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Is it breakfast? A snack? A dessert? Or the perfect accompaniment to coffee? Donuts have a special place in our hearts and stomachs as the delectable fried dough that is often covered with an array of flavors, glazes, fillings, and toppings. Whether you buy one or a dozen, there is a flavor out there for everyone.
I usually pop my donuts in the fridge as soon as I get them, but this ends up making the donut hard and dry. So, let’s look at the best ways to reheat donuts so they stay soft, warm, and delicious.
Donuts are delightful any way you wish to have them, but to retain their softness, a few extra steps make all the difference. An important aspect to retain your donuts’ freshness is to store them properly and reheat them with care.
Reheating Donuts in the Microwave
While the oven is usually considered the best way to reheat most things, the microwave is hands down the best way to reheat donuts with the most satisfying results. Not only is it super simple and quick, but it also resulted in the softest and most satisfying donut.
- Place your donut on a microwave-safe plate.
- If the donut is still fresh, just a couple of hours old, then just pop it in and blitz it for 20-30 seconds.
- If your donut is older than a day or has been refrigerated, then cover the donut with a slightly damp towel and then microwave it for 20-30 seconds.
- The towel helps retain the moisture, in turn keeping it soft.
- If your donut is not fully warm yet, keep heating it at 10-second intervals.
- In the case of glazed donuts, do not overheat as the glaze will start melting.
The biggest advantage of this method is that it is clearly the most time-efficient and simple. You can also heat multiple donuts at a time.
The only disadvantage is that the donuts usually come out really hot, so handle them with care.
Reheating Donuts in the Oven
While this method is equally simple, it can be a bit laborious because of the extra steps involved. But since donuts are at stake, it is definitely worth it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place your donuts on it.
- If your donuts are stale or very dry, then sprinkle some water on the donuts.
- Cover each donut with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 5 minutes. If the donuts are not warm enough, bake for another couple of minutes.
- Carefully unwrap each donut, allow it to cool, and consume.
The biggest advantage of this method is that you can reheat a lot of donuts at once and they will all get evenly warmed.
The biggest disadvantage is that requires quite a bit of prep, and the donuts don’t come out as soft as when heated in a microwave.
Reheating Donuts in the Air Fryer
Honestly, while this is pretty quick and straightforward, the donuts weren’t as appetizing. The air fryer warms up the donuts but doesn’t soften them.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Line the air fryer with parchment or lining paper, this not only catches anything that crumbles or melts, but it makes it easier to take out and handle the donuts.
- Place the donut in the air fryer and heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully remove by holding the edges of the lining paper. Allow it to cool before you eat.
The plus side of this method is that it is so easy and super quick. You pretty much just pop it in and take it out, and the donut does come out heated quite evenly.
The downside is that the donut is still hard. The air fryer method warms it up well, but the donut doesn’t have a soft, pillowy texture to it and is instead dense.
Reheating Donuts on the Stove
If you don’t have a microwave or oven, then heating your donuts over the pan on the stove is an option. It is not the most efficient way, but it gets the job done.
- Heat the pan on the stove over low heat.
- Place the donuts on the stove. Cover with a lid and let it heat for about 2 to 5 minutes.
- If your donuts are really old or stale, add a splash of water to the pan, the steam will help soften it up.
- You can also add a little oil or butter to the pan, this will give your donut a nice, crunchy, exterior.
- Once warm, let the donuts cool down before consuming.
The biggest upside to this method is that everyone has access to a stove and pan. And this will work on gas, electric, or induction stove. And it is pretty easy to reheat on a pan.
The disadvantage of this is that the donuts do not always cook as evenly as you’d want. The exterior gets much hotter, and the butter or oil adds some crunch to it.
If it is just for a day, donuts can indeed be stored in the pantry or kitchen cupboard. Just keep them in an airtight container. You can also store donuts in a paper bag, but because they can’t be fully closed, they will harden with exposure to air, and they will also be at a higher risk of attracting ants and other insects.
If you want your donuts to last for more than a day, then place them in an airtight container and pop them in the fridge. The donuts last much longer and are fresher in the fridge. But be aware, that although they don’t spoil, they do decline in taste and quality.
One of the best ways of storing donuts for a long time is by freezing them. Donuts freeze well and are quick and easy to reheat and eat. Place your donuts in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer. It is recommended that you use parchment paper between each donut so that they don’t stick together and also so that you can take out just the number of donuts you want to warm up. You can also individually wrap each donut while freezing.
To thaw the donuts, either microwave them directly in 20-second intervals or let them sit out for about an hour until they reach room temperature. The donuts can also be left in the fridge overnight.
Donuts will stay good outside, in the pantry to the kitchen, for about a day or two.
Donuts will stay good in the fridge for about a week. Cream or custard-filled donuts have to always be refrigerated and they will stay good for about 3 to 5 days.
Frozen donuts will stay good for about 3 months in the freezer.
Donuts don’t immediately go bad, but they do go stale and get hard pretty quickly