Delectable, creamy, and sweet, banana pudding has been a favorite dessert for many years. You can find hundreds of homemade banana pudding recipes online or grab it from restaurants and supermarkets. Besides, what’s a better use for those bananas going ripe in your kitchen? Before you whip up a fresh batch, though, consider this: how long does banana pudding last?

We’re going to talk about how long banana pudding is good for, how to tell if it’s bad, and some storage tips. Let’s begin.

I went out on my deck during a sunset this past Summer of 2016. I had my camera, some fruit and colored paper sheets. The rest is history.

What is Banana Pudding?

Never had banana pudding before? You’ve been missing out. Banana pudding is a delicious dessert that is made with vanilla custard, fresh banana slices, vanilla wafers or ladyfingers, and topped with meringue or whipped cream. There are dozens of varieties, including an easy-to-make recipe that swaps out custard with vanilla or banana-flavored pudding mixes.

You can also use banana pudding as a component for other recipes like:

  • Frozen pudding pops
  • Banana pudding bread
  • Milkshakes
  • Pancake, French toast, or Belgian waffle topping

How Do You Make Banana Pudding?

As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to make banana pudding. You can be as unique as you want, as long as you commit to the traditional ingredients. Banana pudding is also easy to make at home.

You will need bananas, milk (regular or condensed), cookies, whipped cream, and vanilla wafers.

Having gathered your ingredients, do the following:

  1. Prepare your pudding as per the box directions. You can opt to make custard, though that is more labor-intensive. If you do, the process is more or less the same.
  2. Slice up the bananas. Set them aside for now.
  3. Add more milk to the pudding and blend. Add some whipped cream and continue blending until the pudding is smooth.
  4. Layer the cookies in a pan or trifle bowl. Ensure the cookies cover the bottom and sides. Add banana on top.
  5. Spread some of the pudding mixture over the cookies and bananas. If you want, you can add another layer of cookies and bananas (depending on the size of the dish) then spread more pudding.
  6. Once you have finished filling the pan or bowl, place the mixture in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  7. When serving your pudding, feel free to top it with cookie crumbles, chocolate or butterscotch drizzle, more fruit, chopped walnuts, or granola. Enjoy!

How Long Does Banana Pudding Last?

Looking at the sample recipe above, you will notice that banana pudding contains ingredients that can go bad quickly, like milk and whipped cream. If you make the custard version, the recipe also contains eggs.

Other factors involve the variety of pudding you used and how old the bananas were. Pudding can be prepacked, instant, and “cook to prepare.” The shelf life for these varieties isn’t the same. Most common is store-bought dry mix. The boxes are printed with best by dates that you shouldn’t ignore.

Once you prepare a dry pudding mix, it lasts for about a week in the refrigerator. If you make homemade pudding with eggs and milk, it lasts 5-6 days.

But that’s if we are just talking about regular pudding. How long does banana pudding last? 3-4 days. Bananas don’t last long when they have been sliced up. In about 4-5 days, sliced bananas will start to brown and give off a foul odor.

Let’s not forget the cookies either. In about 3-4 days, your crisp wafers or ladyfingers are going to turn to mush. You might see mold growth in about 5 days.

How to Properly Store Banana Pudding

Banana pudding contains a lot of water. Between the pudding, whipped cream, and bananas, you have a dessert that needs to be kept cool. After making banana pudding, which requires 3-4 hours of refrigeration, you should only keep it out of the fridge for about 2 hours. After that, your creamy dessert needs to be returned to the cold.

Obviously, this means you can’t keep a pan of banana pudding on the kitchen counter for a few days. Do that, and you’ll end up with an icky, inedible mess.

Want to keep your banana pudding fresher for longer? Remove it from the fridge when you want a portion. Otherwise, keep the pudding stored in an airtight covered container in the fridge.

Again, properly stored banana pudding will last for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Banana Pudding?

Let’s say you make way more banana pudding than originally planned. You don’t want to have a helping of banana pudding every meal. That’s when you start to wonder, “How long does banana pudding last in the freezer? Can I even freeze banana pudding?”

