How to Freeze Cookie Dough

image of cookies with How to Freeze Cookie Dough text

Welcome to a new baking tips article! My Baking Tips section is a place where both beginner and advanced bakers can learn the how’s, why’s, and what’s of baking. Hopefully you’ve learned a lot from my previous posts like:

Today we’re digging deep into the cookie world where I teach you exactly how I freeze cookie dough. Doesn’t sound revolutionary, but you won’t believe the confusion and mistakes one can make when it comes to freezing cookie dough. And since the holidays are right around the corner, I know you’ll want to begin making Christmas cookies ahead of time. Let’s get started!

brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough

Why Freeze Cookie Dough?

I know you’ve run into a situation where you needed fresh-baked cookies.

  • Cousin have a baby?
  • Kids want a special after school snack?
  • New neighbors move in?
  • Homemade teacher gift?
  • Hosting an impromptu girls night?

There is ALWAYS a welcomed opportunity for homemade cookies and now you can always be prepared with cookie dough in the freezer. Simply remove from the freezer and bake.

I freeze cookie dough all the time. If I’m in a pinch or need dessert on the fly, I open the freezer and I have cookie dough ready to be placed in the oven. You will not believe the amount of headaches I’m saved by having it on hand. 10 minutes later, I have fresh baked cookies.

cookie dough balls ready to be frozen

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Freezing cookie dough is easy. I’m sure everyone has their own way, but here’s the easiest and most convenient.

  1. After the homemade cookie dough has chilled in the refrigerator (if the cookie recipe requires chilling), roll the cookie dough into balls.
  2. Chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a labeled zipped-top bag– large or small depending on how much dough you have.
  4. Label the bag with the month and the baking temperature and place the bag in the freezer.
  5. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. The date will help you determine when the cookie dough is fresh and the temperature is written for obvious reasons. Really, you can write whatever is helpful to you. The date, temperature, time, recipe name, etc.
  6. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer. Preheat the oven according to the recipe’s instructions.
  7. Bake the cookies for a minute or two longer since the dough is frozen.

Pardon the date, I took this photo in 2015 when I originally published this blog post. 🙂

cookie dough balls in a zip top bag ready to be frozen

Which Cookie Dough is Best to Freeze?

  • Any cookie dough with a lot of butter or fat.
  • Drop cookies are best. What I mean is cookies like chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, etc.
  • Shortbread also freezes beautifully.
  • Icebox cookie dough is great. (I’m referring to slice and bake cookies.) Just tightly wrap the logs in plastic wrap, then into freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months, then let it thaw in the refrigerator for an hour or two before slicing.
  • Delicate doughs don’t hold up well in the freezer– avoid freezing French macaron, pizzelle, or madeleine cookie doughs.

Freezing Cookie Cutter Cookie Dough

Cookie cutter cookies, like sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies, also freeze well though the process is a little different from above. Wrap the cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then roll out, cut into shapes, and bake according to the recipe’s instructions.

Freezing Cookie Dough Rolled in Cinnamon or Sugar

For cookies rolled into cinnamon or sugar, like snickerdoodles or peanut butter blossoms, freeze the cookie dough balls without the topping. When you are ready to bake, remove the balls from the freezer, let sit for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll into topping. No need to bake for an extra minute or two since the cookies have defrosted a little.

Freezing Cookie Cake or Cookie Bar Dough

You can freeze cookie cake cookie dough. If making a funfetti cookie cake, chocolate chip cookie cake, chocolate chip cookie bars, or even a skillet chocolate chip cookie— you can freeze the prepared cookie dough. Simply prepare the cookie dough according to the recipe’s instructions. Then, chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, wrap up the cold dough tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped ball of dough into a zipped-top bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Press dough into prepared cake pan and bake according to recipe’s instructions.

Snickerdoodle cookies

Freezing Baked Cookies

Instead of freezing cookie dough, you can also freeze baked cookies like almond biscotti, oatmeal raiain cookies, and sugar cookies (before decorating).

After your baked cookies have cooled completely:

  1. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid (this way they won’t stick to each other in the freezer).
  2. Then, place in a tupperware or container with parchment between each layer. Or into zipped-top bags.
  3. Freeze up to 3 months.
  4. Then, take the cookies out of the containers and thaw overnight in the refrigerator or simply on the counter.

You can also freeze baked bar cookies like butterscotch blondies or homemade brownies. I usually wait until the tray has cooled completely, then I cut into squares and freeze the squares in layers between parchment paper in a tupperware.

chocolate chip, M&M, and chocolate cookies

Start getting prepped NOW for the busy holiday season. Or simply hold onto this post for future reference when you need to prep goodies ahead of time. I hope all of this helps! Here are all my cookie recipes. I usually note freezing instructions in each recipe as well, so make sure you check!

See also: How to Freeze Cakes

Cookie dough and cookies pictured in this post: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip CookiesInside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies (but with chocolate chips, not white chocolate chips!), and Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook.

