How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Fridge?

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Oh, the charm of homemade cookies! Recently, everyone around me has been raving about these super straightforward recipes that still manage to yield perfect, crispy flavors. 

cookie dough shelf life in fridge

Some of us can’t resist getting straight into the dough, while others prefer to pop it in the refrigerator for some time before baking. But since cookie dough isn’t exactly an eternal resident in the fridge, how long can we keep it there? Keep reading to find out!

The staying power of cookie dough varies between 2 and 4 days to a week in the fridge, depending on whether it is homemade or store-bought.

The prepackaged ones from commercial stores can last slightly longer due to preservatives. But what if you don’t spot any expiration date? Then it’s best to use it within a week after the suggested “best-by” date.

Meanwhile, homemade cookie dough is not exactly a marathon champion of fridge life. Usually, it stays good for about only 3 to 5 days when stored in airtight containers – except for the meringue or cookie bar batters, which have an even shorter shelf life. 

Here’s a tip: for easier baking later on, consider shaping the cookie dough into logs or scooping the batter before putting it in your fridge. And when planning for long hauls, I usually let my delicious cookie dough hit the freezer and chill there for months!

Alright, time to play detective with our cookie dough! 

  • First things first, mold. If you spot any fuzzy stuff surfacing, then it’s a no-go; chuck your bad cookie dough away to whip up a fresh batch.
  • Even if it looks mold-free, eyeball the color. Sometimes, the bad dough will start changing its hues, especially around the edges, due to chemical reactions from oxidation. 
  • Next up, use your nose. Does the dough smell a bit funky or totally different from how it should? 
bad cookie dough batter
Bad cookie dough batter

Once, I opened my fridge expecting that sweet, buttery scent from my vanilla cookie dough. Instead, I was hit with a rotten, extremely sour smell! At that point, I knew it was time to bid my dough farewell.

  • Last but not least – the taste test. Tasting dry ingredients might sound odd, but trust me. Relying on your taste buds is the ultimate detective move! Take one small bite and check the flavor; it should tell you instantly whether you need to part ways with your cookie dough. 

Extra Notes:

When dealing with store-bought cookie dough, I usually check the dates on the packages as well. Two dates, actually! 

First, there’s a best-by date, which mostly indicates the dough’s recommended freshness rather than food safety; your dough is likely still okay even if it’s a bit past that date. Remember to give it a quick look-over using the signals above before diving in! 

And wait, here’s another date: the EXPIRY date. Now, this one is no joke. Once the dough has already crossed its expiration date, it’s time to chuck it out unless you want a couple of sick days due to food poisoning! 

Sure, you can use the classic method and let your raw cookie dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight. But what if you’re like me and just can’t wait? There’s a faster way! 

Step 1. 

First, preheat your oven a bit lower than the recipe’s instructions;  around 20 degrees less should do it. Grab the amount of cookie dough balls you want to bake from the freezer, then plop them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 2.

Now, place those balls into the oven and add a few extra minutes to your baking time compared to what the original recipe specifies. Keep an eye on them; you will want their edges to grow a nice golden shade while the center still looks slightly moist! 

And that’s it! With some minor tweaks to the formula, you can turn these frozen dough balls into delicious cookies without waiting ages for them to defrost.


Whether you whip your homemade dough from scratch or grab it from the store, it should hang in the fridge for about a week. Stash it in the freezer instead if you want to play the long game. 

Still hit a snag or need some help with certain steps? Feel free to shoot me a message anytime!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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