How to Store Cookie Dough

In my opinion, cookie dough is one of life’s best simple pleasures. So knowing how to store it? That’s an imperative skill.

Cookies in a bag ready to go in the freezer.

Why do I need to know How to Store Cookie Dough?

After the birth of one of my kiddos, a dear friend dropped off dinner and a tub of her homemade cookie dough. (I know, she’s the sweetest). The problem was I didn’t really know what to do with it and I didn’t have the bandwidth to bake the cookies that day. So, just in case you’re ever in my situation, or you ever want to make dough ahead of time, you’ll want to know how to store cookie dough. 

Storing cookie dough is actually very easy and is so nice to have on hand when you need it. You can purposefully double a batch of dough and save half for the future OR store excess dough so you don’t waste cookies when you only need a few. This allows you to bake only as many cookies as you need or have a wide variety of cookies easily accessible to you when you need a smorgasbord of treats pronto.

Cookie dough in a glass container without the lid. A cookie scoop is placed in the dough.

The Best Ways to Store Cookie Dough

Here’s the good news – there are lots of ways to store cookie dough, both in the fridge and the freezer. But before we get into them, let’s lay down a few ground rules for proper cookie dough storage: 

  1. Always label your container with the type of dough you are storing. You would be shocked at how similar cookie doughs look once they’ve been frozen! 
  2. Make sure you always put a date on your cookie dough before storing it. We do not want to face the travesty of cookie dough going bad or being freezer burned because we forgot how old it is. 

Great! Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk methods. The determining factor in what method you use to store your cookie dough should always be how you want to bake your dough in the future. Do you want to plop cookie dough balls on a pan and call it good? Are you planning on slicing and baking your dough? Or do you want to scoop and shape it in the future? No matter your decision, I’ve got tips for you. 

If you plan to pre-shape your cookie dough, use this method: 

  • Freezer bags: Scoop the cookie dough into small balls (or whatever shape you’d like)  and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

If you plan to slice and bake your cookies later, use one of these methods: 

  • Silicone baking mats: Scoop the cookie dough onto a silicone baking mat, and shape it into a log. Freeze the log on the baking mat, and once frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag. 
  • Plastic wrap: Roll the cookie dough into a log and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge (2 -4 days) or freezer (up to 3 months). 

Planning to scoop and bake your cookies later? Use one of these methods: 

  • Airtight containers: Place the cookie dough in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware or glass container, and store it in the fridge for 2-4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Parchment paper: Scoop the cookie dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and use the paper to wrap the dough into a ball. Place your parchment papered dough into your labeled container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Two logs of cookie dough on a silicon baking mat getting ready to be frozen and stored.

How do I use my cookie dough when I’m ready?

If you are using a slice and bake method, take your cookie dough log and slice it to your desired width. Place the slices on a baking tray and let the cookie dough come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Then place the tray in the oven and bake like normal! 

If you are planning on scooping and shaping the dough, remove it from the fridge/freezer and let it soften until pliable. Then scoop and bake like normal! 

Please note: the texture of your baked cookies may differ slightly from cookies that are made with fresh dough. You may experience longer bake times, resulting in a slightly denser cookie. But don’t worry, they will taste just as good.

How can I tell if my cookie dough has gone bad?

If your cookie dough has obvious signs of freezer burn or mold, smells/tastes gross or has become extremely crumbly, it has gone bad and should not be used.

How can I store dough that has been rolled out and cut into shapes?

If you are set on freezing the dough, I would use the “Freezer Bag” method from above. Flash freeze on a tray and then place in a freezer bag for storage. However, my recommendation for cookies that have been rolled out and shaped is to bake the cookies first and then store. If you need tips on how to do this, check out this post!

A tray of cookies ready to be put in the freezer to be frozen.

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