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Kitchen Tip: How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Cookies, Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 57 comments

Sometimes there are just so many recipes that I want to try – especially desserts and breakfast sweets – but I know that we’ll never get them all eaten in time before they go bad, we get fat, or the kids stop eating any semblance of real food in favor of all the sugar. What do I do then? I stash extra cookie dough in the freezer to use later.

how to freeze cookie dough

Right now we have stuffed shells, crock-pot shredded Mexican chicken, Oatmeal Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough and waffles in the freezer (among the usual suspects). For me it is so much easier to make a little bit extra (like a triple batch of waffles) and keep them in the freezer for when we need them.

how to freeze cookie dough

Sweets and breakfast items are my favorites for freezer stashing. Cookie dough does especially well. It’s great for all kids of reasons – last minute guests and you’ve got a quick treat to share or maybe you feel like a cookie but don’t want to make a full batch. Just pull out what you need and bake them up. That certainly works for me!

how to freeze cookie dough

So, here is a quick tutorial for today’s kitchen tip on how I like to freeze cookie dough for later use. It’s simple, only takes a few minutes, and is a great way to be prepared in advance for parties or holiday gifting. It’s worth making a double batch of your next cookie recipe, I promise you won’t regret it!

How To Freeze Cookie Dough

Print Save Recipe

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough
Cookie Sheet or Baking Tray
Gallon Sized Ziploc bag
Permanent Marker

Directions:

1. Roll the entire batch of cookie dough into balls just like you would if you were baking them.

2. Fill a baking pan or tray (here I've used a 9x13 non-stick baking pan) with all the rolled cookie dough balls, leaving just enough space between the cookie dough balls that they don't get stuck together.

3. Stick the filled pan in the freezer. You don't need to cover it, but make sure to keep it flat so the balls don't move around and get stuck together.

4. Freeze until the cookie dough balls are hard. Meanwhile, take a gallon sized zip top freezer bag and label it with the recipe name, date, cooking temperature and time details.

5. Remove the pan from the freezer. Take all of the cookie dough balls out of the pan and place them in the labeled bag.

6. After filling, lay the bag flat (flat takes up less space). Remove as much air as possible. I like to zip the bag almost all the way and then stick a straw in the bag to suck out the excess air before I finish zipping it.

7. Stash the cookies in the freezer for later!

8. When I go to bake the frozen cookies I usually only thaw the cookies while the oven is preheating. I just let them bake about 2 minutes longer than the original recipe states.

Almond Butter Cookies with Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips

Cookie recipes for your inspiration:

Now that you know what to do with all that cookie dough, it’s time to get baking! Here are some of our family favorite cookie recipes.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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57
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  • 1
    Cookin' Canuck - September 28, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Great post, Katie! I love knowing that there is a bagful of little cookie balls in the freezer, just waiting to be baked. There’s nothing better than freshly baked cookies at a moment’s notice.

    [Reply]

  • 2
    Lori @ RecipeGirl - September 28, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Good post! My son’s school is selling tubs of cookie dough for a fundraiser. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy any… I bake too much myself!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 28th, 2010 @ 7:42 AM

      Oh I know! Once I bought some out of guilt. They weren’t good at all. I’m perfectly capable of making my own frozen cookie dough and for 1/3 the price. I’d rather just donate $ to the school.

  • 3
    Samantha - September 28, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    Very nice post! I usually freeze the entire chunk of cookie dough but this makes it way easier!

    [Reply]

  • 4
    Deliciously Organic - September 28, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    Great tip Katie! Seeing yours scooped cookie dough balls brought back memories of working in my Mother’s kitchens for hours on end scooping cookie dough one summer. I scooped thousands! Now my husband prefers to eat them straight out of the freezer, no baking required!

    [Reply]

  • 5
    Barbara Bakes - September 28, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    I would love to have these cookies in the freezer! Although I’d be tempted to eat the cookie dough frozen.

    [Reply]

  • 6
    Erin @ A Nesting Experience - September 28, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    Great tip! You could have a fresh baked cookie every day for a month if you wanted. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  • 7
    Steph (dessertsforbreakfast) - September 28, 2010 @ 8:06 am

    That’s so smart to pre-roll all of the cookies! I used to just freeze mine by the log and then have to wait the agonizing time it took to defrost so that I could roll the dough. This is so much better!

    [Reply]

  • 8
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - September 28, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    I should do this more often. Thanks for the reminder. Mmm, now I’m craving cookies!

    [Reply]

  • 9
    Tracy - September 28, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    Great tip! This is exactly what I do with lots of baby and toddler finger foods and looks like it works wonderful with cookie dough. I also like to make larger batches of things at one time. It just saves on the cleanup…the worst part of the whole experience!

