If you’ve ever had a beignet, you know how crispy and delicious these deep-fried fritters can be. And while they’re best enjoyed fresh, that doesn’t mean you can’t save some for later. Here’s how to store leftover beignets so they stay fresh for longer.
I remember the first beignet I had. I was in New Orleans with some friends and we stopped at a little bakery one morning to pick some up for breakfast. I was blown away by the hot, pillowy, packages of deliciousness. And the ones we bought were gone in about 10 minutes!
But you don’t need to live in New Orleans to enjoy a tasty beignet. And you don’t need to inhale them like we did either. In fact, there are ways to store fresh beignets so you can enjoy them for days.
Read on to find out how.
What is a beignet?
Beignets are soft, airy, square pockets of golden brown fried dough that have a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior. After they’re fried, they’re generously dusted with powdered sugar. Traditionally, they’re accompanied by a cup of coffee or cafe au lait, which can help balance out the sweetness of the beignet.
Originally from France, (beignet means “fritter”), these doughy treats were brought to the U.S. by French colonists who settled near New Orleans more than 300 years ago.
So it’s no surprise that New Orleans beignets are the most well-known. And the city’s Café du Monde is recognized as the beignet epicenter, as it’s been serving up the sweet fritters since the 1860s.
How to store beignets
Beignets are best when they’re freshly fried and warm. The tender dough seems to melt in your mouth. But if you buy a few — or you’re making homemade beignets — and you can’t finish them all right away, don’t despair. There are a few ways to save and reheat them so they taste as good — or nearly as good — as when they were first made.
Here are 3 different methods to store leftover beignets:
Method 1: Storing beignets at room temperature
If you plan to eat your beignets within 1 or 2 days, then the best way to store them is at room temperature.
Simply place them in a plastic container with a lid, like Tupperware, and keep them on a kitchen counter or in a pantry. Covering them will help reduce exposure to outside air, which can dry them out.
Beignets will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature. Anything longer than that can result in them becoming stale. And no one wants stale beignets!
Method 2: Storing beignets in the fridge
If you need to store beignets for longer than a couple of days, keep them in the refrigerator for the best results.
If you’ve made your own, let them cool completely first. And don’t apply the powdered sugar, as it can get soggy in the cool fridge and start to seep into the beignet. If you bought beignets that already have powdered sugar on them, try to remove as much as you can.
Then simply place the beignets in a single layer in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
They should keep for up to 5 days if stored this way.
Method 3: Storing beignets in the freezer
In our household, beignets have never stayed around long enough to require freezing. But if you have a bit more self-control and want to save a batch of beignets for longer periods of time, the freezer is a great option.
As with the refrigeration method, you’ll want to let the beignets cool completely first. And refrain from adding powdered sugar to them (or remove as much as you can from bakery-bought ones).
Then wrap each beignet in plastic wrap and place them in a single layer in an airtight, sealed container or freezer bag. The plastic wrap and container will help prevent freezer burn and keep odors from other foods in the freezer from creeping into your beignets.
Beignets can keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How to reheat beignets
If you store beignets in the fridge or freezer, you’ll want to reheat them before you eat them. Here are the 4 best ways to reheat and refresh your beignets.
In the oven
The best way to reheat beignets is in the oven. It will warm them up evenly without making them too soft or too crunchy. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Put the beignets on a baking sheet or wire rack.
- Sprinkle a bit of warm water over the top of them. It will steam in the oven and help give the beignets their signature fluffy texture.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the foil, top with powdered sugar, and enjoy your delicious beignets.
Using the air fryer
If you have an air fryer, this is a great way to warm up beignets quickly. You just need to make sure you don’t use too high a temperature.
- Apply a little bit of cooking spray to the air fryer basket. This will help prevent sticking.
- Add the beignets to the basket in a single layer.
- Set the temperature to 350° F and the timer for 3-4 minutes.
- Check them after two minutes to make they aren’t too hot or getting too crispy.
- Remove the hot beignets from the air fryer and dust with powdered sugar.
In the Microwave
A third option to warm up beignets is the microwave.
- Add the beignets to a microwave-safe plate or place them on paper towels. Try to limit the number to four so they have enough room to cook evenly.
- Start by microwaving them for 30 seconds, then check to see if they’re warm and soft.
- Keep heating in 10-second intervals until they reach your desired level of doneness.
- Take them out of the microwave and add powdered sugar.
Note: While the beignets will heat up this way, you run the risk of them getting too soft or chewy if they’re microwaved for too long.
In a skillet
You can also reheat beignets on the stovetop, although this method involves a few more ingredients and a bit more clean up than the other ones. Here’s how:
- Add some butter to a skillet over low-medium heat.
- Then add 2-3 beignets to the melted butter and cook them for 1 minute.
- Flip them and cook for 1 more minute or until they’re crispy on the outside and soft to the touch when you press lightly on them.
- Remove from the skillet and add powdered sugar.
Is it ok to eat beignets cold?
Yes, you can eat beignets cold. But you may not want to.
This sweet treat is best eaten when fresh and warm, or reheated. That helps accentuate their pillowy softness.
On the other hand, a cold beignet will be hard and dense.
How do you store beignet dough?
If you’re making your own beignets and don’t plan on frying them right away, you can store the dough in the refrigerator. Just place it in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
The dough can be stored for up to 4 days in the fridge this way.
If you plan on eating your beignets within a day or two of buying or making them, they do not need to be kept in the fridge. If you need to keep them for a bit longer, then storing them in the refrigerator is the best option. Just be sure to place them in an airtight container first. They’ll keep for up to 5 days if stored properly.
Beignets differ from doughnuts in 3 key ways. First, beignets do not have a hole in the center like doughnuts do. Next, beignets are not round like donuts. Instead, they’re square in shape. Third, some doughnuts can include jam or cream fillings and many are glazed. Beignets are not filled and they are topped with powdered sugar.
More food storage questions
Wondering about the best ways to store some of your other favorite foods? Check out these posts.
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