Instructions for freezing cookie dough! Great make-ahead tips for the busy holiday season!
Instructions for freezing cookie dough! Great make-ahead tips for the busy holiday season!


Comments are closed.

  1. Thank you for all your tips! I have been baking for over 40 years with much success and some errors, your tips are amazing. I do freeze baked goods after baking, due to the large amount of goodie boxes and trays I give out for Christmas. I have never put my dough in the freezer, but definitely will be trying in the future. My sugar cut out cookies, I bake and frost before freezing with wax paper lined between layers. I received one of your books today, as well as the cookie press and looking forward to trying out new things this year with your recipes. Much thanks for all you share

    1. I freeze my chocolate chip cookie dough in to balls I believe it bakes up better after freezing. I have kept it up to 1year. I also freeze baked cookies.
      No one knows the difference But you have to watch what you freeze them in or wrap them in or they will take on the flavor.

  2. Juanita Seguin says:

    I have always been leery of freezing cookies, for fear of a change of texture. Do they really ”feel” the same as fresh-baked cookies?

    1. Thawed cookies certainly don’t taste like they just came out of the oven, but most thaw wonderfully and tasters shouldn’t notice a difference.

  3. Thanks for so much useful information. I certainly will be freezing my dough this pre Christmas time!

  4. Hi Sally,

    You’re such an amazing baker! I have baked so many of your recipes. I am preparing my cookie fest also for Christmas time. I make about 1,000 cookies mostly chocolate chip and peanut butter blossoms. After reading this post I am going to start my cookie baking this weekend and freeze the chocolate cookie dough, but I do have a question about the dough for peanut butter blossoms, would you happen to know if the dough can be frozen as well? Thank you for all your help!

    1. Hi Audrey! Such a great plan to get ahead on your baking. Especially 1,000 cookies. That’s seriously impressive!!! Yes, you can freeze the peanut butter blossoms cookie dough. 🙂

  5. Theresa Wilson says:

    Your recipes look so delicious, but there is no temp setting for any of them. I really need that, bad. Thanks, can’t wait to taste some of your recipies.

    1. Hi Theresa! The temperature is listed in the instructions part of the recipes. Let me know which recipes in particular that you are having trouble locating the oven temperature.

  6. Thanks for this post! I bake a TON of cookies for Christmas and was thinking of making the doughs this week and freezing them so I can bake them off over the weekend.

    Can you freeze biscotti dough? I was going to make it, form it into the biscotti log, and then freeze it to then bake as the full log after. Will this work?

    1. Yes, you can definitely freeze the biscotti dough!

  7. Do lemon cookies lose their flavor when the dough is frozen first?

    1. Not that I’ve found!

  8. Thank you Sally for the advise. One thing I have done in the past for my favorite vegan cookie dough is once the dough is mixed, I scoop the dough in ice cube trays and place those in the freezer. Hen I can take them out and put in bags or I just eat them frozen raw. Ice cube trays do wonders I think.

    1. That is such a great tip, Jessica!

  9. Hi Sally!
    I’m planning to freeze cookie cutter cookies (made in animal shapes) for my sons birthday. How long after defrosting do you need to wait before decorating?

    1. Hi Lisa! Once defrosted, you can decorate the cookies. They can even still be cold, but make sure they aren’t totally frozen when decorating.

  10. I want to make easy peanut butter cookies…sugar, peanut butter, and egg…would the dough freeze ok?
    Thank you

    1. I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it!

  11. I always mix up a batch of cookies and end up rolling into balls and freeze. What a good thing to find in the freezer for an emergency. I also like to pop the baked cookie in the microwave for a quick warmup. They taste like a fresh baked cookie. Enjoy all the hints!

  12. Can I roll and cut out my sugar cookie dough, then wrap and freeze? I have a small business so I bake to order (in small amounts ie 1/2 dz), but I would like to have them oven ready. It seems like the cut outs would take less time to thaw than the log.

    1. Definitely!

  13. What are your thoughts on shipping frozen cookie dough?

    1. I have not ever tried to ship the dough! I’m sure there are special cold packs that you can purchase but I haven’t personally tried it.

  14. Thank you! I always bake ahead of time for the holidays, as my job keeps me very busy when that time rolls around, but I LOVE celebrating! I have frozen baked cookies and the first pie I ever made from scratch, and there was a noticeable quality difference once they were thawed. I am excited to try freezing the dough instead and see how it turns out! This could be a lifesaver.

  15. I bake cookies for sale. Can I bake the soft Choc Chip Cookie. Because I saw it only last a week in a fridge

    1. Cookies usually stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature and for 3 months in the freezer. See the recipe notes of the exact recipe you wish to use!

  16. I often freeze sugar cookies after they’re baked and decorated in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers. If I make the dough in advance and freeze it, can I still freeze the baked cookies?

    1. Definitely!

  17. Kathleen Wilton says:

    If I make shortbread dough, can I freeze it and when ready thaw it, roll it out and cut the biscuits. You seem to suggest you should cook the biscuits whilst frozen. Thanks

    1. Hi Kathleen! Happy to help. Yes, you can freeze shortbread dough, thaw it out, and shape as needed for your recipe. I only suggest not thawing out to save a step with already shaped cookie dough balls.

