Pudding Get Watery in the Fridge [7 Reasons & Tips]

Pudding Get Watery in the Fridge [6 REASONS & Fix]

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Pudding get watery in fridge because of syneresis, saliva, excessive stirring, temperature fluctuation, improper storage, or acidic ingredients. Keeping the spoon and the pudding in the same container disturbs the texture of pudding, making it runny. You can easily fix watery pudding by adding a little starch to it.

Who doesn’t love the feeling of finding pudding in the fridge to wrap up the perfect meal? Pudding is one of the most popular desserts that is loved worldwide.

The thing about storing pudding in the fridge is that sometimes pudding becomes watery and might look unappealing to eat. I empathize with you, which is why I’m here to help! In this article, we will discuss the reasons why pudding becomes runny and also some tips to avoid it. So let’s get started!

There is quite a bit of understanding about pudding becoming running in the fridge. It may sound exhausting but don’t worry.

In today’s post, about going to answer questions like why pudding gets running in the fridge, how to fix runny pudding, and much more. Let’s dive right into it! 

More About Pudding

Pudding has a unique consistency and taste. Do you want to know what goes behind runny pudding? There is more science to the pudding than you think! Let’s take a look at it. 

Ideally, pudding is made from milk, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, or vanilla extract. All these ingredients delight our taste buds with a smooth, creamy dessert.

Here is how each of these ingredients contributes to its incredible taste and texture:

  • Milk: Every dessert needs a base ingredient. For pudding, it is milk. Milk contributes to the liquid aspect of pudding. Milk contains fats and proteins. These components add to the creamy, soft consistency and rich pudding taste!
  • Eggs: Pudding also needs a binding agent to keep its delicate structure together. Egg helps give pudding its unique consistency while also adding creaminess to it. Egg contains protein that coagulates to maintain its integrity. 
  • Sugar: The role of sugar is pretty obvious as a sweetening agent. But another role sugar has that it combines with other ingredients to give pudding the consistency we love! 
  • Flavor: Thanks to the versatility of pudding, you can add various flavorings to pudding. You can use vanilla extract or cocoa powder to offer a deeper flavor to this delightful dessert!

So, what exactly happens while preparing pudding? I am talking about what happens in the pudding at a chemical level. Here are the processes that take place to create pudding:

  • Protein denaturation: The temperature at which pudding is being cooked causes protein denaturation. Eggs and milk contain these proteins that start to coagulate on being cooked. This reaction causes the pudding to thicken, giving it its characteristic consistency.
  • Gelatinization: Pudding also contains ingredients like flour or cornstarch. These ingredients contain starch that has the property of absorbing liquid at higher temperatures. This is the ‘gelatinisation’ we see in the pudding. Gelatinizationgelatinizational chemical process in creating pudding as it helps it set.
  • Maillard reaction: Maillard reaction gives our pudding the incredible taste and aroma we associate with! Maillard reaction contributes to the browning of pudding. It plays a significant role in what adds to the appeal of pudding!

How does temperature affect pudding?

Temperature is a significant factor that must be considered in any cooking process. Similarly, it is essential to know the effects of temperature on pudding. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a quick look!

While cooking, the higher temperature causes protein denaturation leading to the coagulation of ingredients like milk and eggs. This contributes to the mixture’s thickening, giving the pudding its consistency. As discussed, gelatinization is vital in giving pudding its distinct character.

Temperature also affects pudding during the cooling process. Cooling is an essential process that allows the pudding set, which helps maintain its delicate structure. Colder temperatures in the fridge help your pudding set and ready to share! 

Reasons why Pudding Get Watery In the Fridge

Were you waiting to get your hands on the delicious pudding you’ve been saving in your fridge? Only to find that it has become runny? This happens a lot more often than we think. Well, it is time to see why it happens! Here are 7 reasons why pudding become watery/runny in fridge

1. Undone pudding

A significant reason for runny pudding in the fridge is undercooking your pudding. Giving the pudding enough time to boil and cook thoroughly prevents it from separating when stored. So, please follow the cooking time in the recipe closely to ensure your pudding is entirely done.

2. Presence of saliva

Saliva is one of the most common reasons pudding becomes runny in the fridge. Storing leftover foods in the same dishes we’ve eaten is a regular practice. Often, we leave the cutlery we ate it with too! However, it can turn your pudding runny in the fridge.

Saliva contains an amylase, a starch-degrading enzyme. The amylase from saliva is capable of degrading the starch present in the pudding as well. Due to the disintegration of this starch, it can make your pudding watery.

3. Syneresis

Syneresis is not common, so let me briefly tell you what it is. Syneresis is the release of water from a gel.

Due to this property, it is also referred to as ‘weeping of jelly.’ The starch molecules of the pudding absorb water and become puffy, giving the pudding its gel-like consistency.

Syneresis is a common phenomenon that is usually associated with instant pudding. Instant pudding generally contains starch-based gel or milk capable of releasing water. You may also observe this in homemade pudding containing starch.

4. Temperature fluctuations

Temperature variations can cause pudding to run watery as well. Temperature is the primary factor for all cooking and cooling processes. It is essential to allow your pudding to sit at room temperature for some time before taking it to the fridge. Sudden exposure to cold temperatures can disintegrate the structure of pudding, causing it to become runny. 

Pudding can also become runny if you subject it to sudden and significant temperature fluctuation. Please avoid leaving the fridge door open or restoring the pudding multiple times. It is one of the primary reasons pudding could lose its original form.

