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How To Keep And Reheat Bread Pudding & Stop It Drying Out

Bread pudding is a simple yet delicious dessert that can often be hard to finish.

I go through how to store your leftover bread pudding as well as how to reheat it later.

So, how do you store bread pudding? For best results, store leftover bread pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will last up to 5 days. For longer-term storage, you can also freeze bread pudding. Bread pudding will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

How To Store Leftover Bread Pudding

The best way to store bread pudding is in the refrigerator. If you haven’t added any extra sauce (such as custard) yet – hold off until you’re ready to eat the pudding.

It’s okay to store bread pudding covered in sauce, but there’ll be a noticeable soggy texture to the dish when you come to eat it later.

Storing the pudding without sauce comes with the opposite problem, and the bread will dry out over time. But this is a slower process than the pudding becoming soggy and is also easy to fix by adding sauce later.

To store bread pudding in the refrigerator:

  1. Ensure the bread pudding has fully cooled if you’ve just baked it.
  2. Remove any extra sauce such as custard or cream.
  3. Place the bread pudding in an airtight container.
  4. The bread pudding will last for a maximum of 5 days in the refrigerator. But for best results, aim to use the dish within 2 days, where moisture loss will be less noticeable. 

The more compact the container, the better, as this will help prevent the dish from prematurely going stale.

You can also cover the bread pudding with a layer of plastic wrap. The more protection you provide against air contact, the less dry the pudding will become.

How To Freeze Bread Pudding

Bread pudding freezes well, as long as you haven’t already smothered it in a sauce.

Freezing a bread pudding with sauce on isn’t recommended because it will result in a sludgy, messy dish.

If you have any leftover sauce, it’s best to store this separately.

To freeze bread pudding:

  1. Ensure the bread pudding is fully cooled before freezing.
  2. Remove any extra sauce such as custard or cream.
  3. Cut the bread pudding into individual portions. This will help if you don’t want to eat the leftovers all in one go. (optional)
  4. Double wrap the bread pudding in plastic wrap.
  5. Place the wrapped bread pudding in an airtight freezer bag or container. This helps to preserve the moisture in the pudding and protects it against freezer burn.
  6. Use the bread pudding within 3 months of freezing it.

To thaw the pudding, leave it in the refrigerator overnight. You can check if it’s fully thawed by sticking a knife or a skewer into the middle of it.

Once the pudding has completely defrosted, bring it to room temperature before reheating it.

If you notice it’s a little hard, don’t worry, that’s a normal side effect of freezing it. It will soften up again as you reheat it and add a sauce. Custard and ice cream work well.

Eat the bread pudding within 24 hours of thawing and never re-freeze.

Can you freeze unbaked bread pudding?

I don’t advise freezing unbaked bread pudding. You’ll get better results baking it first and then freezing. Unbaked bread pudding is more likely to split, and the freeze-thaw cycle will compromise the texture.

If you do freeze an unbaked pudding, follow the same instructions as above.

How Long Will Bread Pudding Last In The Freezer?

Cooked bread pudding will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. If you plan on freezing uncooked bread pudding, it will last for up to 1 month. For best results, bake the pudding before freezing.

How To Reheat Bread Pudding

Once you’ve successfully put your bread pudding away, the next question that pops into your head is probably…

‘how do I reheat my bread pudding?!’

To answer this question, I tested four different methods of reheating leftover bread pudding to determine the best way.

I tested:

  • Reheating bread pudding in the oven (plus the air fryer)
  • Reheating bread pudding in the microwave
  • Reheat bread pudding on the stove

Because you always need to thaw frozen bread pudding before eating it, the methods for reheating frozen and refrigerated bread pudding are the same. Make sure the frozen pudding is completely defrosted before reheating.

I like to bring my bread pudding to room temperature before reheating it because it reduces temperature shocks and ensures even heating.

You can either add your sauce before reheating the bread pudding or just before you serve it. It’s up to you.

What’s the best way to reheat bread pudding?

For best results, warm your bread pudding in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10-15 minutes. Cover the bread pudding with foil to keep it moist. For a crispy top, uncover the bread pudding for the last two minutes of heating. For quicker results, you can use the microwave.

Reheating Bread Pudding In The Oven (or air fryer)

The oven was relatively slow, but it’s my preferred method because you get all the original qualities of the bread pudding back (including the crispy top).

To reheat bread pudding in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Cover the pudding with foil to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Heat for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on portion size.
  4. To get a crispy top, take the foil off and heat the pudding for a further 2-3 minutes.

An individual portion will be warm enough after 10 minutes, but if you’re reheating a whole loaf, it’s going to take longer.

Don’t forget the foil because, without it, the bread pudding will become incredibly dry.

What about the air fryer?

If you have an air fryer, you can also use this.

To reheat bread pudding in an air fryer, set it to 300°F (150°C) and heat the bread pudding for 5-7 minutes. A lower temperature is better for the air fryer. A higher temperature can leave you with a burnt outside and a cold inside.

