How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Here’s the best way to freeze drop, slice-and-bake, and cut-out cookie dough, and instructions for how to thaw and bake later!

Dough for Peanut Butter Cookies being wrapped in plastic wrap.
Michelle Becker

The greatest gift you can give yourself and those you share the same roof with is ready-to-bake cookie dough stashed in the freezer! It’s the ultimate solution when a craving for something sweet hits, or you simply want to get ahead on cookies for a party, bake sale, or holiday gathering.

You can bake one or a dozen straight from frozen or after a quick thaw in the refrigerator overnight! Who doesn’t want warm, fresh-baked cookies within reach at all times?

Here’s everything you need to know about how to freeze every kind of cookie, from classic chocolate chip to buttery shortbread and everything in-between.

What Kind of Cookie Dough Can I Freeze?

The dough for just about every type of cookie can be frozen successfully, with a few exceptions. Delicate, thin cookies, such as florentine, lace, and tuile cookies are made with a liquid-y batter that doesn’t freeze well unbaked or baked. Aside from these, pretty much any cookie goes.

The very best cookie doughs to freeze are those that are shaped into balls for drop cookies like chocolate chip, oatmeal, or peanut butter; cut-out cookies like sugar; and slice-and-bake cookies like shortbread or pinwheels.

How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies - Chill dough before baking
Emma Christensen

How to Freeze Cookie Dough Balls for Drop Cookies

Thick, dense, and chunky cookie dough for your favorite chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies is perhaps the very easiest dough to freeze.

  1. Prepare the dough as you typically would, according to the recipe.
  2. Shape the dough into balls and place the balls on a parchment paper, wax paper, or Silpat-lined cookie sheet. They don’t need to be as far apart as they would be if you were baking them because they won’t spread out just yet. However, you also don’t want them to touch because then they’ll stick together in the freezer. Just leave about a half to a full inch between each ball.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. Let the cookie dough balls freeze until they’re completely solid/
  4. Transfer the frozen balls of cookie dough to a large zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. The bag or container of frozen dough can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

To bake: What’s great about frozen cookie dough balls is they can be baked directly from the freezer. While the oven preheats, take out as many cookies as you’d like to make and place them on a parchment paper- or Silpat-lined baking sheet a few inches apart, or as far apart as the recipe instructs. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake per the recipe, adding a few extra minutes onto the baking time to account for the balls being frozen, to ensure they’re cooked through.

3 favorite drop cookies to freeze:

Three logs of dough wrapped in plastic wrap and set on a baking sheet to make Easy Ginger Lemon Cookies.
Sally Vargas

How to Freeze Cookie Dough Logs for Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Cookies like shortbread and icebox are made by forming the dough into logs and slicing it into rounds to bake. This type of cookie dough also freezes exceptionally well.

  1. Prepare the dough of your choice and form it into logs, as per the recipe instructions. If the logs for the slice-and-bake cookies are rolled in sugar before they’re sliced, wait to roll them until they’re later thawed before baking as the sugar can clump in the thawing process.
  2. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper, then transfer the logs to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. The logs can be frozen for up to three months.

To bake: Transfer the cookie dough logs to the refrigerator to thaw slowly overnight. The next day, unwrap the logs, slice them into rounds, and bake as directed. Since the dough will be thawed when baked, you won’t need to tack on extra minutes to the baking time.

3 favorite slice-and-bake cookies to freeze:

Balled Gingerbread Man Cookie Dough in Plastic Wrap
Elise Bauer

How to Freeze Cookie Dough Cut Outs for Cut-Out Cookies

Finally, there’s cut-out cookie dough. This is the dough you use to make gingerbread men and frosted sugar cookies with at the holidays.

  1. Prepare the dough as the recipe instructs but stop before rolling it out and cutting it into fun shapes with your cookie cutters.
  2. Form the dough into one or two disks, each about an inch thick. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap, then transfer the disks to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container. The frozen disks of cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

To bake: Frozen cut-out cookie dough also needs to be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, unwrap the dough, roll and cut it out with cookie cutters, and bake per recipe instructions. Like slice-and-bake cookies, you also won’t need to add minutes onto the baking time since the dough is fully thawed.

 3 favorite cut-out cookies to freeze: