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How to Freeze Cookie Dough and Bake it Later (The Best Way!)

Cookie dough freezes extremely well and is the perfect sweet treat to keep stashed in your freezer to instantly satisfy those sweet tooth cravings. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough and bake it later.

image of how to freeze cookie dough: frozen cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

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Freezing Cookie Dough

We have been stashing as much extra food in the freezer as possible lately (within reason – I promise there is no hoarding going on here). Having a freezer well stocked with staples, freezer meals, and lunches for myself just makes our life a lot easier.

Whenever we make anything, we make extra and stash it in the freezer. Including stashing extra cookie dough in the freezer to use later.

For me, it is so much easier to make an extra large batch of cookie dough and keep them in the freezer for when we need them. Or want them. Need. Want.

It’s all pretty much the same thing when it involves a cookie fix, am I right?

Why I Love to Keep Frozen Cookie Dough on Hand

3 reasons I almost always have cookie dough in my freezer:

  • I love freezing cookie dough so I can bake them at a later date. Preparing the original recipe is a thing of the past and all that’s left to do is enjoy fresh cookies.
  • Freezing cookie dough is great if you don’t want to bake the whole batch at once, but you also don’t want the kids to eat all the leftover cookie dough in the fridge.
  • Having frozen cookie dough on hand means that I am able to have homemade cookies ready at a moment’s notice when kids have friends over or anyone is craving dessert.

If you’ve never tried freezing cookie dough before, I promise that it is something your future self will thank you for!

Cookie Dough Freezing Supplies

Can you freeze cookie dough? Absolutely! Here’s what you’ll need for freezing cookie dough:

  • Cookie Dough
  • Cookie Scoop (this makes the cookies uniform in size, and quicker to roll)
  • Parchment Paper or Wax Paper
  • Cookie Sheet or Baking Tray
  • Gallon Sized Ziploc bag or Air-tight Container
  • Permanent Marker or Label Maker
  • Rolling Pin, for cut out cookies
  • Cookie Cutters, for cut out cookies
image of how to freeze cookie dough:  cookie dough on a baking sheet for the freezer

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

The process is super 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!

Here’s how to freeze cookie dough balls and how to freeze cut out cookie dough; the method will differ slightly depending on what types of cookie dough you’re freezing:

How to Freeze Drop Cookies

Drop dough cookies are any type of cookie that are formed by scooping balls of dough (i.e. when you roll the cookie dough balls). Follow these simple steps to freeze:

  1. I like to use parchment paper to line the pan when freezing the cookies, so do that first.
  2. Then, roll the entire batch of cookie dough into balls just like you would if you were baking them. Layer them on a sheet pan in a single layer as you scoop them.
  3. Fill the baking pan or tray with all the uncooked rolled cookie dough balls. Then, cover it with plastic wrap.
  4. After layering the individual dough balls in a single layer on the parchment lined pan, stick the filled pan in the freezer for the initial freeze.
  5. Freeze until the cookie dough balls are hard. Meanwhile, take a gallon sized zip top freezer-safe bag and label it with the recipe name, date, cooking temperature and time details.
  6. When the cookie dough is frozen, remove the pan from the freezer.
  7. Store the cookie dough in an airtight container, plastic freezer bag, or in vacuum sealed bags.
  8. Label the bag or container with date, contents, baking instructions, and bake time.

All that’s left to do is stash the cookies in the freezer for later!

image of how to freeze cookie dough: cut out cookie on a lined baking sheet for freezing

How to Freeze Cut Out Cookies

Freezing cut out cookies is great if you want to get a head start on baking Christmas cookies!

You can do all the hard work of preparing the recipe, rolling the dough, and cutting the cookies out well before Christmas. Then, all that you have to do during the busy holiday season is bake and enjoy!

