How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Freshly baked cookies are a dream… but we can’t always make a fresh batch! Learn how to how to freeze cookie dough to have fresh-baked cookies whenever you want.

Whether you want to have cookie dough on hand to eat for your sweet teeth, a stash to bake for a friend or even make cookie dough ahead of time for a party, this is a great kitchen hack to have up your sleeve!

Close up of a stack of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did not utilize my freezer nearly as much as I should have when we had our girls. While I stocked up on freezer meals and other bits and pieces (like Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Tacos) that would make for easy dinners, I missed the boat on an important course: dessert.

In fact, I didn’t start freezing cookie dough until 2020, when the world came to a screeching halt and we couldn’t find a large majority of ingredients to bake homemade cookies.

I started freezing the cookie dough balls to have some for ourselves later on, but it comes in handy when you’re making a recipe that has more cookies than you’ll eat (or share).

Surely, you’ve run into an instance where you needed to bake cookies but didn’t have time or supplies, right?

Here are a few reasons why freezer cookie dough comes in handy:

  • You have a serious sweet tooth, and you don’t want to have to make a full batch of cookies every time you have a hankering.
  • New neighbors moved in down the street, and you want to share a sweet treat.
  • A friend had a baby, and you want her to treat herself. (Bonus points for bringing her freshly baked cookies and some frozen cookie dough, too. Late night cookie cravings were a thing I had when my girls were infants.)
  • You’re hosting a party and want to serve warm cookies, but you don’t want to make the cookie dough while guests are hanging out.

No matter how you look at it, freezer cookie dough is the best! And it’s really so simple to make happen in your own home, too.

A close up of cookie dough with sprinkles

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  • Baking sheet—while a larger baking sheet can fit into my freezer sometimes, having a jelly roll pan comes in handy if your freezer is full or smaller.
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Cookie scoop—any size works!
  • Freezer plastic bag (or another freezer-safe food storage container, like a large Stasher bag)
  • Permanent marker

Obviously, in addition to these tools, you need cookie dough to freeze. Any type of drop cookie can be frozen, so choose your favorite and follow these steps!

Whenever I make a batch of cookies these days, I freeze about half of it so we have some for later! Here are a few of our favorite recipes for freezing:

Dough balls full of M&Ms sit on a baking sheet before freezing

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. This will prevent the cookie dough from sticking to it as it freezes.

If the cookie dough needs to chill before you bake it, let it do its thing, then once that step has completed, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You can scoop these relatively close together, but don’t let them touch because then they’ll freeze as one.

When all your cookies have been scooped, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours. Once frozen solid, simply transfer the frozen dough into a freezer bag.

The frozen cookie dough will keep for 2-3 months, and you can pull 1-2 cookies out at any time to bake yourself a warm cookie!

Label the bag with the date the cookies were frozen, as well as baking instructions. I like to include the oven temperature and bake time on the bag so I don’t have to find the recipe when I’m ready to bake myself a cookie.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips on a baking pan after baking

Frequently Asked Questions

Which kinds of cookie dough are best to freeze?

Any drop cookie is a candidate for freezing! If you want to freeze a roll-out cookie (like a sugar cookie), I suggest freezing the dough in a round (instead of cutting it out) OR baking them first and freezing the final cookies. The baked cookies will keep for a month or a little longer in the freezer if sealed well!

How long does cookie dough last in the freezer?

The frozen cookie dough balls should last 2-3 months in the freezer.

How do I bake frozen cookie dough?

Follow the original recipe’s instructions for oven temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking sheet, and when the oven is preheated, bake the frozen cookie dough for 1-2 minutes more than the recipe states. Keep an eye on them!

A cookie scoop holds a portion of lemon drop cookie batter on a baking sheet next to scooped cookies
  • Use the right kind of recipe to freeze individual cookies. Drop cookies, like chocolate chip cookies and other recipes that involve a cookie scoop, are great for freezing.
  • Make sure the baking sheet lies flat in the freezer to prevent the dough balls from sticking together. Similarly, leave a little space between the dough so they don’t freeze together.
  • Label your storage bag. You want to know what your cookie dough is, as well as when it was made. Also, include the oven temperature and bake time so you don’t have to find that whenever you want a freshly baked cookie.
  • If you want to freeze sugar cookie dough, freeze it in a round. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap well so that it doesn’t get freezer burn. This will keep for 2-3 months, as well. Defrost it in the fridge before rolling out and cutting it into shapes.
Dough balls full of M&Ms sit on a baking sheet before freezing with the text 'how to freeze cookie dough'
Dough balls full of M&Ms sit on a baking sheet before freezing
Yield: 20-40 frozen cookies

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezer Time: 4 hours 3 seconds
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes 3 seconds
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Freshly baked cookies are a dream... but we can't always make a fresh batch! Learn how to how to freeze cookie dough to have fresh-baked cookies whenever you want.

Materials

  • Raw cookie dough

Tools

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Cookie scoop
  • Freezer plastic bag (or a freezer-safe food storage container)
  • Permanent marker

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. This will prevent the cookie dough from sticking to it as it freezes.
  2. If the cookie dough needs to chill before you bake it, let it do that. Once it's chilled (if necessary), scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You can scoop these relatively close together, but don't let them touch because then they'll freeze as one.
  3. When all your cookies have been scooped, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours. Once frozen solid, simply transfer the frozen dough into a freezer bag.
  4. Label the bag with the date the cookies were frozen, as well as baking instructions. I include the oven temperature and bake time on the bag so I don't have to find the recipe when I'm ready to bake myself a cookie.
  5. When you want a freezer cookie, preheat the oven to the specified temperature and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake straight from the freezer for 1-2 minutes more than the original recipe states, and enjoy warm!

Notes

The frozen cookie dough will keep for 2-3 months, and you can pull 1-2 cookies out at any time to bake yourself a warm cookie!

Tips and tricks for freezing cookie dough

  • Use the right kind of recipe to freeze individual cookies. Drop cookies, like chocolate chip cookies and other recipes that involve a cookie scoop, are great for freezing.
  • Make sure the baking sheet lies flat in the freezer to prevent the dough balls from sticking together. Similarly, leave a little space between the dough so they don't freeze together.
  • Label your storage bag. You want to know what your cookie dough is, as well as when it was made. Also, include the oven temperature and bake time so you don't have to find that whenever you want a freshly baked cookie.
  • If you want to freeze sugar cookie dough, freeze it in a round. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap well so that it doesn't get freezer burn. This will keep for 2-3 months, as well. Defrost it in the fridge before rolling out and cutting it into shapes.

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