Skip to Content

Can You Freeze Decorated Sugar Cookies? How To Store Royal Icing Cookies

Can you freeze decorated sugar cookies? Yes, you absolutely can! You can freeze them un-iced or decorated. Let’s dive into all of the best methods for how to store royal icing cookies.

decorated cookies with royal icing

*DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase from one of my links. I greatly appreciate your support!

How to dry cookies decorated with royal icing

First, let’s make sure our cookies are dried properly to begin with. Make sure your cookies are drying on a flat surface (like a baking sheet–NOT a cookie drying rack with expose holes underneath the cookie). As long as the cookie is iced and is on a flat surface, the only part of the cookie exposed to their air are the sides.

royal icing cookies drying

You MUST wait until your cookies are completely dried before you can store them in an airtight container. You CANNOT put royal icing cookies in an airtight container until the icing is hard to the touch. This takes about 8 hours.

Read this post for more information on how long it takes royal icing to dry and troubleshooting icing not drying correctly.

How to store royal icing cookies

Short-term storage

Once the cookies are completely dried they can be stored in an airtight container (either just stacked on top of each other or for a safer storage in between layers of PARCHMENT–not wax). Whether or not you need to put parchment paper in between depends on your cookie recipe (some stick together more than others–I’ve never had that issue with my recipe) and/or if they’re decorated (generally speaking I’d recommend there always be something separating the cookies if they’re decorated).

picture of un-iced sugar cookies

I will store cookies this way (either un-iced or decorated) for up to 1 week. If I know I’ll be using them after 1 week, then I’ll freeze them.

photo of sugar cookies in a sealed container

Long-term storage

If keeping the cookies for longer than 1 week, I recommend freezing. For freezing, I recommend layering the cookies in between PARCHMENT (not wax) paper in an airtight container (unless you heat seat them like I do, then you don’t need to do this!).

For larger quantities of cookies I have a larger container where I can store two layers of cookies upright. So many cookies!!

storing royal icing cookies

When you’re ready to defrost, you MUST leave the cookies in the container on the counter until they are fully defrosted. If you take them out too early when they’re iced the icing will melt/bleed as it defrosts. I usually give them at least 6 hours to defrost. Cookies can stay frozen for at least 6 months (but I’ve gone longer!)

cookies stored in the freezer

How far in advance can you make the cookies?

If you want to make your cookies in advance… totally doable!

1 week before event: I start the process UP TO 1 week before the event and don’t do any freezing in this time period (either of the icing or cookies).

More than 1 week before event: I usually like to freeze baked un-iced cookies and prepped fresh batches of icing (I’m always paranoid iced cookies will not defrost correctly, even though that RARELY happens). You CAN completely decorate and freeze before the event though!

Check out this post for more detailed instructions on how to store royal icing.

How long do decorate sugar cookies last?

On the counter in an airtight container, I’d say up to 3-4 weeks. Personally, I prefer to eat them within 1 week or freeze them. Frozen properly, they can easily lats 3-6 months (or more!). You can even freeze dough before it’s baked (just makes sure it is VERY securely airtight!).

Want to try cookie decorating?

Try out one of my online cookie decorating classes!

Other posts you might be interested in:

How Long Does Royal Icing Take to Dry?

Saturday 15th of July 2023

[…] That said, once the cookies are dry you CAN store them in the freezer. Check out this post for more information on storing and freezing decorated sugar cookies. […]


Saturday 15th of July 2023

Always love your detailed instructions, Grace! The freezer is my best friend in the kitchen.


Saturday 15th of July 2023

Yes gotta love that freezer!!!

Kirsten James

Saturday 15th of July 2023

I can 100% vouch for this freezing method! Cookies are my side gig so I have to find time where I can to complete orders. That often means completing the cookies anywhere from a week to a month in advance and then I heat seat and freeze them. I always make an extra to taste test and make sure the flavor wasn’t compromised. My designs always stay intact and flavor has never faltered. I would say it might add just a touch of softness to the cookies when you freeze them, but I would argue that makes them better! I even use the exact tupperwares you have. :)


Saturday 15th of July 2023

OMG yes!!! I would agree I think that freezing them makes them even softer! So glad you've found so much success with freezing!!

%d bloggers like this: