How best to store homemade muffins?
August 26, 2007 5:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I best store homemade blueberry muffins so that they'll last up to six days?

My lovely wife has taken to baking homemade blueberry muffins for me to eat at breakfast throughout the week. She stores them in a large plastic zipper bag to keep them fresh, but they get damp in a day or two and downright soggy within three or four days. At five days they'll show signs of mold.

She read somewhere that storing a few saltines in the bag will absorb the moisture and spare the muffins, but it didn't help much. If we leave the muffins on the counter, they're hard as stones in two days.

What is the best way of storing homemade muffins for up to six days?
posted by tomwheeler to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
i don't know about storing the muffins, but you can probably store the batter in the fridge. you can scoop out and bake a couple every few nights.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:28 PM on August 26, 2007

posted by taff at 5:29 PM on August 26, 2007

Freeze them individually. Take one out the night before you want to have one for breakfast, and then warm it in the toaster oven the next morning.

posted by dancinglamb at 5:37 PM on August 26, 2007

Yeah, I've had pretty good luck freezing bread.
posted by delmoi at 5:56 PM on August 26, 2007

They should keep all week in the fridge. I make muffins regularly and I put a week's supply in the fridge and freeze the rest.
posted by orange swan at 6:07 PM on August 26, 2007

Another vote for freezer + toaster oven. This also works great for yeast breads, quickbreads, coffee cake, etc. If it's something bigger than a muffin, cut and slice before freezing.

I typically eat breakfast after I've already been at work for an hour, so whatever I'm having has time to defrost before it goes in the toaster oven. If your situation isn't the same, consider a short time in the microwave before putting into the toaster.
posted by jepler at 6:12 PM on August 26, 2007

Plastic bag in the fridge. 10 seconds in the microwave oven just before you eat them.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:22 PM on August 26, 2007

On the same principle as the saltines, but probably a good deal more effective:

- line the top and bottom of the bag (or, even better, a solid container like a big wide-mouthed glass jar or a canister or a cookie jar) with a single layer of paper towel, or a linen napkin if you're hoity-toity*. It will absorb the moisture and hold it away from the muffins, but still release it into the air of the tiny muffin-supporting ecosystem.


- buy a small piece of unglazed terra cotta; a 99 cent saucer from the gardening center would do nicely. Wash it, let it dry thoroughly, and put it in the plastic bag. Same principle: it keeps the wetness from ruining the muffins, but keeps the moisture available.

Using the same bag for subsequent batches can give mold a head-start. Use a fresh bag (or a thoroughly washed and totally dry bag) for each batch.

If you use the terra cotta, remember to wash it and to allow it to dry thoroughly between uses. A brief soak in a solution of water and bleach before washing and drying safeguards even more against mold. Popping it in a warm oven will speed drying --- just let it cool before putting it in plastic.

Keep the bag or box or jar of muffins out of direct sunlight, and away from heat sources.

I prefer to keep my muffins in a hard-sided container, like a plastic canister or glass apothecary jar. We rarely have them around for more than a few days, because who can resist a glass cookie jar full of muffins? But I'm confident they wouldn't mold in a week of our New England summer weather.

Obviously, the effectiveness of either remedy depends on the heat and humidity of your kitchen (or wherever you're storing them).

*If you are hoity-toity enough to use a fancy jar and a linen napkin, please may I come over for afternoon tea?
posted by Elsa at 7:39 PM on August 26, 2007

a paper bag may be a good compromise between "sealed and damp" and "open to dry".
posted by andrew cooke at 7:50 PM on August 26, 2007

Thank you all for the suggestions. An excess of muffins is probably a good problem for a guy to have. I plan to try the refrigerator approach first. Failing that, I'll try the freezer.

Elsa: I'm afraid we're not that hoity-toity, though we do drink plenty of tea.
posted by tomwheeler at 8:06 PM on August 26, 2007

My experience is that refrigerating baked goods makes them go stale quicker, but freezing doesn't.

I give my kids muffins for breakfast quite often, and I always make an extra pan of mini-muffins for snacks when I'm making a batch of full-sized muffins, and the extras go into a freezer bag so I can take them out and thaw them individiually. Overnight thawing as others have mentioned is just right, and if you prefer yours warm, toaster or microwave depending on how crispy you like the outsides.

It's almost pumpkin muffin season!
posted by padraigin at 9:56 PM on August 26, 2007

We use a paper bag too. Or if we make a loaf, wrap it in a paper towel. Seems to work just fine.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:37 AM on August 27, 2007

Glaze them. After you take them out of the oven, stir together a few cups of confectioners sugar with enough water to get it past the past stage to where it can be poured but will still thickly cover the back of a spoon (if you make it too thin, just add some more sugar). After the muffins have cooled, put them on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath, and drizzle the glaze over the tops of the muffins, just enough to cover them and drip off the sides. After you do this a few times, you'll have a better idea of how much sugar to start with and how thick the glaze should be.

The sugar has a slight antimicrobial effect, and the extra moisture keeps them fresh much longer. The glaze will harden over time, but that's just fine. If you're concerned about the extra calories, only glaze half of them and eat those last. Also, if you're concerned about the extra calories, you probably shouldn't be eating muffins every day, but that's not the question you asked.

I keep them under plastic wrap or under a covered dome cake plate, and they've kept for a week (barely though, since they get eaten).
posted by Caviar at 8:48 AM on August 27, 2007

Er, "past the paste stage".
posted by Caviar at 8:49 AM on August 27, 2007

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