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No one wants to start the day with a hard, stale donut...

By Tamara Gane
February 12, 2021
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Doughnuts from Heroes Donuts in Martinez, Georgia
Credit: Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Whether it's a special brunch or just your typical Friday morning, there is perhaps no greater joy than eating a hot, fresh donut. Treats like homemade apple butter donuts or the most recent seasonal special at Krispy Kreme are so good it's almost impossible to eat just one! On the rare occasion the entire dozen hasn't been devoured in one sitting, you'll need to store the rest of your donuts properly so they're not stale the next day. Otherwise, they'll get hard and dry and won't taste the same. Don't fret. We've got all the tips and tricks you need to keep your donuts fresh.

How to Store Donuts Overnight

1. Let them cool.

According to Miles Sao, owner of Heroes Donuts in Martinez, Georgia, it's easy to keep donuts bakery-fresh for two or three days. According to Sao, the trick is to let the donuts cool down before you store them. Otherwise, he says, they'll sweat and turn soggy (and if there's anything worse than a dry donut, it's a soggy donut).

2. Place them in a storage container.

Once the donuts have cooled to room temperature, Sao recommends placing them in a storage container. For these purposes, an airtight, food-safe, storage container is best. Frosted donuts should be placed in a single layer to prevent them from sticking together. Most of the time, you can stash the container in your cupboard, the exception is dairy-based cream-filled donuts, which should be stored in the refrigerator. If you don't have enough room, here are some storage containers that will make organizing your fridge so much easier.

If your donuts are from the local bakery, chances are they came in a cardboard box. You can leave them in this box, but be aware that since these boxes aren't airtight, the donuts will stay fresh longer if you wrap them in plastic wrap or foil first.

Can You Freeze Donuts?

You can freeze donuts for up to three months. The best method for this is placing them in a large freezer bag. If you're stacking the donuts on top of each other, separate the layers with a piece of wax paper so they don't freeze together. Press the sides of the bag to remove any excess air before placing it in the freezer. Pro tip: If you're freezing frosted donuts, arrange them in a single layer and put them in the freezer for about an hour, or until the frosting freezes, first. This will prevent the frosting from sticking to other donuts or the freezer bag.

What If Your Donuts Are Already Stale?

So, what if you didn't do any of this and you've got a hard, stale donut on your hands? We've got a solution for that, too! Simply pop it into the microwave for approximately 15 seconds until it softens up again.

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com