How to Freeze Cookie Dough

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Keeping frozen cookie dough on hand is a great way to have fresh chocolate chip cookies whenever you like. This guide teaches you how to freeze cookie dough and how to bake from frozen!

cookie dough ready to freeze

Hi! Just popping in to share this ultimate guide on how to freeze cookie dough! I always have frozen cookie dough on hand in my freezer, especially chocolate chip cookie dough.

Having a stash of frozen cookie dough is a great way to be prepared for a last minute cookie emergency. It is great to have your favorite cookies ready to bake if you need a last minute gift or something to take for dessert, or if you have a friend popping over.

I often double a homemade cookie recipe and freeze some dough or baked cookies to gift to others at a later date. We often also bake off one or two after dinner – so much easier than making a full batch of cookies! This method also works great if you want to get a good head start on your Christmas cookies!

balls of cookie dough on sheet pan

Yes! Most cookie dough freezes well, particularly these kinds:

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For drop cookies such as chocolate chip cookies:

  1. Make the cookie dough as directed. If the recipe calls for a chill period, follow the steps in the recipe and chill the dough in the fridge according to the recipe’s instructions. This helps to develop flavour in the cookies.
  2. If the cookie dough is not already scooped out, scoop with a cookie scoop as directed onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer.
  3. If you are adding chocolate pieces to the top of your cookies, do this before they go into the freezer as it is too hard to stick chocolate to frozen cookies.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the dough balls until solid.
  5. Transfer the frozen dough to a ziplock bag, freezer bag, or airtight container and label.
  6. Store in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

For cookies with a sugar / sprinkle coating:

  1. Make the cookie dough as directed, but do not roll in the sugar or sprinkle coating.
  2. Freeze the balls of dough uncoated following the directions above.
  3. When you are ready to bake, remove the cookie dough balls from the freezer and leave to stand while you preheat the oven, to allow the outsides of the cookies to thaw slightly, then roll in the sprinkles or sugar coating.

For cookie bars:

  1. Prepare according to the directions in the recipe, then place into the pan and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Freeze in the pan, then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Alternatively you can freeze the dough in a ziplock bag or plastic wrap, defrost, and press into the pan.
egg yolk chocolate chip cookies

How to bake cookies from frozen dough

Either you can defrost the cookie dough overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for a couple of hours and bake as per the recipe, or you can bake the cookies from frozen (the option I use the most often because I have terrible time management).

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If the recipe specifies a method for baking from frozen then use that, otherwise you can choose to either bake at the original temperature, or reduce the oven temperature a little.

  • Preheat the oven about 20°f / 15°c lower than the recipe specifies. This lower temperature gives the dough time to spread while ensuring the middle is baked through without the edges burning. You will need to add a few minutes onto the bake time to account for frozen dough.
  • Bake frozen dough at the temperature specified in baking instructions, and add a few minutes onto the bake time. This may give you slightly crispier edges as the cookie is in the oven a little longer.

Both these methods work well – I use both depending on the kind of cookie dough. There is no hard and fast method for all cookies, each behaves differently depending on the recipe and ratio of ingredients in the cookie. If you are concerned about the outcome, bake one frozen cookie dough ball as a tester first to see how it bakes up.

How to freeze baked cookies

For cookies such as cut-out cookies or roll-out cookies, you are best to freeze them once they are baked. I like to stack my cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers, then freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Cookies such as chocolate chip cookies or cookie bars also freeze super well – I usually spread them out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, freeze until solid, then store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks. Defrost either in the fridge or at room temperature. This method also works for brownies and brookies.

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I prefer to refresh chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip cookie bars that have been frozen – a quick zap in the microwave seems to help make them taste nice and fresh.

For all my tips on how to make perfect chocolate chip cookies, check out my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe!

cookie dough with chocolate and no chocolate

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you freeze cookie dough?

I store my frozen cookie dough in the freezer for up to two months after freezing. Make sure that the container or bag it is in is tightly sealed.

Does frozen cookie dough need to be thawed before baking?

No – I often bake straight from frozen, and either adjust the bake time by a few minutes, or drop the oven temperature a little.

What temperature do I bake frozen cookie dough at?

For chocolate chip cookies, I usually drop the oven temperature about 20°f / 15°c to account for the frozen dough. This gives the cookie time to spread without the edges burning before the middle is done. For example, if the recipe instructs you to bake at 350°f / 180°c, I would bake the frozen cookie dough at 330°f / 165°c.

Should I chill cookie dough before freezing?

If the recipe calls for a chill period either before or after scooping the dough, make sure that you do that before freezing the dough, as it helps develop the flavour of the cookie.

ball of cookie dough

For more cookie recipes, check out:

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Author: Erin Clarkson