Have you ever reached into a container of leftover muffins, eager for the fluffy bites of breakfast joy that await, only to discover that the outside of the muffins have become unpleasantly soggy? It’s a sad moment that, while it cannot be reversed, can be avoided with one simple trick. Here’s How to Store Muffins to prolong their shelf life and keep them fresh.
Before we delve in, let’s first address the issue at hand: Why do leftover muffins become soggy?
It is an odd phenomenon. Intuitively, you would think that, as muffins stale, the outsides would become dry. In reality, this just isn’t how muffin science (a delicious field I aspire to master) operates.
As muffins age, their moisture migrates to the surface. That moisture will try to evaporate and, if the muffins are wrapped in plastic or stored in an empty airtight bag or container, that moisture sinks right back onto the muffins’ surface. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this (aside from loading the muffins with preservatives), but we can delay the inevitable with a handy little tool I’m betting you have lurking in your kitchen right now.
Let’s do this.
The Best Way to Store Muffins
STEP ONE: Let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack.
Storing the muffins when they are even a little bit warm will result in even more condensation, as the muffins will still be letting off heat. Let them cool for no more than five-to-10 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
STEP TWO: Line an airtight storage container with paper towels.
The paper towels will act like a “sponge,” absorbing the moisture the muffins emit as they age. Instead of sinking back into the muffin’s surface and making them soggy, the moisture will be absorbed by the paper towels. I like to use one large paper towel, folded in half to fit the container.
Alternatively, you can use a large ziptop bag, turned on its side so that it lays flat—just be sure you store the muffins in a single layer only (do not stack).
STEP THREE: Place muffins in the container, on top of the paper towels.
Or on the bottom of the ziptop bag, still atop the paper towels.
STEP FOUR: Place an additional paper towel layer on top of the muffins.
This is essential. You want to be sure to absorb moisture from all sides. Again, I use a large paper towel, folded in half.
STEP FIVE: Cover and store AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
Refrigerating the muffins will alter their flavor and texture. Room temperature is the way to go from maximum freshness.
STEP SIX: Enjoy!
The muffins will last two-to-four days stored this way (without this method, you’ll notice the “soggy” factor taking hold in fewer than 24 hours). If the paper towels become very damp, I recommend replacing them on Day 2 or Day 3.
For Storage Longer Than Four Days
- To Freeze. I recommend freezing muffins that you’d like to keep beyond four days. Individually wrap them in plastic, then place them in a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
- To Reheat. Let thaw at room temperature or rewarm gently in the microwave.
My Favorite Muffin Recipes
I have DOZENS of Healthy Muffin Recipes for you to choose from, but here are a few ideas: