Freeze & bake tips: instant hospitality

Time-saving freeze & bake tips.

There, did I catch your attention?

This time of year – with summer in the rear-view mirror and the holidays not QUITE upon us – is a great time to think about baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and how to plan the smoothest, most stress-free season ever.

To me, that means doing a series of quick cost/benefit analyses, and then making a timeline – at least mental, if not on an Excel spreadsheet (which I’d never do, since Excel and I are sworn enemies).

Is it worth parking in this tow zone for the 3 minutes it takes to pick up my dry cleaning, vs. the $25 ticket I might get? Do I risk washing this red dress (the one my daughter HAS to have for school tomorrow) with a load of whites?

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Is it worth time now to prep and freeze a bunch of unbaked treats so that on December 13, when guests drop by unexpectedly, I can whip out a plate of fresh-baked cookies in under 30 minutes?

The answers are, respectively, yes (if you’re feeling lucky); no (because you know your son would end up with pink gym socks); and YES, absolutely.

Here’s the cost of prepping and shaping dough for cookies, scones, and biscuits ahead of time: a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

And here’s the benefit: “OMG, these cookies are soooooo good – and still warm from the oven! What are you, a magician?”

No, just someone who’s learned The Secret To Stress-Free Holiday Baking: use the freezer. It’s the baker’s best friend.

Hot biscuits with a bowl of soup, the most impromptu yet satisfying of suppers?

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Check.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Oven-fresh scones for the next-door neighbor who just spent 30 minutes up on a ladder with your husband, stringing Christmas lights along the eaves?

Check.

Oh, and how about your best girlfriend’s “I’ll drop by for a couple of minutes Saturday morning” that turns into brunch?

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Double check.

I’ve convinced you, right? The benefit far, FAR outweighs the cost: make now, freeze, bake (and enjoy) later is the way to go.

Let’s take a look at the process, and then I’ll share some of my favorite freeze & bake tips.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Make your dough, and scoop it into portions.

Position the future cookies (or biscuits, or scones) on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. You’re not going to bake them right now, so there’s no need to leave space for expansion; crowd everything together as much as you like.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Cover with plastic, and freeze.

I’m lucky, I have a chest freezer; but this half-sheet pan fits in my regular freezer-top fridge, as well. You’ll only have to leave the pan in the freezer for a couple of hours, so don’t worry about any long-term juggling.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

When fully frozen, bag and label.

Freeze-and-bake cookies, ready to go. You may THINK you’ll remember, but do label and date your bags of goodies; then stick them back in the freezer, hopefully at the back so they’re not constantly exposed to changing temperatures.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Bake just before serving.

Space frozen cookies on a baking sheet, as you would any cookies. Bake as directed. (Notice I’m baking three types of cookies here; more on that later.)

You may or may not have to add an extra minute or two to the baking time; cookies are so small and have so much surface area they often take the same amount of time to bake frozen as they do fresh.

Using this same method with biscuits and scones will require an increase in baking time; but probably no more than a few minutes, if that.

Speaking of biscuits and scones, let’s see how the freeze-and-bake process works with those.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Freeze & bake tip #1: One recipe, many variations.

Our Never-Fail Biscuits include just two – count ’em, two – ingredients: self-rising flour, and heavy cream. And it’s easy to take biscuit dough and turn it into cinnamon rolls – just roll up with a schmear of Baker’s Cinnamon Filling (for a grand total of three ingredients).

Or make biscuits studded with sausage and cheese. Or just cheese. Or chocolate chips, for a sweet treat.

Start simple – go crazy. Biscuits and scones are particularly easy to dress up for any occasion, whether sweet or savory.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Freeze & bake tip #2: Bake as many (or few) as you like.

You bake fresh biscuits, they’re soft and wonderful for about 20 minutes, right? Then you get to deal with the leftovers.

When you’ve got a stash of treats in the freezer, it’s easy to avoid those stale leftovers: bake just as many as you want, and leave the rest frozen for next time.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Freeze & bake tip #3: Instant breakfast.

What’s the chance of you having fresh-baked cinnamon rolls hot on the table within 20 minutes of a guest dropping by? Pretty darned good, if you’ve stashed some ready-to-bake biscuit-dough cinnamon rolls in the freezer.

Biscuits and breakfast are natural partners – split large biscuits for breakfast sandwiches, pile bite-sized sugary nuggets into a pull-apart loaf, or just serve warm, tender biscuits with butter and jam. I’ve yet to meet anyone who’d turn down hot biscuits at breakfast.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Freeze & bake tip #4: Bake smaller for the holidays.

Instead of dividing that scone dough in half, divvy it into three or four pieces, to make more (smaller) scones. Use a teaspoon scoop for cookies, rather than a tablespoon scoop; a 1 1/2″ biscuit cutter, instead of a 2 1/2″.

The holidays mean non-stop grazing, with lots of variety; do yourself and your guests a favor by providing bite-sized (rather than multi-bite) treats.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

Freeze & bake tip #5: parchment is your best friend. Always.

1. Shape treats on parchment. Once frozen, use parchment to funnel treats into a plastic storage bag.
2. Ditch the cleanup. Pans stay clean; wipe crumbs from parchment and reuse.
3. Bake different cookies with different baking times all at once on separate strips of parchment (below). That way, if one type of cookie is done before the others, simply grab the corners of the parchment they’re on, and haul them out.

Freeze & Bake Tips via @kingarthurflour

The holidays are looming. Ready… set… freeze and bake!

And that means dinner rolls, as well. Discover the secret to high-rising, just-in-time dinner rolls.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. BB16

    Thanks for the helpful and inspiring post! My family will be thrilled when they show up in December and find a freezer full of goodies, just ready to bake. Now that there are three grandkids to keep an eye on, we can still enjoy baking goodies without the prep and cleanup! Thanks for giving this working lady a great Christmas goody plan, complete with recipes.

    Note: My husband and I were in Vermont on Columbus Day weekend and thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the King Arthur Cake/Bakery/Store! Would love to visit again some day, and so glad I can order online.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      We’re so glad you had a chance to visit, especially during such a lovely time of year. Have a wonderful time in the kitchen getting ready for the holidays! ~ MJ

    2. Dianne in Wisconsin

      I love all the recipes and tips. Something I do also with the biscuit dough – roll it out as for cinnamon rolls but I spread canned poppy roll on the dough before rolling it up. Then I slice it and freeze it before baking. My boys just love it. Or you could roll the dough into a loaf and freeze it that way too.
      Family said it tastes just like grandma’s poppy roll made from scratch lol.

    3. Michelle

      I guessed can do the same with gluten free cookie dough? Do I need to anything different for it?

  2. Kay

    Freezing cookies and scones is the best! I always make a double batch of scones to make sure the heavy cream gets used up, and when I’m in a baking mood I’ll make 2 to 4 batches of cookies to stock up my freezer.

    My only problems comes with leaving enough time for yeast rolls and such to rise again before baking.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Carol – The recipe links are posted just under the first photo. The featured recipes are Scones, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Chunk Wild Cookies, Never-Fail Biscuits. Bake (or freeze) away! Elisabeth@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Custard and cream type pies and fillings do not freeze well. Nor does cottage cheese or cream cheese. A whipped cream based icing does not do well either. Some thickeners in fruit pies are to be avoided due to a separation that occurs when thawing. We have had the best luck with using instant clearjel. If you plan on freezing a yeast dough for longer than 2 to 3 days prior to baking, increase the amount of yeast by about 20%. Hope that helps! Elisabeth@KAF

  3. omaria

    Wonderful; post ! I will make a bunch of these frozen delights and give them to my daughters so they have them in their freezer for when I come to visit them !! Of course that will only work if my granddaughters have not taken hold of them and baked them of for their friends. But that is OK too ! My hubby and I were also at KAF Bakery in Vermont. Wow… what a great place ! And sooo busy ! And all those buildings that belong to the Kaf company. Great , just great .

    Reply
  4. Nupur

    Great tips! I will try some of these freeze and bake recipes. I do stash already-baked goodies in the freezer (like biscotti, banana bread) and those are good for last minute use too.

    By the way, go ahead and throw in the red dress with the laundry but be sure to throw in one of those color catcher sheets too- they work well for me.

