How to Soften Hard Cookies? (With and Without a Microwave)

We can all agree that hard cookies are party poopers! They take away the possibility of enjoying a soft and chewy treat on every occasion. Are you gonna let them do that to your party? If not, then here are the ways how to soften hard cookies!

Here, we will give you the practical ways if you don’t have a microwave and if you have. We will introduce methods that might become helpful for you in the future.

Why do cookies become hard?

We will not go to such length to soften our cookies if it doesn’t harden in the first place. So, before we give you the methods to soften cookies, let us first discuss why cookies harden.

Actually, there are numerous reasons why cookies become hard. These are inaccurate ingredients, too much dough mixing, and overbaking itself. Let’s dig into them deeper!

Inaccurate ingredients

Even non-professional bakers know that in baking, the ingredients are crucial. Often, they will determine the quality of your pastry. Even if you don’t use expensive or unique components, you can still yield a delicious cookie if you know how to pick and measure it right.

Sugar, which is a common element of cookies, is hygroscopic. Hence, it absorbs the moisture from the dough and makes it dry. So, if you add too much sugar, your cookie will be hard and crisp.

On the other hand, butter has water, which adds moisture to the flour or dough. This might be good news, but in this case, butter temperature is the one that affects the cookies. It is better to use melted butter to produce chewy cookies.

Another cookie ingredient to look out for is flour. Most bakers use all-purpose flour instead of regular bread flour.

Overmixing of dough


The following reason why cookies become hard is the overmixing of dough. As we knead the dough too much, it becomes sticky and dry; this results in hard cookies.

To avoid this unpleasant situation, prefer to mix the dough only until all the flour is combined with the other ingredients. When you notice this, immediately stop kneading.


Overbaking is an apparent reason for getting hard cookies, yet people don’t know how crucial this is.

Everything will become crispy if it is burnt. So, it is ideal to always be mindful of the temperature of your oven when baking. Also, remember that even if you have already turned off the oven, the heat inside it can still affect the cookie.

How to soften cookies without a microwave?


Now, we will give you the three ways you can do to soften cookies even if you don’t have a microwave. These methods are easy to do and follow. Plus, you won’t need lots of tools for these.

These methods are effective because bread, apples, and sugar cubes have moisture. Hence, the dense cookie can absorb water.

Store the cookie with a slice of bread

First, prepare the air-tight container and the slices of bread. Ensure that you will use white bread. Otherwise, the flavors of your cookie might get altered.

Two to three pieces of bread will be enough if it is just a tiny container. You can add more if needed.

Put one piece of bread as the first layer in the container. After, put the cookies on top of the bread. Arrange the cookies properly so they will fit and gently so they won’t break.

Then, add more pieces of bread on top. Lastly, close and lock the lid of the container. Wait for 10 to 12 hours, if possible 24 hours, before you open the container again. If the cookies are still hard, wait for another 6 hours.

Here’s a video that can guide you:

Store the cookie with apples

For this next method, we will only need the preparation we just did the previous way. Prepare the container and slice the apples.

Then, arrange the hard cookies and the apple slices in an air-tight container. Lock it and leave for a few hours, if possible overnight, if you are not in a rush.

Store the cookie with sugar cubes Our next method to soften hard cookies without the microwave is to use sugar cubes!

Just prepare everything you need; the cookies, the container, and the sugar cubes. Put it all neatly inside the container and lock it. Wait for a few hours before you open again.

How to soften cookies with a microwave?


If you are lucky enough to have a microwave in your home and want to make the best out of it, then our two following methods favor you.

Wrapping it with a damp paper towel

  1. Damp the paper towel: In this step, wet your paper towel and wring it to remove excess water. The towel should not be overly damp, or the cookies will get ruined.
  2. Wrap the cookies individually: One thing you should know is that the cookies should be wrapped individually. You cannot cover them in groups since each cookie needs its own source of moisture.
  3. Microwave the cookies: After you wrap all the cookies, it is time to microwave them. In this sense, the moisture from the towel will be absorbed by the cookie. Do this for about 15 to 20 seconds. Remember not to over-reheat them unless you want a burnt cookie. If the cookie is still hard, try another 10 seconds of microwaving.
  4. Remove the cookies from the microwave: Even if it is turned off, the heat can burn the cookies. So, remove them immediately. Let it cool so the person who eats it won’t get burned.

Water on the side

  1. Put a cookie on a plate: For the first step, you must prepare the cookie you will need to microwave. Please put it on ceramic or glass dishware so it will not melt inside the microwave.
  2. Nuke the cookie: After you prepare the cookie, put it inside the microwave. You need to place ½ cup of water on the side as well. After, you can now microwave the cookie for about 30 seconds. Once the timer stops, check if the cookie is already soft and chewy. If you still need to, you can microwave it again, depending on how many seconds it needs.

This video guide might help you:

What’s my best choice?

So, you might be wondering why we gave you two completely different options for softening your hard cookies. We will tell you their pros and cons in this part of the blog!

Besides the fact that not everyone has a microwave in their homes, the methods that do not require a microwave are much more ideal and practical. Storing cookies with bread, apples, or sugar cubes will yield better soft and chewy cookies. Also, they are natural methods, and your health won’t be at risk from too much microwaving.

On the other hand, methods that use microwaves also have their advantages. One is that they are more efficient; you can see that you only need seconds to minutes to do them. Plus, they don’t need extra elements like sugar cubes or apples.

When we talk about the disadvantages of these methods, we can tell that the ways without the microwave consume too much time. It also requires other ingredients, hence additional cost too.

While with the microwave, you are not sure that you will produce the best results. Most of the time, if the temperature is not correct, you can get your cookies burned more. Sometimes, this method melts them too.

We lay out all the possible reasons you might want or not want these methods. The choice is now yours, but we highly suggest you weigh your choices. Base your decision on the need and characteristics of the cookie.

5 tips and tricks you can try


  1. The ingredients you add inside the air-tight container will inevitably change the taste or flavor of your cookie. So, it is best to choose ingredients (sugar cubes, apples, and bread) that will complement the cookie.
  2. As a precautionary measure, you can wrap the cookies after you bake them so that they won’t come into contact with air and then harden.
  3. When reheating the cookies in the microwave, try your best not to let them completely cool because this might also melt them.
  4. You can also use zip lock bags when you want to use the methods without the microwave.
  5. Do not bake the cookies again if you want them to soften. This will give the opposite result.

Final Thoughts

We believe that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to cookies. Some people may want it as hard as a rock, but some also enjoy it as chewy as possible. No matter your choice, one stance binds us all– our love for cookies.

Moreover, with all these effective methods on how to soften hard cookies, you can now defeat the party pooper– hard cookies!

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