How Long Do Sugar Cookies Last

Sugar cookies are buttery, soft, and oh so tasty. They are great for all occasions, birthdays, weddings, and are well-liked by everybody. 

Usually, sugar cookie recipes yield big batches of cookies. As fast as they may disappear, more often we want to bake them in advance so that we can eat or bring them at a later time to share with others. But just how long do these delicious treats last?

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker and I’ve been baking for over 10 years. In this article, I’m going to tell you how long can sugar cookies last, how to store them and answer some frequently asked questions about sugar cookies. 

Want to learn more about sugar cookies? Keep Reading!

How to Store Sugar Cookies

There are several ways you can store sugar cookies. All of which involve an airtight container. One important factor in keeping baked treats fresh for longer is limiting their exposure to air and heat. 

This is because moisture in the air and warmth encourage bacterial growth. On top of that, exposure to air will also make your sugar cookies go stale more quickly.

To prevent or delay that, you need to first cool your sugar cookies completely. Next, you can wrap your sugar cookies individually in plastic wrap, put them in a zip-lock bag, or place them in an airtight container. 

If you’re wrapping a few cookies together, putting a layer of wax or parchment paper between each cookie can help prevent them from sticking together. 

Then, depending on how long you need the cookies, you can choose whether to store them at room temperature, in the refrigerator, in the freezer, undecorate, or decorated. 

How Long Can Sugar Cookies Last

Depending on how you store your cookies, the amount of time they stay fresh differs. Check below to see how long sugar cookies last. 

Storing your cookies undecorated is always preferred because you won’t risk smudging the intricate designs you’ve made on your cookie. You can stack your cookies which will save you space. 

Stored at room temperature, you can expect your undecorated, properly air-sealed sugar cookies to stay fresh for about a week

It is not recommended that you store your sugar cookies in the fridge because it tends to dry out the cookies. But if you must, remember to seal them tightly as instructed above.

Properly stored unfrosted sugar cookies will last for up to two weeks in the fridge, but they may start to go stale after about one week. 

If you want your sugar cookies to stay completely fresh, freezing them is your best bet. You can freeze your undecorated sugar cookies in an air-sealed bag or container for up to three months. 

How Long Do Decorated Sugar Cookies Last

Storing decorated cookies can be tricky because you will need to lay them out flat. Stacking them will lead to your icing smudging and cracking. To do so, you will need a lot of surface area. 

To prevent smudging your icing, you also need to wait for your sugar cookies to completely set before packaging them. 

Well-protected and decorated sugar cookies will last for up to two weeks at room temperature. 

In the fridge, your sugar cookies will last for up to one week but are best consumed within three days as your icing will start to bleed as time passes. 

You also need to make sure that the cookies are properly sealed because you don’t want them to absorb the moisture or smells from other foods in the fridge.

In the freezer, you can expect your decorated cookies to also last for up to three months. Thaw your cookies in the fridge before bringing them to room temperature will help you avoid condensation that can cause your decorations to bleed. 


Here are some commonly asked questions related to the topic. I’ve answered them below!

How far ahead can I make Christmas cookies?

If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, I suggest you make your Christmas cookies in stages. You can have your cookie dough made and frozen as early as three months before you want to bake them. 

Once your cookies are made, you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for three months or in the fridge for up to five days before decorating them with frosting. 

What is the best container to store cookies?

Airtight plastic containers are best for storing cookies. If you don’t have them, you can also store your cookies in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. 

Is it better to freeze cookie dough or baked cookies?

It is better to freeze your cookie dough than to directly freeze baked cookies. Your cookie dough will stay fresh in the freezer. Once thawed and baked, you will get perfectly fresh results.

Storing baked cookies is a good way to keep cookies as well, but once thawed, you might find that the texture of your cookie has changed – it could become soggier and not crisp from the moisture, and it could become more crumbly.

Can I leave sugar cookies out overnight?

You can leave your sugar cookies out overnight to dry. In fact, it’s recommended that you leave your iced sugar cookies out overnight to fully set. 

Final Thoughts

Sugar cookies are not only tasty but also really decorative which means a lot of work and a long process. Sometimes it simply isn’t realistic to make them fresh the day before, especially not when the holiday’s around.  

