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How Long Do Krispy Kreme Donuts Last?

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It’s hard to resist a fresh Krispy Kreme donut but what if you end up storing it for later in the day or week? 

How long do Krispy Kreme donuts last? Krispy Kreme donuts can remain fresh for up to 48 hours but will quickly lose their quality and freshness over 4-5 days. You can store the donut in an airtight container for up to a week but you should try to eat it within the day for maximum texture and flavor.

Read below to learn more about how to store Krispy Kreme donuts, how long they will last in certain situations, and how to reheat them!

Storing Krispy Kreme Donuts

Krispy Kreme is known worldwide for its donuts and coffee. It is perhaps one of the best and most recognizable multinational donut brands that offers a range of delicious and fresh donuts with various glazes and fillings.

One reason why Krispy Kreme is so beloved is that it makes its donuts in-house and the company has a strong focus on freshness and quality. 

An example of this would be its simple glaze donuts, which have a “selling window” of just 12 hours after which they are required to be swapped out with fresh donuts to maintain quality. 

But do Krispy Kreme donuts only last for 12 hours? Well, no.

The thing is, most Krispy Kreme franchises make the donuts twice a day. This is also partly why the brand is so popular. Its neon “Hot Light” sign is iconic and signals when the donuts are made fresh and put on display!  

If you’ve never been lucky enough to watch the process live at a Krispy Kreme store, here’s a great video about how Krispy Kreme donuts are made fresh, from dough to to-go.

It is only due to policy that the donuts are required to be swapped out with fresh ones to keep customers coming in for more. In reality, the donuts can last a long time!

A Krispy Kreme donut bought fresh from the store can easily maintain its softness for up to the next day – but to get the most out of its flavor and soft texture, you will need to employ proper storage protocols.

If you wish to enjoy the donut the next morning then you can store it over the counter in an airtight bag away from heat, moisture, and sunlight.

This way the donut will remain fresh the next day and you will hardly notice any difference in its overall quality.

The refrigeration method is perfect for short-term storage – and for long-term storage, we recommend that you freeze the donuts the day they are bought. 

Check out these popular storage techniques below:


Storage Type: airtight container

Storage Duration: 3-4 days

Storing donuts in the refrigerator is kind of a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it is perhaps the best way to get the most out of the shelf life of the donuts, but on the other, it may also be the primary reason why the donuts become dry and overly chewy.

See, the way refrigerators work is by reducing not just the overall temperature but also moisture in the air. Keep in mind that cold air holds less moisture than hotter air due to the air particles being sparser in colder temperatures.  

This means that when continuously exposed to cold air, stored food will slowly dry up.

This is why you can even dry chilies or other food without having to expose it to sunlight – and since donuts contain a lot of moisture, they are almost destined to be ruined in the fridge.

So, how do you counter this?

There are several ways to protect the donuts from drying in the fridge, the first method is to store the donuts in an airtight container or bag. The bag will keep the moisture locked inside while also allowing the donut to cool down. 

The second way is to wrap the donut in foil, but we only recommend this method if you do not have a container or bag to store the donuts in.

Tightly wrapping the donuts can ruin their glaze and texture but you can’t also leave them loosely packed! 

If you just want to store the donuts overnight, then you can easily store them as it is or in the box they came in without shifting them to any container, since the donuts will only start to dry up after being exposed for 24-48 hours. 

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to store the donuts in the fridge for 3-4 days:

  1. Move the donuts into an airtight container or plastic bag.
  2. Store the bag in the coldest part of your fridge, preferably away from the door. 
  3. Make sure that the donuts remain refrigerated at 40F for the best experience. 

Freezer Storage

Storage Type: freezer-safe airtight container

Storage Duration: 2-3 months

This method is perhaps the best storage choice for several reasons. 

For a shelf life of up to 8-12 weeks, we recommend that you freeze the donuts by keeping them in the coldest part of your freezer at 0°F.

But before you do this, there are a few things to keep in mind!

First, make sure that you shift all the donuts into an airtight container. Try to avoid keeping the donuts in a bag since it can affect their overall shape and texture, especially if you pile other food over them.

Go for a freezer-safe and airtight container that can house all the donuts without overcrowding them. If you don’t have a large storage container then you can also layer the donuts by placing butter paper between each layer.

The airtight container is extremely important in this case because as the donuts freeze, the water molecules inside of them will expand, and given enough time, it may also negatively impact the texture of the donut making it less soft and chewier. 

The other reason why an airtight container is the best way to store the donuts is that it will also protect them from freezer burn.

Freezer burn occurs when there is excess moisture in food in the form of condensation or when the general moisture content in the food is high. 

If the donuts develop freezer burn, they will become significantly less tasty and may not even recover their original flavor or texture, even after they thaw. 

If you are looking for instructions on how to thaw the donuts then don’t worry, we’ll discuss heating methods in detail below.  

Here is how to properly freeze Krispy Kreme donuts:

  1. Move the donuts into an airtight container that is large enough to store all the donuts. You can also layer them with butter paper.
  2. Store the donuts in the coldest part of the freezer for up to 8-12 weeks.
  3. Keep the donuts frozen at 0F and do not continuously check up on them by opening the box or taking them out of the freezer. 

Room Temperature 

Storage Type: airtight container or box

Storage Duration: 3-4 hours

Storing the donuts at room temperature is only advised when you want to enjoy them after a few hours. This method is excellent for maintaining the freshness and softness of the donuts without affecting their flavor or texture. 

