How To Properly Store Donuts To Keep Them Fresh Longer


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Whether you’ve baked a delicious batch of donuts or you’ve picked some up from your local bakery, sometimes you have several left that shouldn’t go to waste. Following are my tips on how to properly store your donuts so you can enjoy them for as long as possible!

As a general rule, donuts should be placed inside a plastic food storage bag or a container with a lid to keep them from going stale. Donuts that are not glazed or chocolate-covered can be wrapped in plastic food wrap in order to keep them fresh if a container is not available.

Knowing how to properly store them will help ensure delicious and fresh donuts every time. That’s why I created a detailed way to store donuts in each type of storage method, which you can find below!

How To Properly Store Donuts?

The wonderful thing about donuts is that they come in a wide variety of flavors. Whether you enjoy jelly-filled donuts, chocolate donuts, cake donuts, or glazed donuts, you’re sure to find the perfect one to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Unfortunately, the downside to this is that the proper storage method often depends upon the type of donut you have.

Not All Donuts Are The Same!
Each Type of Donuts Needs To Be Stored in A Different Way!

For example, jelly-filled donuts should promptly be stored in the refrigerator. These types of donuts spoil more quickly and could leave you feeling queasy if you haven’t stored them properly.

You should store these types of donuts in a plastic container with a lid before putting them in the refrigerator. Putting them in the fridge will help them retain their freshness much longer and reduce your chances of spoilage.

Here’s a table showing how long donuts can last when stored properly:

Room TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
For up to 3 daysFor up to 5 daysFor up to 4 months

If you’re looking for a good set of airtight storage containers, I recommend getting the Rubbermaid Brilliance Leak-Proof Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lids.

I’ve used these containers for a couple of years now and I’ve successfully stored all of my food and baked goods in room temperature, fridge, and freezer. I’ve even used them in the microwave! These containers come in many different sets, so choose the right one for you. You can check out these containers on Amazon!

Some types of donuts hold up quite well at room temperature.

For example, cake and plain glazed donuts tend to stay fresh if they are stored in a covered food container and out of direct sunlight.

Keep in mind that these storage directions are only if you intend to eat them within a day or two. If you plan on waiting a little longer, you should store them in the refrigerator as well.

Listed below are all the different methods I use as well as how I use them to keep my donuts fresh over time!

How Do I Keep Donuts Fresh Overnight?

As a whole, if donuts will only be stored overnight they can be placed inside a paper bag. They should also be lightly covered with a napkin in order to keep them fresh and prevent moisture. Keep the bag away at room temperature or place it in the fridge if they have a filling like cream or jelly.

The best way to keep donuts fresh overnight is going to be by protecting them from exposure as much as possible.

Donuts start to taste “off” due to air exposure.

Air Makes Donuts Stale
Place Donuts In Paper Bag To Store Them Overnight!

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Properly Store Cookies. I recently wrote an article that talks about all you need to know for Storing Cookies To Make Them Last, which you can check out here!

Because donuts are essentially small cakes, you’re going to take similar precautions when it comes to keeping them fresh.

In order to minimize exposure, be sure to either carefully cover your donuts in aluminum foil or wrap them in a napkin inside of a paper bag that is gently folded over.

If you have an assortment of donuts it is important to identify which kind they are before deciding on a storage method.

Your cream and jelly-filled donuts should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge to reduce the likelihood of spoiling. Your plain, glazed, and chocolate-covered donuts should do okay if they are stored in a paper bag or plastic container at room temperature.

How Long Do Donuts Stay Fresh At Room Temperature?

Generally speaking, freshly baked donuts that are not filled can stay fresh for up to three days at room temperature in a storage bag or wrapped in plastic wrap. If they are not eaten within two days they should be placed in the fridge to keep them from going stale.

Donuts are delicious, but they can be a finicky treat to keep fresh for longer than a few days. You may be wondering “how long do they last” when they’re left at room temperature.

You can expect most donuts to go stale within three days.

Donuts are always better when they are eaten fresh. However, your cravings may make it difficult to resist that last stale donut. If you’re wondering how to revive a stale donut, it’s quite simple.

If your donut is less than three days old, your best bet is to put it in the microwave for fifteen seconds. This should be enough time to moisten the donut back up so it is less stale than before.

While the texture won’t be as delicious as a fresh donut, it does the trick and can satisfy your sweet tooth in a hurry if you’re really craving one!

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about How to Store Frosted Cupcakes to Keep Them Fresh. This article talks about the right way of storing frosted and unfrosted cupcakes in several different storage places. You can check out the full article here!

How Long Do Donuts Last In Containers?

As a general rule, if donuts are wrapped properly with plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container, they can stay fresh for up to three days at room temperature. In a refrigerator, donuts can last for up to 5 days when properly stored in an airtight container.