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5. Ingredient disproportion

We often get the amount of ingredients wrong while following the recipe. Ingredients like milk, eggs, or sugar must be in the right amounts in the mixture. Please get all the measurements right and follow the recipe instructions closely. It is easy to add too much or too little of these ingredients, so it is best to be mindful.

6. Excessive stirring

Sometimes, even stirring your pudding too much can lead to runny pudding. Stirring generally helps thicken the pudding. However, if you go overboard with it, there is a good chance of it losing its original consistency. 

7. Acidic ingredients 

The final reason for runny pudding we will discuss is acidic ingredients. We have created several pudding variations; it is an exceptionally versatile dessert!

Many recipes incorporate acidic ingredients like citric fruits that could make pudding watery.

The acid from these ingredients can cause protein denaturation and loss of its water-holding capacity, resulting in runny pudding.

How long does pudding stay good in the fridge?

Pudding lasts for up to 4 days in the fridge. It is crucial to properly store the putting in an airtight container to extend its shelf life. Please watch for any altered smell, taste, or appearance, as these are signs that your pudding has gone wrong.

How to Thicken Runny Pudding?

A runny pudding is no reason for this delicious dessert to be in the trash bin. To save your pudding from going to waste, here are some ways you can thicken your watery pudding:

Adding thickening agents

Thickening agents are an excellent way to fix runny pudding. These agents do the trick when other methods fail to work.

There are many thickening agents and stabilizers you can pick to use in your pudding. Some of these options are tapioca starch, gelatin, and cornstarch.

These ingredients absorb excess fluid in the pudding mixture and reduce its watery consistency.

The thickener activates when the pudding simmers. Please follow the instructions given on the package for the best result!


Something as simple as reheating can effectively fix runny pudding. First, heat the pudding on low flame and stir throughout.

The higher temperature removes excess water and moisture, resulting in a thicker, creamy pudding. It is essential to ensure not to overcook your pudding while reheating.


One way to try thickening your pudding is simply stirring it. Stir your pudding vigorously to blend in all the ingredients again.

It balances the solid and liquid parts of the pudding and helps regain the original consistency. So, try thoroughly stirring the pudding until you observe it starting to thicken.

Tips to Avoid Runny Pudding

Are you wondering if there are refrigerating tips that decrease the risk of runny pudding? Well, I am here to share exactly this!

Continue reading to find some excellent tips for storing pudding in the refrigerator.

Sufficient thickening

It is essential to ensure that you have appropriately thickened your pudding. Please follow the recipe instruction closely to achieve satisfactory consistency.

If you don’t allow your pudding to thicken sufficiently, it may separate, causing it to get runny.


The type of milk you use make cause the pudding to run watery as well. Please avoid using milk variations like soy milk or skimmed milk.

Using whole milk is the best way to achieve the desired consistency with your pudding.

Properly cooling

Properly cooling your pudding is vital to achieving perfect consistency. Pudding also becomes runny on introducing it to sudden cold temperatures.

So, let your putting sit at room temperature for a while before popping it in the refrigerator!

Thickening agent

Thickening agents help with the consistency of your pudding. There are various thickening agents like tapioca, cornstarch, and gelatin.

Adding a thickening agent helps avoid runny pudding.

Serving Bowl

It is best not to store leftover pudding in the same bowl you ate it in. Please don’t leave the spoon in, either.

This way, you minimize the pudding’s contact with saliva, reducing its chances of becoming runny. So, it helps to transfer your leftover putting to a different serving bowl.

Correct temperature setting

One of the reasons pudding becomes watery is temperature fluctuation. Pudding needs to be stored at the right temperature without significant variations.

So, avoid removing and putting the pudding back in, as it may not retain its original consistency.

Appropriate storage

While storing pudding in the fridge, using airtight containers is essential to prevent your pudding from losing moisture.

So, protecting the pudding from external air helps it retain its original form and prevents it from getting runny.

Plastic wrap

Another way of ensuring that your pudding retains moisture is by covering it with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap can help protect your pudding further and keeps it intact.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does watery pudding mean it has gone wrong?

No, watery pudding doesn’t indicate that pudding has gone wrong. You can often revive runny pudding by stirring, reheating, or adding thickening agents. Pudding is safe to consume for up to 4 days of fridge storage. 

When unsure whether your pudding has gone wrong, look for clear-cut signs. It should discard if the pudding smells funny, undergoes discoloration, or tastes strange.

How long does it take pudding to set?

Once you’ve poured the pudding into the mold, wait at least 10 minutes to allow it to set correctly. It is essential to check and ensure that your pudding is set by the end of 10 minutes. The setting is integral to making pudding and can contribute to ingredient separation when done incorrectly.

Will my pudding turn runny if I freeze it?

No, your pudding will not turn runny on freezing. In fact, freezing has positive effects on pudding. Frozen pudding is creamier and softer on being defrosted. Pudding freezes well and lasts in the freezer for up to 3 months!

How can I reduce the setting time of the pudding?

To decrease the setting time of your pudding, transfer it to the fridge. Another way is to fill a vessel with cold water and let your pudding sit in for some time to set. Adding salt to cold water is an effective method you can try to shorten setting time. It is beneficial when you have less time.


We’ve reached the end of today’s post! I hope the article “Why does pudding get runny in the fridge?” Has answered all your questions. After all, we all deserve to enjoy delicious pudding! 

As we discussed, some common reasons pudding turns runny in the fridge are saliva, temperature fluctuation, following the recipe incorrectly, etc.

Runny pudding is no reason to toss it in the trash can. Thickening agents like gelatin, cornstarch, or tapioca starch can help retain the pudding’s original consistency.

Thank you for tuning in today. See you in the next post!

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