Can You Freeze Donuts? Yes — And Here's Why You Should

The dos and don'ts for donut leftovers.

Everyone loves a donut. It's an indisputable fact that often leads to excess. Maybe the bright green glow of the Krispy Kreme proved too powerful, or maybe you went ham on the holiday-specific flavors at your local donut den. Did you finally brave that recipe you saved eons ago for a homemade version?

Now you've got enough to open your own stand at the farmer's market, not just satisfy your little family around the table. Don't worry — clear some room in the freezer and let no donut go to waste.

Related: How to Properly Store Doughnuts

Are Donuts Good After Freezing?

A donut can be positively delightful out of the freezer. Bare donuts show up best here, but you can freeze glazed, frosted, or even jam filled ditties (just be prepared for the additions to have altered themselves a bit. The glaze or frosting might be broken or the jam a little runny.)

Types of Donut to Avoid Freezing

Cream and custard filled don't tend to hold up well to freezing (due to the sog factor where filling meets dough), so I'd eat those straight away.

Leave powdered sugar donuts out of this. Between the moisture within the donuts and the humidity in the freezer, you won't get the best results. Those that do make the cut will stay tasty for up to 2-3 months.

How to Freeze Donuts

The need for freeze donuts is usually due to impulse — we get a little overzealous at the donut counter or a new recipe shocks us with the quantity . If you have the time to plan, opt for bare donuts and then decorate or fill them post freeze with your own homemade glazes and creams.

Related: How to Make Homemade Doughnuts

To get started, choose a large freezer bag (1 to 2 gallon) and grab two pieces of wax paper, smaller than the bag by a bit, so they slide in and out with ease.

Place one sheet of wax paper in the bag and add donuts in a single layer on top of the paper. Top donuts with another sheet of wax paper. Then, push as much air as possible out of the bag without smushing the goods and seal almost to the edge.

Finally, slide a straw into the last little unsealed bit and gently suck the air out of the bag. (Bonus points for all of you that purchased that vacuum sealer from the infomercial.)

More Freezing Tips

  • If your donuts are homemade, the best way to freeze them is unfilled and unglazed, after allowing them to come down to room temperature. Freeze filings like buttercream in their own bags and seal them.

  • For frosted donuts, pop them in the freezer on a cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze initially, then place them in a resealable bag. That way, the frosting won't adhere to the bag instead of your tongue.

  • Freezing the dough before it's cooked will allow you to have that fresh donut experience every time. For yeast dough, allow the first rise to occur, then cut the dough into donut shapes and freeze in a single layer for a few hours. Once they're solid, wrap each ring tightly in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Get the recipe: Sour Cream Donuts

How to Thaw Donuts

A good rule to follow is 10 seconds in the microwave on 50% power. Since donuts vary in size and density, you can tiptoe further in 7-second increments, taking care not to overheat your pastries.

If you've frozen homemade dough pre-rise, unwrap the dough and set it on the counter to rise a second time. Finally, fry in hot oil, bake, or pop into an air fryer.

What to Do With Donuts That are Already Stale

Make good use of your microwave and refresh your favorite glazed treat. 15 seconds should soften donuts right up. It won't be bakery fresh, but it'll do in a pinch. And it's certainly better than (shudder) throwing it away.