Knowing how to freeze cookie dough for later use can be a real timesaver, whether baking in batches or just wanting to enjoy a few cookies from your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Frozen cookie dough is convenient to have on hand for those last-minute baking needs and sweet tooth cravings. In this guide on how to freeze cookie dough before baking, I share several ways to cut your kitchen time in half and save you plenty of cookies to enjoy later!
- Why freeze cookie dough
- Types of cookies to freeze
- How to freeze cookie dough balls
- How to freeze cookie dough disks
- How to freeze cookie dough logs
- How to freeze cookie bar dough
- How to freeze cookie dough cutouts
- How to bake frozen cookie dough
- How to freeze baked cookies
- Expert tips for freezing cookie dough
- Freezing Cookie Dough FAQs
- Cookie Recipes
- More Baking Guides
- How To Freeze Cookie Dough & Bake Frozen Cookie Dough (Ultimate Guide)
Why freeze cookie dough
If you have ever wondered, "Can I freeze cookie dough instead of refrigerating it?" the answer is yes!
Whether you’re planning on baking cookies for a bake sale, a large party, or for holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, being aware of the different ways freezing cookie dough can make life much easier. Instead of going through the process of making the dough from scratch every time you want to bake cookies, all you have to do is grab them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven!
In addition to the convenience, freezing cookie dough can also improve the quality of the cookies. You can end up with flat and dull cookies without understanding why or how to chill cookie dough first. Freezing while making the dough allows the butter to firm up before baking and can prevent spreading. It also helps the cookies develop a beautiful golden brown color and a soft and chewy texture.
Types of cookies to freeze
When freezing cookie dough, it helps to know the different types of cookies and how they freeze best:
Drop cookies, such as my chewy chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal craisin cookies, snickerdoodle pumpkin cheesecake cookies, lemon ricotta cookies, or almond flour peanut butter cookies freeze best when you divide the dough into dough ball portions.
Slice-and-bake cookies (also known as icebox cookies or refrigerator cookies) are best when molded into logs before being frozen. Slice-and-bake dough is typically used to make smooth cookies like shortbread and butter cookies.
Bar cookies are similar to brownies in that the dough is placed in a pan and cut into squares or rectangles later. The dough for bar cookie recipes can be frozen in the pan or separately.
Dough for cutout cookies, such as gingerbread cookies, shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, or my heart-shaped cookies are best when frozen in discs. Although more labor-intensive than the other methods, it still helps to shave off a bit of time when making large batches of cookies later.
How to freeze cookie dough balls
Freezing cookie dough balls is super convenient, especially when you only want to make a few cookies or only need a small batch. It also helps curb the temptation to eat more cookies than you need! Cookie dough balls are one of the best ways to freeze chocolate chip cookie dough.
Once the homemade cookie dough has been chilled, scoop the cookie dough or use your hands to form cookie dough balls. Place the formed cookie dough balls in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and move the entire sheet to the freezer.
Let the dough balls freeze until they are completely solid. Otherwise, the dough balls can fuse when stored. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight. After the dough balls are frozen, transfer them to a sealed freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
How to freeze cookie dough disks
Freezing cookie dough discs in advance is convenient for when you plan to make cookie cutouts later. To freeze them, shape the dough into an even disk approximately one inch thick. Wrap the disc tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure to cover every surface to prevent freezer burn. Freeze the discs for up to three months. To thaw, move the wrapped dough to the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until soft enough to slice.
How to freeze cookie dough logs
Freezing dough logs are great for when you plan to make slice-and-bake cookies in the future. Here is how to freeze cookie dough in a log:
First, form the log by shaping the dough with your hands. Once you shape the dough into the desired shape and size, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Make sure that you cover every part of the surface. Freeze the dough logs for up to three months. Cookie dough logs can crumble as soon as they come out of the freezer, so it is best to let it thaw before slicing. To thaw, move the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until the dough is soft enough to cut or roll out.
How to freeze cookie bar dough
Freezing cookie bar dough as a whole in the pan is the fastest way to prepare the recipe down the line. To freeze, prepare the dough as instructed and press it into your pan of choice. Then, wrap the entire pan tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
However, if you will need the pan for another baking project, it is best to freeze the dough separately in a plastic freezer bag or plastic wrap and then thaw and press it into the pan the day before you want to bake it.
