How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Fridge?

Cookies are an amazing and easy-to-make sweet treat that most people love eating. However, if you’ve ever had raw cookie dough, you might think that cookie dough is actually better than baked cookies. Regardless of your opinion on the best way to eat cookies, you might be wondering if cookie dough expires and how long it lasts in the fridge. 

The type of cookie dough plays a significant role in determining how long it can be stored in the fridge. For example, homemade cookie dough shouldn’t be kept in the fridge for more than four days. However, store-bought or frozen cookie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. 

The time you can keep homemade cookie dough in the fridge differs from when store-bought cookie dough lasts in the refrigerator.

This is because homemade cookie dough has fewer preservatives than store-bought cookie dough.

In addition, various factors influence the shelf-life of cookie dough. This article discusses these and other frequently asked questions about cookie dough. 

How Long Does Cookie Dough Last In The Fridge?

Although most cookie dough will not be kept in the fridge for too long (because you will likely eat it all), it is essential to know how long you can store it.

You certainly wouldn’t want to make your guests sick after eating some of your freshly baked cookies. 

Store-bought cookie dough can last for about a week in the refrigerator.

In addition to regular cookie dough ingredients, store-bought cookie dough also has stabilizers, and preservatives added.

This helps keep the cookie dough from going bad and extends its shelf life. 

How Long Does Homemade Cookie Dough Last In The Fridge?

Homemade cookie dough doesn’t have all the stabilizers and preservatives that store-bought cookie dough has.

Therefore, you can expect that homemade cookie dough will not last as long. In fact, homemade cookie dough will only last for two to four days in the fridge. 

It is best to use homemade cookie dough within two days of making it to prevent the cookie dough from going bad.

In addition, keep the cookie dough in an airtight container in the fridge to further help extend the dough’s shelf life. 

How Long Can Cookie Dough Sit Out?

Whether homemade or store-bought, cookie dough should not be left outside the fridge.

The eggs and milk can go rancid at room temperature, and the dough will become useless.

Cookie dough can only sit out for two to four hours before it is no longer safe to use.

Therefore, you are recommended to only take the cookie dough out of the fridge when ready to use it. 

Does Cookie Dough Expire?

Cookie dough definitely can expire. When you look at the ingredients added to cookie dough, you will likely assume that cookie dough does expire.

Cookie dough is made using eggs, flour, milk, baking powder, sugar, and butter. 

Eggs are a significant contributor to the shelf-life of cookies.

Raw eggs can contain semolina or e-Coli bacteria, making a person extremely ill. Therefore, you generally shouldn’t consume raw eggs.

In addition, the milk and butter used in cookie dough can go rancid or sour when they are left unused.

The sugar added to cookie dough feeds the bacteria, causing the dough to expire. 

Therefore, the cookie dough will only last a limited time before the ingredients go bad and the cookie dough expires.

How long it takes for the cookie dough to expire depends on the specific ingredients you used and what preservatives are added. 

Can Cookie Dough Go Bad?

There are some specific indicators that tell you when cookie dough is bad.

If you’re using store-bought cookie dough, there should be a best before or best by date on the packaging.

This is not the same as an expiry date, and you can use the dough past the best before date. 

However, the date printed on the packaging should tell you when the cookie dough is best to use.

After this date, the cookie dough will start to go bad and shouldn’t be kept for much longer.

Regardless of the kind of cookie dough you’re using, these are the clear signs that your cookie dough has gone bad:

1. The Cookie Dough Will Smell Funny

A rotten or sour smell clearly indicates that the cookie dough is no longer safe to use.

If the cookie dough smells sour, it means that the dairy in the dough has gone bad.

Likewise, if the cookie dough smells rancid, the fat has gone bad. 

In any case, cookie dough that smells of anything other than sweet and delicious cookie dough should not be used and must be discarded. 

2. The Cookie Dough Will Have Mold

If you notice any mold growing on your cookie dough, you should toss the dough immediately.

Mold is a clear indication that the cookie dough can no longer be used.

In addition, if the cookie dough’s edges start to dry out and harden, the cookie dough has been kept in the fridge for too long and should be discarded.

If the cookie dough starts to change color or look strange in any way, such as developing an odd texture or feeling slimy, the dough has gone bad, and it is no longer safe to use.  

3. The Cookies Will Taste Odd

If you find that the cookies taste strange once baked, the cookie dough has likely expired.

So, unfortunately, you will have to toss the cookies and make a new batch of dough. 

Although storing cookie dough in an airtight container in the fridge does help it last longer, it is not a permanent solution, and you must still use the cookie dough within a week.

If you remove the cookie dough from the fridge and leave it on the counter, it will only last for 2 to 4 hours at the most.

After this, you risk the dough becoming bad or the eggs becoming potentially poisonous.

Therefore, never leave cookie dough in the open for more than a few hours. 

If you want to make a big cookie dough batch and would like to store it in the freezer, you might also be wondering how long homemade cookie dough lasts once frozen. 

Conclusion

Homemade cookie dough will last for two to four days in the fridge or two to four hours on the counter.

Store-bought cookie dough contains a lot more preservatives. It can last for a week in the refrigerator. 

If the cookie dough smells off, develops mold or dry edges, or the baked cookies have an odd taste, you should discard the cookies and the dough and start with a new batch of cookie dough.

Cookie dough can expire because of the eggs and dairy products it is made from.