How Long to Let Cookies Cool

Once you have nailed your cookie recipe, you finally feel like you can step back and just enjoy. Until you realize that there are still some finer details to consider, like how long should cookies cool. How long do cookies take to cool? Five to ten minutes is always the goal.

Hi! My name is Michelle, and I love cookies! Cookies are delicious, whether they’re chocolate chip, peanut butter, or a completely out-of-the-box flavor. Letting cookies cool is important, though I will be the first to admit – it’s a challenge, I just want to dive right in!

For bakers out there who are wondering about the right amount of time to let their cookies cool, you’re in luck. I have been baking forever and have tested out some different timeframes. I’m here to share my findings with you today.

Who’s ready to bake and cool?

Why Do Cookies Need to Cool?

Before we dive into cookie thickness and location, let’s take a quick look at why cookies need to cool in the first place. The simple answer is that cookies continue to bake for a few minutes when they’re outside the oven. 

The “scientific process” of cookie baking occurs outside of the oven. Essentially, the starches and proteins of the cookie heat while the water evaporates, creating the perfect bite.

If not allowed to cool down properly, you will halt the baking process, which will not leave you with perfect cookie treats.

How Long to Let Cookies Cool?

Most of the time, cookies need to cool for around five to ten minutes before they can be moved and consumed. But it’s not as much of a cut-and-dry answer as you may think. A lot goes into how long to let cookies cool. Let’s take a closer look.

Cookie Thickness Matters

The thickness of the cookie matters a lot more than you might think. Those that love a super chunky cookie will need to let their cookies cool for a bit longer than those who prefer a thinner, crunchy cookie. That said, cookie thickness will determine how long they should cool.

Cookie Cooling Location is Important

If you’ve been cooling your cookies on a rack, then you’re doing it the right way – if you want crunchy cookies, that is. Where you cool your cookies is almost as important as how long you cool your cookies. This can be a little confusing, so let’s break it down.

  • Rack – A cooling rack is the most notorious place to stick a cookie to cool down. That’s because air travels freely around the entire cookie, allowing moisture to escape. This is the best option for crunchy cookies that need as little moisture as possible.
  • Baking pan – Do you leave your cookies on the baking pan to cool? This isn’t exactly a baking no-no, but it definitely shouldn’t be done if you fear your cookies might burn underneath. Since the pan is hot, the cookies will keep cooking for a while longer.
  • Wood – A wood tray is a perfect option for chewy cookies because it holds onto moisture well, and chewy cookies result from plenty of moisture. They may take a bit longer to cool, though.
  • Glass – A glass tray isn’t really recommended unless you are not on a time crunch at all. Glass will take a longer amount of time to cool your cookies, but it’s a great option for the moisture-craving chewy cookie.

So, How Long Should Cookies Cool?

Well, there is no one size fits all answer. Some people have incredibly thick cookies, and they want a chewy result, so leaving them right in the baking pan is the best idea. Others want crispy cookies, so they will need to be cooled for as little as a minute before placing them on the rack.

However, for most regular cookies, it’s simple – wait until the cookies have cooled down enough to move them to your preferred cooling method, whether it’s a rack, wood tray, glass tray, or even a paper towel. This typically occurs around five minutes after removal from the oven.


Cookies can be finicky little treats, but they are well worth the hassle. Stick with cooling for five to ten minutes and a cooling rack, and you will be set unless you want to try out some other methods. If you still have questions about this, check out these common questions below.

Do cookies harden as they cool?

Yes, but how hard they become depends on where you cool your cookie. For example, a cookie that’s left on the baking pan will remain chewy, while those moved within minutes onto a cooling rack will be on the crispier side.

Do you have to let cookies cool?

Yes. Have you ever tried to move a cookie too soon? Most of the time, it’s a disaster. The cookie will likely fall apart or become soggy. Even if you let them cool for just a single minute, it’s better than trying to whisk them away from the baking pan right out of the oven.

Can I leave cookies out to cool overnight?

While cookies have an amazing lifespan at room temperature, they shouldn’t be left uncovered all night. Exposed to the air, cookies can dry out and become hard. It’s best to stick them in an airtight container and leave them on the countertop for up to three days.

Should cookies still be soft when they come out of the oven?

Absolutely! That’s the goal right there, actually. The cookies will continue to bake on the baking pan for a few minutes before they’re moved to a rack or tray, which will produce a perfect cookie texture. Don’t panic if it looks too soft or fluffy!

Final Thoughts

Leaving your cookies to cool for at least five minutes is a good idea to achieve the ideal cookie texture and flavor. However, consider what type of cookie you’re trying to achieve, too. Thin crispy cookies can be moved faster than thick, gooey ones.

How long do you leave your cookies to cool before moving them? Where do you cool your cookies? Share with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Jill

    I’m experimenting right now. I made two batches of mocha chocolate chip cookies. One batch is cooling on a wire rack and the other is cooling on a wooden plank. I wonder if one will be noticably chewier than the other?

    • Michelle

      Hi Jill,
      Mocha chocolate chip cookies sound incredible. Let us know what the results are of your experiment.

  • Nina

    Thanks for the info ????

    • Michelle

      You’re welcome, Nina!

  • Janice Mallon

    Can you freeze mixed peanut chip/choculate chip cookies in the freezer?

    • Michelle

      Yes! Allow your cookies to cool entirely. Then, place them in a single layer on a cooling rack, baking pan, etc. and freeze. Once frozen, you can place the cookies in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag up to four weeks.