How To Tell If Cookie Dough Is Bad

How To Tell If Cookie Dough Is Bad: 4 Telltale Signs

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Lori Walker

Cookies are a delicious treat loved by people of all ages. However, if you’re not careful, you may end up with unappetizing cookie dough.

Knowing how to tell if cookie dough is bad can help you avoid an unpleasant experience. 

Let’s check out some signs that indicate bad cookie dough and provide tips for avoiding it.

4 Signs That Cookie Dough Might Have Gone Bad

cookie dough on a bowl
  1. Unusual color or odor: If the cookie dough has changed color or has an unpleasant odor, it is likely bad and should not be consumed. 
  2. Mold: Cookie dough can develop mold if left out for too long. If you see mold, throw out the dough. 
  3. Texture: If the cookie dough has become lumpy, dry, or crumbly, it has likely gone bad and should not be used. 
  4. Packaging: If the packaging is open, torn, or has expired, the dough should not be used.

Find out how to tell if ice cream has gone bad here.

Does It Go Bad In The Fridge?

Cookie dough [1] goes bad in the fridge if it is not stored correctly. Cookie dough should be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. 

“Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.”

– Sandra Lee, American Chef

Any longer than that, the dough may spoil, developing an off-odor or a slimy texture. 

If either of these signs is present, the dough should be thrown out as it is no longer safe to consume.


How To Tell If Cookie Dough Is Cooked

To tell if cookie dough is cooked, look for the color and texture of the cookie. If the cookie has a golden brown color and is firm to the touch, then the cookie dough is likely cooked. 

Additionally, inserting a toothpick or cake tester into the cookie’s center can help determine if the cookie dough is cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cookie dough is fully cooked. 

If there is still some dough on the toothpick, then the cookie dough is not yet cooked and needs more time in the oven.

Check out the steps in fixing a runny cookie dough here.

What Does Mold On Cookie Dough Look Like?

Mold [2] on cookie dough often appears as a fuzzy, green, or black substance on the surface of the dough. It is usually found in small spots or patches but can sometimes cover the entire dough. 

The color of the mold can vary depending on the type of mold, but it is generally an unpleasant sight. 

In addition to the visual appearance, mold on cookie dough can also have an unpleasant smell, making it important to discard the dough if you spot any mold.

But how can you keep the bread from molding so fast?

What Does Bad Cookie Dough Smell Like?

cookie dough in a glass bowl

Bad cookie dough can have an off-putting smell. It may smell sour or acrid or even like it has gone bad. 

It can also have a strong yeasty smell due to mold or bacteria. If you detect any whiff of sourness, it’s best to discard the cookie dough and start over.

Find out the reason why your cake is eggy here.

How Long Can You Freeze Cookie Dough?

Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months in an air-tight container or freezer bag. To prevent your cookie dough from becoming dry and crumbly, wrap it tightly and completely sealed. 

When you’re ready to use the cookie dough, it is best to thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and then bring the dough to room temperature before baking.

But what should you do if you have a leftover Oreo filling?


Does cookie dough go bad if not refrigerated?

If cookie dough is not stored in the refrigerator, it can go bad over time. The ingredients in cookie dough can spoil if not stored properly, resulting in an unpleasant odor, taste, and texture. 

The cookie dough will likely spoil if left out at room temperature after a few hours. To prevent this, it is best to store cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Find out the possible reasons why your dough shrinks when you roll it here.

How long can cookie dough last in the fridge before baking?

Cookie dough can last in the fridge for up to 4 days before baking. Make sure to store it in an air-tight container so it does not dry out. 

If you plan to bake the dough later, it is best to freeze it for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the dough in the fridge overnight before using.

But how can you bake your cookies chewy not cakey?

How long is cookie dough good for after opening?

Cookie dough typically has a shelf life of about two months after opening if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

But how long does Toll House cookie dough last after opening?

Final Thoughts

As with any food, it is important to pay attention to the expiration date, texture, smell, and taste of cookie dough to determine if it is bad. 

If the cookie dough has a sour smell, is slimy, or has a bad taste, it is likely bad and should not be eaten. If the cookie dough is past its expiration date, has an off-color, or has a strange texture, it is also likely bad and should be discarded. 

By paying attention to these signs, you can easily determine if cookie dough is bad and avoid consuming something that might make you sick.


Lori Walker

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