    Reply
  5. gaahonore

    PJ, you’re singing my song again! I have been doing this for years and years. I make 9 to 19 different types of cookies each year for Christmas and my family and friends are always amazed. How do you do it all each year they ask? I use the baker’s best friend, I respond. To date, I have a dozen loaves of chocolate bread and five batches of Christmas cookies in hibernation in my freezer, all waiting for the holidays. This is always a good reminder PJ. Thanks for all you do!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      For most home freezers, 2-3 months is best. If you have a larger chest freezer, then you can go a bit longer without worry of the baked good changing in flavor. Jon@KAF

  6. karen

    We’ve done this for years. We used to cook up while batches of 4-5 different flavors of cookies then we had to beat the clock to eat them all! Now my niece comes over and we take a whole Saturday to make a ton to put in the freezer. It’s easy to bake just what we need. I’m pretty sure there are some dough balls still in the freezer from last year! I’ve also started wrapping & freezing cupcakes to use later. I can make 4 dozen in the same time it takes to make 1dzn and always have some desert ready.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Macarons really don’t freeze well, nor do most other meringue based cookies. Jon@KAF

    2. Laura

      I am surprised to hear you say macarons do not freeze well. I have had very good luck with freezing both filled and just the baked shells. They taste just as fresh as when I first made them if I let them defrost 20-30 mins WITHOUT opening the container/package they were in.

  7. Jeanne

    long time baker. Question: do you thaw them prior to baking? If so, in the refrigerator, slowly, or just set out?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jeanne, with cookies, scones and biscuits you don’t need to thaw them before baking. Baking time may be a bit longer. Barb@KAF

  8. Margy

    I will make my cookie dough ahead and put it into a gallon freezer bag, then flatten it to a uniform thickness, expelling the air, then freeze. At baking time, I cut and peel off the bag, and cut into squares to bake. The squares bake into round cookies.

    Reply
    1. Lynda North

      Wow! what a great tip! Enables more air exclusion. Would work for biscuits too. Plus, I wouldn’t have to make room in the freezer for the cookie sheet, OR only freeze 1 sheet at a time! Dang! you rocked my world!

    2. Clionah

      How long does it take to defrost the frozen bag of dough? I might try a combination of these two methods by refrigerating the dough to make it more stiff, then place the dough on a piece of parchment bigger than the dough then use plastic ruler to cut into squares that can be “snapped off” after this block is frozen. Always trying to find the best baking hacks! ty all

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      This will depend on your room temperature, but expect at least 2-3 hours at 70 degrees. Jon@KAF

  9. Tonia

    Love these tips!! Did you prep the biscuits just like the cookies- cut, freeze on cookie sheet, then bag? Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Candy such as fudge really shouldn’t be frozen as it can become a bit gooey when it thaws due to condensation. Instead, store it cool and dry for 3-4 weeks. Jon@KAF

    2. Cheryl

      I wrap my fudge in bite size piece with wax paper, then put in zip plastic bags and store in the fridge.

  10. estelle shaw

    How long can you put already baked cookies(like chocolate chop,oatmeal,peanut butter, sugar,gooey butter cookies etc.) in freezer. I bake thousands for xmas for my family’s work place home gifts etc that as i get older it is hard for me to cook all morning into the night for several days to give them fresh baked so i thought i might freeze them for a couple weeks to spread out the time of baking and give them as fresh tasting cookies than i can.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Estelle, I wouldn’t recommend freezing your baked cookies for longer than three months, but a few weeks should be fine. Barb@KAF

  11. Ruth

    Thanks for these GREAT ideas and GREAT, easy recipes. How long can these recipes be frozen? I always seem to have an issue with nasty freezer burn or nasty freezer taste.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ruth, we generally recommend no longer than 3 months in the freezer, and be sure to double wrap to protect from freezer burn. Barb@KAF

  12. Martha

    Hi PJ, I was wondering, can I freeze angel biscuits as well? Specifically, I make biscuits with your fabulous baking mix add a teaspoon of yeast and a generous amount of shredded Cabot extra sharp. Would that hold in the freezer? I’d let it rise after thawing. Thanks for all your wonderful tips.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Martha, this sounds like a dough that would survive well in the freezer, but we haven’t tried it, so I’d recommend running a little experiment and freezing a few the next time you make this recipe and see how they perform after you thaw them. Barb@KAF

  13. Mary M

    When storing my frozen unbaked goods, i also write the baking instructions- time and temp- on the bag to save the extra step of looking for the recipe when I pull the bag from the freezer. Sometimes the recipe is on a print out- I have a 3-inch stack of recipes I’ve printed over the years and it gets hard to find the one I want!

