Freezing cookie dough is simple and super useful when you want some fresh-baked cookies right away! There always seems to be a good reason to make a fresh batch of cookies! Whether a new neighbor has moved in, someone you know had a baby, neighborhood potluck, or you need to satisfy your cookie fix, freezing homemade cookie dough is your new best friend!  

That’s why having frozen cookie dough in your freezer is always a plus! When you are in a pinch and you need some fresh cookies quick, bake frozen cookie dough to save on time! I’m also a big fan of Freezing Cakes to help save on time! Check out my post to see more details about How to Store and Freeze Cakes. I’ve also got a post coming on everything you need to know about freezing cookies!  

Cookie dough balls lined up on a baking sheet with the words "how to freeze cookie dough" in black text over the photo.

These instructions are for doughs for drop cookies. A drop cookie is most likely your favorite cookie recipe (think chunky cookies) like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, etc.

  1. Make the cookie dough. Follow the recipe to make the cookie dough. 
  2. Chill the cookie dough. If the cookie recipe you are making requires the dough to be chilled, be sure to chill it first. I like to store it in an freezer-safe container that is airtight (as pictured) in the fridge. 
  3. Roll into balls. Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and roll into individual dough balls. If you are using one of my Crumbl cookie recipes then you are probably used to using a 1/4 cup to portion the dough into balls. If you are making traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies, you can use something smaller like a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. 
  4. Flatten into disks. Gently press down on the dough balls with the palm of your hand to create a thick disk. This will help the cookies to bake into a better shape. It isn’t required to all my cookie recipes, but I typically do it for each recipe. 
  5. Chill the dough balls. Once your cookie dough has been rolled into balls and gently and slightly flattened into thick disks, line up on a cookie sheet or tray and flash freeze. You can chill them for 60 minutes in the fridge or for a quick freeze in the freezer (about 10 minutes). Once the dough balls are firm to the touch, they are ready for the next step. 
Chocolate chip cookie dough in a rectangle glass storage container.
  1. Store the cookie dough properly for freezing. I find using a Ziplock bag is the easiest, so I can label it. You may also use an airtight container and label that with masking tape. Write whatever will be most helpful for you on the bag (recipe name, baking temperature, baking time, and date). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  2. Baking frozen cookie dough. Once that dessert craving hits, preheat the oven to the correct temperature written on the bag. Once preheated, remove the frozen dough balls from the freezer and place the dough balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (about 2 inches a part). Bake according to the time written on the bag (noting that you will need to add 1-2 minutes more for the frozen cookie dough). 
  3. Return any unbaked frozen cookie dough bake to the freezer. If you aren’t baking all the cookie dough balls, return the remaining balls of cookie dough to the freezer. 

Icebox cookies are slice and bake cookies (such as sandies cookies or shortbread cookies). This is cookie dough that is formed into a log, sliced into thick disks and baked (like my Cinnamon Roll Cookies). 

  1. Make the cookie dough. Follow the recipe to make the cookie dough.
  2. Roll into a log. Form the dough into a log. 
  3. Let the log chill. Place the icebox cookie dough log in the fridge for 20-30 minutes or the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until firm. 
  4. Wrap and store. Tightly wrap the dough log in plastic wrap. Store in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. Remove and let thaw. Remove the dough log from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. This will reduce the condensation that forms on the dough. 
  6. Bake. Once the dough is thawed, cut into slices and bake according to the baking instructions. 
Chocolate chip cookies and brownie cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.

These types of cookies are made with dough that you roll out, cut with cookie cutters and then bake. Recipes like my Soft Gingerbread Cookies and my No Fail Sugar Cookies would require this process for freezing.

  1. Make the cookie dough. Follow the recipe to make the cookie dough. 
  2. Wrap the dough. Form into balls of dough (1 or 2 depending on the amount of dough) and shape into thick disks. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. 
  3. Store and freeze. Store the dough in a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 
  4. Remove and let thaw. Remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature. 
  5. Roll out, cut and bake. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin according to the recipe instructions, cut and bake. 

Baking frozen cookie dough is super easy with these simple steps! 

  1. Note what kind of frozen cookie dough you are using. This step is important. Are you baking frozen cookie dough balls, icebox cookie dough (slice and bake), or cookie cutter cookie dough?
  2. Baking frozen cookie dough balls. If you are baking frozen cookie dough balls for drop cookies, then you can bake them from frozen. Remove them from the freezer and place the cookie dough balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet 2 inches a part. Bake at the requested temperature. You may need to add an extra minute or two to the bake time due to the cookie dough being frozen. Use regular bake settings, not convection bake. 
  3. Baking frozen slice and bake cookie dough. If you are baking frozen icebox cookie dough (dough that was rolled into a log and frozen), then you’ll want to remove the dough log from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, remove and cut into slices. Bake according to the recipe instructions.
  4. Baking frozen cookie cutter cookie dough. If you are baking frozen cookie dough for cut-out cookies, you’ll want to remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove and let come to room temperature. Roll the dough out and cut with the cookie cutters. Bake according to the recipe instructions. 

When baking cookies, you want the cookie edges to be set and the centers to be no longer shiny but also not firm looking. You don’t want to over bake the cookies. If the edges are set and the centers are a tad under done, that’s OK. The cookies should cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes in which they will continue to set up and bake a tad while cooling on the hot sheet. 

A ziplock bag with frozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls and frozen brownie batter balls in it.

