Skip to Content

How to Store Christmas Cookies (To Make Them Last Longer)

How to Store Christmas Cookies (To Make Them Last Longer)

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Holidays are the perfect time to bake a fresh batch of delicious cookies to enjoy the festivities with the family.

Since it’s better to have plenty of cookies than to run out of them early on, we always end up preparing huge batches of our favorite types of Christmas cookies.

Whether you want to prepare the cookies earlier or you don’t know how to store Christmas cookies and keep them fresh for longer, this guide will have you covered with essential tips to get the job done right!

How Long Do Christmas Cookies Last?

Ideally, you should expect most Christmas cookies to last anywhere between a few weeks to 12 months.

The reason behind this massive variation in shelf life is that it depends on a wide variety of factors. Here’s a quick look at each one of them and how they impact the shelf life of Christmas cookies:

Type of Cookies

Store Different Types Of Cookies Separately

There are a huge variety of Christmas cookies out there. Some of these cookies will naturally last longer than others, mainly due to the ingredients used.

For example, Christmas cookies that have a lot of perishable ingredients, such as eggs and cream cheese, typically don’t last longer than 5 to 7 days before starting to change flavor and go stale.

This also applies to cookies with a lot of frosting and filling, such as chocolate chip cooking and fillings. On the other hand, hard cookies like shortbread cookies and biscotti will last relatively longer in the same conditions.


Another factor that may also impact the longevity of some Christmas cookies is the additives used in them.

For instance, some commercial Christmas cookies will have some preservatives that might extend their shelf life a few more days or weeks.

On the other hand, homemade cookies typically don’t have any preservatives (except natural ones like lemon juice), so they may not last as long.

Storage Technique

Lastly, the method you follow while storing the cookies will massively impact their shelf life. For instance, if you store the cookies out in the open at room temperature, they’ll last for a few days at best.

However, if you keep the cookies at a relatively cool temperature, protected from air and sunlight, they should extend their shelf life significantly.

Storing Cookies In A Fancy Custom Pantry Cabinet

How Long Can You Leave Christmas Cookies Out?

Leaving Christmas cookies out is the perfect way to enjoy cookies during the holiday season because they’re easy to access directly. However, leaving them out also keeps their shelf life at a minimum.

For instance, most homemade varieties of Christmas cookies will keep their original texture and flavor for 2 to 4 days.

They can still be edible after 5 to 7 days, but they’ll typically harden and lose their freshness due to drying out.

You can extend the freshness to around 5 days by keeping the cookies protected from air, whether by wrapping them up or keeping them in an airtight container.

What Is the Best Way to Store Christmas Cookies?

The answer here depends on certain aspects, such as the time of the year and how frequently you eat them.

For example, if you’re storing Christmas cookies during the holidays, you should keep them at room temperature to enjoy them right away and avoid the hassle of refreshing them after drying out.

However, if you want to store the Christmas cookies for longer, you should store them at a relatively cooler temperature, whether in the fridge or the freezer. Here’s a helpful guide that shows you the optimal way to store the cookies in either situation:

In Room Temperature

You should use this method to store Christmas cookies around the holidays. The method is also recommended if you already have a small batch of cookies that won’t last for long.

1 – Allow the Cookies to Completely Cool Down

If you’ve just baked your cookies, you’ll need to give them a bit of time so that they cool down first.

This is because freshly baked cookies have a lot of moisture content in them, stored in the form of water vapor.

As such, if you cool them down or wrap them early, the moisture will condense on top of the cookies, which will make them soggy and unpleasant to eat, especially the crunchy varieties.

Higher moisture content will also speed up bacterial activity, so the cookies will end up spoiling faster.

To let the cookies cool down, you should leave them out for 10 to 15 minutes after baking until they’re cool to touch, preferably on a rack to let the bottom release its vapors as well.

2 – Use a Suitable Airtight Container While Storing Them

Storing Christmas Cookies In A Jar Or Container

If you want to keep your cookies fresh for longer, even at room temperature, you’ll need to store them inside a sealed container.

This limits the reaction between air and the cookies, which is one of the main reasons cookies lose their freshness and texture over time.

You can use any type of container as long as they’re airtight and food-safe. For instance, many people like to store cookies in a glass jar with a lid.

Others prefer keeping them in plastic Tupperware or aluminum cookie boxes. The choice here depends on your personal preferences.

3 – Select a Suitable Location to Store the Container

Now that you’ve sealed your cookies properly, you should pick a suitable spot to store them when not in use.

This step isn’t necessary if you have a small batch, but it helps in keeping the cookies at maximum freshness. Ideally, the spot should be cool, dry, and away from sunlight.

In Refrigerator and Freezers

If you have a larger batch or you want to keep the leftovers for longer, you’ll need to cool them down.

Cooler temperature will extend the shelf life of the cookies but it’ll also dry them out, so refreshing the cooking after storage is usually necessary.

For that reason, you should stick to the room temperature method whenever possible, as it saves you the extra restoration steps.

The process for both refrigerating and freezing Christmas cookies is nearly identical, so here’s what you need to know about both of them:

1 – Wrap the Cookies in Aluminum Foil or Plastic Wrap

Similar to the previous method, you’ll need to make sure that the cookies are cool to touch first.

After that, if you have a relatively small batch, you’ll wrap the cookies in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent them from picking up flavors from other food in the fridge or the freezer.

This step is an extra precaution to make sure that the cookies remain fresh for as long as possible without changing flavors.

One tip you should keep in mind here is to keep different types of Christmas cookies in separate plastic wraps. This is necessary if you don’t want them to absorb flavors and scents from each other.

This also protects drier varieties of Christmas cookies from absorbing moisture from the moist ones, which reduces the quality of both.

2 – Store Them in Layers and Use an Airtight Container

Ready To Store Cookies On Parchment Paper

If you have a larger batch, storing them in plastic wrap or wrapping them with aluminum foil may not be enough. Instead, you should use an airtight container in this case.

To prevent the cookies from sticking to each other, make sure that you store them in layers separated from each other using wax or parchment paper.

Alternatively, you can put the cookies in plastic wraps and lay them on top of each other inside an airtight container, which will extend their shelf life a lot longer.

If you’re using frosting to decorate the cake and you’re preparing and storing it beforehand, you should keep it in a separate storage bag and apply it before serving for maximum freshness.

3 – Refresh the Cookies When Ready to Serve

Once you’re ready to enjoy the Christmas cookies, you may find them a bit dry. Luckily, you can easily restore their freshness using the following method:

  1. Put the cookies in a microwave-safe dish
  2. Cover the cooking with a clean, damp paper towel
  3. Microwave them for 10 seconds on low or medium setting

Alternatively, you can pop them back in a preheated oven at 325 °F for 5 minutes. Place the cookies on a wire rack and place a tray of water below them.

Final Thoughts

The longevity and shelf life of Christmas cookies can vary significantly depending on many factors, including the storage temperature, the type of cookies, and whether it’s store-bought with preservatives.

However, for most homemade cookies, you should expect them to last around 4 to 7 days outside the fridge and up to a year in the freezer.

Share this post: