How To Store Donuts So They Stay Fresh Overnight

Donuts don't usually last long — not because they spoil particularly quickly, but because we tend to polish them off before they get the chance. When you arrive home with a baker's dozen, should you leave the donuts on the counter for easy access, stick them in a cabinet, or can they go in the fridge? How exactly do you store a donut?

The answer is, it depends on the donut. If it's a yeast-based donut, which has a fluffy texture and sweet taste, it can last in a sealed container at room temperature for about one to two days. If it's a cake donut, which is crispier on the outside with a tender inside, it should last for a few days longer at room temperature so long as it's also closed shut inside a container. If anything's got a creme or jelly filling, keep it in the fridge and assume it won't last as long — the rules are different when it comes to dairy because it spoils more easily, and jelly fillings can grow moldy.

Keeping your donuts safe

The ideal sealed container for storing donuts is not the cardboard takeout box you got from the bakery. Those boxes are convenient for getting your donuts home, but they won't stave off staleness or spoilage. Instead, you want to use a resealable zip-top bag or airtight container. Donuts can go into the fridge as well, and the colder temperature can keep them from going bad for a few extra days, but the donut's texture will harden and it might become soggy as its icing becomes runny. So even if it's not stale, it won't feel entirely fresh either.

If you really want your donuts to last, you can freeze them as well for up to three months. Krispy Kreme recommends freezing donuts and then thawing and reheating them with a microwave to preserve their freshness over longer periods. If you freeze multiple donuts, make sure they're not touching each other or have wax paper separating them, otherwise they'll stick together.

Different donuts

Cake donuts have a bit more natural longevity as they rely on baking powder to rise, whereas yeasted donuts can go stale quicker. Yeasted donuts are considered to be the classic kind for glaze and fillings, while cake donuts are commonly seen in the form of apple cider or chocolate. Lots of bakeries and chain shops will have less common kinds of donuts or donut-like pastries, but they have similar rules for fresh-keeping.

For example, French crullers are donuts with a twisted shape that usually involves a separate pâte à choux base and can last two to three days even if they're best served on the day they're baked. Bear claws are sometimes baked as donuts, in which case they follow the same rules as a yeast donut, although other times they're a separate pastry that can last a few days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. The same goes for buttery brioche donuts, which are also made using yeast.

Recommended