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Can Christmas sugar cookies be frozen?

Christmas sugar cookies are a beloved holiday treat for many families. Their sweet taste and festive shapes like Christmas trees, snowflakes, and Santa hats make them a quintessential part of the season. However, baking dozens or even hundreds of Christmas cookies can be extremely time consuming. Many home bakers wonder if they can prepare Christmas sugar cookies ahead of time and freeze them for later.

Can You Freeze Unbaked Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough?

The short answer is yes, you can absolutely freeze unbaked Christmas sugar cookie dough. This is a great way to get a head start on your holiday baking. Here are some tips for freezing unbaked cookie dough:

– Make sure your cookie dough recipe is designed to be frozen. Some doughs with higher moisture content don’t hold up as well in the freezer. Standard sugar cookie dough is perfectly freeze-able.

– Portion your dough into balls before freezing. This makes it easier to bake just a few cookies at a time. A good size is about 1-2 tablespoons of dough per ball.

– Place dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.

– Transfer frozen dough balls to an airtight container or freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. They’ll keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.

– When ready to bake, place frozen dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding 1-2 extra minutes to the bake time. The cookies will look slightly underbaked when removed from the oven but will continue to set as they cool.

Can You Freeze Baked Christmas Sugar Cookies?

You absolutely can freeze already baked Christmas cookies too. Here’s how:

– Let cookies cool completely before freezing. Freezing warm cookies causes condensation which makes them soggy.

– Place cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 1 hour.

– Transfer frozen cookies to an airtight container or freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible.

– Store frozen cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

– Avoid storing different types of cookies together, as they can absorb flavors from one another.

– Cookies with icing, glaze, or decorations may become soggy in the freezer. Undecorate cookies before freezing.

Tips for Freezing Christmas Sugar Cookies

Follow these tips for best results with frozen Christmas cookies:

– Use freezer-safe packaging like plastic containers or bags. Foil and wax paper can stick to frozen cookies.

– Double wrap cookies to prevent ice crystals and freezer burn. Slip the entire container or bag into a second one.

– Label packages with the cookie type and date they were frozen. Use frozen dough and baked goods within the recommended timeframe.

– Thaw baked cookies in the refrigerator overnight before serving for best texture. Let dough thaw on the counter before baking.

– Avoid refreezing thawed cookie dough or baked cookies more than once. This negatively impacts texture.

– Store different types of cookies separately so flavors don’t mix, especially if any cookies have strong spices.

– Only freeze sturdy cookies like sugar cookies, gingerbread, shortbread, or rolled icebox cookies. Delicate butter cookies don’t hold up as well.

Favorite Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipes for Freezing

Nearly any basic cut-out sugar cookie recipe is suitable for freezing. Here are some all-star recipes to consider:

Easy Vanilla Sugar Cookies

This simple vanilla dough is easy to roll, cut, and decorate. The hint of almond extract adds a lovely flavor. Make it ahead and freeze for up to 3 months.

Sparkling Sugar Cookies

These crisp, buttery cookies are coated in sparkling sugar for a festive look. Baked cookies freeze exceptionally well for up to 6 weeks.

Brown Sugar Butter Cookies

The brown sugar gives these classic butter cookies a caramel-like flavor. Freeze baked cookies up to 1 month.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These soft, lemony cookies are a refreshing addition to the usual Christmas flavors. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These fudgy cookies rolled in powdered sugar freeze well and make great edible gifts. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

With candy cane pieces and peppermint extract, these festive cookies capture the flavors of the season. Freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Spiced Molasses Cookies

These chewy gingerbread-like cookies seasoned with cinnamon and cloves hold up well when frozen baked or unbaked. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Red and Green Swirled Cookies

Create a holiday look by swirling red and green dough together before freezing. Form into balls and freeze up to 3 months.

How to Decorate Frozen Christmas Sugar Cookies

You have two options when it comes to decorating frozen Christmas sugar cookies:

1. Decorate Before Freezing

If decorating before freezing, choose simple decorations like sprinkles or colored sugar. Avoid royal icing, buttercream, and candy decorations as these become soggy in the freezer.

Let decorated cookies set for at least 12 hours after decorating so icing or glaze firms up before freezing. Use freezer-safe packaging to prevent damage.

2. Decorate After Thawing

This allows you to use any type of icing and decorations. Let cookies thaw completely before decorating, at least 3-4 hours.

Icings may take longer to set on thawed cookies since there is moisture present. Give icing 12-24 hours to dry and harden.

Storing and Thawing Frozen Cookie Dough or Baked Cookies

Once frozen, cookie dough balls and baked cookies should be stored according to these guidelines:

Frozen Sugar Cookie Dough:

– Store in freezer for 2-3 months

– Thaw overnight in refrigerator or on countertop 1-2 hours before baking

Baked Sugar Cookies:

– Store in freezer up to 3 months (longer for some cookie types)

– Thaw in refrigerator overnight before decorating or serving

– Thaw at room temperature 1-2 hours if planning to serve same day

– Allow cookies to reach room temperature before serving for best flavor and texture

Freezing Christmas Sugar Cookies FAQs

Can you refreeze sugar cookie dough after thawing?

It’s best not to refreeze thawed cookie dough more than once, as the texture suffers. Refreezing dough twice can make cookies more prone to spreading while baking.

How long do frozen cookies last?

In a deeply frozen environment at 0°F, frozen sugar cookies and dough will last 2-3 months for optimal freshness and taste. Properly frozen cookies can last up to 4 months or longer before quality declines.

Can you freeze cookie dough slices?

Yes, slice-and-bake style sugar cookie dough can be frozen too. Lay dough slices flat in a single layer to freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake frozen slices on parchment paper.

Should you freeze cookie dough balls on a tray or in a bag?

Freezing dough balls in a single layer on a tray first until hard prevents them from sticking together. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight freezer bag.

Can you freeze chocolate chip cookie dough?

Chocolate chip cookie dough can absolutely be frozen. Scoop dough into balls, freeze on a tray, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Bake frozen balls for 11-13 minutes.


Freezing Christmas sugar cookies, whether baked or unbaked, allows you to enjoy their delicious flavors all season long. Follow proper guidelines for preparing and storing the dough or cookies, and your holiday treats will come out freshly delicious. When faced with a holiday baking crunch, frozen cookie dough balls and decorated cookies are a home baker’s secret weapon!