Does apple pie need to be refrigerated and how long does it last?

Apple pie should be refrigerated after it is first cut, or within two days of baking if left untouched.

Once you put it in the fridge, it can stay there for another 3-4 days, for a total of about 5 days.

There are other ways to preserve this tart as well, each with its own pros and cons. But it all boils down to this: you have to refrigerate the apple pie sooner or later, and keep it good for 4-5 days.

If you need more time, consider freezing it.

That is the essential. You want to know more?

Read on to learn about storage practices, shelf life, and spoilage for both homemade and store-bought apple pie.

Everything below applies to both homemade and bakery-bought apple pie. There are no big differences between how you make your apple pie and how the professionals do it.
Leftover apple pie

Does apple pie need to be refrigerated?

Apple pie does not need to be refrigerated as long as it is whole and baked less than two days ago. Once you’ve cut it up or it’s sitting on the counter for more than two days, put it in the fridge.

If you were to search the internet for information on apple pie, you would find many places saying that you can leave this fruit pie at room temperature for two days after it is baked ((FS)), no matter what. You can certainly follow that advice, and 9 times out of 10, it will work out for you.

However, I recommend refrigerating apple pie after slicing, because slicing and serving can introduce bacteria into the pie. And if that cake sits on the counter, it’s likely to grow mold in a day or so.

eat apple pie

Sure there is sugar and acid in the filling that prevents the growth of bacteria, but refrigeration is much better at curbing that. Also, if we keep the open apple compote in the fridge, the logical thing to do is also refrigerate the open apple pie.

I have left my leftover apple pie out overnight, should I throw it away? No. Although it’s much safer to store leftover fruit tarts in the fridge, if you’ve only been out overnight, you’ll be fine in most cases. Check for any signs of mold or discoloration, and refrigerate as soon as possible.

Apple pie in carton

How to store apple pie

Whole apple pie can sit on the counter or in the fridge. Once you have cut it, or it has been at room temperature for two days, put it in the fridge. Regardless of where it is, keep it covered.

The lid is especially important if you refrigerate the cake because it prevents it from absorbing odors from other foods.

When it comes to covering your apple pie, there are several options

  • if the apple pie is in the original pan, use its lid (if it comes with one)
  • dump a bowl over the apple pie
  • use a cake stand
  • wrap the top with plastic or aluminum foil
  • cut the tart and transfer the portions to an airtight container
Apple pie left uncovered on the counter looks lovely, but it’s basically collecting dust. cover it up

If you need the apple pie to last more than a few days (for example, if a birthday party has been cancelled), you may have considered freezing the pie. Let’s talk about it.

Leftover apple pie in an airtight container

Can apple pie be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze apple pie, and it freezes pretty well. All you need is a couple of minutes to slice the pie, and some basic kitchen equipment to wrap and package the slices. Then it can stay in the freezer for months.

Here’s how to freeze apple pie (and any other fruit pie, for that matter):

  1. Cut leftovers into portions. If the piece you have left is small, skip this step. But if it’s bigger, cutting it into several dessert-sized portions is the best option. This way, you only thaw a small (or moderate) amount and make sure you don’t gobble it all down at once.
  2. Wrap each serving. Here are many options. If you have enough space, you can place each one in an airtight container. This way you make sure that the cake does not get crushed by other foods. You can also use freezer bags, freezer wrap, or old plastic wrap. Whatever your preference, make sure each piece is well wrapped.
  3. Freeze. Place each serving in the freezer, and you’re done.

You can freeze apple pie without much change in quality for at least 4 months ((PS)), possibly longer. So if you’re worried about a bunch of apples you’ve got in store going bad (here’s how long apples keep), baking an apple pie and freezing it is an easy solution.

Apples in apple pie

How do you thaw frozen apple pie?

You can thaw apple pie on the counter or in the fridge.

Thawing at room temperature usually takes one to two hours, depending on the size of the serving.

If you opt for the fridge, put the apple pie in there overnight so it’s ready the next day.

Remember that if you thaw apple pie on the counter, you should eat it right after. If you opt for the fridge, the cake can stay there for a day or so. That means that if you are going to defrost a large piece, the best thing is the refrigerator.

If you prefer your apple pie warm, thaw it and reheat it in the oven. Use a relatively modest temperature of 375°F (190°C) or even lower, and put the tart in right after turning on the oven. Check how the cake is after about 20 minutes.
Apple Pie Top

How long does apple pie last?

Worktop Fridge Freezer
whole apple pie 1 – 2 days or until sliced 4 – 5 days 4+ months
Leftover Apple Pie 2 – 4 days 4+ months

A whole apple pie will keep for 2 days at room temperature and another two or three days in the fridge. Once cut, it can be eaten for about 2-4 days, depending on when it was baked. If you freeze it, it will retain its quality for at least 4 months.

These are rough estimates that work most of the time.

Sometimes your apple pie can still be perfect after about 5 days in the fridge. Other times, you may be unlucky and see mold after two days of refrigeration.

Seems like a good time to talk about apple pie spoilage.

apple pie and tea

How do you know if the apple pie has gone bad?

You have to trust your senses to know if your apple is still good to eat or not. Check the following:

  • storage time. If those leftovers sit in the fridge for like a week, they probably aren’t safe, even though they look so appetizing. throw them away
  • surface and fill. Look for any signs of diffuse mold or any other discoloration. If they’re present, that apple pie is finished. And no, cutting off the moldy part is not a good idea because mold can easily permeate the filling.
  • The smell. If your apple pie smells bad in any way (for example, fermented or something similar), throw it away.
  • Flavor. If everything looks and smells good, the cake is most likely okay. Tasting a small amount before gulping it down is the last thing you should do. If something seems to be wrong, err on the side of caution and dismiss it.

If you’ve thoroughly checked your leftover apple pie using the tips above and there are no red flags, you can enjoy it.

apple pie slice


FS – Food Storage | UNL Food
PS – Pie Storage | Iowa State University Extension

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