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Even though there are plenty of tricks for storing already-baked cookies, let’s be honest. Nothing competes with the goodness of a just-baked cookie.
That’s why I ALWAYS have a stash of frozen cookie dough in my freezer.
(Secret confession: I pretty much feel naked without cookie dough stashed somewhere in my freezer).
Having frozen cookie dough on hand means you can whip up a batch of homemade cookies any time in just minutes. This comes in handy when:
- You need to satisfy a cooking craving STAT and don’t want to make an entire batch
- Company stops by unexpectedly (like your mother-in-law…)
- It’s a busy season (holidays, back-to-school, etc.)
- You have an upcoming bake sale or party
- Homemade gifts are in order (for teachers, students, new parents, neighbors, etc.)
I’ve got lots of tips for freezing cookie dough included in the pink box below. Be sure to watch my video below to step into my kitchen with me as I show you step by step how to freeze cookie dough!
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
Equipment You Need to Freeze Cookie Dough:
Which Kinds of Cookie Dough are Best to Freeze?
Pretty much ANY drop-style cookie can be frozen successfully. Whether that be chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal, peanut butter, double chocolate… or anything in between. Notes on what to do with cookies rolled in sugar are below. Believe me, I wrote an entire cookbook about cookie baking so I’ve frozen my fair share of recipes!
If you’re making cut-out cookies, such as sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies, where you roll out the dough and cut it into shapes with a cookie cutter, those cookies are best frozen after baking.
How to Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookies or Any Cookie Dough
- Make the cookie dough as the recipe directs.
- Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to portion out balls of dough in a single layer, onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- BONUS TIP: If the recipe calls for chilling or ‘marinating’ the cookie dough (which does WONDERS for your cookies!!) then be sure to allow the dough cookie dough balls to chill in the fridge for 24-72 hours before freezing – learn why here.
- Place the tray of cookie dough balls flat in the freezer. Freeze until firm and solid.
- Remove the balls of cookie dough to a labeled and dated airtight storage container or freezer-safe bag.
How to Freeze Cookies Coated in Sugar
For cookies like snickerdoodles, which are rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, you want to wait until just before baking to roll in sugar.
- Freeze the uncoated balls of cookie dough.
- Once ready to bake, roll in the sugar and follow the directions below for baking.
- If you find the sugar doesn’t stick as well to the frozen dough, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature until slightly more pliable, then bake as directed by the recipe.
Can You Freeze Glazed or Iced Cookies?
Glazed or iced cookies will get sticky, tacky, and mushy and will no longer look nice. For best results, freeze the dough as directed above and wait until baked and fully cooled before icing or glazing. You can also freeze the baked cookies as directed below, and wait until thawed and at room temperature before icing or glazing.
Can You Freeze Sandwich Cookies or Filled Cookies?
Freeze the dough as directed above and wait until baked and fully cooled before filling, or freeze the baked cookies as directed below, and wait until thawed and at room temperature before filling.
How Long Can You Freeze Cookie Dough For?
You can store cookie dough in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Se sure your airtight container or ziptop bag is well-sealed, to prevent freezer burn.
Does Freezing Cookie Dough Change The Softness Or Thickness Of Cookies After Baking?
Generally, the colder the dough is when it enters the oven, the thicker the cookies will be. This also makes them softer!
How to Bake Frozen Cookie Dough
You can either let the dough completely defrost overnight in the fridge or for a couple of hours at room temperature and bake just as the recipe originally instructed.
OR, if you’re impatient like me, you can bake from frozen. Here are the steps:
- Preheat the oven to about 20 degrees lower than the original recipe temperature.
- Remove however many balls of dough you need from the freezer and place on a parchment-lined baking pan.
- Bake the cookies for 2 to 5 minutes longer than the original recipe instructions, or until the cookies are golden at the edges but still slightly ‘wet’ looking at the very center.
Why Do You Have To Lower The Temperature When Baking Cookies From Frozen?
Using the above technique helps the cookie dough melt and spread out evenly from a frozen state. If you bake as the recipe directs normally, you’ll likely get cookies that spread and crisp too much at the edges but stay super thick and undercooked in the center.
How to Freeze Baked Cookies
Practically all unfrosted, unglazed cookies can be frozen. Cut-out cookies (like sugar cookies) freeze particularly well in airtight containers for up to 1 month. I like to place pieces of parchment paper between each layer, for easy removal later. Defrost to room temperature before decorating or serving.
If you’re enjoying something like chocolate chip cookies, you can also defrost and refresh in a 300°F oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until warmed through. An oven works better than a microwave, which will usually result in mushy cookies.
See how easy it is? Freezing cookie dough is the BEST. I hope you found this helpful!
My Favorite Cookie Recipes to Freeze:
- Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Giant Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crispy Gingersnaps
- Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
More Cookie Science Articles:
- Best Baking Pans
- Glass vs. Metal Baking Pans
- How to Bake THICK Cookies
- Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda – what’s the difference and how to test for freshness
- How to Cream Butter & Sugar
- What Does Sugar Do in Baking? (spoiler alert: it’s way more than just sweetening!)
- 1 batch of cookie dough
- Roll the cookie dough into even balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet that fits in your freezer.
- Freeze the balls for 1 hour, or until solid. This prevents the balls from sticking to each other.
- Remove the balls to a ziptop bag or an airtight container. Be sure to label with the date, recipe name, baking temperature, and baking time.
- Freeze for up to 6 weeks. You can get away with freezing for longer but the quality may start to lessen.