Cookies are one of the people’s favorite tasty treats, but whether you prefer store-bought or homemade cookie dough, there is always a question about its storage. How long can cookie dough last in the fridge? What is the shelf-life of cookie dough? Does commercially produced Pillsbury cookie dough have longer shelf life than cookie dough made at home? Let’s find out all the answers.
Both commercially produced and homemade cookie dough are equally tasty, but if you have time on your hands and want cookies made of quality ingredients, maybe it would be a better choice to make them on your own. You can use healthy fats, natural sugar, real chocolate and make cookies without preservatives.
Store-bought products, such as Nestle or Pillsbury cookie dough, can be a good choice too. Store-bought cookies are often lower in sugar and calories; they do not require your time and have a longer shelf life.
You can refrigerate cookie dough in two cases:
- when you want them to develop more flavor (refrigerate it at least 30 minutes, so the ingredients combine better and make even more delicious cookies)
- when you don’t want to bake the whole amount at once
We will explain below all about refrigerating cookie dough.
- 1 How long can I keep cookie dough in the fridge before baking?
- 2 How long can you refrigerate homemade cookie dough?
- 3 Homemade vs store-bought cookie dough: Lifespans
- 4 Does edible cookie dough have to be refrigerated?
- 5 How do you store cookie dough in the fridge?
- 6 Can you skip the chilling of cookie dough?
- 7 Can you keep cookie dough in the fridge for a week?
- 8 Can you refrigerate cookie dough too long?
- 9 Does refrigerating cookie dough make a difference?
- 10 Why is my cookie dough hard after refrigeration?
- 11 Should refrigerated cookie dough be brought to room temperature before baking?
- 12 Can I freeze cookie dough instead of refrigerating it?
- 13 Is frozen cookie dough better?
- 14 What makes cookie dough go bad?
- 15 How can you tell if cookie dough is bad?
- 16 Should I eat expired cookie dough?
Refrigerating and freezing are ways to save unused raw cookie dough or its leftovers, whether store-bought or homemade. You can refrigerate cookie dough in two cases:
The shelf life of cookie dough that you buy is longer. If you open the package, you should use it within five days, but always keep the open dough in the refrigerator. You can store unopened cookie dough in the fridge for 3 weeks. If you want to save it for longer, freeze it.
Frozen raw cookie dough lasts up to 12 months in the freezer. It can also be used after best by date. Best by date doesn’t mean that cookie dough will go bad instantly on that date, but it will be in its best quality, which will decrease afterward.
Homemade cookie dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three to five days. You can also freeze it for up to two months. Depending on how you choose to freeze cookie dough, you can take small quantities out of the freezer and thaw them in the fridge overnight.
The longevity of your cookie dough can differ depending on several factors.
A typical life span for homemade cookie dough is 1-2 weeks.
You could expect around 6 or 12 months for some store-made cookie dough. Particular ingredients play an essential role in dough’s longevity.
Cookie dough you buy will be in its best quality up to 3 weeks in the fridge, while frozen cookie dough can last up to a year. We don’t recommend keeping it in a freezer for longer than a year.
Doughs made from scratch may taste better, but their quality will start to decline after 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Edible cookie dough is the only exception in terms of refrigerating. You don’t need to cool it, although it will be firmer and easier to manage if you keep it in the fridge.
Once you open edible cookie doughs, you should eat them within 2 to 3 days. You can also freeze edible cookie dough for 2-3 months; just let it thaw at room temperature.
The reason edible cookie dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated is that its ingredients are heat-treated – flour is baked, and eggs are omitted, therefore there is no danger of food poisoning if this type of dough isn’t refrigerated.
You can store cookie dough balls on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or wax paper, and you can also refrigerate the entire ball of cookie dough. Put cookie dough into a container or plastic ziplock bag.
You can also put it in a bowl and wrap it with plastic foil. Cookie dough can also be rolled in a log and wrapped in plastic foil – it will also be easier to cut later.
