How long do donuts last?
How long do donuts last?

Donuts are among the best tasty treats, but they’re not exactly known for their longevity. The best idea would be to buy as many donuts as you can eat for a day, but what to do if you made a bunch of them or you have leftovers after a birthday party?

How long do donuts last, and is there a way to prolong their shelf-life?

It is challenging to store donuts. Sometimes although you do everything you can, they’ll lose on their quality rapidly – you have stale donuts before you know it. But, knowing the average shelf-life and storage methods will help you preserve this tasty dessert as much as possible.

How long different types of donuts last?

Regular (unfilled) types of donuts, including plain and powdered donuts, glazed donuts, and topped donuts, can last one or two days in the kitchen counter or cabinet if you wrap them well. Their shelf-life in the refrigerator will be longer – up to a week.

How long do cream filled donuts last?

Donut filled with yellow cream
Donuts filled with dairy cream require refrigeration (

You can’t keep cream-filled donuts at room temperature. They demand refrigeration. You can keep them for three to five days until they turn stale.

There isn’t a general rule about donuts’ shelf-life. Sometimes donuts go bad even sooner than we just said, and sometimes they don’t become stale after you keep them for a few days.

Type of donutsKitchen cupboardRefrigerator 40°F
Regular donuts (unfilled)Up to 2 daysUp to a week
Cream-filled donuts3 to 5 days
How long do donuts last?

Once you notice donuts have gone stale or grow mold, throw them away.

How to store donuts fresh for longer?

Powdered donuts
Plain and powdered donuts can be stored both ways – at room temperature and in the fridge. (

If you expose donuts to fresh air, they will dry out and become stale sooner. No one likes stale donuts. To keep donuts fresh, you have to keep air away – seal them or wrap them tightly. That way, they’ll last longer than they usually would.

Store donuts in an airtight container or freezer bag. Donuts are often topped or glazed, and the bag will stick to the donuts’ surface. If you have regular fresh donuts, you can layer them up or even keep them in a bag, but if they’re glazed, store them one layer at a time, so they don’t stick together. An airtight container is a better option since freezer bags tend to make a mess.

Still, if you decide to use bags, make sure to squeeze excess air.

Put air container in the fridge or kitchen cupboard. You have to keep cream-filled donuts in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or less, or they will go bad quickly.

Is refrigeration good for donuts?

Glazed donuts
The only problem with glazed donuts is that refrigeration can cause donuts to absorb icing (

Cold temperatures prolong donuts’ shelf-life. If you bought (or made) donuts filled with cream or glazed ones, you must be aware that dairy products are base for cream filling. Dairy products, such as milk or heavy cream, are perishable. Therefore you must be careful not to end up with food poisoning.

If donuts are plain, without glaze or cream, leaving them at room temperature is excellent. But, you still have to keep the air away – wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or wax paper, or close them in airtight containers to retain freshness. Keep donuts away from direct sunlight or source of heat – heat will make donuts dry out faster. Sprinkles and topping also “don’t like” heat.

Although refrigeration of plain donuts isn’t mandatory, even plain donuts will stay fresh longer in the refrigerator.

Tip: Keep in mind that storing in the refrigerator can cause icing or glazing to melt, and the donut (yeast or cake) will absorb it. That will generate a soggy donut you won’t enjoy. If you’re preparing for some celebration and there is a possibility you’ll have leftovers, buy a couple of donuts and test what’s the best storage method. If donuts absorb icing in the fridge, keeping donuts fresh will be best at room temperature.

Can you freeze donuts?

Donuts with sprinkles
Be careful when freezing donuts with sprinkles – they could ruin during thawing (

Donuts are made out of everyday ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder or yeast, spices. There are no ingredients that are problematic to freeze. Therefore, you could conclude freezing donuts is safe. But it is not that simple. How well will donuts freeze depends on their type?

Regular donuts – plain and powdered donuts freeze well. They won’t have precisely the same taste and texture as if they were fresh, but they’ll still be pretty good once you thaw them.

You can freeze glazed and topped donuts, but the only problem is icing or topping – it could melt once you defrost donuts. It’s almost the same situation as refrigerating those types of donuts. They could absorb icing. If you don’t mind it, freeze them freely.

Cream-filled donuts are challenging to freeze. As you probably know, cream fillings are based on heavy cream. Heavy cream tends to separate after thawing. How will your frozen donuts behave depending on the type of their cream fillings? Guess you’ll have to freeze donuts to find out since there is no general rule about freezing them.

How to freeze donuts?

To freeze donuts, you’ll have to prepare them for the freezing process:

  • Pack donuts. Using air tight container or freezer bag pack donuts. If you want to thaw them one by one, don’t freeze entire amount together. Wrap them individually in wax paper of aluminum foil. Storing donuts in plastic bag or airtight containers will prevent ice crystals forming on the donuts.
  • Put donuts in the freezer. You can keep frozen donuts for up to three months, but the sooner you eat them – the better.

How to thaw donuts?

You leave them in the fridge overnight when you defrost most baked goods. Things are different with donuts.

  • Defrosting donuts at room temperature. Take them out of the freezer and leave them at room temperature to defrost. Unwrap them or take them out of the bags or containers. If you leave them covered, donuts will absorb too much moisture and you’ll get soggy donuts.
  • Defrosting donuts at the microwave. Put donuts in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Let it cool and enjoy.
  • Defrosting donuts at the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put donuts on the baking sheet and let them warm for 5 to 10 minutes. Check are they warmed up. Let them cool and consume.

How to tell if donuts are bad?

To keep donuts fresh isn’t always the most straightforward task. You’ll recognize stale donut by its taste, but how to tell when it’s spoiled?

Give donuts an eye test – if there are mold formations or discolorations, donuts are not safe to eat. Could you give them a smell test? The off smell is secure sign donuts went bad. Taste them – if the donut has a weird taste that reminds of mold, give up and buy another package.