The Storage Method You Should Avoid For Gluten-Free Baked Goods

The appetite for gluten-free food is more than a passing trend: since this wheat-free diet was discovered in the 1940s (per Excellence Industries), it's only increased in popularity, and according to 350 Market Updates, the gluten-free market is only on the rise since more and more people prefer gluten-free foods and diets.

For some, however, a gluten-free diet is more than a preference; it's a lifestyle that requires careful attention, especially for those with celiac disease. While there are many naturally gluten-free starchy foods out there, from rice to root vegetables like taro, baked goods are often the most complicated food item to find that's gluten-free. Many pastries and cakes are often historically made with wheat flour, and with wheat and other grains comes gluten, a protein that is responsible for giving bread its fluffy texture and structure (per Modernist Cuisine). However, more and more gluten-free flours are available today, making gluten-free baking to satisfy a sweet tooth easier than ever. However, if you're whipping up a batch of gluten-free muffins or cookies, you may want to be careful with how you store them.

The shelf-life of gluten-free treats

Gluten-free treats inherently have structural differences from regular, grain-based baked goods because they don't contain the binding agent that gives baked goods their shape (per Hopkins Medicine). Logically, gluten-free baked goods may not be as easy to handle as their gluten counterparts.

According to Food52, gluten-free batter can be looser, and once baked, the muffin or cookie you've just made may be more susceptible to crumbling into pieces. To avoid a pastry breakdown, patience is key since it's important to let your baked goods cool completely before attempting to move or eat them. Once cooled, however, it's best to enjoy your gluten-free baked treat right away because they don't fare well in a refrigerator or keep for very long. If you find yourself with an excess of gluten-free goodies, like brownies, freezing them the moment they've cooled off is your best bet (but first wrap well in plastic), or else you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container (per Love to Know Health).