  18. Arleen Delgado says:

    Hi, Sally, I’m looking to save some time this Christmas by freezing my cookie dough, mostly drop cookies like Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal. I was looking at your steps on how to freeze and would like your thoughts on Step 2 which talks about freezing the cookie dough balls for another hour before going into the freezer. I’m worried about not having enough space in my fridge and food odors. Would placing the balls on a cookie sheet in my chest freezer for a short period of time before bagging them work as well? And if so, how much time – 15 minutes? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Arleen, You can definitely try a quick freeze on a cookie sheet before bagging them! Just keep them in there long enough that they won’t stick together once placed in your freezer bags.

      1. Arleen Delgado says:

        Thanks, I appreciate your quick response! Happy Holidays!

  19. Hi Sally. Do you think I can roll out the sugar cookie dough and then freeze? That way when I’m ready all I have to do is thaw & use cookie cutters? I have to make 3 dozen “80”Birthday cookies and am trying to make it as easy as possible when it’s time to bake & decorate them.

    1. Hi Joni- absolutely! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Or, bake the cookies now, and freeze the baked cookies. Let them thaw at room temperature prior to decorating.

  20. This post is so helpful, Sally! I am gearing up for a huge cookie sale this month and I am so happy that I can work on the batches a little at a time and freeze them for when I’m ready. It will be such a time saver!
    Thanks again!

  21. For snickerdoodles, do you go ahead and roll in cinnamon and sugar before freezing or let them that a bit and roll right before baking?

    1. I always freeze the plain cookie dough balls, then roll into sugar after freezing. See “Freezing Cookie Dough Rolled in Cinnamon or Sugar” for more information 🙂

      1. Thank you so much! This is going to make my holiday baking so much easier!

  22. For sugar and gingerbread cookie dough, do you have to chill it first and then freeze? Or can you just wrap the two disc in plastic wrap and put directly into the freezer?

    1. You can put them directly into the freezer as you mention! No chilling needed prior.

  23. This site is a gem of information for newbie bakers like myself. Thank you so much for the tips…I was contemplating freezing cookie dough in advance to keep it fresh before the big baking day but was a little leary of doing so.

  24. Saoirse Sheldon says:

    Question: I make Mini Chocolate Chip Snowballs (with pecans). Can I freeze the dough? My recipe makes about 60 cookies and I just don’t need to make that many.

    1. I don’t see why not! I’d recommend rolling the dough into individual balls and then freezing.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! I love soft chewy cookies and yours are my go-to recipes 🙂

    One question – what changes if I scoop the soft dough into balls and freeze those instead of letting it chill in the fridge first?

    1. Hi Melodi! It can be difficult to scoop extra soft cookie dough into neat balls before freezing– AND the cookies could still over-spread. So for best taste, texture, and ease, I recommend that you still chill the cookie dough if the cookie recipe instructs it, then roll/scoop and freeze as directed.

  26. is it okay to go ahead and roll the cookies in sugar before freezing does it really make a difference?Thanks

    1. You can, but more of the sugar dissolves into the cookie dough as it thaws (as it’s baking).

  27. Hi Sally 🙂
    I have a question about frozen cookie dough. You were one of the first people to pop in my mind when I considered who might know about this! Have you ever had cookie dough balls that didn’t quite fully freeze solid? I freeze dough balls often, and they usually freeze solid with no problem. After the first hour, they were firm enough to get into a ziplock for storage. Today (24 hours later), they didn’t seem like fully frozen solid balls when I took a few out to bake. I easily reshaped each one into a more ball-like shape. This cookie dough was oil-based, not butter-based. I’ve frozen other oil-based doughs, but haven’t noticed a significant difference. My freezer temp and other food in the freezer seem just fine, so I don’t think that’s a factor. Any ideas?
    P.S. One of my all-time favorite cookies is your Soft Gingersnap Molasses…thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Erin, Without knowing the recipe you are referring to it’s hard to say. If it’s a very heavy oil based dough then it likely won’t get completely solid when frozen.

      1. Thanks, Sally! And congrats on your happy family news 🙂

  28. Hi Sally,
    I will be making sugar cookies, decorated with royal icing for an upcoming wedding. What are your thoughts on preparing in advance, baking, and decorating and then freezing? What would be a good and safe process for that. I don’t want my wax or parchment paper getting stuck to the cookies when thawing and messing up my iced cookie.

    1. Hi Cierra, Plain or decorated sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

  29. My oven quit working right when I’m making cookies! Can I freeze the cookie dough till it’s fixed?

    1. Yes, cookie dough freezes well for up to 3 months.

  30. I froze some balls of peanut butter cookie dough. Do you think they will flatten into cookie shape if cooked from frozen? I usually flatten with fork then bake.

    1. Hi Tim, it depends on the recipe and ingredients. I would still flatten them out if you usually do so.

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