Last Updated on September 24, 2022
How long do unfrosted sugar cookies last? We will look at the best way to store unfrosted sugar cookies to make them last longer than ever before!
How To Properly Store Plain Sugar Cookies
Before answering "how long do unfrosted sugar cookies last?" it's important to understand how they should be stored. And what will affect their shelf life? This will help enable you to better estimate the expiry date for your homemade or store-bought sugar cookies.
First things first, there are a bunch of ways you can store sugar cookies, especially unfrosted ones. They are extremely shelf-stable and don't deteriorate or ruin easily.
But still, each of the different storage methods below will have an effect on the cookies' texture, flavor, and shelf life. So, let's have a more in-depth look at each.
At room temperature
The benefits of this storage technique are that it is low maintenance and easy, and it doesn't require any special equipment. Not to mention it is the best method for keeping a fresh flavor and texture in the cookies.
The downside is that this method has the shortest possible shelf life. Your cookies can still last up to 2 weeks. But, by that time they won't be as good.
Now, this doesn't apply to store-bought sugar cookies. These contain stabilizers and preservatives that can make them last at room temperature (unopened) for months! And, once opened, if properly stored, they can still last a couple of weeks.
In the fridge
Storing unfrosted sugar cookies in the fridge won't help retain the fresh texture and flavor of the cookies. But, it will help extend its shelf life considerably. When stored in the fridge, these cookies can easily last a month.
But what to do about the soft texture and flavor loss? Well, to counter these effects, simply re-bake the cookies for a couple of minutes in a hot oven. And once you decorate them with icing, you won't even notice the loss in flavor the cookie has.
You can store both room temperature and fridge cookies in an airtight container. There's no need for any special coating or wrapping. It's simple and straightforward in that regard.
In a freezer
And finally, if you want to keep your unfrosted sugar cookies for a long time, freezing them is the way to go. They can easily last up to 18 months. However, as with all things, we recommend using them within a month, or at the most 3 months.
Freezing the cookies will also make them soft and a bit flavorless when they defrost. But again, to counter this, simply reheat the cookies in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.
The excess moisture (ice crystals) will evaporate and the cookies' flavors will concentrate again.
You can read this guide on freezing cookies that will help you get the best results.
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How Long Do Unfrosted Sugar Cookies Last?
So, what's the bottom line? How long do unfrosted sugar cookies last?
If you store them properly at room temperature, they can last unopened (in a sealed airtight container) for up to a month. But, they are best used within 5-7 days.
Inside a fridge, your sugar cookies will keep well for at least 1 full month. But, we have had a batch before that lasted in the back of our fridge (unopened) for 2 months. When we say unopened, we basically mean that we made the cookies, placed them in an airtight container, and left them in the fridge.
And finally, as we have mentioned, frozen unfrosted sugar cookies will last up to 18 months. But, they are best when used within 3 months.
What causes unfrosted sugar cookies to spoil?
So, here are some common things you should completely avoid. Mainly what your unfrosted cookies come into contact with. They will all, in one way or another, reduce the shelf life of the cookies.
The main two reasons sugar cookies spoil are because of bacterial growth and ingredients going rancid. The second is more likely than the first when it comes to cookies, especially drier ones like sugar cookies.
There is nothing you can do to completely avoid the ingredients aging. But, you can delay it. And, you can delay rapid bacterial growth.
By keeping your ingredients away from heat and moisture, you are removing the necessary "food" for bacteria to grow. This includes an ideal growing temperature, a food source (sugar), and water (moisture).
So, that is why it is so important to store your cookies according to the package or recipe instructions.
Wrapping Things Up
So, how long do unfrosted sugar cookies last? Now you can confidently store your cookies for at least a month, knowing exactly what to expect. And, you are better equipped to avoid or slow bacterial growth.
If you found this article useful and interesting, go have a look at the many other informative articles we have on our site.
How do you store sugar cookies before decorating?
Before you decorate the sugar cookies, you can place them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag. Store them in a cool, dry, and dark place. Make sure there aren't any drafts, dampness, or direct heat or light. And, because they aren't decorated, you can stack them on top of each other without worrying about damage. Just make sure they are fully cooled.
How do you keep sugar cookies fresh after decorating?
Depending on the type of decorations you have added, the storage method will differ slightly. For example, cookies with buttercream frosting cannot be stacked. But, cookies with a sugar frosting that has set hard can carefully be stacked. Again, store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place away from heat, light, high humidity (moisture), and drafts.
How far in advance can you bake sugar cookies?
Sugar cookies are quite shelf-stable and can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. After 2 weeks, their flavor and texture will still be relatively fresh. And even after this initial time, you can still expect the cookies to last another 2 weeks if you store them properly. But remember, the longer you keep them, the more stale and bland they will become.
How long do sugar-free cookies last?
Regardless of whether or not the sugar cookies are decorated, they will easily last up to 2 weeks. Some recipes even last as long as 4 weeks! However, for the best flavor and texture, make sure to use them within 5-7 days. That is when they are best.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.