    [Reply]

  • 10
    Maria - September 28, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    We always freeze cookie dough balls for later! Love doing this so I can have a fresh baked cookie at anytime:)

    [Reply]

  • 11
    cindy - September 28, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    I do this all the time, I vacuum seal the cookies after they are frozen. When I sell my houses I pop out enough to bake a batch. When the potential buyer walk in with the real estate folks they smell fresh homebaked cookies. I leave a note to help themselves. It has made our home see fast every time.

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 28th, 2010 @ 9:59 AM

      You are one smart lady, Cindy! I am definitely going to do this when we show our house next year!

  • 12
    Leighann Marquiss - September 28, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    Great idea. Especially before the hectic holidays begin. :)

    [Reply]

  • 13
    Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) - September 28, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

    What a great idea. I love to bake, but often shy away from it because I don’t want an overload of sweets in the house for me (or anyone else for that matter).

    [Reply]

  • 14
    Ryu - September 28, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    This would be a great idea for my kitchen and preparing things in a short time! How long on average do you have to thaw the cookie dough before baking?

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 28th, 2010 @ 3:25 PM

      I usually only thaw the cookies while the oven is preheating. I just let them bake about 2 minutes longer than the original recipe states. I’ll add this info to the post.

  • 15
    Wannietta - September 28, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    Thank you so much – I was just going to ask about cooking frozen or thawed & there’s the answer!!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 28th, 2010 @ 3:37 PM

      You’re welcome – I just added it to the original post as well so no one will miss the answer.

  • 16
    Christi B - September 28, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

    The other great way to freeze dough is in logs if they’re slice-able. I freeze sugar, spice/ginger and “melt-away” cookie dough this way especially at Christmas time and it’s a real life saver. In fact, we even did a fundraiser selling the frozen dough logs one year and it was a big hit! Just wrap the dough in wax paper, then place in a zip top bag. No thawing needed, just slice the frozen paper-wrapped log into rounds, peel off the paper strip and bake from frozen. It sometimes needs a couple more minutes cook time, but works extremely well!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 28th, 2010 @ 4:59 PM

      Great reminder, Christi! That’s what I do with my Cannoli Sandwich Cookies. I love having treats stashed in the freezer!

  • 17
    Caroline Mukisa - September 28, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

    Thanks for the step-by-step explanation for us freezer newbies! I feel more confident to give this a go now. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  • 18
    Sues - September 29, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    Awesome idea! I love that you freeze them perfectly ready to be stuck in the oven. This could be quite dangerous for me, though… Cookies in a flash!

    [Reply]

  • 19
    Niki - September 29, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    That’s a good idea. I freeze dinners and dinner-fixins, but never thought about doing cookie dough. Sure would be nice to make some now and then have it ready during the hectic holiday season.

    Stop by and visit sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal.

    [Reply]

  • 20
    Deborah - September 29, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    Okay, you’ve inspired me. Must. bake. cookies. Now!

    [Reply]

  • 21
    Judy - September 29, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

    Great tip, just dont tell your husband and teenage son how to bake them or you wont have any left for when company stops by…lol

    [Reply]

  • 22
    the little list - September 30, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    Thank you for this post! I’ll have to remember this. So very nice to meet you.

    [Reply]

  • 23
    KT - September 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    This is great – thanks! I’ll use these tips! What about freezing already cooked muffins or baked goods? My babies love healthy muffins as snacks, but I don’t like to have them around all the time – too tempting for all of us! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 24
    Annalise - September 30, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    Such a great idea, I don’t know why I don’t do this more often. I’m thinking freezing is going to be a must this holiday season to keep my sanity!

    [Reply]

  • 25
    hannah {thepastrykook} - October 03, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    those frozen globs of cookie dough look incredibly adorable! hahaha

    [Reply]

  • 26
    Tina - October 03, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Unbaked cookie dough will be much easier to store and take up less space in my freezer than baked cookies . How long do you think frozen dough will stay fresh and not freezer tasting for?

    I like the idea that I”ll be able to bake one or two sheets of mixed cookie types during the holidays.
    The fresh baked smell is part of the season too!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 7:39 PM

      Hi Tina – I would guess at least a month. We’ve never experimented longer than that.

  • 27
    Emily Marie - October 03, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    Why has it never occured to me to freeze them in balls? I’ve always frozen them in logs, but this would make things much easier and get a warm cookie in my mouth faster!

    Just found your blog – I’m having fun looking through it. :)

    [Reply]

  • 28
    Melanie Toy - October 05, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    Thanks fro sharing a great idea. I will do this since I need to stock some cookie dough when my kids get’s hungry. No need to mix the ingredients it is already ready in the freezer. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • 29
    Jonna - October 05, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

    I have frozen Chocolate Chip cookie dough using the Freezer Press N Seal. You just put the Press N Seal on a cookie sheet and scoop the cookie dough out on it, like you were going to bake them, except you put another sheet of the Press N Seal on top and seal all around the dough balls. I usually refrigerate them so they get firmer before putting them in a freezer bag, so they don’t lose their ball shape.
    Then when you want to make them, you just cut off a piece of the Press N Seal with the amount that you want to bake.
    I usually just take them out of the freezer while the oven is pre-heating, ( which is a huge tip to make sure your oven is pre-heated before putting the dough in.)
    I also always use Egg Beaters in place of real raw eggs so if you want to eat the Raw Dough you can……

    [Reply]

  • 30
    Krissy - October 05, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    Brilliant!
    I can’t wait to try this!

