Can You Freeze Bread Pudding?

Got a bunch of leftover bread pudding and worried it will go bad? If so, you’re probably wondering how to preserve it for longer, and the first thing that came to mind was freezing.

So, can you freeze bread pudding?

The Short Answer

You can freeze bread pudding for 2 to 3 months. To do so, let it cool to room temperature, cut into portions, wrap each one tightly, and freeze. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat before serving for optimal results.

That’s the gist of it.

Interested in details? Here’s what we cover below:

  • how freezing affects bread pudding (does it freeze well?)
  • how to go about sauces and toppings
  • freezing bread pudding step by step

Let’s jump right in.

Frozen bread pudding
Frozen bread pudding

Can You Freeze Bread Pudding?

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 into frost in the freezer, no matter how well you wrap it. And that means the dessert will be a bit drier than what it used to be before freezing, but the difference isn’t that significant.

And if you top it with some fresh, delicious topping, nobody will tell the difference.

That brings us to freezing sauces and toppings.

Freezing bread pudding prep: portioning
Freezing bread pudding prep: portioning

Should You Freeze Bread Pudding With Sauce/Topping?

You should freeze your bread pudding without any sauce or topping. You can freeze those separately if need be, assuming that the topping freezes well.

Freezing the dessert and the topping individually allows you to stay flexible – you can defrost and reheat the pudding, but skip warming up the sauce. That’s crucial if the sauce shouldn’t be heated or if you like your bread pudding warm but the topping cool.

Besides, not all toppings freeze that well – check the recipe you’re following for details.

Long story short, you should either freeze the sauce or topping separately or whip up a fresh portion after defrosting your bread pudding.

Now, let’s talk about store-bought bread pudding with topping.

If the sauce comes separately, you can freeze both individually, assuming the sauce freezes well. But what if your bread pudding is already topped?

For starters, consider how well the sauce will freeze and if you can thaw it in the fridge without ruining the quality.

If your best guess is something along the lines of “that probably won’t work,” you have two options:

  • Try to finish the dessert before it goes bad. Eating an extra helping (or three) can’t be that bad, can it?
  • Scrape the topping and freeze the bread pudding as if it was topping-free. Discarding the topping isn’t ideal, but that’s what might be necessary to freeze the dessert successfully. You can always make a fresh sauce after thawing the dessert.

Can You Freeze Uncooked Bread Pudding?

While I haven’t tested it, I don’t expect an uncooked bread pudding to freeze well and the whole process to go smoothly.

For starters, the eggs, butter, milk, and sugar mixture might separate a bit, and stirring it after defrosting won’t be possible (assuming the bread is already soaked).

Next, putting a whole baking dish in the freezer might not be an option for some for two reasons. First, it takes a bunch of space, and you can’t portion the dessert. Second, your baking dish stays in use until you defrost and bake the pudding.

Last, defrosting the whole thing before you can bake it might take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours, depending on the size of the dish. And if it doesn’t completely thaw before baking, you’ll have to adjust the baking time.

All in all, freezing baked bread pudding seems much more straightforward and pain-free, so that’s what I recommend.

Thawed bread pudding
Thawed bread pudding: notice that the towel is quite wet

How to Freeze Bread Pudding

Here’s how you freeze bread pudding:

  1. Let it cool to room temperature. If it’s super moist and the bottom is wet, place the dessert on some paper towels that will soak up the extra moisture. Less moisture before freezing means less frost.
  2. Portion if necessary. If you’re freezing a large chunk, consider slicing it into segments that you’ll consume the same or the next day after defrosting.
  3. Wrap each portion. If you’re freezing the dessert for a short period, like 1 to 2 weeks, you can place each piece in a separate freezer bag or airtight container and chuck everything in the freezer. But if you might need more time, or your bread pudding is super moist, double wrapping is the way to go. First, you wrap each chunk with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then you place all of them in a freezer bag or container. That extra layer should delay freezer burn from setting in and therefore help retain quality for longer.
  4. Freeze. Label each bag or container with the name and date (if you like), squeeze out excess air from every bag, and put everything in the freezer.
Bread pudding portions ready for freezing
Bread pudding portions ready for freezing: wrapped with aluminum foil and in a freezer bag
Note

Using freezer bags is slightly better than using airtight containers. The latter have a lot of extra air near your bread pudding, pulling moisture from it. That results in a bit drier dessert after defrosting.

As you can tell, the process is as simple as it gets.

If you need to freeze the topping, pouring it into an airtight container and chucking in the freezer should be good enough.

Now that your bread pudding is frozen, you might be wondering how long it can sit frozen. Let’s cover that.

How Long Can You Freeze Bread Pudding?

Bread pudding should retain good quality for at least 2 to 3 months of freezing, especially if it’s wrapped tightly.

Of course, it won’t ever go bad in the freezer, but the longer it sits frozen, the worse the quality after thawing. That’s why the two to three months recommendation.

And when you’re ready to enjoy the frozen dessert, it’s time to thaw it.

How to Defrost Bread Pudding

Defrost bread pudding overnight in an airtight container in the fridge. If it’s a particularly moist one or 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 that you don’t end up with a wet base.

Of course, if you’re thawing a large portion, say a whole baking dish, it might take more than said 8 to 10 hours, so plan accordingly. That’s why I recommend freezing bread pudding in serving-sized portions – they defrost fairly quickly.

Defrosting bread pudding setup
Defrosting bread pudding setup: airtight container lined with a paper towel

Next, I don’t recommend thawing the dessert on the counter. In most cases, the process will take way more than the recommended up to two hours at room temperature.

After defrosting, make sure to warm up 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.

Last, refrigerate the leftovers and eat the thawed bread pudding within 1 to 2 days. That’s another reason you should stick to smaller portions instead of freezing the whole thing.