  1. For cut-out cookies, like these vanilla cutout sugar cookies or these gingerbread cookies, you will follow the same instructions as above, but instead of rolling the cookie dough, you’ll pre-cut your batch of cookies.
  2. After you flash freeze the cookie dough on the parchment lined baking sheet, store the cookies in the same way as cookie dough balls.

Tips for Freezing Cookie Dough

  • When filling the baking tray with the cookie dough balls, you want to leave just enough space between the cookie dough balls that they don’t get stuck together.
  • When placing the baking tray into the freeze make sure to keep it on a flat surface so the balls don’t move around and get stuck together.
  • One of my best tips to prevent freezer burn: when pressing the extra air out of the plastic bag, 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. Sounds strange, but I promise it works!

How Long Does Cookie Dough Last in the Freezer?

According to Bob’s Red Mill, frozen homemade cookie dough will last 6 to 12 months in the freezer. My family goes through frozen cookie dough much faster than that though, so I’ve never had to throw it out!

image of how to freeze cookie dough: 
 close up overhead shot of cookie dough for the freezer

How to Bake Frozen Cookie Dough

Baking frozen cookie dough is a breeze, but how you bake depends slightly on what type of cookie you are making. I’ll break it down into cut out cookies and drop cookies below:

Baking Frozen Drop Cookies

When baking balls of cookie dough that have been frozen, you’ll need to allow some defrost time before baking. Why can’t you just bake the cookie dough balls straight from frozen?

There are three reasons that frozen drop cookies need to be set out at room temperature to thaw before baking:

  1. If you don’t thaw the cookies from their frozen state before baking, the baking time will be much longer since the cookie dough is so cold.
  2. With a longer baking time, the edges of the cookies could get dried out, over cooked, burnt, or just crunchy before the middle has a chance to finish baking.
  3. In addition that, the cookies won’t spread in their typical way and you can end up with unevenly baked cookies or odd shaped cookies.

For best results your frozen dough balls should thaw until the dough is pliable but not overly soft. This will allow your fresh-baked cookies to be normal shaped instead of domed because they didn’t spread enough.

Note: You should follow these guidelines unless the original recipe directs you to bake them from frozen or refrigerator cold.

Baking Frozen Cut Out Cookies

When baking frozen cut out cookies, you won’t have the same concerns that you have with drop cookies.

The best way to bake cut out cookie dough cookies is if they’re slightly cold still. It’s typical in a cut out cookie recipe to chill the rolled dough and cut out shapes prior to baking them anyway.

Baking from the chilled state, you’ll have nice edges because the cookies won’t spread, which in this case is a actually a bonus.

close up shot of cookie dough in a cookie scoop

More How to Freeze Tutorials:

Now that you know everything there is to know about freezing cookies, here are some more helpful freezer. tutorials:

Did you know that you can also freeze kale? Here’s How to Freeze Kale 4 different ways, depending on how you want to use it!

Frozen grapes make for great snacks on hot days, and they can be thrown into smoothies. Here’s How to Freeze Grapes the easy way!

Next time you make a batch pancakes or waffles, make some extra and follow this quick and easy tutorial for How to Freeze Pancakes and Waffles. I’ve also given instructions on how to reheat them!

Freezing raspberries is a wonderful way to enjoy summer’s harvest year-round! This guide explains How to Freeze Raspberries, plus it answers the most commonly asked questions about thawing frozen raspberries and using them in recipes.

Did you know that smoothies can easily be prepped in advance and frozen. So easy and delicious! Check out How to Make Freezer Smoothies.

Yep, you can freeze spinach too. Here’s How to Freeze Spinach, plus a yummy smoothie you can make with it.

Who doesn’t love a good kitchen tip? Looking for more kitchen tutorials? Check out the entire Kitchen Tips and Tricks archive for lots of great ideas!

Do you ever freeze cookie dough? What is your favorite recipe?

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cookie dough balls on a tray

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Cookie dough freezes extremely well and is the perfect sweet treat to keep stashed in your freezer to instantly satisfy those sweet tooth cravings. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough and bake it later.

