How Long Does Sugar Cookie Dough Last in the Fridge?

Kids love cookies, and moms know how to make sweet cookies for their beloved kids. But what about the remaining cookie dough that is left in the bowl? Will it last for more cookies next time, or will you throw away the rest of your dough? We all know that sugar cookie dough is not everlasting, but how long does sugar Cookie Dough last in the fridge before you must toss it out? Can you freeze sugar cookie dough after you scoop out portions and put them on a baking sheet before freezing?

How Long Does Sugar Cookie Dough Last in the Fridge

Sugar Cookie Dough lasts four days in the fridge and one month if you freeze it. If you are not going to make more cookies within four days, then what else can you do with your leftover dough? It’s time to take that dough out of the fridge or freezer because it can be used for something different.

Below is the table of sugar cookie dough lasting at room temperature, fridge, and freezer.

Cookie DoughTemperatureLasting Period
Homemade(Room) 20–22 °C (68–72 °F)2-4 Hours
Homemade (Fridge) 4° C (40° F)3-4 Days
Homemade(Freezer) -18° C (0° F)Up to 1 Month
Store-Bought(Room) 20–22 °C (68–72 °F)2-4 hours
Store-Bought(Fridge) 4° C (40° F)1-2 weeks
Store-Bought(Freezer) -18° C (0° F)Up to 1 year

So as you can see in the above table sugar cookie dough can stay 3-4 days in the fridge. It’s good to know what you can do with the leftover dough, right? The main thing about the dough is to keep it in an airtight container or plastic wrap since it can dry out. You should always cover your cookie dough tightly to keep bacteria and other harmful agents away from your dough.

Cookie dough is a mixture of raw eggs, sugar, butter, flour, salt, and vanilla. The raw eggs in the dough are likely to contain salmonella, which leads to food poisoning when you eat them raw. There is no good way of knowing if your cookie dough has gone bad since; after time, it will have a foul order, so always remember to play it safe by throwing away anything that smells, looks, or feels off.

The most important thing to know about dough is that if you leave it out of the fridge for more than 2 hours and the room temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit). You can’t finish all your cookies and then throw them away since exposure to such temperatures for a long time will lead to bacteria and other harmful agents growing in the dough.

However, if you store it in a container or zip lock bag and put it in the fridge immediately after finishing your cookies, then it might be okay to use later.

The freezing of sugar cookie dough is pure science since we all know that butter becomes hard when frozen, which changes the dough’s texture and consistency. The dough will become crumbly and dry when you thaw it out, but as long as you mix the butter into it by hand, then it should turn out perfectly fine.

If you put your dough in the fridge before baking it, it becomes hard, and now you can easily cut it into perfect shapes with a cookie cutter. If you freeze the dough before cutting it, then it’s likely to crumble when you try to cut and move them onto your baking sheet, and upon thawing and baking, these cookies will not taste good since they will be crumbly and oily due to melted butter.

So always remember that if you are not going to use all your dough within three or four days, then be sure to store it in the fridge before you cut the shapes out. This way, your cookies will have a much better texture and taste.

However, if you are using egg-free sugar cookie dough, it’s okay to leave it on the counter for 2 hours since there is no need to worry about bacteria from the raw eggs.

How to store sugar cookie dough properly?

You should always remember that you are not supposed to let your dough come in contact with any other food inside the fridge since this might lead to contamination. So, to avoid any chances of this happening put it in a Ziplock bag or an airtight container and cover it before putting it down on the shelf.

If there is no way of keeping the dough in a container, it’s better to cover it in saran wrap and keep your hands covered with gloves when scooping, cutting, or rolling the dough.

Cookie dough can also be stored for up to two weeks if you leave it on the counter but make sure that it is tightly wrapped. It should not touch the other food, so put it on top of something else or put it in a separate container. If you are storing dough for more than three days, then it’s better to keep it in the fridge until you need it.

When working with cookie dough, remember that unrefrigerated dough will stay good for about two hours before bacteria start to grow and affect the taste. Hence, it’s better always to work quickly.

Some factors are responsible for the spoiling of cookie dough. Below are the factors that cause it.

  1. Exposing dough to temperature above 25 degrees Celsius for a long time.
  2. Leaving dough exposed in the open without covering it.
  3. Not refrigerate after making and baking cookies since bacteria will grow if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours (or less depending on humidity, etc.).
  4. Not storing dough properly in an airtight container or zip lock bag.
  5. Exposure to oxygen, light, and humidity (e.g., not sealing dough properly inside a container or not putting it away after using it).
  6. Keeping raw eggs out of the fridge for more than two hours at room temperature (refrigerate them if they are not raw).
  7. Using old eggs in the dough (baking powder loses its strength after six months of opening, so new baking powder should always be used)
  8. Using unhealthy ingredients like artificial flavors and colors that spoil faster than natural ones do.
  9. Not checking expiration dates on food products before buying them to avoid throwing away dough that has gone bad or expired.
  10. Leaving out the flour for more than 8 hours (one day) at room temperature since it attracts bugs and other insects (the best place to store flour is inside an airtight container).

Conclusion

Sugar cookie dough can be kept in the freezer for around 12 months. If you want to keep the dough for more than that, it’s better to put it in the fridge and use it within two weeks. It’s okay if you take the dough out of the freezer and leave it on your counter; just make sure it is tightly wrapped and taken out at least 2 hours before you need it so it can thaw and rise properly.

If you notice an unpleasant smell, color, or texture of your sugar cookie dough, then throw it away as soon as possible since it’s spoiled and not good anymore.


References

  • https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-shelf-life-of-cookie-dough
  • https://food52.com/hotline/17489-how-long-can-you-store-raw-sugar-cookie-dough-in-the-fridge-is-2-days-ok-before-baking
  • https://www.thekitchn.com/5-common-mistakes-to-avoid-when-making-sugar-cookies-tips-from-the-kitchn-213717

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