How Long to Chill Cookie Dough: an Easy Guide

Chilling, or refrigerating, cookie dough is an easy way to fix lots of cookie dough issues and also to make for a better cookie.

But how long do you chill cookie dough?

Does it matter?

Is there a general rule?

In this guide on how long to chill cookie dough, we’re going to cover some basic cookie baking tips and help you figure out how long your cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for.


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First things first, most recipes will actually tell you how long to chill your cookie dough for.

Double check the notes of your recipe to make sure that there isn’t any information on there about the chill time before you use our guide.

Another thing to note is that you can’t really go that wrong with chilling dough.

If you’re chilling your dough to make it easier to roll and you find that it isn’t quite there yet, just pop it in for another couple of hours.

If you’re chilling your dough to prevent spreading in your cookies, do a test batch with just one or two balls of dough after you’ve chilled it and see if it has worked.

If it hasn’t, leave them in to chill overnight.

And finally, if you’re really not wanting to worry about different chilling times for cookie dough, know you can always just chill them overnight as a default and you’ll be good to go the next day!

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How Long to Chill Cookie Dough to Fix Sticky Dough

Chilling cookie dough is a great way to fix sticky dough, because it will make the butter colder which means that the dough isn’t going to stick to your hands as much when you’re putting it on the baking tray.

Cookie dough

Plan to chill cookie dough for about 4 hours if you want to fix sticky dough or make it so you can easily roll your dough.

This is long enough for the dough to chill through and you won’t get too much extra benefit in terms of stickiness if you keep chilling it.

How Long to Chill Cookie Dough to Prevent Spreading

Chilling cookie dough can also prevent spreading and make your cookies puffier because it helps the cookie retain its structure and the butter turns cold, which helps it not melt as fast in the oven.


If you want to prevent spreading, chill your cookie dough in the fridge for 4-6 hours ideally.

If you don’t have that much time, plan on chilling the dough for at least one hour to get an effect.

How Long to Chill Cookie Dough in Other Situations

Often, people prefer to chill their dough for other reasons, just to let the flavors of the ingredients blend together to create a richer flavor or because you don’t have time to bake them right away.

In this case, simply chill your cookie dough overnight, so for about 12-18 hours, and you’ll have delicious cookies when you bake them!

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