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How Long Does Cookie Dough Last in the Fridge? (and Freezer)

Have a batch of homemade cookie dough and don’t want to bake it all at one time? Wondering if you can keep the leftover dough in the fridge or freezer and for how long? Have some store bought cookie dough on hand and not sure if it’s still good?

Refrigerating or freezing cooking dough for later is great way to have fresh-baked cookies for when you have a cookie craving. Let’s run through the best practices for storing cookie dough and how to know if it has gone bad.

How Long Does Cookie Dough Last in the Fridge? (and Freezer)

Different kinds of cookie doughs will have different time frames for how long they can be stored in the refrigerator. For optimal results with your cookie dough be sure to follow our tips below.

Store-bought cookie dough or ready-made cookie doughs will have a use by date or expiration date on the package. Be sure to check this date to make sure that the cookie dough is still safe to use.

If you are using part of the cookie dough but do not want to use it all at one time the rest can easily be saved for another time. Either place in an airtight container or wrap well with plastic wrap to make sure that it doesn’t dry out in the refrigerator. If you are removing it from the original packaging make sure to write down the expiration date on the plastic wrap.

Homemade cookie dough does have a shorter shelf life than store bought cookie dough. This is due to the lack of preservatives in the cookie dough. When storing raw cookie dough be sure to place it in an tightly closed container or bag. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 1 week.

peanut butter reese's pieces cookie with a bite taken out of it
Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Cookies

Storing cookie dough in the freezer can greatly extend the shelf life of cookie dough. I do recommend different storage methods for homemade dough versus store-bought cookie doughs such as pillsbury cookie dough.

Freezing cookie dough allows you to have delicious cookies ready in a moment’s notice any time you need a cookie fix! Whether you want to bake 2 or a whole batch you can do it in just a few minutes.

The time of the year that I regularly freeze cookie dough is around the holidays when I am making Christmas Cookies. This lets me make multiple batches of cookie dough ahead of time. Then, when I am ready to bake them I have all of the dough ready to go.

Store-bought cookie dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Be sure that it is kept airtight to avoid freezer burn. I recommend storing the dough in same bucket or wrapper that you purchase it in. Ideally it will be unopened before freezing for best results.

close up of peanut butter almond flour cookies on a baking sheet with a bite taken out of one
Peanut Butter Almond Flour Cookies

Homemade cookie dough can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. This gives you plenty of time to use up the cookie dough versus the 1 week that it can be stored in the refrigerator.

The best way to store cookie dough in the freezer is to shape it into individual sized cookie dough balls (I like to use a cookie scoop for this) that you can pull from the freezer as needed.

Place the cookie dough balls in a single layer on a baking sheet and let freeze then place in an airtight container or freezer bag before storing in the freezer.

Storing homemade cookie dough in the freezer in ready to bake cookie dough balls gives you the chance to have delicious, fresh, homemade cookies any time!

Some cookie dough will bake very well when frozen others may need to be thawed before baking. The best tip for baking frozen cookie dough is to bake one cookie from frozen and see how it comes out. Keep in mind that they may require a couple extra minutes because the cookie dough is not starting at room temperature. This method will require that you store your homemade cookie dough in individual dough balls as described above.

If your cookie dough does not bake well from frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then bake as usual.

For store bought cookie dough, I recommend thawing it first. To thaw place in the refrigerator overnight. This should soften it enough that you can scoop or slice the dough easily.

double chocolate shortbread cookies
Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

There are a few different signs to look for to determine if you have spoiled cookie dough. Look for the following signs of spoilage:

  • Appearance: cookie dough that has grown mold should absolutely go in the garbage. Other signs that your cookie dough is bad is if the color has changed. Look for darker spots or gray spots.
  • Texture: Dough that has turned is likely to have changed in texture. It may be hard and crumbly instead of having a softer doughy texture.
  • Smell: If any of the ingredients in the dough have gone bad the dough will likely have a rancid smell to it.

Also, if you are questioning if you have bad cookie dough it’s better to live on the safe side and toss it. To avoid your cookie dough going bad be sure to follow our guidelines for refrigerating and freezing raw dough.

Another tip for food safety is to avoid keeping your dough in the temperature danger zone. For cookie dough this is room temperature. Once dough is mixed it should either be baked, refrigerated or frozen immediately. Also, defrost dough in the refrigerator instead of on the counter.

up close image of cranberry noel cookie
Cranberry Noel Cookie

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze cookie dough with raw eggs?

Absolutely! Most cookie dough recipes whether store-bought or homemade will include raw eggs as an ingredient. These cookie doughs can be stored in the refrigerator and freezer as described above.

What can happen if I use cookie dough that has gone bad?

Cookie dough that has gone bad can potentially give you food poisoning. If the dough has not been stored properly it can easily grow harmful bacteria. If you are questioning whether or not the cookie dough is usable go ahead and toss it to stay safe.

What about edible cookie dough?

Edible cookie dough should be used based on the instructions on the package. Since this type of dough is not made to bake the expiration dates should be followed on the package as well as storage directions. I have not tried to freeze this kind of dough.

What type of cookie dough freezes best?

I find that while any kind of cookie dough can be frozen the kind that does the best (and usually can be baked from frozen) are drop cookies. This includes some of the most popular varieties of cookies such as chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, etc. Since these cookie doughs are stiffer they hold up well in the freezer.

Can I freeze cut-out cookie dough?

As a baker I do this all the time! I like to freeze my sugar cookie dough that I use for cut-out cookies in a big block inside a freezer bag. Then, before I am ready to use it I thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight. Once it is thawed if necessary I will let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so I am able to roll it out.

Does frozen cookie dough take longer to bake?

Frozen cookie dough can definitely take a little bit longer to bake. As a general rule of thumb I add at least 1 minute to the baking time in the original recipe instructions. While this is my general rule I recommend doing a test cookie to determine how long they will take to bake.

Why is my cookie dough a darker color after being in the refrigerator?

Cookie dough may change color slightly as its sits over the first couple of days. This does not mean that the cookie dough has gone bad.

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Looking for more posts like this? Check out Can You Put Hot Coffee in the Fridge?

gluten-free peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies on a plate
Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

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