How Long Are Brownies Good For?

Brownies are a great go-to dessert and a universal crowd-pleaser. They’re the perfect dessert whether it’s an afterschool snack for my kids or a late-night indulgence after a hectic week.

I’ve always been thankful to have a spare batch of brownies on hand.

So, how long are brownies really good for? I used to always worry that it wasn’t worth going to the trouble of making brownies if they were only going to get stale.

After all, one batch provides about 24 brownies, which is almost too many to eat before they expire.

Brownies will last for varying amounts of time depending on how they’re stored.

Left at room temperature, 65-75F, brownies kept in an airtight container will last for 3-4 days. Refrigeration increases the longevity of brownies to about 1 week. Freezing increases the shelf life of brownies the most, as at 0 degrees brownies will keep for 3-4 months. However, after 3 months in the freezer, the flavor of the brownies will diminish.

Continue reading to learn how long each type of brownie lasts and how various storage methods impact shelf life.

Once you understand how long brownies last in differing environments, you will be able to store them with ease.

How Long Are Brownies Good For After You Bake Them?

There are various factors that contribute to your brownie’s shelf life after baking. Generally, brownies last from 3 days to one week after baking.

Baked Brownies

The discrepancy in their longevity is due to how you chose to store them.

Homemade brownies differ from store-bought brownies because of their packaging and the freshness of the ingredients used.

Once you take brownies out of the oven, you know exactly how long they have been exposed to air and moisture.

Do Brownies Go Bad?

Because brownies are made with animal products like milk, butter, and eggs, they will eventually expire.

This is especially true if the brownies are not refrigerated due to higher temperatures expediting bacteria growth.

Additionally, brownies expire once they lose texture. After a certain amount of time, they will become dry and stale, even if kept in the fridge.

Even vegan brownies expire due to exposure to moisture and air. For a quick reference, check out this table regarding the shelf life of brownies at room temperature, refrigerated, and in the freezer:

TypeHomemade BrowniesStore-Bought BrowniesBrownie Mix
Room Temperature (65-75F)3-4 Days3-4 DaysApproximately 18 Months
Refrigerated (34-40F)About 1 Week3 Days After Best-By DateDoes Not Need To Be Refrigerated
Freezer (Approximately 0F)4-6 Months4-5 MonthsDo Not Freeze

Can Brownies Cause Food Poisoning?

If uncooked or undercooked, brownies can induce food poisoning. This occurs because raw or unpasteurized products can carry salmonella, which is a bacteria carried by animals.

According to the FDA, this bacterium is killed when foods reach an internal temperature of 165F.  

However, if brownies are undercooked, the bacteria can survive the oven and cause an unpleasant bout of food poisoning.

How Long Can Brownies Good For Sitting Out?

According to Martha Stewart’s virtual cookbook, brownies can last on the countertop for up to 4 days.

It’s important to note that room temperature encompasses a range of 65-75F; temperatures higher than 75F will likely cause brownies to expire before 4 days.

While brownies contain perishable ingredients like eggs and milk, baking these ingredients at temperatures over 165F kill harmful bacteria.

The CDC echoes this stipulation, as it cautions against the consumption of dough that is uncooked.

How to Store Brownies at Room Temperature

The best way to store brownies at room temperature is to tightly wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Additionally, you can place the wrapped brownies in an airtight container and ensure the lid is properly sealed.

Packed Brownies

You can keep the container on the countertop, but make sure that it is stored out of direct sunlight.

Exposure to intense light could heat the inside of the Tupperware and cause the brownies to spoil. 

This method prevents fresh brownies from being exposed to air and moisture, which are both factors that cause spoilage.

Storing wrapped brownies in an airtight container also helps preserve their moist texture and prevents them from becoming stale.

How Long Do Betty Crocker Brownies Last?

Because Betty Crocker brownies are made from a mix, people tend to think that these brownies will last longer.

This is untrue because the Betty Crocker mix still requires cooks to add milk and eggs prior to baking.

The addition of milk and eggs equates Betty Crocker brownies to homemade brownies in terms of their shelf life.

