How to Defrost/Thaw Cookie Dough

The convenience of frozen cookie dough is unmatched, whether you made excess homemade cookie dough and want to save some for later or picked up some store-bought frozen cookie dough during your last shopping spree. How do you correctly defrost it, though?

The best way to defrost cookie dough is in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a time crunch, you can microwave it using the “defrost” setting in intervals. Otherwise, you can thaw at room temperature while the oven preheats or bake from frozen.

Hi! My name’s Michelle, and my family and I love cookies. We’ve baked all kinds of cookies throughout the past ten years, from classic chocolate chip cookies to yummy meringues. I’ve found the best ways to defrost cookie dough, and I will share my methods today.

Need to thaw some cookie dough? Keep reading to find out how to do it!

4 Ways to Defrost/Thaw Cookie Dough

When it comes to thawing frozen cookie dough, you have options. In fact, there are four great ways to thaw your cookie dough so it’s ready to be baked.

Here are my top four ways to defrost cookie dough.

1. In the Refrigerator

Ask any baker, and they’ll agree that thawing cookie dough in the refrigerator is the best technique – although it’s the most time-consuming.

To thaw cookie dough in the refrigerator, remove your frozen dough from the freezer and place it inside. Most cookie doughs will require an overnight visit in the fridge to be adequately thawed and ready for baking (8 to 12 hours). 

Yes, I know this isn’t exactly fast or convenient, and it won’t work if you need to bake your cookie dough ASAP.

However, the perk is that you won’t have to worry about your cookie dough getting ruined, which can easily happen if you microwave it for too long or try to bake it while frozen (although both of these methods can be used – keep reading to find out how to do it).

2. In the Microwave

If you don’t want to wait for your cookie dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, you can also utilize your handy dandy oven. (Honestly, is there anything a microwave can’t do? You can even microwave cookie dough if you really want to!)

Defrosting frozen cookie dough in the microwave is simple. All you need to do is stick your frozen cookie dough in the microwave, select the “defrost” option, and wait three seconds. Then, take it out and pound it with your rolling pin. 

Defrost in the microwave for an additional three seconds, then take it out and cut it (if not cut already). Finish the defrosting process with ten more seconds in the microwave. At this point, your dough should be nice and soft and ready to be baked in the oven.

Tip: Keep an eye on your cookie dough while it’s defrosting. You don’t want to start cooking your cookie dough in the microwave accidentally!

3. At Room Temperature

Now, before I explain how to defrost cookie dough at room temperature, I have to tell you something: you should absolutely not fully defrost cookie dough at room temperature. This opens up the possibility for bacterial growth, which can be detrimental to your health and well-being.

You can, however, partially defrost your cookie dough at room temperature without the fear of upset stomachs.

To do this, begin by turning on your oven so it starts preheating. Then, place your cookie dough on your kitchen countertop. Once the oven has preheated, your cookie dough should be thawed enough to be ready for baking.

Note: This option works best for cookie dough frozen in balls or other formations. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to cut the dough after just a few minutes of thawing at room temperature. 

4. Bake from Frozen

Did you know you don’t have to defrost cookie dough before baking it? As long as you freeze your cookie dough in ready-to-bake balls, there is absolutely zero need to wait for it to thaw. 

Baking frozen cookie dough balls is a cinch!

Simply place the frozen cookie dough balls onto your cookie sheet. Slide the cookie sheet into your preheated oven. Bake as usual, although you will need to add a few more minutes (two or three) to the baking time to ensure they’re cooked properly.

Note: Some cookies may need more than two or three extra minutes to finish baking. The best thing to do is keep an eye on your frozen cookie dough balls while baking. Pay attention to signs that your cookies are done, such as golden brown edges and bottoms and no sheen. You can also perform the toothpick test.


See? Thawing cookie dough is super easy, whether you have a lot of time on your hands or want to bake your cookies right this instant. If you’re anything like me, though, you want to learn more. That’s why I have included these frequently asked questions. Let’s go!

Should you let frozen cookie dough thaw?

There is no need to let frozen cookie dough thaw. As long as it was frozen in balls or other formations, it can be baked from frozen. However, if you freeze your cookie dough in a large clump or log, you can defrost it in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave.

How long can thawed cookie dough sit out?

Thawed cookie dough can only last for an hour at maximum at room temperature. At this point, bacteria can begin to grow on your cookie dough, rendering it unsafe to eat. Personally, I wouldn’t let my cookie dough sit out for longer than it takes the oven to preheat – to be on the safe side.

Should refrigerated cookie dough be brought to room temperature before baking?

Cookie dough doesn’t need to come to room temperature before baking. In fact, there are many perks to baking chilled cookie dough, such as better structure. However, if your chilled cookie dough is difficult to work with, you can let it sit at room temperature for five minutes or so.

Defrosting Cookie Dough is a Breeze!

The best way to defrost cookie dough is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to fasten the thawing process, you can also utilize your microwave. Keep in mind that thawing isn’t necessary, though, and you can bake your frozen cookie dough right out of the freezer.

How do you prefer to defrost your cookie dough? Do you use one of these methods or something else? Share in the comment section 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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