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How To Store Baked Goods

Baking can be a fun and rewarding pastime, producing a myriad of delightful treats to satisfy your sweet tooth or to share with friends and family.

However, preserving the freshness of these homemade goodies can be a challenge. With proper storage techniques, you can extend the shelf life of your baked goods and maintain their texture and taste.

This post will guide you through the best practices to store your baked goods efficiently.

Freshly baked blueberry muffins on a rectangular white plate with fresh blueberries.

Most baked goods can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container. For longer storage, freeze baked goods for up to 3 months. To thaw frozen baked goods, place them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Understanding The Basics

Shelf Life of Baked Goods

Every baked good has a different shelf life, depending on the ingredients used and the baking technique.

Bread, for example, can last up to a week, while muffins and cakes have a shorter shelf life of about 2 to 4 days. Pastries with cream or custard fillings need to be consumed more quickly, often within a day, unless refrigerated.

Storing at Room Temperature

Most baked goods like bread, cookies, and cakes can be kept at room temperature. The key is to keep them in a dry, cool place, away from sunlight or heat sources, which can cause them to spoil more quickly.

Storing in a bread bin, airtight containers, or resealable plastic bags can help maintain their freshness.


Baked goods with perishable fillings or toppings, like cream, custard, or cheese, need to be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigeration slows down the growth of bacteria and molds, thus extending the shelf life of these items.

However, the fridge can also dry out certain types of baked goods, such as bread and cookies, making them stale more quickly.

Essential Guidelines to Store Specific Baked Goods

1. Bread

Bread, especially homemade ones without preservatives, can go stale or moldy fast. Storing bread in a bread bin or a cloth bag can help retain its moisture and prevent it from going stale. Never store bread in the refrigerator, as it will cause the bread to dry out more quickly.

2. Cookies

Cookies can be kept fresh for longer periods by storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have different types of cookies, it’s a good idea to store them separately to prevent flavors from mixing.

If you’re a fan of cookies, our crowd-pleasing Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe remains fresh for days when stored properly in an airtight container at room temperature.

3. Cakes and Cupcakes

Unfrosted cakes and cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If they’re frosted with a cream or buttercream icing, refrigeration is necessary. However, always make sure to bring them back to room temperature before serving for the best taste.

4. Pastries

Pastries and croissants are best stored in airtight containers at room temperature to maintain their texture and taste. Remember, these baked goods should be consumed within 1-2 days for optimal freshness.

5. Pies and Tarts

Pies and tarts should be stored based on their fillings. Fruit pies can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but those with cream, custard, or meat fillings need to be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.

6. Danishes and Other Pastries

Danishes and other pastries, especially those with fruit or cream fillings, are best consumed the day they are made. However, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or two. If you need to store them longer, freezing is a good option.

Learn how to reheat cinnamon rolls in my guide to bring leftovers back to life.

7. Doughnuts

Doughnuts are ideally eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. Cream-filled doughnuts, however, should be kept in the refrigerator.

8. Brownies and Bars

Brownies and bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If they contain cream cheese or other perishable fillings, they should be kept in the refrigerator.

9. Biscuits and Scones

Biscuits and scones are best when eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. They also freeze well for longer storage. For a tasty treat that’s easy to store, try our blueberry scone recipe.

10. Muffins

Muffins can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for optimal freshness. Like most baked goods, they can also be frozen for longer-term storage.

By understanding the storage needs of different types of baked goods, you can maximize their shelf life and enjoy their deliciousness for longer!

Here is a popular blueberry muffin recipe you should give a try!

A Handy Table for Your Baked Goods

Absolutely, here is the updated table including the new baked goods:

Baked GoodStorage LocationShelf Life
BreadBread bin/Room temperatureUp to 1 week
CookiesAirtight container/Room temperature1-2 weeks
Unfrosted CakesAirtight container/Room temperature2-4 days
Frosted CakesRefrigerator3-5 days
PastriesRefrigerator1-2 days
Pies and TartsRoom temperature/Refrigerator (based on filling)2-4 days
DanishesAirtight container/Room temperature/Freezer1-2 days/Longer if frozen
DoughnutsAirtight container/Room temperature/Refrigerator (if cream-filled)1-2 days
Brownies and BarsAirtight container/Room temperature/Refrigerator (if cream-filled)3-4 days
Biscuits and SconesAirtight container/Room temperature/Freezer1-2 days/Longer if frozen
MuffinsAirtight container/Room temperature/Freezer2-4 days/Longer if frozen

Top Tips for Long-term Storage

Freezing is Your Friend

For long-term storage of most baked goods, freezing is the best option. Here’s how:

  • Wrap the goods tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, or place them in a freezer bag. This double layer helps prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the package with the date. Most baked goods can be stored in the freezer for up to three months without a significant loss of quality.
  • Defrost frozen baked goods at room temperature. Do not use the microwave, as it can make them hard and chewy.

How to tell if baked goods are bad

Baked goods, like all food items, eventually go bad. Here are several signs to help you determine if your baked goods have spoiled.

Visible Mold

The most obvious sign that baked goods have gone bad is the presence of mold. Mold can vary in color from white to green to black, and it might appear as fuzzy patches on the surface of your baked goods. It’s crucial to discard moldy food items immediately to prevent the spread of mold spores to other foods.

Unusual Odors

Spoiled baked goods often have a sour, musty, or otherwise off-putting smell. If your baked goods don’t smell like they should, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not consume them.

Altered Texture

The texture of baked goods changes as they begin to spoil. Bread that has gone bad may become extremely hard and dry, or it might turn damp and mushy. Cookies that were once crisp might now feel soft and chewy, or a moist cake may now be excessively dry.

Change in Flavor

If you’re unsure whether a baked good has gone bad, you can take a small taste. If the flavor is off or doesn’t taste like it normally does, it’s best to stop eating it.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety. If you have any doubt about the freshness of your baked goods, it’s best to discard them. The cost of replacing a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies is much less than the cost of getting sick from consuming spoiled food.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Store Baked Goods

Whether or not to refrigerate depends on the baked good. While items with cream or custard fillings need refrigeration, it can dry out bread and cookies.

Yes, most baked goods can be frozen for later use. Ensure they are well-wrapped to avoid freezer burn and consume them within three months for the best quality.

Frosted cakes, especially those with cream or buttercream icing, should be stored in the refrigerator. However, they should be allowed to come to room temperature before serving.


Storing baked goods properly helps maintain their flavor, texture, and freshness, and it’s just as important as the baking process itself.

By understanding the storage needs of different baked goods, utilizing techniques like refrigeration and freezing, and making a storage plan, you can extend the enjoyment of your delicious creations.

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