Get a jump on the holidays, bake sales, and cookie exchanges with this sweet little how-to. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough correctly, to get amazing, freshly baked homemade cookies in an instant.

Balls of chocolate chip cookie dough on a plate before freezing.

No two ways about it; there’s nothing like a still-warm, gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven cookie. And when you freeze your cookie dough, that means you can bite into that kind of perfection any time you want.

Best of all, you don’t have to wait for anything to thaw out. As long as they’re portioned, cookies can go straight from freezer to oven, with just a minute or two of extra baking time.

Traditional drop-style cookie dough instructions:

This technique works best for cookies like oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies, or chocolate chip cookies: Any cookie that gets rolled or scooped before baking. Try my double ginger cookies, M&M cookies, or white chocolate cranberry cookies too.

  1. Roll or scoop the cookies into balls. If your recipe calls for chilling the dough beforehand, do that. It will make the dough easier to handle.
    A hand holding a ball of chocolate chip cookie dough.
  2. Next, arrange the cookies on a sheet tray that will fit horizontally in your freezer. They can be close, but not touching. You don’t want them to stick together as they freeze.
    Balls of cookie dough on a round tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Freeze the cookies until solid, (6-8 hours) then transfer them from the tray to a zipper-top plastic bag. Press the extra air out of the bag as you seal it. Label and date the bag, adding the baking temperature and time, if you want to be extra efficient (and you do).
    Balls of chocolate chip cookie dough in a plastic bag and labeled for the freezer.
  4. Bake the frozen cookies straight from the freezer into a preheated oven, increasing the baking time a few minutes, depending on the recipe.
    Balls of frozen cookie dough on a baking sheet before going in the oven.

Slice-and-bake cookie dough instructions:

Use this technique for icebox or refrigerator cookie dough that you form into a log and chill before slicing up and baking. My Fruitcake Cookies are a perfect example.

  1. First, shape the dough into a log, or several logs, as directed by your recipe. Make sure they will fit into the freezer bag.
  2. Next, wrap the logs in waxed paper. Wax paper works better than parchment because the wax protects the dough from drying out.
    There’s no cookie more festive and seasonal than colorful Fruitcake Cookies—they’re like little bites of Christmas. Make a batch now, and I promise they’ll be eaten up before you decorate the tree, they’re that good.
  3. Then just slide the wrapped logs of dough into a freezer bag and press out any extra air as you seal it shut. Don’t forget to label the bag! What it is, how to bake, what temperature, and when.
  4. To bake frozen slice and bake cookies, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Then cut the cookies into slices using a sharp chef’s knife, or a serrated knife, if that works better.
    There’s no cookie more festive and seasonal than colorful Fruitcake Cookies—they’re like little bites of Christmas. Make a batch now, and I promise they’ll be eaten up before you decorate the tree, they’re that good.
  5. Space out the discs of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake as directed. Because they’re semi-frozen, they’ll likely need a minute or two extra in the oven to bake.
    There’s no cookie more festive and seasonal than colorful Fruitcake Cookies—they’re like little bites of Christmas. Make a batch now, and I promise they’ll be eaten up before you decorate the tree, they’re that good.

Cut-out cookie dough instructions:

This technique is perfect for cut-out cookies like my Christmas sugar cookies, gingerbread man cookies, or frosted Valentine cookies. Also, it works for just about cookie-cutter dough, skillet cookies, or the buttery bottom crust of many bar cookie recipes. It’s a little different, but just as easy.

  1. First, form the dough into a 1” thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. You can place the dough in a freezer bag for extra protection if you like. That will make it easier to date and label, too.
    A ball of sugar cookie dough.
  2. Before you bake the cookies, you need to let the dough completely thaw out. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then roll out, cut, and bake following the recipe’s instructions.
    Heart cookies being cut out of dough with a heart cookie cutter.

If you’ve made the dough for a skillet cookie or bar cookie, just press the thawed dough into the pan and continue with the recipe. That’s it!

Tips and variations:

  • The best cookie dough for freezing: Basically, any recipe with a higher fat or butter content, the richer the better. However, delicate cookie dough, or cookie dough batters, such as pizzelle, madeleines, and the fluffy dough of French macarons do not freeze well at all.
  • Label: The most important tip I can give you is to label the freezer package. This will make your life infinitely easier, and the future you will thank you for it. Be sure to include what kind of cookie, baking temperature and cooking time from the recipe, and the date you made the dough
  • Preheat the oven before you bake: Make sure the oven is hot enough before you bake, so the cookies bake consistently.
  • Baking: No need to thaw the cookies, just bake frozen and increase the cooking time by a minute or two.
  • Cookies rolled in sugar or other toppigngs: Any cookie that gets rolled in sugar or cinnamon before baking (hello, Snickerdoodles and Molasses cookies) should be frozen without the outer coating. Let the frozen cookies sit out at room temperature just long enough to get sticky on the outside (about 30 minutes) and roll them in the sugar just before they go into the oven.
  • Storage: Always refer to your recipe, but properly stored, most unbaked cookie dough recipes freeze well for up to 3 months. Ha, like they’ll last that long!

Snickerdoodle cookies on a baking rack.

More fun cookies to make and freeze:

Balls of chocolate chip cookie dough on a plate before freezing.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Get a jump on the holidays, bake sales, and parties with this sweet little how-to. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough correctly, to get amazing, freshly baked homemade cookies in an instant.
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 24 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 82

Ingredients 

  • Cookie dough balls, logs, or discs

Instructions 

To freeze balls of cookie dough:

  • Portion the dough into balls and freeze by arranging the balls in a single layer on a tray or plate that can fit into the freezer.
  • Once frozen solid, transfer into a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the kind of cookie dough, baking temperature and cooking time in the recipe, and the date you made the dough.
  • Bake the frozen cookies straight from the freezer in a preheated oven according to the recipe instructions.

To freeze logs of cookie dough:

  • Shape the dough into a log, or several logs, as directed by your recipe. Make sure they will fit into the freezer bag.
  • Wrap the logs in waxed paper, then slide the wrapped logs of dough into a freezer bag and press out any extra air as you seal it shut. Label with the kind of cookie dough, baking temperature and cooking time in the recipe, and the date you made the dough.
  • To bake frozen slice and bake cookies, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Then cut the cookies into slices. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven according to the recipe instructions.

To freeze blocks of cookie dough:

  • Form the dough into a 1” thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. You can place the dough in a freezer bag for extra protection, if you like. Label with the kind of cookie dough, baking temperature and cooking time in the recipe, and the date you made the dough.
  • Before baking, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then roll out, cut, and bake following the recipe’s instructions.

Notes

  1. The best cookie dough for freezing: Basically, any recipe with a higher fat or butter content, the richer the better. However, delicate cookie dough, or cookie dough batters, such as pizzelle, madeleines, and the fluffy dough of French macarons do not freeze well at all.
  2. Label: The most important tip I can give you is to label the freezer package. This will make your life infinitely easier, and the future you will thank you for it. Be sure to include what kind of cookie, baking temperature and cooking time from the recipe, and the date you made the dough
  3. Preheat the oven before you bake: Make sure the oven is hot enough before you bake, so the cookies bake consistently.
  4. Baking: No need to thaw the cookies, just bake frozen and increase the cooking time by a minute or two.
  5. Cookies rolled in sugar or other toppigngs: Any cookie that gets rolled in sugar or cinnamon before baking (hello, Snickerdoodles and Molasses cookies) should be frozen without the outer coating. Let the frozen cookies sit out at room temperature just long enough to get sticky on the outside (about 30 minutes) and roll them in the sugar just before they go into the oven.
  6. Storage: Always refer to your recipe, but properly stored, most unbaked cookie dough recipes freeze well for up to 3 months. Ha, like they’ll last that long!

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 7IUCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. This is better than I would have done. I would have just thrown the bowl in the freezer. Thanks for making my cookies better and correct.5 stars