    Reply
  14. PH Finestone

    I rely on my freezer for all my holiday baking. I’m fond of making refrigerator cookies to just slice and bake, but if I leave the dough in the fridge, I find my husband and kids have eaten it all! So I stash the dough rolls in the chest freezer, label them something silly (collards, anyone?) and hide them beneath the homemade bread and the flax seed. Refrigerator cookies are great in that the rolls can be made in all sorts of fun shapes, adding pizzaz to a cookie platter. I make rectangular Dutch Windmills, square pistachio-cranberry shortbread, round pecan sandies, and triangular chocolate sables. Thanks for your other freeze-and-bake suggestions!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Love the way you label your dough rolls in the freezer, PH! Thanks for your helpful and funny comments! Barb@KAF

  15. Toni

    This really works! I did discover that some varieties don’t spread as well; thawing them briefly (5 min. or so) or lowering the oven temperature about 25* usually solves the problem. I’ve been freezing my cookie dough for many, many years (at one point, I was making over 4,000 cookies between Sept. and Dec. to make Christmas gift boxes for friends and co-workers), and this method is the best way to get it done.

    Reply
  16. Beth

    Thank you for the great article! I’m single and an avid baker. I’ve been avoiding baking because of all the leftovers – it’s too tempting and I ruin my diet. Now I can make a single scone for breakfast!!!

    Reply
  17. Kathy Di Meo

    Can I freeze other cookie and biscuit recipes besides the ones you have featured? What about the good old fashioned buttermilk biscuit recipe!
    Kathy

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Feel free to experiment with your favorite cookie and biscuit recipes. They all freeze relatively well if you follow the general guidelines provided here. You may need to experiment with the baking time, but you’ll get it right if you check on your baked goods often and use your nose to tell you when they are done! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      For frozen muffin success, freeze the baked muffins ( or other pour or drop batter quick breads) rather than the unbaked batter. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bill, although we don’t have a “printable version” of our blog posts as yet, you might find it helpful to copy and paste the sections of the post you want to print to an empty document on your computer, and then print out this document. Barb@KAF

  18. Carole

    I sent my son,in Florida, a big box of his favorite cookies at Christmas and it was the best thing I could give someone who has everything. The tip to freeze cookie dough ahead of the holidays was a light bulb momont for me. My question is this-after freezing the raw cookies would it extend the freezer life even more if I used a FoodSaver vacuum pack? Also how far ahead can you store raw cookie dough in freezer?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Carole, I’m not sure if using a FoodSaver vacuum pack would extend the amount of time the dough will last in the freezer, but it should help prevent freezer burn. We generally recommend 3 months as a limit for freezing unbaked cookie, scone and biscuit dough. Barb@KAF

  19. Paul Williams

    It seems that I have read somewhere that the ideal temperature for refrigerating dough was approximately 47F. I have a designated fridge that I can control the temp within a degree or two and am wondering if there would be some advantage to using it for my 5 minute a day dough in large batches as opposed to my regular fridge which is much colder. Thanks for any suggestions that you may have.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Paul, 47 degrees is an excellent temperature for retarding sourdough because it will allow it to continue to ferment slowly without damaging the friendly bacteria that promotes flavor, however for a yeasted bread dough that you intend to keep for several days in the refrigerator, I think the lower temperature would be preferable so that the dough does not over ferment. Barb@KAF

  20. Kerrilynn

    Thank you for this article, you’ve inspired me right into the kitchen. This is an especially good idea today because, well, it’s a cold, rainy October day, but also because I’ve got a fall cold, and I’m just restless enough to mix some dough up that I have no desire to eat! What are your thoughts on baking while ill? I figure as long as I’m not in the first few contagious days, and wash my hands repeatedly, there should be no risk to anyone eating my cookies, would there? Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I think taking the precautions you mentioned should be sufficient, Kerrilynn, although I’m a baker and not a doctor. The good thing about baked goods is you bake them! Greater precautions need to be taken when handling food that will not be cooked or baked. Barb@KAF

