Sweet, sticky, airy, and deep-fried, donuts are a popular sweet treat in many countries. They can have a playful appearance covered in colorful sprinkles or have a luxurious filling with elaborate decorations.
Whichever type it is, it’s always a treat to eat donuts that are freshly made. Unfortunately, they don’t have a very long shelf life.
Eating your entire batch, or a full box of store-bought donuts in one or two sittings may not be a good idea, but how can you prevent the leftovers from having to go to the waste bin? Freeze them!
Yes, you can store donuts in the freezer to successfully prolong their shelf life for up to three months. There are, however, a few things you need to know to prevent the sweet treats from spoiling during freezing.
Below is a full guide to freezing doughnuts.
Types of Donuts
A donut (or doughnut) is fried dough topped or filled with sweet components such as chocolate glaze, icing, sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, cream, custard, jelly or fruit preserves.
Donuts are typically ring-shaped with a hole in the middle, or a solid ball-shape with a filling piped inside.
The batter is a flour dough made with flour, eggs, raising agents, milk, sugar, oil, and flavorings. Once fried and cooled, the donuts are then glazed or filled. They can be homemade or purchased at general food stores, bakeries, and food stalls.
Can You Freeze Doughnuts?
The good news is that you do not need to waste a single donut that you have left. Donuts can be frozen and enjoyed in the future as is or incorporated into some great recipes.
If not frozen when fresh, or protected well from air and moisture during freezing, the donuts will emerge from the freezer as tough and chewy confections. Just as important as the freezing method is to preserve the texture, so is the way in which the donut is thawed.
Donuts are best frozen without a filling. Plain donuts, those with sugar-glaze, chocolate glaze, a powdered sugar dusting, or cinnamon sugar coating will freeze well. Donuts that have a cream, custard, or fruit filling should not be frozen as the filling will separate, spoiling the smooth and creamy texture and also make the donut soggy.
How To Freeze Glazed Donuts
Donuts should be frozen as fresh as possible. If you do not think you are going to eat leftover donuts within 2 days of being made, rather freeze them. The older they are when freezing, the poorer the quality will be on thawing.
Step 1: Flash Freeze
Prepare a metal cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Spread the donuts out on the sheet in a single layer so they don’t touch each other. Place the baking tray in the freezer for just a few hours until the donuts and glaze are frozen hard.
Step 2: Pack
Remove the frozen donuts from the freezer and pack them into resealable freezer bags or airtight container. The flash freeze method should prevent the donuts from sticking together.
Press any air out before sealing the freezer bag ensuring minimal contact with air and moisture.
Step 3: Label and Freeze
Label the packaging with the date to keep track of how long the donuts have been frozen and place them in the freezer.
How To Freeze Plain Donuts
Step 1: Cool
Donuts that have been freshly made should be left to cool completely before freezing. Once they have cooled to room temperature, you can proceed to package them.
Step 2: Wrap
Wrap each donut individually in plastic wrap. Make sure the entire donut is well sealed and that no gaps are left where air can enter. Contact with air will cause freezer burn.
Step 3: Bag It
Place the individually sealed donuts in a freezer safe bag and press out all the excess air before sealing the bag. Don’t fill the freezer bag so much that the donuts get squashed. Alternatively, wrap the donuts in a layer of aluminum foil, ensuring that all the corners are fully enclosed.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the packaging with the date to keep track of how long the donuts have been stored. Place them in the freezer being careful that other items won’t flatten them.
How To Thaw Frozen Donuts
You can thaw donuts on the kitchen counter at room temperature. Transfer the frozen donut from the freezer onto a plate and leave it to thaw for an hour or slightly more if needed.
Remove the wrapping from glazed donuts when thawing so that the donut glaze does not stick to the cling film once defrosted.
Donuts can be warmed in the microwave, however, limit the microwaving time to 15-second intervals and check continuously to prevent overheating as this will cause the dough to become hard.
We don’t recommend that you re freeze thawed donuts.
Whether store-bought, homemade, chocolate glazed, or sprinkled with sugar, donuts are a sweet treat best served in moderation. That makes freezing a great way to portion a batch of donuts to last for a couple of months of enjoyment.
Fillings and glazes are best added once thawed when possible. Always freeze the donuts fresh and make sure they are well protected from contact with air and moisture to preserve the best quality.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the thawed donut, there are lots of other delicious ways to incorporate it into desserts, sweet, or even savory treats. Freezing donuts saves money, food waste, and ensures that there is always a yummy snack on hand.
Up Next: How To Reheat Donuts
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