Storing and Freezing Tips

Label each storage bag with the type of cookie dough, the date, and the bake time and temperature. 

Cookie dough is good at room temperature for 2-4 hours before you risk it going bad. Cookie dough stored in the fridge is good for 3-4 days before you need to bake it. 

When baking frozen cookie dough, be sure to use the regular bake setting on your oven. If you are using convection bake to bake frozen cookie dough, this can cause the edges of the cookies to over bake before the middles can bake. 

When freezing cookie dough logs, you can chill them so the dough is a bit firmer and wrap them in wax paper (tucking in the ends), then wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag. 

If you are finding that your frozen cookie dough is over baking at the edges before the centers can bake, here are a few tips: Make sure you are using regular bake settings (not convection bake), you can also try turning your oven temperature down 10-20 degrees (if baking frozen dough) and baking for a few minutes more. 

Chocolate chip cookie dough balls in a ziplock bag on a white background.


Why do you need to refrigerate cookie dough?

It lets the butter firm up before baking which will reduce spreading in the oven and develop a chewier texture and richer flavor.   

Can you freeze any kind of cookie dough?

Yes, you can freeze practically all types of cookie dough! The best cookie doughs to freeze are drop cookie doughs. These are traditional cookies where you roll the dough into balls and bake. You can even freeze cookie dough that you slice and bake (also known as icebox cookie dough as seen in my Cinnamon Roll Cookies Recipe), plus cookie dough for cutout cookies and shortbread cookies. It’s best not to freeze cookie doughs for softer or more delicate cookies like Macarons.

Is freezing cookie dough OK?

Yes! Freezing cookie dough is perfectly safe. It helps the cookie keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.   

Does freezing cookie dough make it better?

It can! Chilling cookie dough will enhance the flavors. So when the cookie dough freezes that chill time can help enhance the flavor. Cold dough will also result in thicker cookies. 

Does freezing cookie dough kill salmonella?

No. Freezing any kind of food does not kill bacteria. One of the building blocks of cookies is eggs. Raw eggs can be connected to salmonella and e-coli, food borne illnesses. 

Does freezing cookie dough change the taste?

No. Chilling the dough (which includes freezing) can enhance the flavors, but it won’t change the taste. 

Can you freeze cookie dough with eggs?

Yes you can! The fact that the cookie dough contains eggs won’t affect how the dough freezes and bakes. 

What to freeze cookie dough in?

You can freeze cookie dough in an airtight container (like a Tupperware with an airtight lid) or in a Ziplock bag. 

How to bake frozen cookie dough?

If the frozen cookie dough is in balls, you can remove them from the freezer and bake them from frozen. You may need to add an additional minute or two onto the bake time since the dough was frozen. 

Can I freeze cookie dough that is rolled in cinnamon or sugar? 

Yes you can! This is helpful for recipes like Snickerdoodle Cookies, Crumbl Snickerdoodle Recipe, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Powdered Sugar Cookies, and Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Freeze the dough as instructed, minus rolling them in the cinnamon/sugar/topping. On the day you want to bake them, remove from the freezer and let thaw for about 30 minutes. Then roll and bake. Since you aren’t baking from frozen, you can bake following the bake time. If you roll the dough in the cinnamon or sugar prior to freezing, just note there is a chance the topping falls off once frozen and you may need to thaw and roll again.  

How long can cookie dough last in the fridge?

You can keep cookie dough refrigerated for 3-4 days before baking it.

How long can you freeze cookie dough?

If stored properly, cookie dough will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can you freeze sugar cookie dough?

Yes you can! If it’s a sugar cookie dough that is rolled and baked (similar to chocolate chip cookies), then follow the instructions as listed above. If it’s a sugar cookie dough that is rolled into a log, cut and baked, then you’ll want to follow a different process. Roll the dough into a log and let firm in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes. Once firm, wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. See the How to Freeze Icebox Cookie Dough section.

How to defrost cookie dough?

When it comes to know how to thaw frozen cookie dough, there are different ways. Defrost cookie dough depending on how it is frozen. If you have frozen the cookie dough in balls, there is no need to thaw them. You can bake from frozen, adding an additional minute or two onto the bake time. If you froze the dough in a container, then thaw in the fridge overnight, remove to let come to room temperature or until you can easily scoop it. Then bake following the recipe instructions. Never defrost cookie dough in the microwave. Defrosting cookie dough in the fridge will reduce any condensation around the dough.

How to bake frozen cookie dough?

With drop cookies you can bake the cookie dough balls from frozen. This means you can take the cookie dough balls directly from the freezer, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at the temperature listed in the recipe. 

How do you know when frozen cookie dough is bad?

The eggs in the dough, in conjunction with the remaining ingredients (like flour, sugar and butter) can spoil over time. If you have stored and frozen your cookie dough properly, then you can maximize the shelf life of homemade cookie dough or store-bought cookie dough. When it comes to store-bought cookie dough, it’s best to follow the best by date. Homemade cookie dough, when frozen properly can keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. You’ll know when things have gone bad if you see changes in color, texture and smell. See any mold? Throw it out! Does it smell sour or rancid? Throw it out! 

More Baking Tips

I hope you like these informational posts to help you in the kitchen! It’s so much fun putting them together. There’s a lot of information in each so be sure to save it to review later! 

Did you make any of the cookie recipes linked in this post? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a star rating and review on the respective recipe post or scroll below the recipe card and do so there. 

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