I hope that this article has helped you. Now that you know my tips, you can make your sugar cookies ahead of time and chillax a little during the hectic holiday season. 

Have I answered your question? How do you store your sugar cookies, and for how long? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below 😉

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Patricia

    I decorated close to 200 sugar cookies with buttercream icing on a Thursday for a Saturday event.
    I left them out on counter on cookie sheets, loosely covered in parchment paper overnight. Should I now put them in airtight containers on Friday or just leave on the counter as is until the Saturday event. These are crispier cookies with no leavening agent in them – they aren’t meant to be soft.

    • Michelle

      I would probably put them in an airtight container. What did you end up doing? Thanks for commenting!

  • Shelby

    Hi! I’m always concerned when decorating over a span of two days that my cookies are going to dry out. I’ve read that the icing helps to not dry out the cookie, so if I leave a completely iced cookie out overnight to dry before finishing decorating, I’d that okay?

    • Michelle

      Hi Shelby,
      That’s perfectly fine!

  • Sandy

    Bought store soft sugar frosted cookies but don’t need them for three weeks. How to keep fresh

    • Michelle

      Hi Sandy,
      You can store frosted sugar cookies in the freezer for three weeks. Let them thaw on the countertop for a few hours in the container you stored them in.

  • Amanda

    Any idea’s on how to keep royal icing good? Every time I try to make it the night before I wake up to a mess with very liquidity mess. I’m not sure what to do

    • Michelle

      Hi Amanda,
      Sorry to hear about your royal icing struggles.
      Have you tried mixing it to incorporate the liquid back into the icing?
      Are you undermixing to begin with?
      You can also try adding a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it up.
      Happy baking,

  • denise

    Have you ever used a vacuum sealer? I want to make decorated sugar cookies this weekend to take to a party next weekend. I was thinking of making, decorating, cooling completely and then vacuum sealing a single layer of cookies bringing them with me like that and then opening at the birthday party. Do you think they will stay fresh?

    • Michelle

      Vacuum sealing extends the longevity of cookies impressively. I think it would be okay, but I always recommend baking, cooling, and decorating closer to the date of the event to ensure freshness. If you opt to try vacuum sealing, please let me know how it works out!

  • Megan

    So I made Valentine’s Day cookies and decorated them on Monday. They were dry on Tuesday so they were packaged in their bags. Will they still be fresh for my customers a week later? Thanks!

    • Michelle

      They should still be fresh by Tuesday, but you’re cutting it close. I always recommend baking, cooling, and decorating closer to the event date to ensure peak of freshness.
      Happy baking,

  • Judy Ann Shiver

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I enjoyed reading and learning from it.

    • Angie

      Thank you for your support! 🙂 Glad you find it helpful!


  • Trisha

    The week of December 13th I will begin making roughly 2 dozen sugar cookies. I was hoping to freeze the baked cookies and start decorating the week of December 20th. (I have to do things in stages because of a bad back.)
    On December 27th I’ll be taking a 20 hour road trip. The cookies will not be consumed until December 31st.
    Would you plz help me figure out the best way to do everything? How to package correctly etc.
    I do have celo bags to pack each cookie in. Also wondering if adding marshmallows to the box I’ll pack them in will help with moisture.
    Fyi, I can always adjust the time frame between the 13th and 20th.
    Any help greatly appreciated.
    Ty for your time

    • Michelle

      Hi Trisha,
      I recommend storing your decorated sugar cookies in an airtight container. Ensure that they remain at room temperature, especially when traveling in the car.
      Happy baking,

    • Lydia

      I learned a trick from my mother-in-law to keep my cookies soft while stores in air tight container .. put a lice of bread in the container. It works! My cookie exchange Friends and I do it now every year and out cookies last for 3 weeks soft in airtight container.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to give tips

    • Angie

      Awe Jennifer you’re super welcome!

  • Kelley Hiner

    I appreciate you taking the time to do this.
    Time is so precious but you chose to give some of yours away
    So that others may have an easier more positive time in the kitchen.
    Thank you.
    I can’t wait to try your tips and tricks out.
    GOD Bless you

    • Angie

      Hi Kelley!

      Your comment means so much 🙂 Best of luck with your baking!!