  21. Daniela

    I’m 8 months pregnant and trying to get as much of my holiday baking out of the way as possible and I already started freezing dough, so perfect timing on the article! Any advice for baking frozen cinnamon rolls made with yeast? I made a HUGE, delicious batch a month ago and popped the sliced pieces into the freezer thinking it would be easy to bake them up as needed for holiday breakfasts but they don’t rise properly when I bake them. Should I allow them to defrost and rise for a few hours before baking? I’ve also seen another method where you place the frozen rolls in a cold oven and then turn the oven on and bake. What’s the best way to do this?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Daniela, freezing can damage some of the yeast cells, making it more difficult for the dough to rise in the oven. When freezing yeast raised cinnamon rolls, I would recommend one of two methods: You can freeze them as recommended in this post. Or, you could try freezing the shaped and partly risen rolls in their pan (not as individual rolls). Be sure to cover the rolls well in plastic wrap to protect from freezer burn. Thaw the rolls overnight in the refrigerator and then bake them the next day. If they look like they need a bit more rising time you can let them rise at room temperature for a little while before baking. We don’t recommend using quick rise or rapid rise yeast when freezing or refrigerating dough overnight, and if you know you plan to freeze the dough you can add a touch more yeast to the recipe to allow for some yeast loss during freezing. Barb@KAF

  22. Dru

    Do the tips on freezing baked goodies differ significantly between regular and gluten-free? Also, is it better to freeze unbaked (bake and serve) or baked (thaw and serve)?

    You mentioned that custard pies don’t freeze well. Does that apply also to pumpkin pies?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Both regular and gluten free baked goods freeze well, and there isn’t much difference. Wrap well when cool, and freeze quickly. Most items freeze well after baking (breads and pastries), cookies, scones, biscuits and fruit pies can be frozen unbaked. And because pumpkin pie contains eggs and a dairy product, it is considered in the custard class of pies, and thus will not freeze well in either state. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  23. Therighteouskitchen

    Great tips! If you are stocking the freezer, I’d recommend a vacuum packing system, such as a Foodsaver.

    Reply
  24. BARBARA

    Great comment “Therighteouskitchen” I too use a Food Savour for everything. Previously, I used “Zip Lok” freezer bags but they weren’t able to stop the frozen crystals invading & causing problems. For the frozen foods I use scrap paper & print the needed information inside the FS bag, seal it with no worry about what is in the bag, temperature for baking, time, etc. I’ve done that for years & while ill a neighbor became friendly with the freezer & had perfect results.

    Thank all of you at KA for the numerous hints, pictured techniques, & tips. You certainly go above & beyond to help each of us.

    Reply
  25. Teri

    I have a chest freezer but it’s not a “frost-free” type. Does this affect anything — what to store the cookies in, how to store them, how long to store them? Was not sure if anything had to be adjusted to avoid freezer burn. Thanks for this great article. I love warm biscuits with my meal and to be able to bake just enough for two is such a great idea! I will definitely put this advise to good use.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Teri, I think your freezer will do fine as long as you wrap your baked goods well and don’t leave them in the freezer longer than 3 months. Barb@KAF

  26. Helen

    Before I had knee replacement surgery, I mixed cookie dough and froze it. When my hubby needed a sweet fix, he removed the dough from the freezer and baked it himself. He was so proud of himself for baking cookies! He even tried baking his own from scratch after he ate his way through the frozen dough!

    Reply
  27. Sandy Wilson

    I’m totally in favor of filling the freezer with baked goodies and as many freezable meals and goodies as can be stacked into it. I am particularly interested in the sugar cookies listed with the other links under the first photo in the blog. When I click on the sugar cookies link, it goes to a page saying that the link is not available. Which sugar cookie recipe is this and I’ll go to the recipes on the KAF website? Happy holiday baking to everyone!!!

    Reply
  28. Trina

    I have done cookies like this for years, and I freeze garlic knots, but, I go thru the whole process, but only bake the about 10 minute, then freeze. Then I finish 2 at a time and enjoy hot garlicy goodness!

