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How Long Do Donuts Last? Learn The Best Way To Store Them

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Donuts are one of the most beloved and popular sweet treats in the world. Whether it’s a glazed, chocolate, or cream-filled donut, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. However, as with any food, donuts have a limited shelf life.

How Long Do Donuts Last? Learn The Best Way To Store Them

So, how long do donuts last, and what’s the best way to store them? The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the type of donut, the ingredients used, and the storage conditions.

Some donuts may go stale or dry out more quickly than others, while others may hold up for several days. To maximize the lifespan of your donuts, it’s important to know how to store them properly. In this article, we will look at how long donuts last.

We’ll consider the facts that affect how long they remain fresh and explain the best ways to store them so that they stay delicious for as long as possible.

The Shelf Life Of Donuts

How long your donuts will last depends on a couple of factors.


The most important factor is the filling. Many donuts don’t have a filling at all but others have a cream filling.

Any donut that has a cream filling will have a shorter shelf life than donuts that don’t and it is important that these are kept refrigerated. The cream has dairy elements in it that will go bad and can cause illness if the donuts are not refrigerated.


Another important consideration is what the donuts are made of. The majority of donuts are cake-style donuts that have a denser dough but you can also make and buy yeast donuts. Cake donuts last a little longer than yeast donuts.

Donut Shelf Life

When talking about how long a donut will last, we’re looking at donuts left in a regular box or wrapper and left on the counter. We will get into how to prolong a donut’s shelf life in a moment!

Yeast DonutOne to two days
Cake DonutTwo to three days
Cream-FilledLess than a day

Yeast and cake donuts will become stale after the times listed in the table above. They will become hard and dry and may even start to grow mold, so it’s best that you eat your donuts as quickly as you can!

We don’t recommend leaving cream-filled donuts out of the fridge unless they are going to be eaten immediately.

How To Store Donuts To Keep Them Fresh For Longer?

How Long Do Donuts Last? Learn The Best Way To Store Them

You can keep your donuts fresh for longer by removing them from their bakery packaging and placing them into either an airtight container or a freezer bag.

If the donuts are glazed or frosted, make sure that you don’t pile them on top of each other as they will stick together. However, plain donuts can be layered together in the same bag.

Once your donuts are in an airtight container, they can be stored in either a dark and dry cupboard or the fridge. Any donuts that have a cream filling should definitely be stored in the fridge, but donuts without cream can be stored in either.

The dough that donuts are made out of can dry out and become mold quite quickly. Think of donuts as being similar to bread. That’s why it’s very important that your donuts are kept in an airtight container or bag.

If there is any air allowed in, your donuts will become dry and stale much quicker. We prefer using an airtight container such as one made from plastic. However, if you don’t have any of these to hand, freezer bags will work as well.

Is Refrigeration Necessary?

If your donut has a cream filling, then yes, refrigeration is absolutely necessary unless you’re going to eat your donuts immediately. We would also recommend putting your donuts in the fridge if it has frosting made from dairy products.

Other donuts, however, don’t need to be refrigerated. It won’t hurt them if they’re chilled and they may last a little longer, but non-cream-filled donuts will be fine outside of the fridge as long as they’re kept out of direct sunlight and in an airtight container.

Can Donuts Be Frozen?

Many bakery products can be frozen to extend their shelf life. Bread, for example, can be frozen for a few months without any issues. Donuts, however, aren’t as straightforward as bread.

There are some types of donuts that don’t freeze very well and others that can be frozen without any issues. The best donuts to freeze are plain donuts or those that are powdered.

These are pretty simple donuts and all of the ingredients included in the donuts can be frozen without any issues. The donuts will both freeze and thaw in a way that will keep them fresh and tasty for much longer.

Donuts that have a glaze can also be frozen but they may not freeze as well as plain donuts. This is because the glaze doesn’t always stand up to freezing as well as we would like it to.

When the glaze gets too cold, its structure can change a little so when the donuts thaw, you may find that the glaze becomes very messy. As long as you don’t mind your glazed donuts looking a little messy, you should be okay if you freeze them.

Unfortunately, most types of cream don’t freeze very well. This is especially the case with heavy cream, so whether a cream-filled donut will freeze well or not can differ from donut to donut.

Cream-filled donuts that use more artificial ingredients will freeze better than donuts that use fresher ingredients in their cream. You will need to try and see what happens if you’re not sure about the cream!

How To Freeze Donuts?

If you do decide to freeze your donuts, then here are our tips for success. Your first step is to correctly wrap and package the donuts. The best way to freeze them is in airtight freezer bags.

We recommend arranging them in single layers so that they don’t stick together but you can separate them with wax paper if you’re going to stack them.

Another tip to prevent glazed and frosted donuts from sticking is to freeze a single layer for an hour and then put a second layer in the bag. This will allow the glaze on the first layer to freeze and not stick. Once the donuts are frozen, they will last for around a month or two.

When you thaw the donuts, take them out of the freezer and allow them to defrost for at least 30 minutes. Uncover your donuts first as this will allow the moisture in the donuts to evaporate and will prevent the donuts from becoming soggy.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we looked at how long donuts will last and what can be done to make them last longer. Airtight containers are essential and you can put the donuts in the fridge to make them last a little longer. Freezing is also possible for most donuts.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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