Whether you’re baking healthy muffins for breakfast that are filled with whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits or baking up a batch of delicious sweet banana chocolate chip muffins for a snack or dessert, once they’re baked you want to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as you can.
One of the storage problems with muffins is that as soon they’re baked and out of the oven, they start to age. And as muffins age, the moisture in your perfectly baked muffins starts to move from the center of the muffin to the outside. After a day or two, this results in a moist muffin that’s soft and mushy to eat.
What you need are some fool proof techniques that are going to keep muffins fresh for two to three days and delay the process of aging muffins.
1. Cool Your Muffins the Right Way
Before you even get to the storage stage, you need to treat your muffins the right way when they’re done baking. After taking muffins out of the oven, wait for about 3 to 5 minutes. This gives the muffins time to set so they don’t lose shape when you take them out of the tin.
When they’re completely cool remove them from the muffin tin whether they have a paper liner or you baked them right in the pan. Carefully set them on a wire rack to cool completely. Now you’re ready to store them…or enjoy!
2. Store on the Counter
If you’ve baked the night before and know that your muffins are going to be eaten the next day, use this easy method to keep them fresh overnight.
Spread a clean tea towel on your kitchen counter. Leave the muffins on the wire rack – when they’re completely cool place the rack on top of the tea towel. Cover with another clean tea towel.
This is a great way to keep muffins fresh so you can enjoy them in the morning. Unless your family notices that you baked muffins and they don’t last until the next day!
3. Store Muffins in a Bread Box
I have a beautiful bread box in my kitchen…and it’s ideal for keeping muffins fresh. Place a clean tea towel in the bottom of a bread box. Place cooled muffins on top of the towel without layering them (consider a bread box with a shelf for extra storage space). Then carefully drape another tea towel over top. Close the bread box…and muffins will stay fresh without drying out for up to three days.
This is a great way to store a smaller batch of about 6 to 8 muffins that you’ve baked – which is easy. Bake a dozen and your family is sure to eat a few before you even get a chance to think about storing them and keeping them fresh.
4. Store in a Lidded Container
When it comes to storing muffins and keeping them fresh, Tupperware on its own (or any container with a lid), is not going to do the trick. Putting muffins into a sealed container, without something to absorb the moisture, is just going to trap that moisture inside and make the tops of the muffins sticky and wet.
Place a layer of paper towel into the bottom of the container. Carefully place your muffins on top and cover with another sheet or two of paper towel. Now you can use the lid to seal the container, letting the paper towel do the trick to absorb any of the moisture. Store at room temperature and your muffins will be nice and fresh for up to two or three days.
If you don’t have a large enough container, you can use one or two zip-lock storage bags. Using the same concept, carefully place the muffins in the bag with paper towel, seal, and store.
5. Freeze Your Muffins
Another way to store muffins to keep them fresh is by freezing them. Freezing is a great way to have muffins on hand all the time – just pull one or two out of the freezer whenever you’re craving some of your baking.
To freeze, place them in a plastic container on top of a couple pieces of paper towel – make sure it’s a single layer of muffins as you don’t want to crush them. Cover with a few more paper towels and then cover with the lid. Place the entire container into the freezer. Muffins will freeze well for up to 3 months.
Muffin Storage Methods to Avoid
There are a few storage methods that you should avoid with it comes to muffins:
- Never refrigerate muffins. The cool temperature of the fridge changes the texture of muffins and makes them dry out faster rather than keep them moist.
- Exception to the above rule – if you’ve baked savory muffins that have cheese or meat in them, you’ll need to refrigerate. For storing in the fridge, use the method of storing in a sealed container with paper towel.
- Never wrap individual muffins in plastic wrap. The wrap will tightly seal in the moisture, but it’s going to make your muffins soggy!
- Never plate and cover in plastic wrap. It may seem like a good idea to just place muffins on a decorative plate and cover with wrap until the next day. But as with wrapping them individually, the plastic wrap completely traps in the moisture and with nothing to absorb the damp wetness, you’ll end up with soft and soggy muffins.
Tip: Bake Muffins When You Need Them!
If you’re like my family, we love muffins and I bake them two or three times a week. Our favorite muffins are date and bran muffins – perfect for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. I make up a batch of batter, doubling the recipe, and store it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge where it’s good for up to one week.
Even on busy mornings it only takes me a minute to scoop batter into muffin cups and bake just as many as we need that day. This means we always have fresh muffins…and I don’t need to worry about keeping them fresh!
These are the methods I use to store my baked muffins and keep them fresh so my family can enjoy them for a few days!