We all know how donuts can turn into flavorless, hard dough the next day, which is far from the taste and texture we enjoy. The donuts we eat and love are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and incredibly delicious.
The last thing you want to do is throw away your leftover donuts, given that properly stored and reheated donuts can taste just as good as the fresh ones.
What is the best way to reheat donuts? The best methods you can use to reheat donuts are the microwave and the air fryer. If you don’t have these appliances, an oven, toaster oven, or frying pan can do the trick, too!
The best ways to reheat donuts
What are your favorite donuts? We know it can be hard to pick just one from all the delicious varieties, from glazed to chocolate-filled and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Donuts are a favorite pastry of many, and there’s hardly anyone that can resist them.
Regardless of your favorite donuts, and whether you make them at home or prefer to get them from your favorite local bakery, we already know that they simply won’t taste the same after a couple of hours – let alone the next day.
However, this isn’t the reason for you to throw away your leftover donuts since you can store and reheat them whenever you want. Reheating donuts, especially frozen, may seem like a huge hassle, but in reality, it isn’t all that complicated.
And what’s better than having donuts any time you want, without having to bake them and prepare them all over again? You can even make a huge batch at home and freeze them for future use once you see how easy it is to reheat them “back to life”.
To properly store your donuts, place them in an airtight container or a storage bag and put them in a freezer or fridge – depending on when you plan on using them. If you’re keeping them at room temperature, they must be stored in a cool, dry place.
Also, keep in mind that the donuts shouldn’t be left at room temperature for longer than 2 days. In this case, you should store the freshly baked donuts in a paper bag or a napkin to preserve their freshness as much as possible.
If you leave them out for too long, they will turn stale, hard, and flavorless, so you certainly want to store them in your fridge or freezer before this happens. The best thing you can do is store freshly baked donuts to make sure they remain fresh.
Also, if you’re preparing homemade donuts and you plan on freezing them, the best way to store them is without a glaze or topping. Simply store the freshly baked donuts once they cool off completely, and you can add the desired toppings when you reheat them.
What is the best way to reheat donuts? This may depend on the type of donuts you’re reheating, whether they’ve been frozen or refrigerated, and of course – on the appliances, you have in your home.
How to reheat donuts in the oven
Reheating your donuts in the oven is probably the best method, especially if you have a huge batch of donuts to warm up. When you think about it, the oven is the most spacious appliance you can use, and you can probably fit the entire batch in one tray.
Some people steer away from this method for two reasons. First, it requires pre-heating, so it will definitely take more time than other handy appliances. Second, it generates a lot of warmth and it is a real hassle to use it in the warm weather.
All that aside, the oven is quite possibly the most versatile method, since you can use it to reheat any kind of donut, whether it be bought, homemade, glazed, filled, or bare. Also, it will keep the outer layer crispy while heating up the inside nicely.
Here are the steps to reheat donuts in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Wrap each donut in a piece of aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out – especially if you want to reheat old donuts.
- The foil method is also a great solution if you’re looking to reheat glazed donuts, so it doesn’t melt all over the tray and other donuts.
- Place the wrapped donuts onto a tray and put them in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, check one donut to see if they’re heated up to your liking.
How to reheat donuts in the microwave
When it comes to the microwave, it is safe to say that many people have a love-hate relationship with this method. On one hand, it is extremely convenient and quick, while on the other, it may turn your food into mush if you’re not careful.
Just like with the regular oven, we suggest using aluminum foil to wrap up your donuts, especially if you’re looking to reheat cream donuts. Otherwise, you can end up with the cream filling melted all over the dish in your microwave.
Keep in mind that you cannot fit a huge batch of donuts in your microwave, so if this is the case, stick with the regular oven to save yourself a lot of time. The average microwave is a great solution for a couple of donuts, or to reheat mini donuts.
Here are the steps to reheat donuts in the microwave:
- Wrap each donut into a piece of aluminum foil and place them onto a microwave-friendly plate.