    Reply
  29. Rosemary Edgar

    Any tips for freezing rolled cookies? Would it be better to freeze the cut out dough or bake the cookies and then freeze. I am doing some Cottage Industry baking to sell at a farmer’s market and am looking for ways to spread out my baking and also to keep unsold goods fresh until the next market.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It will really depend on your baking needs, Rosemary. You can always bake then freeze, but make sure they have several hours to thaw before your market. Also, if you plan on saving a stock of them then using a larger, more stable freezer may be a good idea to prevent freezer burn. Freezing the raw dough is fine too, if you have enough time or oven space to bake enough for your market. Jon@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pour batter and drop batter quick breads work best if they are baked and then frozen. A soft dough like scones or biscuits is fine to freeze. Happy baking! Irene@KAF

  30. Felicia

    Great post! I have frozen cookie dough and baked cookies for years. I bake dozens before the holidays. It’s always good to get new tips! I will definitely try biscuits and scones now. Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Jessica Richman

    I’ve been freezing portioned cookie dough for years. However, instead of freezing on a cookie sheet, I use flat plastic containers, such as tupperware. I separate the layers of cookies with waxed paper or parchment. When frozen, I transfer the dough into a ziploc labeled with date, type of cookie, and baking instructions. I can fit the plastic containers in among my other items, and they protects fragile cookies until they’re frozen solid.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Freezing unbaked cookies = fresh baked cookie goodness and a kitchen full of that fresh baked aroma! What’s not to love? Happy baking! Irene@KAF

  32. Jenn b

    Love the ideas! 2 additional points:
    1. We call frozen cookie dough scoops “emergency cookies” in our house. As in “in case of emergency break glass” 😉
    2. Emergency frozen cookie balls make great hostess gifts and birthday pressents.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Baking Powder Biscuits usually don’t need rise time when baked fresh. Some bakers bake biscuits right from the freezer, adding 5 – 10 minutes to the baking time, while others prefer to let the biscuits thaw slightly (10 minutes or so) before baking. Only you will be able to decide which method works best for you! Happy baking! Irene@KAF

  33. Diana

    Thank you for these bake and freeze tips. Every year I say I am going to do this for the holidays and I never do. Seeing it pictured before me and written so well, this is the year I will achieve my goal!

    Reply
  34. member-pamderenzis

    I have frozen already baked cookies for years too. It gives me a wide variety of items to choose from during the holidays. Our tradition is to start baking cookies the day after Thanksgiving. Don’t want to be a part of the crowds of people out Christmas shopping that day. Makes me feel great to have a head start on Christmas. The great part is, I can take them out during the holiday season and not just Christmas Day. Thanks for all the great tips!

    Reply
  35. Marjorie F. Steiner

    Great post! Love using King Arthur products! Going to start My Christmas baking this week! Freezing cookie dough will, really, help with this chore!Sincerely, Margeinthekitchen

    Reply
  36. Lisa Voelker

    I have a recipe for sticky buns that uses puff pastry. It has to be slightly defrosted before adding the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins, rolling it up and cutting slices to bake. Can I refreeze at this point? I’ve heard you should not refreeze certain things once defrosted? Any thoughts?

    Reply
  37. Merrilee

    I LOVE this idea, PJ! Especially about the no-fail biscuits, and their variations!! I’m off to get myself some KA self-rising flour today, since I need that in my pantry. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  38. Susan Berry

    Are there any cookie dough or ingredient that would not freeze well? Such as dough with egg whites, sour cream, cream cheese, etc?
    Thank you,
    Susan in NC

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Meringue based cookies (made with whipped egg whites) won’t hold up well unbaked in the freezer. Those cookies hold up better baked, then frozen. Cookies based on flour with fats like butter, sour cream or cream cheese blended in will hold up quite nicely. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  39. Linda Dunton

    Love all these great tips ! Is there a way to print this without all the pics and comments? A print version like your great recipes?

    Reply
  40. Phyllis

    For years I killed myself baking cookies for the holidays, and then I read in the King Arthur Cookie Cookbook about freezing raw dough. Last year’s holiday baking was a breeze. I made a batch a day and froze. When it came time to bake, I managed to bake about about a dozen different cookies in a couple of days. The best part: NO MESS.