Once cooked, Betty Crocker brownies last 4 days on the counter and 1 week in the fridge between 34-40F.

How Long Are Brownies Good For In The Fridge?

Storing brownies in the fridge nearly doubles their shelf life. Keeping brownies in the fridge between 34-40F increases their longevity to about 1 week.

The lower temperature delays the growth of bacteria while keeping the texture moist and fresh.

However, the added benefits of refrigeration only apply if the brownies are properly wrapped.

Continue reading to find the fail-proof way of storing perfectly moist brownies that taste like they’re fresh out of the oven.

How To Store Brownies In The Fridge

Like storing brownies on the countertop, you will plastic wrap and an airtight container to store brownies in the fridge.

With these instructions, I’ve always been able to keep fresh, soft brownies for over a week in the fridge:

  1. First, you can wrap an entire sheet of brownies or individual squares in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  2. Place the wrapped brownies into an airtight container and make sure the lid is properly sealed.
  3. Store the container on the middle or bottom shelf of the fridge and enjoy for up to 1 week.

You can also store brownies in the crisper drawer if you’re especially concerned with keeping their soft texture.

However, this isn’t necessary, especially if the brownies are individually wrapped. While this is also not a necessary step, I find individually wrapping brownies yields the best storage results.

By individually wrapping brownie squares, you’re able to avoid exposing them to excess moisture or air.

How Long Do Homemade Brownies Last in the Fridge?

At 34-40F, homemade brownies will last for about one week in the refrigerator. While store-bought brownies and homemade brownies last in the fridge for the same amount of time, I prefer homemade brownies.

Making the brownies myself enables me to know exactly when brownies were made and then stored.

How Long Do Store-Bought Brownies Last in the Fridge?

Like homemade brownies, store-bought brownies will last for approximately one week in the fridge at 34-40F.

The difference between homemade and store-bought brownies is that store-bought brownies will come with a best-by date.

The best-by date serves to let buyers know when the brownies will be at their freshest. 

How Long Do Brownies Last After the Expiration Date?

Because best-by dates note when brownies are at their freshest rather than spoilage, you can eat them past this date.

Generally, you can eat store-bought brownies for about 3 days after the best-by date on the packaging. However, you should always monitor signs of spoilage before eating.

Can Brownies Go Bad In The Fridge?

Even though the refrigerator is one of the most effective ways to store brownies, brownies can still expire.

The cold temperatures provided by refrigerators only delay bacteria growth, rather than stopping it completely. Additionally, the texture of brownies will dry out, even if tightly wrapped in plastic.

Signs Brownies Have Expired In The Fridge

Appearance is one of the most obvious signs that brownies have gone bad in the fridge. They may be slightly discolored, appearing a brownish-gray instead of a chocolate brown.

They might also develop a hard, flakey crust on the surface, which indicates the brownies are stale.

Brownies differ from fresh produce in that they will likely not grow mold. However, brownies can sometimes develop a bitter scent, and if spoiled, brownies will be extremely hard.

How to Keep Store-Bought Brownies With Frosting

Sometimes, store-bought brownies are frosted and require a different method of storage from basic brownies.

Unlike standard brownies, frosted brownies should not be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap because this will damage their frosted surface.

Instead, keep frosted brownies in an airtight container in the fridge at 34-40F. If storing multiple layers in one container, separate each layer with wax wrap.

To keep their soft, gooey texture, I recommend storing frosted brownies in the crisper drawer.

How Long Are Brownies Good For In The Freezer?

Keeping brownies in the freezer is the best way to store brownies for long periods of time. Stored at about 0F, brownies will keep for up to 4-6 months.

As you near the 6-month mark, the brownies may slightly decline in quality because the texture may be dry.

The best way to ensure peak-quality brownies after 6 months in the freezer is to ensure airtight storage.

Additionally, airtight storage prevents freezer burn, which is another concern for food in the freezer.

Best Way To Store Brownies In The Freezer

To store brownies in the freezer, you’ll need plastic wrap and freezer-safe bags.

