Home baked cookies can come together faster than you can chase an elf up a tree, when you keep a stash of baked cookies and frozen cookie dough in the freezer.
Consider whipping up a batch of Oatmeal Strawberry Cookies or Breakfast Cookies to keep on ice. Learn how to make frozen cookie dough and cookie dough balls as well as how to freeze baked cookies to enjoy later.
Don’t you love cookies? They are super portable — and their portions are easily controlled. If you can stop eating them, that is.
However, you can put your cookie fix on ice with a stash of frozen cookie dough in the freezer. These simple methods for freezing cookie dough and baked cookies make it easy to bake your kids happy or to sneak a cookie fix when you really, really need one.
And sometimes ya just really, really need one.
Why Do This
It’s quick. Mixing up cookie dough really doesn’t take much time. If you have a stand mixer, the process goes super quick. Use a quick-release cookie scoop, and dishing them out happens in a flash.
It’s inexpensive. Homemade cookies are so much more affordable than commercial cookie dough. Save your money from those school fundraisers that charge $20 a tub and make your own!
It’s delicious! Who doesn’t love cookies? Stashing baked cookies and frozen cookie dough in the freezer will make for many happy people at your house. Enjoy freshly baked cookies whenever you want!
Ways to Freeze
There are three basic methods to freezing cookies that work super well and will save you time when you want to satisfy that cookie craving.
Frozen cookie dough
Just mix up a batch or two of cookie dough and freeze it in a freezer-safe container or wrap it in plastic wrap and tuck into a ziptop freezer bag. Be sure to label the package with the date, name of the recipe, and baking instructions.
To bake: Thaw the cookie dough in the wrappings in the refrigerator until ready to scoop. Portion and bake according to the recipe instructions.
Frozen cookie dough balls
Freezing cookie dough balls takes you one step closer to finished cookies. Once you mix the dough, scoop out round tablespoonfuls onto a lined tray and place it in the freezer.
Once the balls of dough are firm, toss them in a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer.
I’ve even skipped the “quick freeze” step and just lined up 6 to 12 cookie balls on a sheet of plastic wrap. Just wrap them tightly in plastic, like a caterpillar and freeze. Take care not to smoosh them together too much. The dough balls break apart pretty easily even when frozen.
To bake: When you want freshly baked cookies, just pull out as many as you need. You can bake from frozen; just add a minute or two to the bake time.
Clearly, freezing baked cookies takes more time on the front end but results in instant cookie satisfaction after freezing.
Bake your cookies and cool them completely on a rack. Before you eat them all, store them in a freezer-safe container and put them in the freezer.
For easier lunch packing, divide them into portions and package them in sandwich bags. Collect all the bags in a larger bag or container and store in the freezer.
There you have it! Three easy ways to have cookies anytime of day.
Frozen food is good indefinitely, provided that it remains frozen below 0 degrees. Unfortunately, home freezers aren’t always that consistent with the opening and shutting of daily use. The USDA recommends that cookie dough be baked within 2 months of freezing.
While it’s best to follow the recipe or package of cookie dough, most cookie recipes bake at 350 to 375 degrees. Depending on the size of the cookie, cooking time will range from 5 to 10 minutes.
If you’ve formed the cookie dough into balls, you don’t need to thaw; just bake from frozen. If your frozen cookie dough is in one big package, thaw it overnight or for several hours in the refrigerator.
Raw cookie dough may be subject to salmonella bacteria from the raw eggs as well as possible salmonella or E. coli bacterium from the uncooked flour. It’s best to enjoy your cookies baked for best safety.
Tips for Success
You can store different types of frozen cookie dough in the same freezer container, however, be sure not to store heavily scented doughs, such as peppermint together. Everything will taste like peppermint if you do!
Likewise, you can store different types of baked cookies together in the same container, separating them with layers of parchment paper or deli wrap, however, do not combine very crispy cookies with soft as their textures will change when stored together. And again, store peppermint cookies separately.
Easy Cookie Recipes
Tell us what you think!
We love to hear your experiences with Good Cheap Eats. Click the STARS on the recipe card or leave a STARRED comment to let us know what you think of the recipe.
How to Make & Store Frozen Cookie Dough
- ingredients for your favorite cookies
To make frozen cookie dough
- Prepare the cookie dough according to recipe instructions, but do not bake. Pack it into an airtight freezer container or wrap well in plastic wrap and place in a ziptop freezer bag.
To make frozen cookie dough balls.
- Prepare the cookie dough according to recipe instructions, but do not bake. Line a baking sheet that fits your freezer with parchment paper. Form the dough into balls and place on the tray.
- Place the tray in the freezer for several hours until the dough balls are firm. Transfer the balls to an airtight freezer container or place them in a ziptop freezer bag.
To freeze baked cookies
- Prepare the cookie dough and bake according to recipe instructions. Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
- Transfer the cookies to an airtight freezer container, separating layers with parchment paper, or place them in a ziptop freezer bag.
For all types of frozen cookie dough and baked cookies:
- Label the package well with the date and the name of the recipe. For frozen cookie dough, include baking temp and time. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This post was originally published on October 7, 2012. It has been updated for content and clarity.
Using the freezer revolutionized my Christmas cookie baking last year! I started making dough at the end of October, stashing it in the freezer (in balls or cut-out shapes), and then in December I could just make fresh cookies whenever I needed them. It worked so wonderfully – I could give just a few each of different kinds of fresh-baked cookies to my neighbors instead of trying to give away a whole bunch of them. No more marathon, all-day Christmas cookie baking sessions for me! Now I just need to get on it and start making this year’s dough!
Kristen @ Joyfullythriving
I love freezing cookies…because then I always (and I do mean, always) have dessert on hand! For surprise company or just because, I love using my freezer for this purpose.
I also like the dough logs for some cookies – easier for chip/nut free doughs – sugar cookies here usually wind up as logs in the freezer
Freezing cookie dough balls has revolutionized my cookie baking. It is my favorite is freezing method. Being able to pull a few balls out of the freezer makes cookie baking soooooo much easier. I can simply bake one tray just before they come home, and they’ve got a wonderful after school treat, with some leftover for lunch treats the next day. And we don’t have a full batch sitting around smelling scrumptious and crying my name while the kids are at school, so I don’t eat as many – which is a good thing. 🙂
@Sharon, exactly. If I bake them all, I want to eat them.
I freeze meals and meal components a lot, but I haven’t tried cookies. I’ll have to try that on my next freezer cooking session.
I don’t usually have room for the batch of frozen dough but definitely do the dough balls and baked cookies. I especially like to do dough balls when I know I don’t have time to bake a full double or triple batch of dough. I still get the volume, just in different stages.
Thanks a lot, Jessica, now I’m craving cookie dough! Not baked cookies, just the raw dough. Argh!
@Sandi, my job is done here. 😉