    Reply
  41. Peggy

    Thank you, PJ, you’ve come to my rescue AGAIN!!!! With an arthritic knee and hip, standing for hours in the kitchen and baking is taking a serious toll on my aging joints. I will be taking your suggestions and those of the reviewers for my holiday baking. I’ve done the cinnamon rolls before, and it is such a treat to wake up to warm cinnamon rolls in the morning. Two suggestions I’d add: 1. in addition to labeling the bag of its’ contents, I’d also write the suggested baking times and oven temp – no need to pull out your recipes or turn on the computer. 2. Definitely vacuum store and seal them with the Food Saver system – AFTER the first initial freeze period………no freezer burn, loss of taste, and everything keeps longer. My vacuum sealer is as important as the coffee pot and the slow cooker in my kitchen!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cutting the dough into wedges or freezing individual drop scones makes it easy to grab the number of scones you want to bake and pop them into the oven. Give that method a try and see what you think. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  42. cynbadc

    If you were making cookies like snicker-doodles or gingersnaps, would you scoop them and roll them in the sugar then freeze? Or would you scoop & freeze them then roll in sugar before baking? And if you wait to roll them in the sugar right before baking, would you thaw them first? Thanks for the input. I have frozen chocolate chip cookies before, but never a cookie that needs to be rolled in sugar or sugar/cinnamon. I would like to do these ahead of time for Christmas. Thanks again for all of your great tips. You guys are my go to for so many recipes that I make on a regular basis!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fellow Baker, If you want freshly baked cookies all year long, you can prepare the snickerdoodle dough and freeze it in one of two ways, in logs or preportioned. To freeze in a log, prepare the cookie dough according to your recipe; shape the prepared dough into one or more logs. Wrap the logs in a layer of wax or parchment paper, tucking in the ends to keep the log fully covered. Put the logs in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing it; place it in the back of your freezer. To use the dough, thaw the log in the refrigerator overnight, slice your cookies to size and then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking. To freeze in preportioned cookies, prepare your dough, then portion the cookies onto a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer just until solid, which could take up to six hours. Then transfer the cookies to an airtight freezer bag for longer storage. To bake the cookies, first thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, roll into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake according to your recipe. With either method, use the dough within three months of freezing. Hope this helps and Happy Baking!JoAnn@KAF

  43. Monique

    Is there a way to make never fail biscuits without cream or a milk based product? Could I substitute almond milk or something else? Thanks!

    Reply
  44. Sherry P

    Im a nurse and work in a “school for challenged children” and like to do a lot of things from scratch to take to them because they have mostly experienced only store bought and processed food. Through the years I have developed many “short” cuts and I thought I would share one that I think is very helpful and I haven’t seen it in other comments. First I use a scale, lots of dishwashing is eliminated by this, not to mention its accuracy. But the big tip with breads, rolls and buns is using a flour infused linen (or any 100% cotton light weight fabric, aprox. 21/2 feet square (or so, nothing exact, just presenting an idea). I roll, cut and shape and even fill, being careful not to get anything but flour on my cloth. Shockingly, I don’t wash this each time! I keep it in a sealed bowl and when I spread it out I sprinkle on more flour (using my trusty KF flour wand) When I first put the dough on the cloth, I pre-shape it in roughly the shape I will want the finished product to be, (i.e. square, rectangle, round etc) then I bring up the sides of the floured cloth, over the dough and this gives it a very light but not too much, coating of flour. I even fill the cinnamon rolls, not spilling any filling on the cloth, roll it up, dampen the edge with water and crimp together. Then I roll it off on a piece of parchment for slicing. This usually keeps the cloth clean. If I spill, of course I wash it, other wise I only wash it about every four or five uses. I have a spare all floured and ready in the sealed bowl in case I need it in a hurry. Its just amazing how much flour mess this saves, not to mention ease of use.