    [Reply]

  • 31
    Carrie - October 05, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    What if the cookie dough is not ‘ballable’? Can you just drop on the sheet from a spoon and freeze and put this (though not balls, they are individual cookies) in the bag etc? I can’t see why not, but figured I’d ask…Thx. Awesome idea, btw!!

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 7:51 PM

      Yes – you can definitely do that. Or if they’re slice and bake cookies you can just roll the dough into a long and wrap that in wax paper, then put in the labeled freezer bag. Does that make sense?

  • 32
    Jen - October 06, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    Hi! I do this too – I love baking cookies but my husband was not blessed with a sweet tooth and we have no children to wolf them down…I skip the placing the cookie balls on a cookie sheet and just ball them and put them directly in the ziploc (my freezer is tiny) and works well. Some of the dough ends up sticking together, but it will break apart after thawing for a minute. I’ve also found that adding two minutes to the bake time works like a charm.

    [Reply]

  • 33
    Kimberly - October 06, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for this great tip.

    [Reply]

  • 34
    Michelle Judd - October 07, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    I do the same thing with my cookie dough! Especially since I’m really only baking for myself most of them time. :)

    Chocolate Chip Cookies For One

    [Reply]

  • 35
    Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer - October 22, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    I feel the exact same way- we read all these recipe and want to try everything (Like your almond butter cookies and almond oatmeal chunk)! What a great idea on the cookie dough. That way you can have new treats, and save some for later. Plus when you need a quick something to bring over to someone or want to give a thank you plate of cookies. You cna just have some ready! This comes to mind for Christmas cookie trays too. Start preparing then all you have to do is bake them up. Allrighty- 2 minutes longer, got it!

    [Reply]

  • 36
    Seanna Lea - October 26, 2010 @ 9:48 am

    I do this occasionally, but I never thought about using a straw to get out some of the extra air!

    [Reply]

  • 37
    Tracy - January 18, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    Love this idea – freshly baked cookies at any time; I’m all over that!

    [Reply]

  • 38
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - January 20, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    Great! I always freeze my cookie dough since it keeps me from eating an entire batch of cookies in one sitting. :)

    [Reply]

  • 39
    cindy - August 31, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    I do this with cookies, but vacuum seal them. It’s great when the inlaws come over to give them fresh baked cookies.

    [Reply]

  • 40
    Ced - September 13, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    I’m continually searching on line for tips that can assist me. Thanks a lot!

    [Reply]

  • 41
    Amanda - December 11, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    how long will the cookies last in the freezer? I want to give my single uncle cookie dough for xmas because he has a sweet tooth but wont make home baked goods for himself and If a pre bake them he will eat them all in one sitting! This would be a good way for him to have treats without over doing it.

    [Reply]

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 11th, 2011 @ 3:35 PM

      Probably 3 months….but cookie dough never lasts that long in our house!

  • 42
    carol - December 31, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    I’ve been doing this for years. I make up about 6 different kinds and give them to my parents for their Christmas present. They love them, the box I put them in has come back to me every Oct. so I can refill it for Christmas. They always have cookies if its just 2 baked for supper or a dozen for whatever.

    [Reply]

  • 43
    Catherine - August 05, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    This inspires me to bake cookies in the summer. Make a big batch and freeze most of it. Then you only need to turn on the toaster oven in the heat.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  • 44
    Rhonda H. - October 16, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    I too have been doing this very same thing for many, many years. I’ve seen recipes where you mold the dough into a roll, and then slice & bake. But I prefer to freeze the individual cookies as you described.

    [Reply]

  • 45
    deborah - October 28, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    This is a great tip i never knew this !

    [Reply]

  • 46
    gina b - January 28, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Instead of rolling the cookie dough,I bought a cookie scoop,they come in a couple of different sizes for small or medium size cookies,works great,I love mine

    [Reply]

  • 47
    Julie - December 07, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    Thanx for the info. My best friend are going to have a marathon holiday baking day and I wanted to do a bunch o’ batches ahead of time to reduce the mess and have more time to gab. Part bakery/ part hen house.

    Julie Diehl

    [Reply]

  • 48
    Branka - April 02, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

    This recipe looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

  • 49
    Shirley - May 09, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    I love this idea! I can’t believe I never thought of freezing cookie dough that way. I did it today, only it used mini muffin baking pans to freeze the balls in. That way I don’t have to worry if the tray doesn’t sit completely straight. Thank you for this great idea!

    [Reply]

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