Last Updated on September 28, 2022
Do you know how to store frosted cookies? In today's article, we'll explore the best methods and tricks you can use to extend your cookies' shelf life.
What Are Frosted Cookies?
You may be a little confused about this question. Frosted cookies are frosted cookies, right? Wrong!
Today, there are so many different types of frostings that are used on sugar cookies. And unfortunately, each of these requires different storage methods and has different shelf lives.
So, let's start with what you probably first think of; royal icing sugar cookies. These were probably the first type of icing (aka frosting) used to decorate cookies. It has a few different consistencies that allow you to create beautiful and even elaborate decorations on your cookies.
And, the best part is that the icing dries out and sets rock hard. This ultimately means that it has less moisture and will last longer.
Royal icing frosted cookies can be kept at room temperature, in the fridge, and in the freezer.
This is a piped or spreadable frosting. More often than not, a big dollop is added on top of a cookie and garnished.
Now, there are two main types of buttercream frostings. You can an all-butter frosting and a shortening frosting.
The all-butter frosting is highly perishable. It is made with real butter, which is a fresh dairy product. This frosting should only be kept in the fridge and freezer. If you keep it at room temperature, it will start going off after a day.
If you use a shortening-based frosting (made from shelf-stable plant oils), you can keep it at room temperature, inside the fridge or freezer. It will last much longer than a butter-based frosting.
Cream cheese frosting
The final common frosting used for cookies is a cream cheese-based one. It is similar in consistency and function to buttercream frosting.
As with an all-butter frosting, it is highly perishable because it is made from fresh dairy. So, it too should be kept inside the fridge or in the freezer.
Tips And Tricks
Now, before we look into some specific storage methods for how to store frosted cookies, here are some tips and tricks that apply to all of them.
- If you have royal icing sugar cookies, you can stack them in a container with a layer of baking paper between them. The baking paper will protect the hard frosting and keep the cookies from sticking to one another.
- If you are storing buttercream or cream cheese frosted cookies, you will have to store them in a single layer. But, only if you don't want to ruin the piped decoration.
- If you freeze any type of frosted cookie, you should always first freeze them in a single layer. Then, once they are rock hard, you can gently stack them on top of each other in a single container.
How To Store Frosted Cookies At Room Temperature
You shouldn't store all-butter or cream cheese frosted cookies at room temperature. Only store those frosted with royal icing, and shortening-based frosting.
Keep the cookies in an airtight container. If you stack royal icing cookies, place a layer of wax paper or baking paper between them.
The cookies should be kept away from heat sources, direct sunlight, moisture, ad high humidity. Place them in a cool dark place.
Royal icing cookies can last up to a month. But, shortening-based frosted cookies will only last about 3-4 days.
How To Store Frosted Cookies In The Fridge
The fridge will help extend the shelf life of frosted cookies. But, there are different methods for how to store frosted cookies depending on the type of frosting.
Royal icing cookies can be stacked in an airtight container (again with some paper between them). Frosted cookies (any other type) should all be stored in a single layer to keep the frosting from squishing.
Always store them in a very airtight container. Otherwise, the moisture from the fridge will cause the cookies to soften and become stale.
The royal icing cookies will still only last about a month. But their texture won't be as good as when they are kept at room temperature.
The shortening-based frosting will keep well for about 7-10 days. And, perishable frostings will only last 5-6 days.
How To Store Frosted Cookies In A Freezer
If you know how to store frosted cookies in a freezer, you have to remember to be patient! It isn't as easy as tossing them in a container and leaving them be.
First, you need to place them in an airtight container in a single layer. Then, they should be fully frozen. Only then, to save some freezer space, can you stack them in one container. But place a layer of wax paper between them.
Then, the entire container should be covered with aluminum foil to prevent excessive freezer burn on the cookies.
In the freezer, these cookies will last up to a year. But, when thawed, they may have completely different textures and sometimes even flavors. So, this isn't a method we recommend.
Hopefully, now you know how to store frosted cookies at room temperature and in the fridge. And, you can even confidently say how to store frosted cookies in a freezer for longer periods of time!
If you found this article informative, make sure to go check out other similar ones on our website. And, if you would like to learn about something specific you cannot find, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
How long can frosted cookies sit out?
It depends on the type of frosting used and the temperature of the room. If it is warm, you should keep your cookies inside the fridge (even if this will affect their texture). Royal icing cookies are much more shelf stable and will keep well for up to a month. But, buttercream cookies will only last a day or two at room temperature.
How do you store sugar cookies with buttercream frosting?
If you want to keep your buttercream frosting beautiful, you'll need to store them in an individual layer. This takes up a lot of space. These cookies can be kept at room temperature if they are made with shortening. But, if they are made from all-butter (a highly perishable fresh dairy product), they should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container.
Do cookies frosted with royal icing need to be refrigerated?
Royal icing cookies do not need to be refrigerated. The Royal icing dries out almost completely, making the egg-based icing safe to leave at room temperature. There, if stored correctly, it can easily last up to a month. The only part we do sometimes store in the fridge is unused Royal icing. It helps keep it fresh and (with a damp cloth over it) prevents it from setting.
Should I refrigerate frosted cookies?
It depends on the type of frosting you have on your sugar cookies. If it is a Royal icing frosting, you should preferably keep it away from the fridge. But, if it is a perishable buttercream or cream cheese frosting, you should try to store it inside the fridge. It will only last a day or two at room temperature. But, inside the fridge, it could easily last over a week.
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.