If you want to take your storage methods one step further, you can also use a vacuum sealer and vacuum sealer bags:

  1. To start, it’s best to separate brownies into individual squares. Once separated, wrap each square in plastic wrap. If using a vacuum sealer, place 1-2 squares into freezer-safe vacuum bags and seal.
  2. Transfer each wrapped, or bagged, square into a large, freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and press out any excess air.
  3. Keep a large bag in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw the brownies.

This method of storing helps thwart freezer burn and keeps your brownies fresh for the entire 6 months.

I love this method because it enables me to always have a batch of brownies on hand and ready to go.

How to Defrost Brownies?

Keeping brownies in the freezer for up to 6 months is tempting, but how will they taste once they’re defrosted?

Whether store-bought or homemade, brownies will taste just as good as the day they’re made when thawed if done correctly.

Doing so will dry out the moist texture preserved in the freezer. Fortunately, the best way to thaw brownies is also the simplest:

1. To thaw, remove the brownie squares from the freezer-safe bag.

2. Then, place the brownie squares on a plate lined with a paper towel. You can keep the brownie square in its individual wrappings while thawing.

3. Let the brownie sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature, 65-75F, and it’s ready to go!

If you’re taking brownies on the go, you can also put the frozen square in a lunch box, and it will thaw.

I like this method because it is virtually no-fuss. Additionally, the individually wrapped squares allow me to eat some of my brownies while saving the rest.

How Long Does Brownie Mix Last?

If properly stored, brownie mix will last approximately 18 months kept at room temperature, from 65-75F.

Brownie mix is best stored in its original packaging if unopened. However, after opening, you can still store brownie mix in a covered, airtight container or in a sealed Ziploc bag.

Additionally, it’s recommended to keep brownie mix in a cool, dark, and dry place. Brownie mix will last well in the pantry, root cellar, or anywhere out of high sunlight.

How Long Does Ghirardelli Brownie Mix Last?

When buying a box of Ghirardelli brownie mix, check the packaging for the expiration date.

Depending on when the box was bought, this date will likely encompass an 18-month shelf life.

To maximize the longevity of Ghirardelli brownie mix, follow the company’s instructions on how to store it best:

1. Keep the mix in the original packaging and store it in a cool, dry environment of about 70F.

2. If the box is opened, transfer the mix into a Ziploc bag and store it in a cool, dry environment at 70F.

The great thing about the Ghirardelli mix is that it does not contain perishable ingredients.

Additionally, Ghirardelli uses vegetable oil, a healthier alternative to hydrogenated oil, to preserve flavors for long periods of time.

While the mix technically goes bad, the expiration dates more accurately mark when the product is at its peak.

How Long Does Duncan Hines Brownie Mix Last?

Typically, Duncan Hines brownie mix lasts for 18 months when stored in a cool, dry place at 70F.

Like Ghirardelli brownie mix, Duncan Hine mix will include an expiration date on the packaging. This date marks when the product is at its peak for optimal texture and flavor.

While there are no perishable ingredients in Duncan Hines brownie mix, the company uses hydrogenated oil to keep ingredients fresh.

The use of hydrogenated oil as a preservative helps keep flavors vibrant over long periods of time.

Can You Use Brownie Mix After The Expiration Date?

Because brownie mix omits perishable ingredients, it is safe to use after the expiration date on the box. Generally, you can use brownie mix for up to 5 months after the expiration date.

The expiration date marks when the mix is optimal for producing flavorful, soft brownies, not spoilage.

However, while you won’t get sick, this means that using the mix after the expiration date may yield lackluster brownies.

While brownie mix is famed for being an everlasting ingredient, there is a limit. You should always inspect the mix for signs that it is no longer in its prime, which includes a chalky or hard texture.

Although it still might be useable, it’s best to discard boxes that have been in the pantry for 2 or more years.

Final Thoughts

How long brownies last is contingent upon how they are stored. So, it’s important to think about how you want to use them before baking.

You can bake brownies to keep as last-minute snacks for 6 months or as fresh snacks as long as you store them accordingly.

Whether stored at room temperature or in the freezer, you can keep brownies as fresh as when they first left the oven.

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