How Long Do Sugar Cookies Last?

by Charlie
Homemade sugar cookies

Have you ever wanted to make sugar cookies in advance but then found yourself wondering how long these cookies last and whether it is okay to store them for a while? It’s important to make sure any food that you serve is safe, and you might be feeling a bit doubtful about keeping homemade sugar cookies for more than a few days.

How long do sugar cookies last? Homemade sugar cookies should store for around two weeks if they are kept in an airtight container and have not been frosted. This should be about the same for commercially purchased cookies, although these may last a little longer if they contain preservatives. Frosted sugar cookies can last for about a week if stored correctly.

How Should You Store Unfrosted Sugar Cookies?

Store unfrosted sugar cookies in an airtight container in the fridge, and keep them there at all times; this helps to preserve the ingredients and keeps the cookies fresh.

You should make sure that your sugar cookies are completely cold before you attempt to store them, because otherwise steam will still be escaping from the cookie. If this is the case, the cookies will likely go soggy and stick together, and this will ruin them.

Once the cookies are cool, place them in an airtight container in layers. You may wish to place parchment paper between the layers to prevent any of the cookies from sticking to each other, but this might not be necessary, depending on your recipe.

Put the lid on the container and then place them in the refrigerator and they should keep for around two weeks. The more you can minimize the airflow, the better they will keep.

Many people say that they keep longer than this and still taste good, but this is a safe estimate, and if you don’t want to be serving stale cookies, it’s best to stick to it.

If you aren’t making cookies for a special occasion, you will probably find that it’s still fine to be eating the cookies after the two-week mark, but they may have gone a little stale. They are still perfectly safe, however, even if the texture is not as good.

How Should You Store Frosted Sugar Cookies?

You can sometimes store frosted sugar cookies at room temperature, although this depends upon the cookie and your icing recipe. Cookies that have been frosted will last better at room temperature than in the fridge, but you can store them in either position.

If you want to store your cookies in the fridge, be aware that the icing will start to bleed quite quickly due to the dampness in a fridge. Make sure your cookies are kept in an airtight container and consider putting a sheet of kitchen paper in alongside them to help absorb any excess moisture.

The cookies should last for around a week in the fridge, but they may start bleeding after just two or three days. If you need them to last longer, it is better to ice them later or store them at room temperature.

To store the cookies at room temperature, you need to ensure that they are kept in a cool but dry spot, in an airtight container. Keep the lid on at all times to reduce the airflow and keep the cookies fresh.

You cannot stack frosted cookies, which makes them more challenging to store, and prompts some people to store them at room temperature rather than in the fridge. Stacking them will smear the frosting and ruin the look, which is another good reason not to frost your cookies in advance.

Can You Freeze Sugar Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze sugar cookies and they should keep well in the freezer. Simply stack the unfrosted cookies with sheets of parchment paper between each layer and seal in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. However, you may find that the cookies are slightly softer once they have been frozen.

You can also freeze frosted sugar cookies, but this is trickier because of the risk of smudging the frosting. If you want to do this, try freezing the cookies in single layers, and then stacking them if you really need to save space. It is a good idea to test this before doing it with an entire batch.

You don’t want the weight of the upper layers to spoil the icing on the lower layers, so approach this with caution to ensure the best results.

Freezing the sugar cookies is a great way to ensure that they remain fresh and the texture is good when you serve them. You can defrost them by placing the container in the fridge overnight.

The cookies may not have quite such a good texture after they have been frozen, so it is often a good idea to freeze the cookie dough instead. You can wrap this in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container, and then thaw it in the fridge. Roll it out and bake it as you would with fresh dough.

This should produce cookies that are as fresh as if you baked them without freezing the dough, so it’s better than freezing the baked cookies.

How Do You Know If Sugar Cookies Have Gone Bad?

In general, sugar cookies won’t actually turn moldy; they will simply go stale. It isn’t usually dangerous to eat sugar cookies that have gone old, but their texture will not be as good. They will often turn very hard if they have been left for too long.

If the sugar cookies are old, smell them, inspect them for flecks of mold, and taste a small piece before eating them.

Final Thoughts

Sugar cookies should last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, and will last almost indefinitely if you freeze them. It is better to freeze the dough, rather than the baked cookies, but you can do either. If you have decorated your sugar cookies, you should store them at room temperature in an airtight container, or in the fridge in an airtight container.

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