Ingredients

  • Cookie Dough

SUPPLIES

  • Cookie Scoop (this makes the cookies uniform in size, and quicker to roll)
  • Cookie Sheet or Baking Tray
  • Gallon Sized Ziploc bag
  • Permanent Marker

Instructions

How to Freeze Drop Cookies

  1. I like to use parchment paper to line the pan when freezing the cookies, so do that first.
  2. Then, roll the entire batch of cookie dough into balls just like you would if you were baking them.
  3. Layer them on a sheet pan in a single layer as you scoop them. Fill the baking pan or tray with all the uncooked rolled cookie dough balls.
  4. Then, cover it with plastic wrap.
  5. After layering the individual dough balls in a single layer on the parchment lined pan, stick the filled pan in the freezer for the initial freeze.
  6. Freeze until the cookie dough balls are hard.
  7. Meanwhile, take a gallon sized zip top freezer-safe bag and label it with the recipe name, date, cooking temperature and time details.
  8. When the cookie dough is frozen, remove the pan from the freezer.
  9. Store the cookie dough in an airtight container, plastic freezer bag, or in vacuum sealed bags.
  10. Label the bag or container with date, contents, baking instructions, and bake time.

How to Freeze Cut Out Cookies

  1. For cut-out cookies, like these vanilla cutout sugar cookies or these gingerbread cookies, you will follow the same instructions as above, but instead of rolling the cookie dough, you’ll pre-cut your batch of cookies.
  2. After you flash freeze the cookie dough on the parchment lined baking sheet, store the cookies in the same way as cookie dough balls.

Notes

Baking Frozen Drop Cookies

For best results your frozen dough balls should thaw until the dough is pliable but not overly soft. This will allow your fresh-baked cookies to be normal shaped instead of domed because they didn’t spread enough.

Note: You should follow these guidelines unless the original recipe directs you to bake them from frozen or refrigerator cold.

Baking Frozen Cut Out Cookies

The best way to bake cut out cookie dough cookies is if they’re slightly cold still. It’s typical in a cut out cookie recipe to chill the rolled dough and cut out shapes prior to baking them anyway.

Baking from the chilled state, you’ll have nice edges because the cookies won’t spread, which in this case is a actually a bonus.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 148Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 93mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 2g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Homemade Cookie Recipes That Freeze Well:

Now that you know what to do with all that cookie dough, it’s time to get to it! Here are some of our family favorite cookie recipes to keep stashed in the freezer for any time that a sweet tooth strikes.

a photo of White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies on a marble tray

Save these instructions for How to Freeze Cookie Dough to Pinterest!

Gisele

Wednesday 31st of October 2018

Thanks for this post! I'm just wondering about the NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe, which is all about the dough resting in the fridge before baking. Should I let the dough rest in the fridge before freezing, or can the dough go into the freezer right away?

Katie

Wednesday 31st of October 2018

I always put it straight in the freezer and they still taste awesome so for me the convenience of freezing them right away way outweighs the off chance it might be slightly better. I figure it is resting in the freezer, too...just colder than in the fridge. HAHA!

Audra Williams

Wednesday 16th of May 2018

Have you tried freezing monster cookie dough. I love the idea.

Katie

Monday 25th of June 2018

I have not tried freezing monster cookie dough

chrissie

Sunday 27th of September 2015

i didnt see where to find your recipe for the cookies shown..did i over look it? I am doing this with my girls so they will have cookies all winter even if we get snowed in..lol

Katie Goodman

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Here is the recipe for the cookie dough in the photograph http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/09/oatmeal-almond-chocolate-chunk-cookies.html

Emma

Wednesday 21st of January 2015

how long can the raw cookie dough stay in the freezer for?

Katie Goodman

Thursday 22nd of January 2015

I would say about 6 weeks or so. Ours never last that long that because we eat them up.

Shirley

Friday 9th of May 2014

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!

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