The Quickest Way To Rescue A Stale Donut

It's easy to see why an old donut might need a bit of freshening up. Whether you're dealing with a case of an eyes-bigger-than-stomach moment or decided to sneak home a few of the office leftovers (we don't judge), those tempting sugary treats are always worth going back for. And if they happen to be on the stale side, they aren't necessarily destined for the trash bin — they might just need some livening up before they're ready to enjoy.

While preserving a donut's freshness is entirely possible by storing it in the freezer or an air-tight container, sometimes even the best intentions get derailed. When you find yourself facing the difficult decision to toss a stale donut or saturate it with hot coffee, don't be so hasty because you have other options.

If you're more in the mood for MyRecipe's French toast made from stale donuts, that's a route you can go, but it's hard to improve on the source material, so we suggest instead resuscitating those sugary bites of goodness.

Just wait 15 seconds

If a busy day kept your mind occupied and you forgot to store donuts properly, Southern Living has a quick and easy tip for salvaging them if they go stale. Simply microwave them for about 15 seconds until they turn soft. This treatment certainly won't yield a fresh-out-of-the-oven texture, but you'll still have a tasty treat on your hands.

Pantry and Larder was so committed to the cause of saving donuts from trash bins that an experiment was conducted to compare four different methods for reviving them. And they concur that donuts reheated in the microwave resulted in the softest, warmest treat. While donuts can also be reheated in an oven, they note the taste was a bit dry (for crunchier glazes, the effect was less noticeable). Similarly, pan- or air-frying will get the job done, but the overall texture wasn't as moist as the microwave method.

They say that for the best results, reheat the donuts one at a time and cover extra-stale donuts with a damp paper towel before placing them into the microwave. Also, to avoid another stale situation, please eat the reheated donuts immediately.