Reheating Bread Pudding In The Microwave

The microwave was the fastest reheating method, so good if you’re in a hurry, but you won’t get the nice crispy top that oven heating provides. The pudding was also slightly chewier than the other methods.

To reheat bread pudding in the microwave:

  1. Place the bread pudding in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Heat in the microwave on 50% power in 60-second intervals until the pudding is heated through (it should take between 1-3 minutes).
  3. If you want a crispy top, place the reheated pudding under the broiler for a few minutes before serving (or use a chef’s torch).

It’s best to reheat small portions in the microwave. If you have a whole loaf, I would avoid this method and opt for the oven.

The low power reduces the risk of you overheating the bread pudding and drying it out. If your microwave doesn’t have a low power setting, lower the time intervals to 30 seconds.

Eat the pudding as soon as it’s hot enough because it will dry out much faster after being reheated in the microwave.

Reheating Bread Pudding On The Stove

The last method I tested was reheating bread pudding on the stove. Full disclosure: it was so good but pretty unhealthy.

This method will only work for slices of bread pudding. I recommend keeping the slices relatively thin so they heat all the way through.

To reheat bread pudding on the stove:

  1. Butter a slice of bread pudding on both sides (or melt some butter in a pan).
  2. Heat a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the buttered slice of bread pudding to the pan and heat it on each side for 60 seconds.
  4. Serve immediately.

This was by far the most indulgent method I tested, but (as always seems to be the case), that meant it was the most delicious.

The butter added moisture to the pudding, and the edges crisped up while the inside stayed soft. Perfection.

In all cases, it’s important to ensure the dish is heated to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the FDA, this is the minimum safe cooking temperature for leftovers.

If you want to be extra careful, a simple cooking thermometer (link to Amazon) can come in handy to ensure that you’re always on the safe side of the guidelines.

How To Fix Dry Bread Pudding

Dry bread pudding is usually the result of the bread soaking up any moisture while in storage. It’s quite common that a pudding will be dry if you’ve left it for a few days. Luckily, fixing it is easy (and delicious).

To fix dry bread pudding, simply add a sauce. You can use a custard sauce, cream, toffee sauce, or anything you want really! Add the sauce or cream to the dish just before serving. Another alternative to revive dry bread pudding is to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

If you’re to creating a new batch of homemade custard sauce, this recipe is delicious.

Do You Need To Refrigerate Bread Pudding?

You need to refrigerate bread pudding because lots of dairy products are used to make it.

The ratio of wet ingredients to dry ingredients is much higher in bread pudding than in cakes, which is why you need to refrigerate bread pudding but not cakes.

Bread pudding is more akin to a custard. This means that there’s a lot of moisture in the dessert, which can encourage bacteria if not properly stored. 

How long can bread pudding sit out?

You can leave bread pudding out at room temperature for a maximum of two hours. After two hours, the risk of harmful bacteria populating and spreading on the pudding is significantly increased.

Is Bread Pudding The Same As Bread & Butter Pudding?

There are some subtle differences between bread pudding and bread and butter pudding. None of these differences impact how you store, freeze, or reheat the dishes.

Bread pudding is typically made with cubes or chunks of stale bread, soaked in a liquid mixture of milk, eggs, and sugar. On the other hand, bread and butter pudding usually calls for slices of pre-buttered bread to be added to the liquid mix.

Does Bread Pudding Go Bad?

Yes, bread pudding will go bad within a matter of hours if left unrefrigerated. This is due to the large quantities of dairy ingredients used. In the refrigerator, bread pudding will start to go bad after a period of 5 days.

How To Store Bread Pudding

The best way to store bread pudding is in the refrigerator. If you haven't added any extra sauce such as custard yet – hold off until you're ready to eat the pudding.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 287 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion bread pudding cooked

Instructions
 

Refrigerating Bread Pudding

  • Ensure the bread pudding has fully cooled if you've just baked it.
  • Place the bread pudding in an airtight container.
  • The more compact the container, the better, as this will help prevent the dish from prematurely going stale.
  • You can also cover the bread pudding with a layer of plastic wrap. The more protection you provide against air contact, the less dry the pudding will become.
  • The bread pudding will last for a maximum of 5 days in the refrigerator. But for best results, aim to use the dish within 2 days, where moisture loss will be less noticeable. 

How To Freeze Bread Pudding

  • Ensure the bread pudding is fully cooled before freezing.
  • Optional: cut the bread pudding into individual portions. This will help if you don't want to eat the leftovers all in one go.
  • Double wrap the bread pudding in plastic wrap.
  • Place the wrapped bread pudding in an airtight freezer bag or container. This helps to preserve the moisture in the pudding and protects it against freezer burn.
  • Label the container with the date so you know how long it's been in the freezer for.
  • Where possible, freeze any sauce separately from the pudding. Doing so helps preserve the texture and consistency of the dessert.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal
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