How Long Do Sugar Cookies Last (Decorated vs Undecorated)

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.

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