You’re in luck!

Yes, you can freeze banana pudding. Remember, banana pudding contains a lot of water, meaning it will freeze well.

There’s one little caveat to this: The moisture is a double-edged sword when it comes time to thaw your dessert. Once your creamy, velvety pudding starts to freeze, the water transforms into crystals. The texture will be similar to freezer-burned ice cream. Once defrosted, the ice melts, but it steals some of the richness of the pudding and fruit.

If you decide to make your pudding with a vegan-friendly alternative, like almond or oat milk, freezing isn’t a good idea. Those milk substitutes should never be frozen, as they get very watery when thawed.

Simply put, if you’re fine with your pudding not being as good as it was fresh, you can freeze it. Frozen banana pudding lasts for one month.

How to Freeze Banana Pudding

You’ve decided that you can’t keep the banana pudding in the refrigerator or eat it in 3-4 days. Knowing how to freeze the uneaten portion is key to keeping it flavorful.

Grab an airtight container—one smaller than the original. Scrape all the sides of the used dish. During this time, you might want to look out for any signs your banana pudding is starting to go bad, such as mold or a yucky texture.

Next, cut a slice of fresh lemon. Bananas and avocados go brown and gross for the same reason. Oxidation. Similar to spritzing guacamole with lemon to keep it green, you do the same with your banana pudding. The citric acid won’t affect the flavor.

Once you’ve added the lemon juice, snap the lid into place. Place a label on the lid with the date of storage. Place the banana pudding in the freezer. You’re set.

Just remember to consume your frozen treat within a month. When you’re ready to defrost it, place the container in the refrigerator and let it sit for about 24 hours before serving.

How to Tell Banana Pudding Has Gone Bad

You probably won’t need a guide to know that your banana pudding is spoiled. Bad bananas, dairy, and cookies—a true triple threat. Open the container and take a whiff. If it smells like death or the inside of a freezer, throw it away. If it’s anything other than it’s normal yellow and white layers, don’t eat it. If there’s something slimy growing, donate it to science or the trash can.

And if it says hello, kill it with fire.

Still can’t tell? It’s not recommended that you taste potentially rancid banana pudding. But if you dare, bad pudding will be sour or bitter, like old milk, and watery.

While eating bad banana pudding usually isn’t life-threatening, you could get a terrible case of food poisoning. Beware!

yellow banana fruit on brown wooden chopping board

Conclusion

Storing banana pudding ensures you can savor your addicting dessert for more than a few hours. How long does banana pudding last in the refrigerator? 3-4 days. Avoid leaving your banana pudding out at room temperature for too long. That could accelerate the spoilage. And if you want to keep a portion of banana pudding in the freezer, go for it. When frozen, banana pudding will last up to a month.

Now that you know how to store banana pudding, it’s time to try making it. Have fun—and remember how long it lasts!

FAQs

1. How long is banana pudding good in the fridge?

The refrigerator is the ideal place to store banana pudding. When properly stored in an airtight container, banana pudding will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days and no longer. There are some factors that could affect this, such as the ingredients used and the ripeness of the bananas. If you want to keep the ingredients fresher, longer, try squirting some lemon juice on the refrigerated portion.

2. Is banana pudding still good after a week?

No, banana pudding is not good after a week. Even when properly stored in the fridge, banana pudding will start to go sour in about 4 days. If you had banana pudding for a week, it is best to throw it away, even if it still looks okay.

3. How do you know banana pudding is bad?

Telling whether banana pudding is bad is easy, because it will smell like sour milk. Due to the majority of dairy ingredients, pudding will start to get watery, off-colored, and smell a bit off when it starts going bad. The bananas will get brown and mushy. The wafers in the pudding will also get soggy and may start to grow mold.

The first sign, however, will always be the smell.

4. How long is pudding good for in the refrigerator?

When kept in the refrigerator, freshly made banana pudding is good for 3-4 days. The key is to keep the temperature below 40 degrees F (4.4 degrees C) and stable. Make sure to use an airtight container to keep the bananas from browning prematurely.