- In case you want to skip the foil part, or the donuts have no filling or topping, you can simply cover them with a piece of damp paper towel or damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Choose the medium setting and reheat for 20-30 seconds.
- Take the donuts out of the microwave and make sure they’re properly heated up.
How to reheat donuts in an air fryer
If you have an air fryer, perhaps you aren’t even aware of its reheating capability. It is, in fact, one of the best methods to heat up your food, since it doesn’t require preheating like a regular oven, and it doesn’t leave the food dry and tasteless.
An air fryer is a great method to reheat homemade donuts since it “revives” the dough and preserves all its flavors and aromas. You can use it to reheat both bare donuts, and the ones with a frozen topping and/or filling.
We also recommend using the aluminum foil or damp paper towel technique to prevent the dough from drying out but also to bring back the moisture into the donuts. What’s more, if you’re reheating stale donuts, you may also want to sprinkle some oil on top.
Here are the steps to reheat donuts in an air fryer:
- Set your air fryer to 350 °F.
- Wrap each of the donuts in a piece of aluminum foil (in case you want to reheat powdered sugar donuts, or any kind of donut with a topping), or cover them with a damp paper towel/kitchen cloth to soften up the dough.
- Add the donuts into the air fryer and let them reheat for about 5 minutes before taking them out.
- If you want a crispier dough, let them heat up for a bit longer and remove the damp paper towel/kitchen cloth.
How to reheat donuts in a toaster oven
When you don’t feel like using your big oven, a toaster oven can always come in handy, especially if you don’t have to reheat a huge batch of donuts.
It may not be as spacious as your regular oven, but it is certainly efficient enough to perfectly heat up your donuts.
Here are the steps to reheat donuts in a toaster oven:
- Set your toaster oven to 350 °F.
- Wrap each donut in a piece of aluminum foil, or cover them all with a piece of damp paper towel/kitchen cloth if you want a softer dough.
- For a crispier dough, just sprinkle/brush some oil onto the donuts.
- Reheat the donuts for about 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy to your liking.
How to reheat donuts in a frying pan
This method is the best solution if you want to reheat fried donuts since it’s the very same method that was used to prepare them. In case you’re looking for healthier options and you want to avoid any extra calories, this technique is definitely not for you.
Also, this option is not suitable for donuts with any kind of topping, and it can even be a bit risky with the filling inside. For these kinds of donuts, choose one of the methods we’ve mentioned above, while this one will work great for bare donuts.
This method is perfect if you want to reheat frozen donuts, and it also works wonders to reheat stale donuts, which may not end up as crispy and fresh using the other methods we’ve talked about.
Here are the steps to reheat donuts in a frying pan:
- Choose a deeper frying pan since you will be filling it up with oil.
- Fill up the frying pan with oil, as there should be enough oil for the donuts to “float” on top.
- Heat up the oil over high heat for a minute, then turn it down to medium heat before adding the donuts.
- Carefully add the donuts one by one, making sure they’re not touching as you don’t want them to stick to each other.
- Fry the donuts on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until you see a nice golden crust.
- Flip the donuts and cook them on that side for the same amount of time.
- Once the donuts reach that golden color, check the inside with a fork to make sure it isn’t frozen.
- Remove the donuts from the pan and place them onto a few pieces of paper towel which will absorb the excess oil.
Can you reheat donuts?
Yes, it is possible to reheat donuts and make them just as crunchy and flavorful as they were. While it is much easier to reheat donuts that have been refrigerated or frozen fresh, it is also possible to achieve this with stale donuts, too.
The oven is your best pick if you’re reheating a big batch of donuts since it will take less time than with other appliances that don’t offer as much space. However, similar results can be achieved using a microwave, air fryer, or toaster oven.
On the other hand, our best pick for reheating stale and frozen donuts is frying them in deep oil. While this is not the healthiest option, it is a no-brainer when it comes to both the flavor and the texture.