How To Store Donuts So They're Not Stale The Next Day

No one wants to start the day with a hard, stale donut…

Whether it's a special brunch or just your typical Friday morning, there is perhaps no greater joy than eating a hot, fresh donut. Treats like homemade apple butter donuts or the most recent seasonal special at Krispy Kreme are so good it's almost impossible to eat just one! If there is a rare occasion you don't devour the entire dozen in one sitting, you will need to store the rest of your donuts properly, so they're not stale the next day. Otherwise, they'll get hard and dry and won't taste the same. Don't fret. We've got all the tips and tricks you need to keep your donuts fresh.

How To Store Yeast Donuts

The best way to store a yeast-based doughnut is in an airtight container like a Ziplock bag. You can use aluminum foil, but it isn't as effective for preventing air from getting into the container. You can refrigerate the doughnuts, but leaving them at room temperature for one to two days is safe as long as they don't have a creme filling.

Most of the time, you can stash the container in your cupboard. You want to remove the doughnuts from direct sunlight to prevent them from drying or growing mold. According to Miles Sao, owner of Heroes Donuts in Martinez, Georgia, it's easy to keep donuts bakery fresh for two or three days. According to Sao, the trick is to let the donuts cool down before you store them. Otherwise, he says, they'll sweat and turn soggy (and if there's anything worse than a dry donut, it's a soggy donut).

Doughnuts from Heroes Donuts in Martinez, Georgia
Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau

How To Store Cake Donuts

Cake doughnuts are stored similarly to yeast doughnuts but can be left in a room temperature airtight container longer because it has a denser dough. Keeping these doughnuts in a container out of direct sunlight should be safe for about five to six days as long as it does not have any dairy-based fillings or grow mold.

If your donuts are from the local bakery, they usually come in a cardboard box. You can leave them in this box, but be aware that since these boxes aren't airtight, the donuts will stay fresh longer if you wrap them in plastic or foil.

Can You Freeze Donuts?

You can freeze donuts for up to three months. The best method for this is placing them in a large freezer bag. If you're stacking donuts, separate them with wax paper so they don't freeze together. Press the sides of the bag to remove any excess air before placing it in the freezer. Pro tip: If you're freezing frosted donuts, arrange them in a single layer and put them in the freezer for about an hour, or until the frosting freezes, first.—This will prevent the frosting from sticking to other donuts or the freezer bag.

What If Your Donuts Are Already Stale?

So, what if you didn't prepare and now have a stale donut on your hands? We've got a solution for that, too! Pop it into the microwave for approximately 15 seconds until it softens. It might not be perfect, but it should still be a delicious treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you know if donuts are spoiled?

    The smell and appearance are key indicators to know whether donuts have spoiled. Spoiled donuts may smell bad or have a moldy appearance, which means you should discard the donuts immediately.

  • How long do cream-filled donuts last unrefrigerated?

    Creme-filled donuts contain dairy products, which will spoil when left unrefrigerated faster than a cake or yeast donut. Do not leave creme-filled donuts at room temperature for more than two hours.

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