While you should avoid storing the donuts over the counter, you can keep them out in a cool and dry place for 3-4 hours. After that, you will have to store the donuts using the methods described above.

Keep in mind that Krispy Kreme donuts can be heavily glazed and may even contain filling which makes them the prime target for bacteria!

How To Reheat Or Thaw Krispy Kreme Donuts

Storing Krispy Kreme donuts is easy but heating them can be a bit tricky. 

The key to successfully heating frozen or refrigerated donuts is that you need to keep a constant eye on them.

Too much heat can cause the glaze to melt away while under-heating them will leave you with a dense and cold piece of sugary dough.

While we do have an article all about the best ways to reheat Krispy Kreme donuts, we’ll give you the shorter version below.

Here are a few great methods for reheating the donuts:

  1. Oven Method
  2. Microwave Method
  3. Pan Method

Oven Method

The oven method is a non-invasive and less aggressive way of heating a donut. Remember, donuts are very delicate and sensitive to heat due to the added glaze. While the dough can easily take on a lot of heat, it is the glaze that you need to protect! 

This is why heating a frozen or refrigerated donut using convection heating is so ideal. The oven will maintain a stable temperature and will allow the donut to heat from all sides without becoming too hot.

Also, there is a clever way to protect the donut from direct heat too! (more on this below)

The main disadvantage of this method is that it can take some time but trust us, sparing 5-10 minutes is more than worth it for hot and fresh Krispy Kreme donuts!

Here is how to reheat the donut using an oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Wrap the donut in foil and keep it on the middle rack. If you are using an electric oven then make sure that all the heating elements are turned on.
  3. Heat the donut for about 5 minutes and then carefully take out the donut. Check for doneness and adjust the heating time accordingly. 

Microwave Method

This method should be reserved for people who wish to heat the donut in the least time possible.

Microwaves are an excellent way to reheat any donut but there is a catch: microwaves are notorious for melting glaze and making the donuts “soggy.”

Microwaves heat food via microwave energy which causes the molecules inside the food to vibrate, leading to friction or heat – which is why this heating method is perfect for when you want to quickly heat food!

Here are detailed steps on how you can reheat a donut using a microwave:

  1. Place 2-3 donuts at a time. Make sure that you don’t overcrowd the donuts or they might not heat properly.
  2. Switch the power setting to medium for refrigerated donuts or on defrost mode for frozen donuts. Heat the donuts for 30 seconds.
  3. Check the donuts after 15 seconds by looking through the door of the appliance. If you notice the glaze dripping down on the side, then immediately turn off the power and take out the donut. Let it rest for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.  

If the donuts have not heated after 30 seconds, then add another 15 seconds while keeping an eye on the glaze. 

Pan Method

The pan method is the least ideal way to heat a donut but can come in handy when you don’t have access to a microwave or oven. 

The reason why this method is detrimental to the donut is that it uses direct heat. But if you use it the right way, the pan method can be an excellent way to quickly heat a cold donut within minutes. 

Here is how to do it:

  1. In a non-stick frying pan, lightly spray water and heat the pan to medium. Once the water droplets have evaporated, turn the heat to low and then place the donut at the center. 
  2. Cover the pan using a lid and let the donut heat for about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Check for doneness by inspecting the donut. If you feel that it is still cold then give it a few more minutes. Please keep an eye on the temperature of the pan. Try not to get it smoking hot for the best result! 

Tips And Tricks

Here are a few storage tips and tricks to get the most out of the quality of Krispy Kreme donuts:

  • Want to enjoy the donuts for a long time? Then divide the donuts into 2-3 plastic containers or bags. When you feel the urge for a quick bite, take out a bag and heat it as needed!
  • Freeze the donuts the same day that you buy them for the best experience. While you can also freeze them after 2-3 days, you should store them within 8-12 hours for maximum freshness. 
  • Thaw frozen donuts in the fridge overnight and then heat them using the steps above for fresher-tasting donuts! 
  • Label the storage containers with the date of storage so that you know exactly how long the donuts have spent in the fridge or freezer. 
  • Look for signs of spoilage before consuming any refrigerated or thawed donuts. Donuts with discoloration, a soggy exterior, a foul odor, or any type of growth must be discarded right away! 
  • Keep a close eye on center-filled donuts when using the microwave method as the filling may heat up more quickly than the surrounding donut. Start with 10-second intervals and add more as needed. 

Related Questions 

Krispy Kreme donuts are resilient enough to withstand a few hours at room temperature but are best stored either in the fridge or freezer. Now that you know how long they last, here are some related questions:

Can you refreeze a thawed donut?

No. Please avoid refreezing thawed or even refrigerated donuts.

Repeatedly heating the donuts will encourage bacterial growth and may even make the donuts dangerous to consume!

This is why you should divide and create portions of the donuts and store them separately. 

Can Krispy Kreme donuts last 10 days in the fridge?

Krispy Kreme donuts can last up to 7 days in the fridge and may even stretch to about 10 days due to the added preservatives and additives in the dough – but if they do spend that much time in the fridge, then they are likely to go stale. 

They may still be edible but will likely take on an altered flavor and appearance. Always check for signs of spoilage before heating stored donuts and discard them whole at the first sight of trouble!

Can you eat cold donuts? 

Yes. Donuts can be enjoyed both cold and warm. The default way to eat them is hot, but if you have just recently stored a fresh donut in the fridge, then you can eat it straight out of the refrigerator without heating it – provided that the donut was stored for less than 12 hours. 

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