10 Common Cookie Storage Mistakes

Updated: Jan. 05, 2022

You put too much love into your baking to let these common cookie storage mistakes ruin your treats. Here's why your cookies don't keep—and how to fix it.

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Hand of young child reaching to take a cookie off of a cooling rack
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You don’t let them cool

Rule #1 of cookie storage: let them cool completely. Make sure to leave an hour or two between the end of your bake time and packing up your cookies. Excess heat equals excess moisture, which results in soggy, sticky (or even moldy) cookies.

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Jar of cookies
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You use a cookie jar

Yes, they’re adorable and classic. But do cookie jars keep cookies fresh? Nope. Instead, opt for an airtight container that will seal in freshness and preserve the texture you intended for your homemade desserts.

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Opening Christmas present with Christmas cookies, personal perspective view
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You stack frosted cookies

Even if they are completely cooled, frosted cookies should never be stacked on one another. You’ll end up with a stuck-together mess. Preserve your decorated cookies by setting them all out in one layer, wrapping them individually or by using parchment or waxed paper between layers of cookies.

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Top view of various mini Christmas pastry in the cardboard box on wooden table
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You store different types together

No one wants to taste gingerbread when they bite into a chocolate chip cookie. Flavor contamination aside, you don’t want to mix textures. Crisp cookies will get soggy and lose their snap, while soft, chewy cookies will give up their moisture. Package one type of cookie per container—no more.

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Close-up of cookies and milk on table
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You skip the paper

Not the news, silly! The parchment (or waxed) paper. Always use some between layers of cookies, even if they’re not frosted or decorated. This will keep your cookies from sticking together or breaking in half when you grab one.

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A man using a microwave oven. His finger on the opening button.
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You microwave frozen cookies

A microwave’s heat is too inconsistent to trust your precious cookies in its care. Instead, thaw frozen cookies at room temperature or throw them in a 350°F oven for 3-5 minutes to freshen them up.

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Freshly baked meringues, overhead view
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You freeze the wrong things

Some things just aren’t meant to be frozen. Namely, delicate cookies such as meringues, as well as cakey cookies like madeleines. Plan to serve and share these right away—they’re much better (and prettier) fresh. Learn more about freezing cookies the right way.

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Star sugar cookies decorated for 4th of July Independence day celebration in America. Icing and sprinkles in red, white, and blue.
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You freeze sprinkles

Toppings such as sprinkles provide not only decoration but texture to each bite. Freezing cookies with sprinkles on top is all but guaranteed to ruin that extra crunch. Decorate frozen cookies after thawing, instead.

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Baked Homemade Crispy Pizzelles in a Stack
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You skimp on padding

This applies especially if you’re shipping cookies, or if they’ll be in the car with you for a longer distance. Jostling around in a box can ruin delicate cookies (like pizzelle) in no time. Protect them with tissue paper to keep them looking and tasting perfect.

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Baking cookies
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You keep them too long

If you’ll be keeping them at room temperature (in that airtight container), three to five days is as much time as you get. But in the freezer, you can keep your cookies for up to 6 months. This is how long different kinds of cookies last.