Nothing compares to the sweet taste and aroma of a fresh batch of sugar cookies, but then what? Have you thought about the leftover cookies?
Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place.
This article tells you how to store sugar cookies with or without icing. It also outlines how sugar cookies last in different situations.
The actual shelf life of sugar cookies differs according to several factors, such as:
- The moisture content: Balance the moisture content of your cookies. If your cookies don’t have enough moisture, they’ll dry out fast.
- Heat and humidity: Heat and humidity decrease the cookies’ shelf life and make them grow mold. That’s why you should store sugar cookies in a dry and cool place.
- Exposure to air: Ensure your sugar cookies aren’t exposed to air. Store them in an airtight container or a sealed bag. Otherwise, they’ll dry out fast.
The short answer is that sugar cookies can last up to two weeks at room temperature. However, this depends on two main factors.
For starters, decorated cookies have a different shelf life, depending on the type and amount of frosting.
In addition, the way you store your cookies makes a difference. Keeping your sugar cookies in a platter on the counter won’t be as efficient as keeping them in a sealed container.
Now, that depends on where you keep your sealed bags. In other words, will you put this sealed bag at room temperature or in the fridge or freezer?
Sugar cookies can last for up to two or three weeks in sealed bags at room temperature. However, you should keep these bags away from direct sunlight and humidity.
In the fridge, sugar cookies can last for a month in sealed bags, but the low temperature can make them stale fast. Therefore, they’re best eaten during the first two weeks.
If you decide to freeze your sugar cookies, a sealed bag can help you keep them for up to three months.
There are also heat-sealed bags that can keep your cookies fresh for much longer. With heat sealing, your sugar cookies remain fresh for about three months at room temperature.
Sugar cookies can last for up to a month in the fridge. However, that’s not the ideal storage method. The low temperature of the fridge can affect the taste of your cookies. Typically, they go stale within a couple of weeks.
If you choose to refrigerate your sugar cookies, put them in an airtight container or a sealed bag. That way, your cookies would remain fresh as they aren’t exposed to air.
Cut-out cookies can be the best treat around the holidays, but how long do they last?
That depends on whether your cut-out cookies are decorated. Undecorated cookies last for a week at room temperature and two in the fridge. However, they’re best eaten during the first week.
On the other hand, decorated cookies are safer at room temperature. They last for two weeks at room temperature and only one in the fridge. That’s because the low temperature of the fridge affects the cookies’ decoration and makes them stale.
In addition, you can store decorated and undecorated cookies in the freezer for three months. That way, it’s your best option to keep your cookies fresh for a long time.
Typically, the frosting on your cookies is thicker than icing. It usually includes some type of cream in the ingredients. That’s why, it may not hold for long.
For example, frosted cookies can last for two weeks at room temperature if stored properly. However, it’s crucial to put it away from direct light or heat.
In the fridge, expect your frosted sugar cookies to last for about a week. That’s because the frosting may change taste in the fridge. After a week, your cookies won’t go bad. They just might change a little as the frosting goes stale.
On the other hand, if you wish to store your frosted sugar cookies for a long time, freeze them. They can last for three full months in the freezer.
Yes, you can make sugar cookies ahead of time!
Sugar cookies can last for weeks at room temperature. Therefore, you can bake your batch ahead of time.
In addition, you can freeze sugar cookies for up to three months. That makes it much easier to make your cookies ahead of time.
You can also make the cookie dough and store it for a while. That’s not precisely baking the cookies ahead of time, but it allows you to do half the work beforehand.
However, the key factor here is to store your cookies correctly. My best advice is to keep them in an airtight bag or container labeled with the date you made them.
Royal icing changes the whole deal. The powdered sugar and fresh eggs help it harden fast. Fortunately, that makes it easier to store.
Storing your sugar cookies with royal icing for a few days or even a week or two is easy. Simply, follow these steps:
- Decorate your sugar cookies with your favorite royal icing.
- Spread your decorated sugar cookies over several sheets of parchment paper. Make sure to fan them out to prevent them from sticking.
- Leave the cookies overnight in a dark cool place to harden. The royal icing can take up to eight hours to cool. Therefore, leaving it overnight is the safest option.
- In the morning, put your cookies in an airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper. That way, you prevent them from sticking.
- Now, you’re all set. Place your airtight container in a dry cool place away from direct heat and light.
If you want to store your sugar cookies with royal icing for months, freeze them. Fortunately, your sugar cookies can last up to three months in the freezer.
Here’s how to store your sugar cookies with royal icing in the freezer:
- Decorate the cookies with royal icing.
- Leave them overnight to harden in a single layer over a sheet of parchment paper.
- When totally cool, put them in sealed bags or airtight containers. You can also use heat sealing.
- Put the sealed bags or airtight containers in the freezer, and they’ll last for months.
Storing sugar cookie dough is much easier than storing baked cookies. In fact, there are several ways to do so, depending on how long you want to keep your dough.
For starters, cookie dough can last for two to four days in the fridge and three to six months in the freezer.
A crucial step that I always recommend is to label your stored cookie dough batches. That way, you’ll know the best date to bake your stored cookie dough.
Here are the different ways to store your cookie dough:
If you only want to store your cookie dough for a couple of days, put it in the refrigerator. Simply, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap to prevent air exposure.
You can also transfer the dough into an airtight container and keep it in your fridge for up to three or four days.
This method can work for storing in the fridge and the freezer. It all depends on the duration you want to keep your dough.
- Divide your sugar cookie dough into batches of your preferred size.
- Make each batch into a large ball.
- Put each ball into a resealable freezer bag. You can also wrap it in a single sheet of parchment paper and place it in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
You may also form your sugar cookie dough into logs. Each log is a single batch of cookies. That makes it easier to defrost and bake each batch separately.
You can wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then, place the wrapped cookie dough in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
You can cut out your sugar cookie dough and lay the cookies down on a baking sheet. Then, place parchment paper between each layer.
Stack the layers of dough with the separators into an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag.
When you’re ready to bake, let your dough thaw in the fridge until it gets soft.
You can store sugar cookies overnight at room temperature. Your sugar cookies won’t get harmed in any way.
Whether decorated or undecorated, sugar cookies are stored overnight in airtight containers or sealed bags. Place them in a dry and cool area away from direct light.
Make sure you keep the cookies in a single layer to prevent them from sticking.
Undecorated sugar cookies can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.
Keep your sugar cookies in layers separated by parchment paper. Stack the layers into a sealed bag or airtight container. That way, they stay fresh and ready to be decorated whenever you’re ready.
You can also place the sealed bag or container in the fridge or freezer to store them for a longer period.
The catch here is to wait until the sugar cookies cool entirely. That way, you prevent them from sticking.
You can store sugar cookies at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.
The cookie’s shelf life depends on several factors, including the moisture content, temperature, humidity, and exposure to air.
That’s why, you should always store your sugar cookies in airtight containers or sealed bags in a dry and cool location away from direct sunlight.
Don’t worry about that extra batch of sugar cookies you made. There are always ways to keep it fresh for a while.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.