Fresh donuts have a shelf life of around 24 hours. You could probably eat them for 48 if you keep them in the fridge, but even then, you’d get a bit of that stale taste.
So what can you do to preserve your tasty treats if you couldn’t resist, and now you’re unsure what to do with leftovers from that huge special offer of Krispy Kreme doughnuts you picked up?
The first idea anyone would have is to freeze them, but can you freeze donuts? You absolutely can, and I have the best tips to help you so that when you defrost them, they still taste good.
I have to be straight with you – nothing beats fresh doughnuts. But if you have to freeze them, you’ll get the best possible results by using these tips.
Can You Freeze Donuts And Preserve The Taste?
Freezing donuts is easy, but it takes a little patience. The process is a little different depending on the kind of donut you want to freeze, but don’t worry – I got you covered.
How can you freeze donuts so they still taste just as delicious once you defrost them? By following the tips I have for you right here!
Items you will need:
• metal cookie sheet or baking sheet
• a piece of wax paper
• plastic wrap, cling film, or aluminum foil
• a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container
The key to freezing Krispy Kreme donuts or any other donuts is to keep them out of the air to avoid freezer burn and to keep them fresh for longer. Besides, freezer air contains moisture that tastes like the freezer, and if it gets on your donuts, they’ll taste like the freezer too.
Follow these steps for the best possible results:
1. Line a cookie sheet or baking sheet with a piece of wax paper.
2. Place the leftover donuts on the sheet making sure they’re far enough apart so that they don’t stick together. (You can do the same when freezing marshmallows.)
3. Freeze the donuts on the tray until they’re solid, at least 3–5 hours. If you don’t do this before you pack them, they might get squished before they harden.
For filled donuts or glazed donuts, you might want to wait even longer. You get the best results with plain donuts, but if you really want to freeze filled or glazed donuts, take special care.
4. (OPTIONAL, BUT RECOMMENDED) Wrap each donut individually in plastic wrap, cling film, or aluminum foil. I do the same when freezing croissants.
5. Place the donuts in a single layer into a plastic bag. It’s best to use a freezer bag. Remove as much excess air as possible and seal them. Pack only as many as you think you’ll defrost at a time to avoid breaking the seal when you take them out.
6. Label the bag with today’s date. Keep donuts in the freezer for about 3 months. Keep in mind that “freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, and recommended storage times are for quality only”, as stated by the USDA. Here’s more info about the shelf life of donuts.
Defrosting frozen donuts
When it comes to the taste, how you defrost your donuts is as important as how you store them.
According to the USDA, the best way to thaw frozen donuts (or any other food) is to take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge for a few hours, or even better, overnight.
This is the best and safest way to ensure that they’re as close to their state before freezing as possible. You can speed things up a bit by keeping them on the countertop at room temperature, but it’s still safer to do it in the fridge.
Using the microwave to defrost donuts is not recommended – they can get tough really quickly, and any filling there is might not stay inside. You can try doing it in 30-second intervals while paying close attention.
After the donuts thaw, it’s possible to reheat them in the oven. This is why it’s best to freeze plain donuts because, at this point, you can glaze them or add a little powdered sugar.
Keep in mind that already glazed donuts will melt, and filled donuts will turn into sludge if reheated.
Bonus Tricks For Freezing Donuts
1. Freeze them at their most fresh
It’s best if you don’t wait for the 24 hours to pass since you bought or made them before freezing but instead do it as soon as you know you want to freeze them.
2. The easiest donuts to freeze are plain
They’re basically fried dough, and there’s nothing about them you need to take special care of. If you’re freezing donuts you made yourself, don’t add any toppings or fillings before freezing, but after you defrost them.
3. Don’t put them in the freezer until they’ve cooled off
If you’re freezing homemade donuts, wait for them to completely cool off before popping them into the freezer to avoid them getting soggy.
4. Wrap the donuts individually
This prevents them from coming into contact with air, so they will taste better thawed. In addition, you can defrost them one at a time.
5. Never freeze doughnuts after they’ve been defrosted
Never refreeze any food for safety’s sake. This includes cooked food, meat, and even frozen desserts like ice cream. Refreezing can cause contamination and spoiling.
6. Some fillings don’t freeze well
Sorry to say, but fillings like custard will never be the same as the day you bought the donut. After you freeze them, their consistency changes, and you will end up with something inedible after thawing. It’s best to eat your cream-filled donuts first, then freeze the plain ones.
Better A Frozen Donut Than No Donut
So do you have a box of Krispy Kreme donuts you don’t want to share, or are you tempted by the delicious leftovers from Dunkin’ Donuts and need to put them away? How can you freeze donuts so you can preserve these delicious sweet treats for later?
Follow this guide and make sure to pay attention to the tips I’ve given you to store donuts in the freezer and successfully defrost them.