matter how well you wrap it. And that means the dessert will be a bit drier than it was before it was frozen, but the difference isn’t that significant.
And if you top it with some fresh, delicious topping, no one will know the difference.
That brings us to freezing sauces and dressings.
Should I freeze bread pudding with sauce/topping?
You should freeze your bread pudding without sauce or dressing. You can freeze them separately if needed, assuming the topping freezes well.
Freezing the dessert and dressing individually allows you to stay flexible: You can thaw and reheat the pudding, but not heat the sauce. That’s crucial if the sauce doesn’t need to be heated or if you like your bread pudding warm but your topping cold.
Also, not all toppings freeze that well – see the recipe you’re following for more details.
Long story short, you should either freeze the sauce or topping separately or make a fresh serving after you thaw the bread pudding.
Now, let’s talk about store-bought topped bread pudding.
If the sauce comes separately, you can freeze both individually, assuming the sauce freezes well. But what if your bread pudding is already covered?
For starters, consider how well the sauce will freeze and whether you can thaw it in the refrigerator without ruining the quality.
If your best guess is something like “that probably won’t work”, you have two options:
- Try to finish the dessert before it spoils. Eating an extra serving (or three) can’t be that bad, right?
- Scrape off the icing and freeze the bread pudding as if it had no icing. Discarding the topping isn’t ideal, but that’s what might be needed to successfully freeze the dessert. You can always make a fresh sauce after defrosting the dessert.
Can raw bread pudding be frozen?
While I haven’t tried it, I don’t expect a raw bread pudding to freeze well and the whole process to go smoothly.
For starters, the mixture of eggs, butter, milk and sugar may separate a bit and won’t be able to stir after thawing (assuming the bread is already soggy).
Next, putting an entire baking dish in the freezer might not be an option for some for two reasons. First, it takes up a lot of space and you can’t split dessert. Second, your baking dish stays in use until you thaw and bake the pudding.
Lastly, defrosting everything before you can bake it can take anywhere from 12-24 hours, depending on the size of the dish. And if it doesn’t fully thaw before baking, you’ll need to adjust the baking time.
All in all, freezing baked bread pudding seems so much easier and painless, so that’s what I recommend.
How to freeze bread pudding
This is how you freeze bread pudding:
- Let it cool down to room temperature. If it’s super humid and the bottom is wet, place the dessert on paper towels which will absorb the extra moisture. Less moisture before freezing means less frost.
- Portion if needed. If you are freezing a large chunk, consider cutting it into segments that you will eat the same day or the next day after thawing.
- Wrap each serving. If you are freezing the dessert for a short period of time, such as 1-2 weeks, you can place each piece in a separate freezer bag or an airtight container and throw everything in the freezer. But if you need more time, or if your bread pudding is very wet, double wrapping is the way to go. First, wrap each piece in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then you put them all in a freezer bag or container. That extra layer should slow down freezer burn and therefore help retain quality longer.
- Freeze. Label each bag or container with the name and date (if desired), squeeze the excess air out of each bag, and place everything in the freezer.
Using freezer bags is slightly better than using airtight containers. The latter have a lot of extra air near the bread pudding, which draws out moisture. That results in a slightly drier dessert after thawing.
As you can see, the process is as simple as it gets.
If you need to freeze the topping, pouring it into an airtight container and tossing it in the freezer should do the trick.
Now that your bread pudding is frozen, you may be wondering how long it can stay frozen. Let’s cover that.
How long can bread pudding be frozen?
Bread pudding should retain good quality for at least 2-3 months in the freezer, especially if well wrapped.
Of course, it will never go bad in the freezer, but the longer it stays frozen, the worse the quality will be after thawing. Hence the recommendation of two to three months.
And when you’re ready to enjoy the parfait, it’s time to thaw it.
How to defrost bread pudding
Thaw bread pudding overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If it’s a particularly wet one or if there’s a lot of frost on the surface, consider lining the container with paper towels. Those towels will soak up the extra moisture so you don’t end up with a damp foundation.
Of course, if you’re defrosting a large portion, say an entire baking dish, it can take longer than 8-10 hours, so plan accordingly. That’s why I recommend freezing the bread pudding in serving-size portions – they thaw pretty quickly.
Next, I do not recommend thawing dessert on the counter. In most cases, the process will take much longer than the recommended up to two hours at room temperature.
After thawing, be sure to reheat the dessert in the oven or microwave for best results. I cover reheating in my How to Store Bread Pudding article, so check it out for instructions.
Lastly, refrigerate any leftovers and eat the thawed bread pudding within 1 to 2 days. That’s another reason why you should stick to smaller portions instead of freezing the whole thing.