    Reply
  45. Joyce

    I love these ideas, especially the thought of freezing banana nut bread. How do you do that–freeze it in a loaf pan, then take it out and put in plastic?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Joyce, you should be able to get baked banana bread out of the pan fairly easily. Once it’s entirely cool, wrap it well in plastic, then put it in a plastic bag so it’s double wrapped. I’d keep it frozen for maybe a month before using; longer than that, it could dry out and acquire off tastes and odors. Good luck – PJH

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      The early bird catches the… well, not the worm in this case, but let’s just say the early bird is going to be one happy chicken later in the season when things are hectic! 🙂 PJH

  46. Barbara Geerlings

    Super idea. Avid baker but always freeze baked. Going to do it this way from now on ; however, on the frozen bags I will also put the temperature to bake them as well as approx. how long (knowing they may need longer). I have a Foodsaver so will start my Christmas cookies now. Would you advise that muffins can be dealt with the same?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Barbara, while you can certainly freeze the baked muffins, I would not recommend freezing muffin batter. Barb@KAF

  47. Jesse

    This is genius. Seriously. I’m kicking myself for not doing it already. My boys LOVE the King Arthur Chocolate Chip cookies and ask for them all the time.

    Reply
  48. Kathrine Bowerman-Parry

    Can you post some tested recipes using your GF flour? Have you tried your Chocolate Chip Cookie with it? I use Cup 4 Cup and curious how your’s compare.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Kathrine, thanks for sharing your request with us. It sounds like you’re looking for this blog about using Measure for Measure in a multitude of recipes including brownies, scones, muffins, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and pound cake (the recipes are all linked in the article). We’ve also posted two articles recently about seasonal recipes that rock using Measure for Measure: Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts and Pumpkin Scones are just two of the tasty treats waiting for you. Happy gluten-free baking! Kye@KAF

  49. Patsy

    Did I miss these questions and answers above? !. Do you bake the cookies frozen or thawed? 2. What Temperature? 3. How long? Super smart and easy ideas. Thanks, Patsy

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Patsy, I bake the cookies frozen, at whatever temperature the recipe calls for. Usually I don’t need to increase the baking time, unless they’re quite large or thick; in which case increase the baking time by a minute or so, or until they test done. Good luck – PJH

  50. Peggy

    If I freeze biscotti dough in the logs, or loafe, should I thaw it before baking? I make over 1500 biscotti in 3 different varieties every Christmas as gifts for family and friends and doing it ahead would be awesome!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Peggy, wow, what a holiday bake! You will want to defrost the log before baking, as it may not evenly bake through otherwise. You may find that it works equally well to prep your biscotti up through the first bake and cut before freezing – this allows you to do even more of the work ahead of time, and the thinner slices will take less time defrost and bake. You’ve probably also already experimented with this given how much biscotti you make, but baked biscotti also keep quite well in the freezer as along as they are wrapped airtight. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  51. Helen Ownby

    I have a few boxes of your muffin mix that I would like to bake in the paper loaf pans and freeze. Will this work? and do your bread bags work or do I need to use my usual gallon freezer bags? Also, suggestions for wrapping pound cake…I’ve used plastic wrap and foil before?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Helen, baking our muffin mix in paper loaf pans and freezing should work just fine. Our bread bags can be a little tricky to tie up airtight, but if you first wrap your cooled loaves well n plastic wrap and then add the well-sealed bread bag, that could work. The same process – wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and then in an airtight bag (or foil) – should also work well for pound cake. Just make sure that you allow the loaf to fully cool before wrapping, no matter how you choose to wrap. Mollie@KAF

  52. Diana

    One of the favorite cookies in our house at Christmas are Spritz cookies – shot from a cookie gun in shapes like wreaths and trees. They are a butter cookie type dough – butter, eggs, flour, and food coloring. Will these freeze ok? If so, I know what I’m doing next weekend!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Diana, these cookies will freeze well if you bake them first. If your cookies are particularly delicate, you might want to place them on waxed paper and freeze for at least an hour (so they are more sturdy) and then put them in a zip-lock bag. Store for 2-3 months. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  53. Debbie

    I am wanting to prepare pigs in a blanket with puff pastry. I would like to put them together and freeze them in order to bake them later. Would it be a bad idea to use thawed puff pastry to make them, thus thawing and re-freezing the puff pastry?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Debbie, this approach will likely work quite well. Here’s a few tips to ensure you’re successful: thaw the puff pastry only minimally the first time, just enough so that you can work the dough and wrap it around the hot dogs. Try to limit the time it’s out of the freezer. Place the prepared pigs on a baking sheet in the freezer to solidify and then store them in a zip-top bag for up to 1 month. You can let them thaw in the fridge on a baking sheet overnight before baking the next day. Enjoy! Kye@KAF

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