How to freeze cookie dough cutouts
Freezing cookie dough cutouts can save time when you already know what shapes you want to use. Instead of rolling out and cutting the dough or waiting for frozen cookie dough disks to thaw enough to cut, you can just thaw the cutouts and throw them in the oven! Below is how to freeze cookie dough for cookies cut into shapes:
Cut out the shapes from the dough with a cookie cutter. Then, place the cutouts on a lined baking sheet. Make sure that you place the cookies in a single layer and do not overlap them. Next, place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours until the cookies are frozen. Stack the frozen cookies in an airtight, flat storage container to prevent the cookies from getting broken. Freeze for up to three months.
How to bake frozen cookie dough
When you’re ready to enjoy your cookies, thaw the dough by placing them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then, bake as directed in the recipe.
If you are tight on time, you can also bake the frozen dough without thawing it first. To do so, place the dough on the counter while the oven preheats. Then, place the dough on a baking tray and bake as directed. Remember that since the dough is still frozen, it will need to bake for an additional couple of minutes.
How to freeze baked cookies
Freezing baked cookies comes in handy when you know you will need to prepare a large batch of cookies to enjoy or serve at a later date. To freeze, wait until the cookies are completely cooled. Then, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze them for approximately an hour or until they are solid.
Once frozen, stack the cookies in a sealable freezer bag or airtight container with parchment paper or wax paper between each cookie. Store the frozen baked cookies in the freezer for up to four months.
Expert tips for freezing cookie dough
- Use a cookie or ice cream scoop when making cookie dough balls for evenly sized cookies that fit easily into a sealed freezer bag.
- For cookies that you roll in cinnamon or sugar before baking, such as snickerdoodle or ginger molasses cookies, wait until you thaw the dough before coating them.
- To maintain the quality and freshness of the dough, use a freezer bag versus an airtight container. Freezer bags keep out more air.
- It helps to label the freezer bag with the date you make the dough, the type of dough it is, the baking temperature, and the amount of time needed to bake– just like store-bought cookie dough!
- To avoid cookies becoming soggy when thawing in the refrigerator, place them on a paper towel-lined tray in a single layer. Never thaw dough at room temperature, as doing so can encourage bacteria growth.
Freezing Cookie Dough FAQs
Yes. The egg will not make a difference to how the cookies freeze. However, cookie dough that uses whipped egg whites to give the cookies volume and texture is a little more difficult to freeze.
Any cookie dough that contains a lot of fat or butter freezes exceptionally well. Delicate cookie dough, such as the dough for French macarons or pizzelles, does not freeze well. Its texture does not hold up well in the freezer and loses moisture regardless of how well you wrap them.
The flavor of the cookies will not change if you store the frozen dough correctly. However, if stored incorrectly, the dough may become freezer-burned or absorb the odors of the freezer. Cookie dough containing fresh fruit may have a different texture after you freeze and bake it.
Although not the best way to freeze cookie dough, yes, you can freeze cookie dough in Tupperware. Just make sure that there is sufficient space between the dough balls so that they do not stick together.
More Baking Guides
How To Freeze Cookie Dough & Bake Frozen Cookie Dough (Ultimate Guide)
Cookie Dough Balls
- Once the homemade cookie dough has been chilled, scoop the cookie dough or use your hands to form cookie dough balls.
- Place the formed cookie dough balls in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and move the entire sheet to the freezer.
Cookie Dough Discs
- Shape the dough into an even disk approximately one inch thick.
- Wrap the disc tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure that every surface is covered to prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze the discs for up to three months. To thaw, move the wrapped dough to the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until soft enough to slice.
Cookie Dough Logs
- Form the log by shaping the dough with your hands.
- Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring that every part of the surface is covered.
- Freeze the dough logs for up to three months. To thaw, move the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until the dough is soft enough to cut or roll out.
Cookie Bar Dough
- Prepare the dough as instructed and press it into your pan of choice.
- Wrap the entire pan tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
Cookie Dough Cutouts
- Cut out the shapes from the dough with a cookie cutter.
- Place the cutouts on a lined baking sheet. Make sure that the cookies are placed in a single layer and not overlapping.
- Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours until the cookies are frozen.
- Stack the frozen cookies in an airtight, flat storage container to prevent the cookies from getting broken. Freeze for up to three months.