Exactly how long do homemade cookies last? + how to keep them fresh

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Ta-dah! You’ve made some of the world’s best cookies, but maybe you made like 4 dozen and your family is like, “um, how long do homemade cookies last?” because they want to enjoy them, but can’t eat them all today no matter how hard they try.

Often, the answer to this lies in knowing what kind of cookie it is and the storage process, as cookies stored in the freezer, for instance, will last much longer than cookies stored on the counter being exposed to the air on a plate with nothing to cover them.

As a general rule, homemade cookies will still be good for about 4 days if you use a container to store them, but that can extend up to 10-12 months if you store your homemade cookies in the freezer.

homemade cookies
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Keep reading to learn about the different methods of storages and how each type of cookie responds.

Something like a shortbread will last longer than a sugar cookie, for example.

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Cookie Freshness after Baking

After you’ve just baked a fresh batch of cookies, they should last for a week after you pull them out of the oven if you haven’t left them out exposed to air.

However, as with anything, this level of freshness will decrease over time, obviously.

dipping cookie in milk
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The first couple of days will see your homemade cookies at their freshest, and then by the end of that week, you may be dealing with cookies that are a bit harder than they were a week or or have lost a bit of that flavor.

The best tip is to actually freeze the cookie dough in balls if you feel like you’re going to make too much, and that way you can have fresh cookies at any point, freshly baked, without worrying about storing them.

Use this incredible cookie dough freezer product to keep those cookies separate!

How long after baking do chocolate chip cookies last?

chocolate chip cookies
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Chocolate chip cookies, as a general rule, will last for 1 week if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

How long do shortbread cookies last after baking?

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If you want a cookie that’s going to last the longest, shortbread cookies are your friend!

Because of the method, the ingredients, and the final result of these cookies (which is hard and much drier than other types of cookie), shortbread will usually last for 14 days after baking if stored at room temperature.

Keep the cookies in a dry place at room temperature (not freezing, but not too hot with the sun blasting in on them either) and you can keep enjoying your shortbread for quite awhile.

This is also why shortbread cookies make great gifts, as they won’t get stale right away and someone can eat them in their own time.

Sugar cookie freshness after baking

homemade cookies
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Like chocolate chip cookies, your standard sugar cookie will last for a week after baking if stored properly (and assuming it’s not frozen.

This has to do with a “regular” sugar cookie, that is circle shaped and not decorated. A cut-out sugar cookie that is firmer will last a bit longer, as we’ll talk about below.

How long after baking do cut-out cookies last?

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Cut-out cookies are cookies that you can use cookie cutters with.

Maybe you’re making Christmas tree cookies for Christmas or pumpkin-shaped cookies for Halloween. If the dough is such that you can cookie cutter it, then you have a cut-out cookies.

These cookies end up firmer than a standard sugar cookie and have a little more life to them after baking due to how compact they are.

If you store them in an airtight container, cut-out cookies can last for 9-10 days after baking.

One top tip is that if you ice them in royal icing, it sort of seals in the cookie, making less of it exposed, and you can get 2-3 weeks out of these if you store them in an airtight container (again, why making Christmas cookies like this is so common as it’ll last through much of the season!)

If the cookies are decorated with something other than royal icing, though, the length of freshness is different so keep reading.

How long do frosted cookies last?

Santa cookies
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If you frost your cookies with a buttercream or some kind of icing glaze, you need to eat these faster (such a hassle, we know).

Frosted cookies will only last for about 3 days after being frosted because the ingredients within the frosting may have eggs, butter, or things like cream cheese.

Because of these ingredients being used (and not being baked), for food safety purposes you do not want to assume these cookies will last the same 5-7 days as a non-frosted cookie because you have to account for the fresh eggs, butter, etc.

In general, frosted cookies also go hard and just lose their appeal after a couple of days.

They could also get soggy from the icing. There’s a whole host of ways it can go wrong!

So eat those cookies within a few days after baking for best results.

How long do cookies last in a container?

homemade cookies in a cookie jar
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The absolute best way to store cookies is not on a plate being exposed to the air (though it looks great in pictures, doesn’t it?) but rather in an airtight container like this one.

The more air that your cookies get exposed to, the fast they will dry out.

By putting them in an airtight container, you’re going to seal in that freshness for longer.

It doesn’t have to be a plastic container.

It could be a glass one like this one, a Ziploc bag, or if you’re really struggling, a plate with a tight seal of saran wrap over it.

Cookies will last a full week of stored in an airtight container.

How long do cookies last in the freezer?

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For those wanting to extend their homemade cookie’s shelf life for a lot longer, the freezer is the way to go!

You can store homemade, fresh-baked cookies in the freezer with no issues for up to about 6 months.

Note that after that, the cookie won’t be off necessarily, but it may just start to lose its flavor or texture or have a higher risk of freezer burn.

Store the cookies in a freezer safe container, and when you’re ready to eat, pull them out all together or individually and let thaw at room temperature (or if you’re feeling impatient, thaw them in the microwave!)

Hey! Want more expert baking hacks? Check them out here!

Exactly how long do homemade cookies last? + how to keep them fresh via @nofusskitchen
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