Frozen cookie dough is the perfect hack for busy bakers. Freezing your cookie dough means you can have warm, freshly baked homemade cookies at a moment’s notice! Learn the best methods, tips and tricks for freezing cookie dough of all kinds with this simple guide.
Before learning how to freeze cookie dough, you’ve got to have some of the best cookie recipes! Our favorites include these chocolate chip pudding cookies and of course cake mix cookies are a reader favorite.
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Why Freeze Cookie Dough
There are plenty of reasons you might choose to freeze a batch of cookie dough. Sometimes a recipe makes more dough than you need at one time. No problem–just freeze the rest!
Freezing is also a great tool for those of us who like to get a LOT of baking done in one go. Around the holidays, it’s nice to get all the dough prepped ahead of time so you can make cookies fresh for all the parties and gift exchanges.
- Freeze cookie dough after scooping for best results.
- Store frozen cookie dough in airtight container.
- Freeze cookies in airtight container AFTER baking.
I tend to have a couple of batches of frozen cookie dough in my freezer at any given time. When company drops by (expected or otherwise) or we’re craving something sweet, I can serve delicious homemade cookies without the hassle of starting from scratch.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
It’s easy to freeze almost any kind of cookie dough, but you do want to follow a few simple guidelines for best results.
- Choose a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. If your cookie sheets are on the larger size, try using two smaller baking sheets instead.
- Scoop the cookie dough according to the recipe directions. Remember to use the same size cookie scoop as you would if you were planning to bake the cookies right away. If the recipe calls for any shaping or flattening of the cookies do it now.
- Freeze on the baking sheet for about 2 hours. You want the balls of dough to be fully hardened so they don’t get stuck together later.
- Transfer to a sealed container. Once the dough is frozen solid, place the balls of dough in an airtight freezer-safe container until you’re ready to bake it.
What Types of Cookie Dough Freeze Best
Any cookie dough that contains fats like butter, shortening or oil tends to freeze well. Avoid freezing the dough for delicate cookies that rely on whipped egg whites, such as macarons.
Peanut butter cookies are a favorite! Scoop dough, press with fork, and freeze!
This Shortbread cookie dough is a great option for freezing because of the high ratio of fats to solids in the recipe. I also love freezing all kinds of chocolate chip cookie dough.
You can also freeze sugar cookie dough! Roll out the dough and cut it into the desired shapes first. A perfect way to prep for Christmas cookie decorating parties!
Note: If you’re freezing cookie dough that contains sprinkles (like my Funfetti Cookies, the sprinkles may “bleed” color into the cookies as they thaw and bake, altering the appearance of the finished cookies.
How to Bake Frozen Cookie Dough
There are two approaches to baking frozen cookie dough.
Some bakers always thaw their dough in the fridge overnight before baking. I usually don’t bother with this step.
Instead, I just put frozen cookies directly on the baking sheet and into the oven. Space them 2 -3 inches apart and bake the cookies at the time and temperature indicated in the recipe directions.
Simple, quick and easy.
You may need to add few minutes to the baking time to compensate for the temperature of the cookies. Check the cookies at the suggested baking time and add extra oven time if they’re still underdone.
Yes, if the recipe calls for dough to be chilled before baking, you should do this before scooping it onto the baking sheet. Many recipes require chill time to allow flavors in the dough to combine.
You should add any toppings, like chocolate chips, raisins or nuts, to the cookie dough before it goes into the freezer.
Since we’re not baking the cookies, you can place the scoops very close together. Just avoid letting them touch each other until they’re frozen solid.
The answer depends on the individual recipe and your freezer. I like to use frozen dough within 1 -2 months for freshest flavor. Many kinds of dough can be stored up to 3 months!
There’s no need to thaw frozen dough before baking in most circumstances. I love the convenience of taking cookie dough directly from the freezer to the oven.
Favorite Cookie Recipes
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- No Bake Cookies
- Icebox cookies
- Banana Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
- 1 batch cookie dough
- Make drop/scoop cookie dough according to recipe.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop size recommended by the original recipe, scoop cookie dough onto the baking sheet, close together but not touching.
- Transfer the baking sheet to your freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or until the dough has hardened.
- Place the hardened scoops into a freezer safe storage bag. Label the bag with the contents, oven temp, baking time and date.
- To bake, transfer frozen cookie dough to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place cookie dough 2-3 inches apart and bake at time and temperature according to recipe directions. You may need to add several minutes to the bake time to accomodate the frozen cookie dough.
- Be sure to pick a baking sheet size (or possibly 2 smaller size sheets) that will fit in your freezer.
- Because you are freezing the dough and not baking, the cookies can be placed very close together.
- If the dough requires a chilling time for flavors to combine, do this step before the dough is scooped onto the baking sheet.
- If anything is going to be pressed into the tops of the cookies (additional candies, raisins, etc.) this should be done before the dough is transferred to the freezer. Same goes with rolling in sugar, etc.
- If the dough is one that requires flattening or shaping, for example a peanut butter cookie, this should be done before the dough is frozen.
- Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Baking time may need to be adjusted slightly to compensate for the frozen dough. Or thaw cookie dough in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
- To freeze sugar cookies, cut out cookie shapes then place on parchment paper lined baking sheet (you can top each layer of cookies with a sheet of parchment paper and freeze them as a stack. After two hours, transfer frozen cookie dough cut outs to an airtight container (or freezer safe ziploc). When ready to bake, add a few minutes to the bake time.
Learn how to freeze cookie dough for quick and easy homemade cookies any time!
Oh this is a life saver! Now I can make homemade cookies on even busy days! Thank you for these recipes.
I am so happy I found this, it was so helpful! Such a time saver!
Love this post! So helpful!