Skip to Content

Should I bake bread pudding before freezing?

Quick Answer

It is recommended to bake bread pudding before freezing whenever possible. Baking bread pudding prior to freezing allows the custard to fully set, which leads to a better texture once thawed and reheated. Unbaked bread pudding may turn soggy or mushy when frozen. However, unbaked bread pudding can be frozen for up to 3 months if needed. Be sure to thaw it completely in the refrigerator before baking.

Can You Freeze Unbaked Bread Pudding?

Yes, it is possible to freeze unbaked bread pudding. The key is making sure the bread cubes are as dry as possible before assembling and freezing the pudding. Use stale bread or toast the cubes before using. Drain any excess custard before freezing. Wrap the unbaked pudding tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. It can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking as the recipe directs. The texture may be a bit mushier than fresh pudding.

Should Bread Pudding Be Baked Before Freezing?

Baking bread pudding before freezing is highly recommended whenever feasible. Pre-baking allows the custard to fully set and thicken around the bread pieces. This helps maintain the texture better through freezing and thawing. Baked bread pudding holds its shape without turning mushy or watery. The crust also stays crisper.

How to Freeze Baked Bread Pudding

Follow these steps for freezing baked bread pudding:

  1. Allow the bread pudding to cool completely after baking. At least 1-2 hours.
  2. Cut the pudding into individual slices or squares.
  3. Place slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
  5. Transfer frozen pieces to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container.
  6. Press out excess air, seal, and return to freezer.
  7. Properly stored, it will keep 3-4 months.

How to Reheat Bread Pudding from Frozen

To reheat frozen bread pudding:

  • Thaw frozen bread pudding overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place thawed bread pudding slices on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and golden brown.
  • Microwave individual pieces for 30-60 seconds as well.
  • Enjoy immediately.

The reheated texture will be softer than fresh-baked but still tasty. Drizzle with sauce or whipped cream if desired.

Tips for Freezing Bread Pudding

Follow these tips for best results freezing bread pudding:

  • Use stale, dry bread for maximum texture.
  • Allow baked pudding to fully cool before freezing.
  • Double wrap unbaked pudding in plastic and foil.
  • Cut baked pudding into portions before freezing.
  • Label package with date and contents.
  • Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheat thawed pudding within 3-4 days.

What Kind of Bread Works Best?

Bread pudding can be made with just about any type of bread. However, drier breads with an open crumb tend to work best. Recommended options include:

  • French bread
  • Italian bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Challah bread
  • Brioche
  • Panettone
  • Stale baguettes
  • Drier egg breads like challah

The extra air pockets in these breads soak up the custard well. Denser breads like whole wheat may turn too soggy. Test different varieties to see what you prefer.

Can I Use Day Old Bread?

Yes, day old bread works excellently in bread pudding. As bread starts to stale, it dries out and absorbs more liquid. Using day old or stale bread results in a bread pudding with a nicely saturated texture. The bread won’t disintegrate too much either. For best results, let the cubes sit out overnight to dry further before using.

Should I Toast the Bread First?

It’s optional to toast bread cubes before assembling and baking the pudding. Toasting is an extra step that enhances both flavor and texture. As the bread toasts, starches on the surface start to caramelize, adding a delicious toasted flavor. Toasting also ensures the bread dries out, which prevents sogginess.

What Ratio of Bread to Custard?

Most recipes use a ratio of around 3-4 cups of cubed bread to 4 cups of liquid custard. This proportion ensures all the bread absorbs custard without any left over. The custard quantity may vary slightly based on the type and staleness of bread used. Stale, sturdy bread requires a bit more liquid to fully saturate during baking compared to very fresh soft bread.

Should I Drain Excess Custard?

If the assembled bread pudding seems overly soggy and wet before baking, draining off some of the custard can help. Place the cubes in a colander and let extra custard drain out for about 15 minutes. Return the soaked bread to the baking dish and proceed as usual. Draining excess liquid prevents the pudding from becoming mushy.

What’s the Best Pan to Use?

Bread pudding bakes best in a shallow baking dish. This allows the custard to easily evaporate as it cooks, resulting in a creamy texture. Good options include:

  • 8×8 inch glass or ceramic baking dish
  • 8×8 inch metal baking pan
  • 9×13 inch glass casserole dish
  • Rimmed sheet pan or jelly roll pan

Avoid deep pans like loaf pans which prevent moisture from evaporating properly. Grease the pan well as pudding is prone to sticking.

Should Bread Pudding Be Covered While Baking?

Bread pudding should bake uncovered in the oven. Covering the dish with foil prevents moisture from evaporating, resulting in a mushy texture. Baking uncovered allows the custard to gently concentrate as it thickens and sets around the bread. This gives it the perfect creamy yet sliceable consistency.

How to Tell When It’s Done Baking?

Check for these signs to tell when bread pudding is fully baked:

  • Puffed and lightly golden brown on top
  • Center is set but still jiggles slightly
  • Toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • Internal temperature reaches 170°F-180°F
  • Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing

Underbaked pudding will be wet and loose. Overbaked pudding dries out. Take it out once the center is just set.

Should I Rest Bread Pudding Before Serving?

Yes, it’s important to let the bread pudding rest before serving. A 15-20 minute rest allows the custard to finish setting as it cools. This helps firms up the texture. If sliced and served immediately, the pudding will be mushy. Letting it rest also makes it easier to cut neat slices that hold together better.

How Should I Store Leftover Bread Pudding?

Cover any leftover bread pudding tightly and refrigerate. Properly stored, it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in a 350°F oven until warmed through. The texture may be a bit more soggy than freshly baked. Bread pudding also freezes well for 2-3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Can I Prepare Bread Pudding in Advance?

Yes, bread pudding can be assembled up to 24 hours before baking. Prepare the bread cubes and custard, combine together, and refrigerate overnight. This allows time for the bread to fully soak up the liquid. Remove the chilled mixture from the fridge while the oven preheats. Then bake as usual.


Baking bread pudding completely before freezing delivers the best results. The pre-baked texture stays intact better through freezing and thawing. Unbaked pudding can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure bread cubes are as dry as possible and double wrap before freezing raw pudding. Thaw frozen pudding overnight in the fridge before baking and serving for a delicious homemade treat.