The Best Way to Store Cookies so They Stay Fresh After Baking (2024)

When you know how to store cookies and cookie dough properly, you can save some for later and still have that delicious freshly-baked homemade cookie taste. With simple kitchen materials and a few basic tricks, we'll show you how to preserve leftover cookies—and save time. Here are the best (and worst) methods for storing cookies and cookie dough.

Why Do Cookies Get Stale?

First, you'll need to become familiar with the main adversary to any cookie's freshness: air. Prolonged exposure to open air makes starchy foods stale. Air exposes these foods to greater evaporation (even if through just a slit in a plastic bag), making them dry.

Think of a drink left out overnight: There will be less liquid in that cup in the morning; cookies work similarly. Depending on your batch size, timeline, cookies, and preferences, you can minimize air exposure in several ways.

How to Store Cookies in the Freezer

If you intend to eat cookies more than four days after baking them, store them in the freezer. (Same for cookie dough that won't be baked that same day or the next; more on that below.) Baked cookies keep in the freezer for a year. Frozen raw dough is best if used within a few months.


  1. Place baked cookies in sealable plastic containers designed for the freezer.
  2. Freeze cookies for up to one year.
  3. Don't use themed tins (say, for Christmas cookies). Transfer cookies to such containers once you've removed them from the freezer.

How to Store Cookies in the Fridge

While cookies can last in the fridge for two weeks, eating them sooner is better. (We recommend storing a few in the refrigerator for eating in a few days and freezing the rest if eating more than four days after baking.)

Cookies made with more perishable ingredients, like ricotta cookies, jam cookies, or meringue cookies, will need cooler temperatures within a few hours of baking. Look to the fridge (or freezer) if they'll be around longer.


  1. Let cookies cool after baking.
  2. Place cookies in a fully sealable plastic bag or container.
  3. Store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

How to Store Cookies at Room Temperature

Unrefrigerated cookies stay fresh for two or three days. If your cute cookie jar isn't airtight (or if you don't know) and you'd still like to use it to store cookies on the counter, put cookies in a sealable plastic bag to keep air out before storing them inside the jar.

The same is true for cookie tins and other non-airtight food containers. Sealable plastic containers and bags can keep cookies in good shape for the few days they might spend at room temperature—just tuck the bagged cookies inside these other vessels.

If you have a type of cookie that's cut from a big sheet, like rainbow cookies, remove them from the sheet as you are ready to eat or serve them. This approach works wonders for keeping these types of cookies moist.

The Worst Way to Store Cookies

Ironically, the worst way to store cookies is in a cookie jar without an airtight bag. (Yes, really.) They may look adorable on the counter, but despite their name, cookie jars are usually not fully airtight.

Similarly, cake stands and other displays aren't great for storing cookies longer than a few hours. They tend to have ample air under their high tops, eliminating crispness and textural contrast, leaving cookies a touch hard.

How to Reheat Cookies

Yes, you can bring cookies back to that delicious, out-of-the-oven state. Softer cookies like snickerdoodles and oatmeal raisin cookies are great reheated. There are two main ways to reheat cookies: in a microwave or in the oven.

Drier cookies like biscotti or polvorones can become too dry during reheating, so skip this step. Simply leave them out to thaw. If you've stored them well, they won't need any more heat and will taste great a bit chilled.

To Reheat Cookies in the Microwave

  1. Place your cookie (it's best to microwave cookies one at a time) on a microwave-safe plate with a damp paper towel on top. Alternatively, place a cup of water next to the plate; the idea is to add moisture.
  2. Heat the cookie for five seconds and repeat until warm—warming it up for short periods at a time helps prevent overheating, which will cause the cookie to lose texture.

To Reheat Cookies in an Oven

If you want a little softness but also wish to keep some of the cookie's crispness, the oven is your best bet.

  1. Set your oven to 350 F.
  2. Place cookies on a cookie sheet or baking sheet.
  3. Heat for two or three minutes (and for a minute or two longer if reheating cookies from the freezer).

How to Store Cookie Dough

According to the USDA, homemade cookie dough lasts two to four days in the refrigerator and should be stored in small containers. Frozen cookie dough, however, can last up to two months.

There are two ways to freeze cookie dough: shaped into ready-to-bake individual cookies or as a whole undivided batch.

To Freeze Pre-Portioned Cookies

  1. Place divided cookie dough on a baking sheet that's greased or lined with parchment paper.
  2. Freeze the sheet for an hour (preventing cookies from sticking to each other).
  3. Transfer frozen cookies to an airtight container, then store them in the freezer.

This method works very well for simple cookies (like chocolate chip cookies), more so than cookies that incorporate jam, fresh citrus juice, zest, or meringue.

To Freeze Undivided Cookie Dough

  1. Press cookie dough into a log, wrap it in wax paper, then freeze.
  2. To use, thaw the cookie dough in the fridge for a few hours before slicing, shaping, and baking.

This method works great for plainer cookies, like sugar cookies and chewy gingersnaps. If you plan to use a cookie cutter, the slightly chilled dough can help cookies retain their shape. (Just be sure to leave enough time to defrost the dough.)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I store cookies with a piece of bread?

    Since moisture helps cookies stay soft and fresh, adding a slice of white bread into the container with cookies can help. The moisture from the bread slice transfers to the cookies, preventing them from getting dry. White bread is best for this hack so that no flavor is added to the cookies.

  • How do you store cookies to stay crisp?

    To keep crispy cookies crisp, you need to keep them away from moisture. Always store different types of cookies separately—soft cookies can cause crispy cookies to soften due to their extra moisture. Place crispy cookies in an airtight container, but don't completely seal it. (The extra air will help cookies stay crisp.)

  • How do you keep store-bought cookies fresh?

    To help store-bought cookies stay fresh, remove them from their original packaging and place them in an airtight container. You can also freeze store-bought cookies to help them last longer.

The Best—and Worst—Ways to Store Every Type of Cookie

The Best Way to Store Cookies so They Stay Fresh After Baking (2024)
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