Can you freeze donuts

Donuts are one of the most delectable sweet treats in the world. There’s nothing like biting into a crispy, fluffy, freshly baked donut. They are served at birthdays, graduation parties, and other special occasions. And if you find yourself with a few leftovers, here are the best tips for freezing and defrosting donuts.

Donuts can be frozen for 2-3 months. The best way to freeze is to place them in a single layer in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. To defrost donuts, remove them from the freezer and leave them on a plate at room temperature. You can also reheat them in an oven, air fryer, microwave, or skillet to warm them up.

Colorful frozen donuts

This fried treat is not known for its long shelf life. It often goes stale the day after you purchase it. They aren’t the easiest treat to store; if they’re not stored properly, they taste terrible and become inedible.

Knowing how to flash freeze and heat your donuts correctly will ensure they stay fresh. So you can eat them without compromising on their quality when you’re craving something sweet.

How Do You Defrost And Reheat Frozen Donuts?

Freezing and defrosting donuts. Did you know there are a few ways to defrost this dessert food?  

Each method will impact a donut differently, but the best way to keep this sweet treat’s texture and quality is to leave it at room temperature to thaw. Your next best option is to use a skillet. This method keeps the donut’s texture and warms it up but can impact the glaze slightly.

Defrost In An Oven

To defrost in an oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the Doughnuts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake them for 5 minutes. Once they feel warm, remove them from the oven and eat immediately. 

This method is ideal if you want to heat lots of them at once, but it can dry them out.

Defrost In A Microwave 

Remove the donut from the freezer-safe container or resealable bag and place it on a microwave-safe plate—microwave for roughly 10 to 15 seconds or until it’s warm. Be careful not to overheat it, and eat while still warm. Once cool, it can go stale very quickly. 

This method is excellent if you’re in a rush to warm up your sweet treats and have only one or two to reheat.

Reheat In A Skillet

To reheat a donut in a skillet, grease the skillet, place it, and warm it over medium heat. Sprinkle it with a bit of water. Cover the skillet and heat for one to two minutes (you don’t want to leave it in for too long)

This is one of the best ways to reheat the glazed variety. The dough is soft and warm, and the glaze is just as good as a freshly baked and glazed donut.

Frying Donuts

Defrost By Re-frying 

There are three ways to fry your donuts to defrost them: air frying, deep frying, and pan frying.

To fry them in a pan, use butter or hot oil. Place them into the pan and fry on both sides – be careful not to make them too crispy.

While this is a quick way to reheat them and get that crispy outer layer, it can leave the inside very dry and doesn’t work well for glazed ones.

Bring To Room Temperature  

Leaving a donut at room temperature is an easy way to defrost it. It might sounds very obvious…because it is.

One alternative or add-on step to do this quicker is to put the frozen donuts in a resealable freezer bag and seal it tightly. Submerge the bag in warm (not hot) water for a short period, usually about 10-20 minutes, until the donuts have thawed.  

This method is great if you want to retain as much of the donut’s original taste and texture, but it is longer than other methods. Also, you might prefer them nice and warm anyway.


Are Donuts Good After Freezing Them?

Donuts can stay fresh after freezing them as long as they are frozen before they go stale and are stored correctly in the freezer.

The best varieties for freezing are plain, sugar donuts, and glazed because they can be reheated easily while retaining their original shape and texture. The cream-filled donuts and thickly glazed types are not the most suitable for freezing because, when heated, it affects the glaze’s consistency and the filling’s texture.

The cream and custard-filled type should be eaten immediately as they don’t freeze well and tend to become soggy when you reheat them.

Specialty donuts

Is It Okay To Reheat Frozen Donuts?

It’s perfectly fine to reheat bare donuts, but this depends on the type and heating method. Warming them in the microwave is the quickest and easiest option for most. They will be soft and warm, and this won’t compromise the original flavor.

As much as we love the stuffed or filled variety, they are more challenging to reheat. These aren’t likely to taste as good when warm. But, if you’re looking to buy a donut that you can warm up the next day, the plain, cinnamon sugar, or lightly glazed is perfect. 

Can I use my Air Fryer to defrost donuts?

Using an air fryer to defrost some types of donuts is not the best option. Air fryers are designed to cook food by circulating hot air around it, which can lead to uneven defrosting and potentially cause the donuts to become overly dry or crispy.

However, since some air fryers have now functions flike defrost or reheat, as long as you keep close attention and experiment with times and temperatures, you can give it a go.

I am currently trying to find the right way to do it so it does not get overdone, dry or the glaze melted! I’ll keep you posted when I reach success lol

How do you Unfreeze Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?

Yes. To unfreeze Krispy Kreme donuts, you can use several methods as described above. The simplest is to place the frozen donuts on a plate at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can use a microwave on a defrost or low-power setting, being cautious not to overheat them. 

Another method involves placing the frozen donuts in a sealed plastic bag and submerging the bag in warm (not hot) water for about 10-20 minutes.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

For a gentler thawing process, preheat your oven to a low temperature (around 200°F or 93°C), place the frozen donuts on a baking sheet, and warm them for a few minutes.

 Regardless of the method chosen, be careful not to overdo it to preserve the donuts’ texture. Once thawed, enjoy them at room temperature or briefly warm them if desired, though freshly purchased Krispy Kreme donuts are best enjoyed soon after being made.  

Freezing And Reheating Various Donuts

There are many different donut shapes and types but this dessert can be broken down into two simple categories: the yeast and the cake donut. Some of these treats have frosting, others are filled with buttercream, chocolate or jelly, but not all can be frozen and heated in the same way.

Here’s a list of the most popular types we love and a simple guide on how to freeze and reheat them:

The Twist Donut And Donut Holes

A twist donut is made from a yeast dough and shaped into a twist. These are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and are accompanied by a thin glaze or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. These delicious confections are somewhat of a cross between a beignet and a churro. 

Donut holes were traditionally made from frying the dough taken from the center of a donut. They are small round pieces of deep-fried dough dipped in glaze or cinnamon sugar. They’re so moreish, we can’t say no to eating more than one of these! 

It’s easy to freeze these since they have the same toppings: a light glaze or a cinnamon sugar coating. This makes them easy to freeze. For the glazed type, you’ll want to place it in a container in a single row; you should avoid stacking them on top of one another, as this can affect the glaze when you defrost them. 

If they are coated with cinnamon sugar, you can place them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Before freezing, ensure there’s no excess air in the zip lock. Air affects humidity and they’ll be very dry when you heat them up again.

You can also wrap them in aluminum foil, wax paper or plastic wrap to protect them better.

To reheat the glazed variety, place it in a skillet on low to medium heat with a bit of water and wait till they are warm. To reheat the cinnamon sugar ones, put them in the microwave for roughly 10 seconds or until warmed through.

Chocolate Doughnuts

Glazed And Frosted 

The glazed donut is likely the most popular in America and is loved by most dessert lovers due to its melt-in-the-mouth airy texture. 

Frosted donuts are versatile and come in many flavors, like strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. These confections are topped with sprinkles, can be baked or fried, and are best enjoyed straight after being frosted.

To freeze this glazed and frosted confection, place them on a baking tray in a single row and put them in the freezer for an hour until the frosting is frozen. This makes them less likely to stick to one another. After an hour, put them in a zip lock bag, defrost them, and return them to the freezer.

To reheat a glazed or frosted donut, place it in a skillet with a bit of water or an ice cube, cover with a lid, and let it heat up. This ensures the frosting isn’t spoilt and is warm and soft inside.

Jelly And Cream Or Custard Donuts

A jelly donut is filled with jam and sprinkled with sugar. These are heavenly when eaten fresh. The cream variety is usually long or round and filled with a cream filling. This filling could be raspberry cream, pastry cream, vanilla cream, or custard. But you’ve got to love the simple pastry cream filling.

Don’t freeze and reheat these; they won’t taste the same. The filling can become soggy when warmed, and the cream and custard varieties are best kept in the fridge.

Plain And Powdered Donuts

The plain donut is simple. It’s unglazed, deep fried, and best eaten straight out of the frier. The powdered type is exactly like the plain one but with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, perfect for those who love the plain one but have a sweet tooth.

These types are the best to freeze and reheat. They can be heated in many different ways, including in the microwave, re-frying, and oven, while retaining their original texture. If a plain donut doesn’t defrost well and tends to be dry, you can always add a glaze to soften it up again.

To store these, place them in an airtight container before freezing. Only stack the powdered sugar ones if you are okay with sprinkling them with powdered sugar when you reheat them.

When Should You Put Donuts In The Freezer?

If you have leftovers, it’s best to freeze them as soon as possible. You can refrigerate them first, but this doesn’t extend its shelf life. If a donut is left at room temperature for too long, it starts to go stale and won’t be as tasty the next day (depending on the type).

Store-bought vs. homemade will make a huge difference.

These pastries should always be kept in an airtight container when they aren’t being consumed. This helps keep them fresh and soft. If you have leftovers but aren’t ready to freeze them, keep them in an airtight container until it’s time to put them in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Stale Donuts?

You can freeze a stale donut, but it won’t make it taste better. The best way to soften anything baked or fried that’s gone stale is to place it in the microwave for a few seconds until it’s soft and warm. The warmth from heating will make it easy to eat but may impact the frosting, texture, and filling.

If you want to freeze them but don’t want to reheat and eat them, you could always use them to make something else like a bread puddingtrifle, or pineapple cakes.

Is It Better To Refrigerate Or Freeze Donuts?

Some treats don’t freeze well and should be kept in the refrigerator or consumed immediately. A filled donut should be placed in the fridge; these don’t do well in the freezer. If you want to eat it within a day or two, then it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. But if you want to keep them for a month or longer, it’s best to keep them frozen.

They have a longer shelf life when frozen compared to refrigerated. When stored in the fridge, they can last three to four days and up to three months when frozen.


Freezing and defrosting donuts is easy when they’re stored correctly. You don’t have to compromise on the taste of your favorite treat, and there are multiple ways to reheat them. Whether it’s a few seconds in the microwave or gently baked in the oven, you can still enjoy your favorite donut even after freezing it!

Needless to say baking your own donuts (or cookies, or bread…) is always the best option. That will allow you to freeze them when they are still dough. You can also make your own homemade glazes and freeze them in bags to use later when you defrost them!

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