Can you freeze banana pudding? Banana pudding is a popular dessert because of its delicious combination of flavors and textures. The delectable crunch of the vanilla wafers goes so well with the sweetness of the banana slices and the thick cream! But if say, you made a large batch of banana pudding or you have store-bought banana pudding leftovers, should you freeze the dessert for later? While we do not recommend freezing banana pudding, it can be done if only to avoid waste.
Image used under Creative Commons from Scott Vann
Should You Freeze Banana Pudding?
Freezing pudding of any type can be tricky because the dessert has high water content. Since freezing causes moisture to crystallize, the consistency of the banana pudding will become radically different after it’s been defrosted.
On top of that, bananas tend to turn to mush and develop an unsightly brownish color once they’ve been defrosted and exposed to air. These changes may not alter the taste of the pudding but they can make the pudding look unappealing.
It’s also worth noting that pudding contains temperature sensitive ingredients such as cream, milk, and eggs. Pudding made from soy or almond milk may turn watery after thawing.
So is refrigeration better than freezing? Keeping the pudding in the fridge won’t help matters either. The longer you keep the pudding in the fridge, the more it loses its flavor. Worse, banana pudding tends to absorb all the fridge aromas, which will definitely alter the flavor of the dessert! Between freezing and chilling the pudding, freezing is your best bet.
Easy Banana Pudding Recipes
Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding
Classic Banana Pudding
How to Freeze Banana Pudding?
There is a secret to extending the light color of the bananas and prevent oxidation. But this trick will only work if you made the banana pudding yourself!
Freezing Homemade Banana Pudding
Before preparing the banana pudding, fill a small dish with lemon juice. Dip the banana slices into the juice just before assembling the ingredients to make the pudding. The citric acids in lemon juice will prevent oxidation. After dipping the banana slices in lemon juice, you can go ahead and mash the fruit for the pudding.
Once the pudding has been frozen and defrosted, the bananas should retain its natural light color instead of turning a muddy brown.
Prepare the banana pudding as you normally would. If you are planning to freeze a portion of the pudding, save that portion before serving, don’t serve the whole thing. The fresher the pudding is, the better it is for freezing.
Once the pudding is ready for freezing, scoop the portion into an airtight, freezer-safe container. Then, cover the container with cling wrap before securing the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
Image used under Creative Commons from Jason Lam
Freezing Store-Bought Banana Pudding Leftovers
Storing leftover banana pudding is much trickier because you cannot prep the ingredients beforehand. Every component has been assembled into the dessert. You cannot use the pudding’s original packaging either. The original packaging doesn’t provide ample protection from the freezing temps.
To prep the pudding, scoop it gently into an airtight, freezer-safe container. Then, cover the container with cling wrap before securing the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
3 Creative Uses for Leftover Banana Pudding
Got more leftover banana pudding than you can handle? Apart from serving the dessert as is, you can use your leftover banana pudding to make these goodies:
Make Banana Pudding Ice Pops
You can upcycle your defrosted banana pudding by turning it into banana pudding ice pops! Just mix the leftover pudding in milk until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ice pop mold. Give the mold a gentle tap to remove air bubbles then insert the wooden sticks. Pop the mold in the freezer. Serve once the ice pops turn solid.
Churn into Ice Cream
If you love making ice cream at home then you can use whatever’s left of your banana pudding for the ice cream. With a plastic spatula, break the pudding apart into smaller bits. While churning the plain vanilla ice cream, pour the leftover pudding until blended well. Prepare the ice cream as you normally would and serve once frozen solid!
Make Bread Pudding
Create a milk mixture by combining milk with eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a lined container of leftover banana pudding. Fold the ingredients together until well blended. Top with cubed bread and let the bread bits soak the milk mixture. Add any topping you like then stick in the oven. Bake at 325º Fahrenheit or until golden brown then serve immediately.
Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions
Banana pudding won’t keep in the freezer for a long time because of the delicate ingredients. We recommend consuming the pudding within 1 to 2 weeks for optimal flavor.
Thawing the pudding should be done slowly so the dessert won’t turn to mush. Just transfer the frozen banana pudding in the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. Serve immediately once thawed and do not refreeze the leftovers.
Can you freeze banana pudding? Freezing might not be the best way to store this dessert but it can be done to avoid waste. Just make sure to prep the banana slices prior to mashing to preserve the fruit’s color. Also, keep all the storage tips we’ve outlined above for best results.