You Can Store Donuts In An Airtight Container
Donuts Can Stay Fresh Up To 3 Days In A Container At Room Temperature!

*By the way, for a long time, I was looking for a way to store my cookies without them breaking and losing their shape. I recently came across a great Set of Flat Storage Containers that worked great for storing my cookies flat in the fridge and freezer without breaking them! You can check out this Storage Set on Amazon!

This works the same for any flat baking creation including donuts!

Donuts should always be stored in one way or another if there is some leftover. If you are storing your donuts in containers, you can keep them fresh for up to three days when left out at room temperature.

You can make them last longer if you put them in the refrigerator or freezer. However, you risk freezer burn if you store them in the freezer without ensuring that they are thoroughly protected first.

Do You Need To Refrigerate Donuts?

Certain types of donuts do not have to be refrigerated if they are going to be eaten within two days. However, if the donuts are filled with custard or some sort of cream, they should be refrigerated if they won’t be eaten within a day. In a container, donuts can last for up to 5 days in a fridge.

While donuts eventually go stale within a few days, you can extend their shelf life if you put them in a temperature-controlled environment like the refrigerator. My best advice to you is to ensure that the container you use to store them has a well-fitted lid.

A slightly leaky lid is enough to cause your donuts to go stale within a day if you’re not careful.

If you’re wondering “how long do they last” when you’re storing them in a high-quality container, you’re in luck. By using the right airtight container you can keep them fresh for up to four days.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How to Store Muffins to Keep Them Fresh for Longer. This article talks about the proper ways to store muffins at room temperature, in the fridge, and in the freezer to keep them fresh. You can check out this article here!

How To Keep Chocolate Covered Donuts From Sweating?

In order to keep donuts from sweating, they should be placed in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If you are storing them at room temperature, you can line a plate with parchment paper and place donuts on it, wrapping the plate with plastic wrap to prevent sweating.

There’s nothing worse than a chocolate donut that’s lost its frosting! Fortunately, there are ways you can safeguard against that from happening in the first place.

You have three methods you can use to prevent chocolate donuts from sweating.

Make Sure Your Donuts Don't Sweat
Make Sure That Your Glazed Donuts Are At Room Temperature To Prevent Sweating!

The first method is to store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. The second method is to store them in food storage bags to prevent exposure.

The third method is to line a plate with parchment paper. Place your donuts on the covered plate. Then, cover your plate carefully with plastic wrap. This will help prevent your chocolate donuts from sweating so you can enjoy them even longer.

Can You Store Donuts In The Freezer?

Generally speaking, with the proper precautions, donuts can be stored in the freezer. The best way to store donuts in the freezer is to place them inside a specially designed freezer bag that is built to withstand extreme temperatures. Once properly stored they will keep fresh for up to four months.

Surprisingly, donuts actually can be stored in the freezer. However, you should take proper precautions to ensure they are well protected from extreme temperatures.

If you’re wondering how to protect your donuts in the freezer, it’s actually quite simple. Freezer bags have the proper insulation to keep your donuts safe from freezer burn. You may also want to sort your donuts out by type and layer them in single stacks to retain their shape.

When it comes to storing donuts in the freezer, you are probably wondering “how long do they last?” You might be surprised to know that they can keep fresh for up to four months if you have taken the proper steps to guard against freezer burn.

Can Donuts Spoil? Can They Go Bad?

In general, donuts can go bad and spoil. If the donut appears to have mold growth, the texture seems “off”, or there is a bad smell, then the donut has likely spoiled and should be thrown out. To prevent this, proper storage is required to retain freshness such as the usage of airtight containers.

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that means your donuts will eventually spoil too.

All Donuts Can Spoil
Glazed Donuts With Dairy Products Will Spoil Faster!

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article that talks about How To Store All Types of Baking Yeast. This article breaks down exactly what you need to do to store your opened unused yeast to keep it fresh for longer. You can check out this article here!

While you may have a little more time to enjoy your plain and glazed donuts, your cream and jelly-filled donuts will go bad more quickly due to their filling.

The first sign that your donuts are starting to go bad is that their texture will start to appear “off” and the glaze may start to melt.

You may notice they feel dry and aren’t nearly as soft as they were when you first bought or made them.

If you notice any signs of mold or discoloration, throw them away. Spoiled donuts can make you sick with indigestion or nausea. There’s no use crying over stale donuts though! Simply use your stale donuts as an excuse to whip up a fresh batch!

Final Thoughts

Donuts are a fun treat to have for breakfast, midafternoon snack, or dessert. Knowing how to properly store them to keep them fresh has allowed me to enjoy a delicious donut at any time of the day!

That’s why it is important to know how to store the donuts in all the different types of storage methods mentioned above. Just scroll to your storage method of choice and follow the steps!

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Fainna

My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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