There are so many types of pudding. You’ve got your plain classics like vanilla, chocolate, lemon, tapioca, and rice. But you also have some pretty fun ones like bread, sticky dates, tapioca, sticky toffee, and a personal favorite of mine…banana.
For those of you who have yet to experience banana pudding, it is a dessert that generally consists of sweet vanilla flavored custard, a wafer-type cookie, and sliced fresh bananas served with whipped cream or meringue. It’s not only sweet, but light and satisfying.
Just like a banana pudding itself, the origin of the dessert has many layers. It’s mostly known for being a Southern staple dessert.
The first actual banana pudding recipe, however, appeared in 1888 and came from Massachusetts, rather than the South. The recipe was similar to that of an English trifle. There were many ways to spin the layers; which cookies were used, the type of custard, etc. Just make sure to use the banana, or else it wouldn’t be banana pudding (obviously).
Eventually, around the early 1920s, the most popular version of banana pudding recipe that uses vanilla wafers in place of sponge cake was used in Illinois, sharing the first-known printed recipe.
The dessert is also a nostalgic one for those who eat it, as there’s a sense of family ties and recipes being given down to generations.
If you indulge in the classic dessert, you’ll also know that you can put together a large serving (sometimes intentional and sometimes not). When there are leftovers and you don’t want them to go to waste, you may wonder – can you freeze banana pudding? The good news is, yes you can!
Resd on to lern everything you need to know about freezing banana pudding to extend its shelf life.
Does Banana Pudding Freeze Well?
Although banana pudding freezes, it can get tricky.
This is because the dessert contains a lot of water. The fresh banana slices in the frozen banana pudding also experience significant changes when thawed, which means they can lose their original texture and take on a brownish coloration. The wafers may also become soggy from the moisture of the pudding.
Generally speaking, when pudding freezes, the consistency becomes like that of rich and creamy ice cream, but defrosting it will lose its consistency.
However, although the bananas and pudding may lose some texture, they will still be worth eating again.
How to Freeze Banana Pudding
Once your stomach is full of banana pudding and you need to stow it away, it’s best to break it up into portions and freeze it instead of freezing the whole dessert at once. This way you’ll be able to freeze and defrost smaller amounts, without worrying about putting leftovers again into the freezer, diminishing the quality even more.
To start, scoop the portion of leftover pudding into a freeze safe airtight container. Then, cover the container with cling wrap before securing the lid. When storing it in the freezer, make sure you find enough space where the pudding won’t get squished. If it gets crushed, the pudding will freeze over weirdly.
Another interesting trick is to dip the banana slices in lemon juice while making the pudding. The lemon juice is used to inhibit oxidation of the banana slices during freezing and when they’re thawing. Once oxidation is successfully prevented, the banana slices won’t become brown.
How Long Does Banana Pudding Last in the Freezer?
If you’re only sticking it in the refrigerator, you should anticipate eating it quickly, as the shelf life will only last around 3 days.
However, if you’ve properly stored the banana pudding leftovers in the freezer, it will last for a maximum of 14 days. It is suggested to defrost the pudding sooner rather than later because freezing will affect the texture. This is because all of the ingredients used are fairly delicate.
Just be aware that there may be some discoloration in the dessert. For example, the bananas may get a little brown because they’re not as fresh anymore. But that doesn’t mean they’re inedible. They will still taste good and like a banana!
How to Defrost Banana Pudding
It’s fairly simple to defrost banana pudding, but make sure you’re aware that it will take time. Unless you feel like eating it all icy, then that’s a preference. However, if you want to get it as close to the original condition as you can get, you will have to be patient.
You can place the frozen pudding in the refrigerator to let it thaw. Because this will take many hours, it is recommended you take out the leftover banana pudding from the freezer the night before.
Please also note that you cannot take it out and leave it at room temperature. You created the banana pudding with very perishable items, so leaving it in warmer temperatures than the refrigerator could cause the dessert to spoil much quicker, ruining your chances of eating this delectable dessert again.
Can You Refreeze Banana Pudding?
Technically, yes, you can. However, it is recommended you don’t (which is why we said to divide the pudding into smaller portions).
Refreezing defrosted banana pudding will cause the quality of the pudding to deteriorate faster than before. It will taste less and less like banana pudding and more like flavorless mush. I mean, if that’s something you’re into, by all means, enjoy it. But it’s not the way to experience the fresh pudding.
Alternative Uses for Banana Pudding
Banana pudding doesn’t have to be just banana pudding. Even though it’s already a delicious treat, you can amp it up even more to make something new and just as tasty.
Add Vanilla Ice Cream
One method is to add vanilla ice cream for more flavor and variety. It gives another creamy level to the dessert as well as makes it more like a creamsicle than a pudding.
This is a spin on the classic Southern dessert. Remember when we said bananas were exotic fruit? Well, so is coconut. These two flavors together will give you a taste of the tropics.
Turn pudding into cupcakes!
Take creamy fresh banana curd with banana cake and whipped cream. The cupcake will be moist and decadent.
It is classic banana pudding, but with a twist. The difference is, you’ll caramelize the bananas in brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter to create another level of flavor.
Cookies that taste just like banana pudding? Sign me up!
Banana cream pudding mix will give the cookie the perfect amount of banana flavor. Chop some wafers into the dough, and you’ve got banana pudding you can hold in your hand.
Don’t feel like baking? No problem!
This dessert is something dreamy and is super easy to make. You need Golden Oreos, banana pudding mix, fresh bananas, a sweet cream cheese, and stabilized whipped cream (along with some sugar, butter, and other necessities).
No bananas in banana pudding? Well, that’s just…bananas.
As unusual as it sounds, it is possible!
In this case, you will mix vanilla pudding and milk and eventually gently add and mix whipped topping. Instead of adding a layer of fresh bananas, you will add another layer of vanilla wafers, which sounds like a pretty good switch.
How to Tell if Banana Pudding Has Gone Bad
You will most definitely notice if banana pudding has gone bad. It’s mostly a visual telling (which is great so you don’t have to press your luck by tasting it).
When you take a look at the pudding, you will notice pockets of watery liquids on its surface. That means that the liquid has separated from the other ingredients. There also may be an appearance of dark mold or bright bacterial marks on parts of the pudding at its surface.
If you don’t see any of that or are questioning what the watery pockets actually look like, then you can go ahead and try the pudding. The once sweet taste of delicious bananas and cream has turned into a sharp, bitter, flavor, which is not what you want to taste in a dessert.