Did you make too much cookie dough or simply didn’t have the time to bake it on the same day? How long does cookie dough last in the fridge? Once you know the shelf life of refrigerated cookie dough it will be easier to bake them in time or even prep the dough ahead!
Cookies are one of my favorite homemade treats. They’re easy to make and the variations are endless so there’s always a new and exciting cookie to try!
Regardless if your cookie dough is store-bought or homemade, it will have a limited shelf life. In this post, we’ll discuss how long they last in the fridge, the best ways to store them, cookie recipe ideas, and more!
🍪 How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Fridge?
The time refrigerated cookie dough stays safe to eat depends on what kind it is. Unlike the store-bought kind, homemade cookie dough doesn’t have any preservatives which means it will have a shorter shelf-life.
Stored in the fridge, homemade cookie dough stays good for up to 4 days, according to the USDA.
For optimal freshness, wrap the cookie dough tightly or place it in an airtight container before refrigerating.
Cookie dough bought from the store often has preservatives so it stays fresh for longer. Its shelf life varies across brands so it’s best to check the best-by date or expiration date on the package.
If you only used some of it, wrap the leftover cookie dough or store it in an airtight container before placing it in the fridge.
Don’t forget to label it with the use-by date if it’s no longer in the original package.
Why Refrigerate Cookie Dough?
Besides storing cookie dough in the fridge to keep it fresh for longer, there’s another reason chilling it can help.
If you baked your fair share of cookies, you might have noticed many recipes require chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes before scooping it on a baking tray.
There are several reasons why this is a common recommendation: refrigerating the dough will cause it to firm up, making it easier to scoop it.
The second reason is, this will cause the fat inside the dough to melt slower, which will control the spread.
Furthermore, letting the dough chill allows the flavors to intensify, which is definitely something we all want. King Arthur Baking did some tests so you can see how cookies made with room-temperature and cookie dough chilled for several periods of time turn out.
How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Freezer?
This also depends on the type of cookie dough. Homemade cookie dough can last for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Technically, it can last longer but using it within 2 months will provide the best texture and flavor.
According to FoodSafety.gov, even store-bought cookie dough should be consumed within 2 months, if frozen from the date of purchase. The information is similar to the How Long Does Cake Last in the Fridge except for the cake is fully cooked.
If cookie dough has been in the freezer for too long it can get freezer burns, a noticeable freezer taste and it might not rise well when baking.
How To Freeze Cookie Dough
Depending on your personal preferences, there are several ways to freeze cookie dough.
Keep it in one piece, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock bag or airtight container. Let it thaw in the fridge before using.
The second option, which happens to be my favorite, is to shape the dough balls individually and freeze them on a cookie sheet for 6-8 hours. Place the balls in a freezer-safe bag before they go back in the freezer.
Make sure you’re using a freezer-safe bag to avoid freezer burns. Let them come to room temperature before baking, like I do for my cranberry bliss cake mix cookies.
This is a great way to have a sweet treat on hand and you don’t need to take the entire batch of cookie dough out of the freezer.
Cut-out cookie dough can be frozen as sheets with parchment paper in between layers and placed in freezer bags. Let it thaw in the fridge until it’s soft enough to cut out shapes.
Shortbread cookie dough is best stored in a log shape. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Let it soften in the fridge and you’ll be able to easily cut it into thin slices.
How Can You Tell If Cookie Dough Has Gone Bad?
Is your cookie dough near the end of its shelf life or you can’t remember how long it’s been sitting in the fridge? Here are some signs of spoilage you should look out for:
- Visible mold – This is a clear sign your cookie dough needs to be discarded.
- Color changes – Any darker or grayish spots indicate the dough has gone bad.
- Hard and crumbly texture
- Hardened and/or darkened edges
- Rancid or sour smell
When the cookie dough looks fine but you know it’s been in the fridge or freezer for too long it’s best to stay on the safe side and toss it in the garbage.
Last but not least, cookie dough shouldn’ be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours as it will allow bacteria to multiply fast.
Once you prep the dough either bake it immediately, freeze it, or store it in the refrigerator.
Quick And Easy Recipes To Make At Home
No wonder cookies are one of the most popular sweet treats. Most types of cookie dough are the kind made by dumping all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing them well.
The variety of flavors is neverending which means you have plenty of recipes to test if you’d like.
What about when you or the kids are craving cookies and you want them out of the oven a.s.a.p.? Try some of our favorite cookie recipes! Most don’t even require the dough to be chilled before scooping the cookies.
- Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookie Bars
- Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
- Cherry Almond Cookies
- No Bake Cookie Brownies
- Cranberry Bliss Thumbprint Cookies
- Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies
- Freezer Butter Cookies
- Coconut Flour Oatmeal Cookies
- Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
- Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies
If you’re trying to figure out what treats you should bake for this holiday season check out our free printable Christmas Cookie Cheat Sheet. You’ll get 8 types of cookie flavors that are perfect for a festive table!
Bakery and homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks, in the fridge for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cookies with cream-based toppings need to be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 3 days.
Storebought cookies found on grocery store shelves don’t usually require refrigeration and they last longer than homemade or bakery cookies. It’s a good idea to consult the packaging for storage instructions and an expiration date.
It depends. Some types of cookie dough turns out excellent when baked from frozen, while others require thawing.
If the recipe doesn’t say anything, you can bake just one cookie from frozen and see how it comes out. Don’t forget to add a few minutes to the baking time since you’re starting with frozen dough.
No! Cookie dough often contains eggs, butter, and other perishable ingredients and should not be consumed if it stayed for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
Bacteria thrives at room temperature so it’s best to discard cookie dough that was left out overnight.
You definitely can, unless the recipe specifically requires room-temperature dough. On that note, some recipes ask for chilling the dough before baking to make portioning easier.
If you decide to scoop the chilled dough on the baking sheet and pop it in the oven right away, be sure to let the cookies bake for a few extra minutes while keeping an eye on them.
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.