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How to Store Snacks, Baked Goods, and Crackers

Review these storage techniques and guidelines* before your next trip to the bakery section.

By Elizabeth Passarella
Everything bagelJamie Chung   

Whether you’re keeping baked goods at room temperature or freezing them, make sure they’re tightly wrapped or in an airtight container, with the following exceptions: Dairy-based cakes and pies, such as cheesecake and lemon cream pie, and cookies with uncooked dairy fillings, like whipped cream or cream cheese, should go into the refrigerator. Bakery-style breads and baguettes should be kept in their original packaging (an airtight bag will turn crusts soggy) at room temperature; if freezing, transfer to a resealable freezer bag. Any crackers or snack foods that don’t disappear within a couple of days will also stay fresh longer in an airtight container or bag.

Baked Goods

Pantry: 2 days
Freezer: 3 months

Pantry: 1 day
Freezer: 3 weeks

Pantry: 2 weeks
Freezer: 6 months

Biscuit dough, store-bought in can
Refrigerator: Until use-by date
Freezer: Do not freeze.

Bread, bakery loaf
Pantry: 2 days
Freezer: 3 weeks

Bread, sandwich loaf
Pantry: 4 days
Refrigerator: 2 weeks
Freezer: 3 months

Brownies—supermarket, bakery, and homemade
Pantry: 2 weeks (supermarket); 5 days (bakery and homemade)
Refrigerator: 1 month
Freezer: 3 months

*Real Simple consulted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food scientists, food manufacturers, and a host of other experts—including fishmongers, cheese sellers, coffee roasters, bakers, and bartenders—to establish these storage guidelines. The first consideration was safety. But because you want your food to be delicious, too, for some products, Real Simple chose the conservative storage time for optimum freshness.

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Quick Tip

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap in a drawer

The flan can be baked up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Unmold just before serving.