How long do brownies last?

Here’s everything about the shelf life, storage, and spoilage of brownies. Learn how long they last, when to throw them out, and whether or not to refrigerate them.

You have a lot of brownies and you’re worried they’re going to spoil. How long do brownies last?

Or yours have been in storage for a couple of days now, and you need to know how to tell if they’re still good to eat.

Does it look familiar?

If so, you are in the right place. Keep reading.

Close up of brownie

How long do brownies last?

Typical freshly baked or homemade brownies keep 3-4 days at room temperature, and up to a week in the fridge. But there are also some online vendors that offer brownies that keep for up to 2 weeks on the counter and up to a month in the fridge.

When it comes to how long brownies last, there are no hard and fast rules.

In general, your homemade brownies should last at least 3-4 days in the pantry, and up to a week in the fridge. But remember that in some cases brownies need to be refrigerated right away. Pretty much the same basic rules apply to bakery-bought brownies.

Of course, these guidelines are super generic, and some types of brownies will keep much longer, while others will have rather poor flavor after 3 days of storage. Generally, the more delicate the ingredients, the shorter the shelf life.

If you don’t want to buy brownies at the bakery, but find that making them from scratch takes too long, consider buying a pre-made mix. Brownie mix lasts for over a year and cuts the time it takes to bake that brownie in half (or more).

Baked and Frosted Brownie

When it comes to brownies ordered online, storage periods vary greatly.

Sometimes the suggested storage time is about 5 days, other times it is 7 days in the pantry and 30 days in the fridge. That’s why it’s worth reading the storage instructions if you order online.

If you need to store the brownies for an extended period, you can always freeze them.

Keep in mind, however, that different types of brownies give different results. So if you consistently bake your brownies to the same recipe or buy them from the same place, it makes sense to try freezing them, just in case you ever need to buy or bake them in bulk.

brownie shelf life

Pantry Fridge
home made brownies 3 – 4 days 7 days
Bakery Bought Brownies 3 – 4 days 7 days
brownies ordered online 5 – 14 days 7 to 30 days

Please note that the periods indicated are only estimates, and since there are lots of brownie recipes, in some cases those periods will be very off.

Brownie baked and served

How do you know if the brownies have gone bad?

Brownies degrade over time, so if you store a batch of this dessert in the fridge or pantry for an extended period

Notice any slight changes in color or appearance. If the color or aroma of the brownies doesn’t seem right, err on the side of caution and discard them.

Wet brownies have a tendency to mold, so if you see mold present, throw the brownies in the trash.

Last but not least, if you already store your brownies for much longer than you usually do, it’s probably best to throw them away. Better safe than sorry.

How to store brownies

Main article: How to store brownies?

Although there are quite a few types of brownies, the storage instructions are quite similar.

The first and most important thing is to prevent the brownies from drying out. That’s why brownies ordered online are often individually packaged, and bakeries often sell them in plastic containers.

If you bake your own brownies or buy them from a bakery without packaging, you can store them in an airtight container, a ziploc bag, or wrap them in plastic.

When it comes to homemade brownies, one more piece of advice. Instead of cutting the piece into squares right after the brownie has cooled down a bit, you can save it whole. Or maybe cut it into several large pieces and put each one in an airtight container.

This way there is less surface area and the brownie dries more slowly. Then you cut the pieces into squares just before serving.

Now that we’ve covered the how, it’s time to talk about where to store the brownies.

brownie in a storage container

Do brownies need to be refrigerated?

In general, you can choose between the fridge and the pantry. And each has its own pros and cons and works better for some types of brownies than others.

Let’s start with the pantry or kitchen. Room temperature works best for light, airy brownies with fairly low moisture content. That is, the ones without a super moist filling or heavy frosting.

Dense, high-moisture brownies keep best in the fridge. Those dulce de leche type brownies usually contain more eggs, and the filling is usually thick and creamy. The fridge is also a must for any brownie that contains a dairy-based filling or frosting, or has any temperature-sensitive ingredients.

When you store brownies in the fridge, always remember to keep them tightly closed. Otherwise, they can pick up odors from other foods, and that’s not what you want.

If you order brownies online, storage instructions often come with your order so you don’t have to guess. Or, take a minute and check the instructions on the website. This is important because some companies specifically ask that their brownies not be refrigerated.

If you’re following a recipe online, be sure to check the storage instructions as well.

Prepare the brownie from the brownie mix

Can brownies be frozen?

Main article: Can brownies be frozen?

If you don’t expect to eat the brownies within a reasonable amount of time, the best option is to freeze them. Again, different types of brownies freeze differently.

Classic brownies and cake-style brownies don’t usually freeze as well due to their low moisture content and density. They often become crumbly or grainy upon thawing. However, thick, caramel-like brownies freeze quite well, as does cheesecake (here’s my article on cheesecake shelf life in the fridge).

As for how to freeze brownies, the most important thing is to protect them from cold air as much as you can.

For this, you can use freezer bags. You can also wrap the griddle or squares in plastic wrap and cover them with aluminum foil. Add a name and date label if necessary.

Brownies can last at least 1-2 months in the freezer without much loss in quality, possibly much longer. When you’re ready to defrost your frozen brownies, the fridge is best.

eat brownie

Summary of shelf life and storage of brownies

I hope you liked this short guide on storing and preserving brownies. Let’s recap the most important points we’ve covered:

  • How long do brownies last? Fresh brownies made at home or from a bakery typically last 3-4 days on the counter, or about a week in the fridge. If you order yours online, they often come with a significantly longer shelf life, from two weeks to even a month.
  • Do brownies need to be refrigerated? If your brownies have a dairy-based filling or frosting, you need to refrigerate them. Otherwise, it’s up to you to decide if you want them in the fridge or not. In general, light, slightly moist brownies keep best on the counter (in an airtight container), while thicker ones keep better in the fridge.

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