No matter how much you love donuts, the chances are that you may end up with leftovers. The question is, how long do donuts last?
Since donuts are unlike other easy-to-store foods, we have attempted to summarize the most pertinent information for preserving these beloved desserts for as long as possible.
Also included are tips on checking whether the donuts are still good to eat or need to be thrown out.
What is the Shelf-Life of Donuts?
The shelf-life of the donuts depends on their type.
Plain, topped, or glazed donuts will last for about 1-2 days at room temperature and for about 7 days when packaged properly and kept in the fridge.
The cream-filled varieties require immediate refrigeration and will keep and remain fresh for about 3-5 days.
But remember that these are just rough estimates. The exact shelf-life of the donuts depends on when they were made, what ingredients are used, and how you pack and store them.
The Best Way to Store Donuts
We recommend that you store them in a sealed freezer bag or an airtight container if you want to preserve the donuts fresh, delicious, and, most importantly, safe for as long as possible.
If they are filled with cream – place them in the refrigerator as soon as possible. The plainer varieties can be stored in the pantry for 1-2 days or for longer in the fridge.
When left out in the air, the donuts will quickly start to dry out. To prevent them from drying, make sure to wrap them tightly in a sealed bag or stack them in an airtight container with as little access to air as possible.
The container option is a better idea, especially when storing cream-filled donuts, as it will help preserve their form.
Should Donuts be refrigerated?
While it is ok to leave plain donuts well packed at room temperature for one or two days, cream-filled varieties and those with dairy-based frosting or topping should be refrigerated as soon as possible.
If you decide to keep the plain, powdered, topped, or glazed donuts out of the fridge, then make sure that they are in a cool place out of direct sunlight or heat.
But even though it is not mandatory, you can prolong the shelf-life of plain donuts by storing them in the refrigerator too.
Whatever type of donuts you are refrigerating, make sure that they are properly wrapped, placed in resealable bags or airtight containers first.
This will prevent them from spoiling and drying out. And will also keep them delicious for longer.
Keep in mind that some frosting may melt and become messy at cooler temperatures as well.
Can You Freeze Donuts?
Not all types of donuts freeze well.
Plain and powdered donuts are more suitable types for freezing.
But ones with topping or glazing may melt and become messy and unsightly once you freeze and then thaw them.
The cream-filled donuts, especially those with heavy cream filling, are not suitable for freezing. The freezing and thawing results may vary depending on the type of cream used. Still, it is not recommended to store cream-filled and dairy-based cream in the freezer at all.
If you decide to risk and freeze your leftover donuts, here is the best way to do it:
- Pack the donuts in sealed freezer bags or airtight containers.
- If the donuts have glaze or topping and need to be thawed separately, then use wax paper or foil to pack them separately.
- Place the packed donuts in the freezer where you can keep them for up to 1-2 months.
- When it is time to defrost the donuts, take them out of the freezer, uncover them, and let them defrost at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. This will allow the excess moisture to evaporate rather than be absorbed.
Related: Best Freezer Container Reviews 2021: Top 5+ Recommended
How to Tell Whether the Donuts Have Gone Bad?
Here are some tips for checking whether the donuts are still safe and good to eat or whether they have gone bad and need to be discarded:
Use your sight. Inspect the donuts for any signs of color change, fuzziness, or mold. If you notice any of these indicative signs, then throw them away.
Use your smell. Sniff the leftover donuts. If they have a sour or other bad smell, then you should discard them.
Use your taste. If you are still unsure whether the donuts are good to eat, take a bite. If you don’t like what you taste, they are probably stale and need to be disposed of. Otherwise, you can go ahead and finish the delicious donut!
If you have kept cream-filled donuts for longer than five days in the fridge, it is advisable to throw them away even if they look and smell good for peace of mind and to prevent foodborne disease.
If you have stored them as recommended, then you can enjoy your leftover donuts without worrying.