Cookie Dough Baking Times

roll cookie dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Do you have a bar cookie recipe, but you want to turn it into drop cookies? Or do you have leftover cookie dough and want to turn in into a dessert cookie or pie crust? Or maybe you're just not sure how long to bake your grandma's prized cookie recipe.

Use these baking guidelines—and your creativity—to make perfect cookies every time. Now you can turn your favorite snickerdoodles recipe into a cookie pizza, or transform chocolate chip cookies into a delicious tart shell. Get ready for some delicious experiments.

How Long to Bake Cookie Dough

For all cookies, preheat your oven to 350 F before baking and line the pan(s) with parchment paper or use a silicone pan liner. While some cookie recipes call for other baking temperatures, 350 F is a good place to start if you don't have the temperature and bake time handy.

Type of Cookie Type of Baking Pan Baking Times
Drop cookies baking sheet 8 - 10 minutes
Bar Cookies 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan 25 - 30 minutes
Bar Cookies 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan 20 - 25 minutes
Tart Shell or Cheesecake Crust 9-inch tart or springform pan 20 - 25 minutes
Pie Crust 9-inch pie plate 10 - 15 minutes
Dessert Cookie or Pizza 10- to 12-inch circle on pan 10 - 15 minutes
Mini Tarts 1- to 2-inch balls, mini muffin tin 8 - 12 minutes

Some things to keep in mind when using this chart:

  • Drop Cookies: ​The baking time will depend on dough density and temperature of the dough. Plain butter or sugar cookie dough will take less time to bake than cookie dough loaded with mix-ins like nuts and chocolate chips. Frozen or chilled dough will take longer than room temperature dough to bake. Just keep an eye on the cookies as they bake and remove them when they start to color around the edges and lose their raw shine in the middle.
  • Bar Cookies: The bake time will depend on how thick the bars are, so check them often. They are done when the middle is just cooked through and no longer looks raw.
  • ​Tart Shells or Pie Crust: For a crust that holds together, use a buttery dough and bake until cooked through and starting to brown. Right after removing a cookie pie shell from the oven, push the crust down. This will help maintain the pie shell shape needed to hold the filling.
  • Dessert Cookie: Bake until just cooked through and no longer raw in the middle. Serve warm or let cool and decorate with frosting.
The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight 

Helpful Cookie Making Tips

In addition to the correct cook time, there are a few other factors that will affect the quality of your cookies:

  • Ingredients: Use the best cookie ingredients possible. In many cases, this means choosing butter over margarine and making sure to buy quality chocolate or cocoa powder.
  • Mixing: For the best results, make sure your butter, eggs, and any other chilled ingredients are at room temperature before mixing the cookie dough. The dough will come together faster and be more tender.
  • Chill: Although you want your cookie-making ingredients room temperature when you combine them, you’ll want your cookie dough to be cooler than room temperature. Refrigerating the dough after you make it gives the flour a chance to hydrate and absorb some of the moisture, which can improve the texture and appearance of the cookies. If you like thicker cookies, chilling also keeps the cookies from spreading as much when baking them.
  • Parchment: Most cookie recipes call for ungreased baking sheets. Greasing the sheets encourages the cookies to spread, which may not be desirable. Line your pans with parchment, and you'll prevent the dreaded cookie spread while also making cleanup a breeze.
  • Freezing: You, of course, can freeze already baked cookies, but freezing cookie dough is better. To freeze cookie dough for easy use later, place scoops of dough on lined baking sheets and freeze them for at least an hour, until the dough balls are firm. Transfer the cookie dough balls into freezer zip-top bags or airtight containers. The cookie dough balls can be baked straight from the freezer (add some baking time), or allowed to defrost on baking sheets before baking.