Refrigerating is the way of storing cookie dough, but cookie dough also needs to be chilled right after kneading. Chilling makes ingredients more compact and allows fats to cool. Chilling will give a nice texture to your cookies – they won’t be flat, as they would be if you’d bake them right after kneading.
So, if you wondered will refrigerating ruin your dough – no, it will make it even tastier, and it’ll give it a better texture.
It depends on the type of cookie dough.
For example, doughs you make from scratch at home will be suitable for 2 to 4 days when kept in the fridge.
According to USDA, the cookie dough you buy in the store is designed to have a longer shelf life than other kinds of raw cookie doughs. They can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks, even after their best-by date.
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, refrigerating cookie dough is recommendable by all means.
After kneading the dough, you should let it “rest” in the fridge for at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours. Resting will allow fats to cool, which will result in a better texture of your cookies – they will be thicker and chewier. Also, the cookie dough will develop all flavors, and it’ll be more tasteful.
Still, do not exaggerate with refrigerating cookie dough. Everything more than 24 hours won’t make any difference at the final product, and after 72 hours, your cookie dough could begin to spoil.
Yes, refrigerating makes a difference.
Your cookies won’t be flat hard disks, as it might happen without chilling the dough, but they’ll be airy and chewy. It will allow fats (butter or shortening) to cool down, and therefore cookies won’t overspread during baking. Also, it will allow the flour to hydrate, which will also affect cookie texture fully.
Cookie dough is sometimes hard as a rock after refrigeration, and the reason for this unusual problem usually lies in flour.
Flour needs to hydrate – it will soak in all other cookie ingredients, but if you leave the dough in the fridge for too long, it could harden so much that it is almost impossible to work with.
Tip: If your cookie dough is too hard after refrigeration, try to fix it with a bit of additional liquid or fat. Knead it once again and let it rest at room temperature.
No. If your dough isn’t too hard, you don’t need to bring it to room temperature before baking.
Chilling in the fridge will make it easier to scoop, and cookies will have better shape, consistency, and taste when the dough is previously cooled.
Yes. Frozen cookie dough won’t lose on its quality.
Cookie doughs you make at home can be frozen for three months (don’t forget to write down a little label with the date of freezing), while commercial doughs can be frozen for up to 12 months, giving you plenty of time to use it.
When you make cookie dough from scratch and decide to freeze it, make little balls, like you do when baking cookies, and put them on a baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Put a pan into the freezer for about an hour.
When dough balls are frozen, transfer them into a container or plastic ziplock bag. That way, you can take out the exact amount of cookie dough you want to bake – it’s more practical than freezing the entire amount of cookie dough in one big ball.
Freezing won’t affect the quality of cookie dough more than refrigerating.
Only 30 minutes of chilling will make a difference, as we mentioned. Cookies will brown better, spread less, and have a chewier texture. Freezing is great for portion control – you can bake small batches of cookies. You can take out as many balls of cookie dough as you want to – even if it’s just 5 of them.
Raw eggs are one of the main ingredients of cookie dough and why cookie dough is gone bad.
Raw eggs will moisture dry ingredients and help the dough keep together, but raw eggs are also prone to spoiling, especially when combined with other ingredients, such as sugar, fats, and flour.
Over time eggs could spoil and make cookie dough dangerous for your health.
How to know when your dough goes bad? The most obvious way – using your senses – will tell you if your cookie dough is bad. If cookie dough has an unpleasant sour smell, it is gone bad.
Also, if you see any mold on your cookie dough, throw it away and make another batch.
Discolorations are another secure sign that cookie dough is turning bad – if edges of cookie dough become darker and firmer (not as soft as the rest of the dough), that is one more sign that your cookie dough is not good.
First of all, check does cookie dough has an expiration date or best by date since those two are not the same.
You can eat cookie dough up to two months after its best date if it doesn’t have any signs of spoilage and if it has been stored properly.