Defrosting Cookie Dough in Microwave

You’ve got the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies but forgot to take the dough out of the freezer ahead of time. No worries, if you have a microwave.

Defrosting cookie dough in the microwave is a quick solution to satisfy your craving for warm, gooey cookies.

This article shows you how to defrost cookie dough in the microwave.

Why defrost cookie dough before baking?

Why Defrost Cookie Dough Before Baking?

Baking cookie dough straight from the freezer may seem convenient, but defrosting it first has some benefits.

For one, frozen cookie dough can be as hard as a rock. Trying to scoop and portion it accurately becomes difficult and frustrating.

Defrosting the dough for just 30-60 minutes on the counter softens it up so you can easily scoop rounded spoonfuls onto your baking sheet.

The defrosted dough also spreads better in the oven. Frozen chunks won’t melt into each other, resulting in cookies that look like messy blobs. Letting the dough thaw helps the butter melt evenly so your cookies spread into perfectly round shapes.

You’ll also get better browning and texture. Defrosted dough bakes more evenly, avoiding burnt edges and underdone centers.

Tips for quickly and safely defrosting cookie dough

Defrost the dough in its original wrapping on the counter, not the sink. This prevents moisture buildup.

Turn the dough over halfway through defrosting for even thawing.

For speedy defrosting, place the wrapped dough in a large bowl and submerge in lukewarm water.

Change the water every 30 minutes until the dough is pliable, about 1 to 2 hours. Make sure no water seeps into the packaging.

Once defrosted, use the cookie dough immediately. Do not re-freeze. Bake as directed in the recipe and enjoy your perfect cookies!

How to defrost cookie dough in the microwave

So you want to enjoy fresh-baked cookies but forgot to leave the dough out to thaw? No worries, you can quickly and safely defrost cookie dough in the microwave.

Use short microwave bursts

Defrost the dough in short 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until it’s soft enough to scoop and roll into balls.

Be very careful not to overheat the dough, or it can start cooking before it even hits the oven.

Check on your dough after each interval and stir thoroughly with a spoon to ensure even thawing.

Use a microwave-safe container

Place the dough in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl or dish. Do not use plastic containers which can melt from the heat.

The container should be deep enough so the dough does not overflow as it expands during thawing.

Flip the dough

About halfway through the thawing time, flip the entire mass of dough over so it thaws evenly all the way through.

The center will thaw last, so flipping it helps ensure the inner part becomes pliable at the same rate as the outer edges.

Let it stand

Once the dough is thawed and softened, let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes before dropping spoonfuls onto your baking sheet.

This allows the temperature to equalize and prevents the dough from being too warm, which can affect how the cookies spread out during baking.

With some short zaps, flipping, and standing time, you’ll have perfectly thawed cookie dough ready to scoop and bake into delightfully fresh-baked cookies.

Now preheat that oven – your cookies are ready to be transformed into a warm, gooey treat.

Recommended Microwave Settings for Defrosting Cookie Dough

Once you’ve thawed your cookie dough in the refrigerator overnight, the next quickest method is using your microwave.

The microwave will gently heat the dough from the outside in, speeding up the defrosting process while still keeping the dough safe to eat.

Here are some tips for properly defrosting cookie dough in your microwave:

Use short, timed intervals

Start with 30-second bursts, checking and flipping the dough in between.

Continue microwaving in short intervals, checking frequently, until the dough is soft enough to stir together but still chilled.

This prevents overheating and uneven cooking.

Flip the dough

Halfway through the defrosting process, flip the dough over so it thaws evenly on all sides. Make sure to flip the dough gently with a spatula so it keeps its shape.

Low power

Use the defrost setting on your microwave or lower power levels like 30-50% power. Higher heat can start cooking the dough before the center is thawed.

The lower, gentler heat will thaw the dough thoroughly without cooking it.

Stir the dough

Once the dough is soft enough, use a spoon or spatula to gently fold it over itself. This redistributes the warmth and helps the dough thaw evenly. Be very careful not to overmix the dough.

Let it stand

When the dough is soft and pliable but still quite chilled, remove it from the microwave.

Let it stand on the counter for 5-10 minutes so the temperature can equalize, then you’re ready to portion and bake as usual.

Following these tips will help you quickly and safely defrost your cookie dough in the microwave. In just a few short minutes, you’ll have fresh-baked cookies coming out of the oven!

Be careful not to overheat the dough, and enjoy your warm, gooey treats.

Tips for even defrosting results

Microwaving frozen cookie dough is quick and convenient, but to get the best results, keep these tips in mind:

Use the defrost setting

If your microwave has a defrost setting, use it. The defrost mode will emit less power to gently thaw the dough without cooking it.

Start with 3-4 minutes on the defrost setting, then check on the dough. Gently squeeze the dough to check if it’s still icy in the center.

Flip the dough over and continue defrosting in 30-second bursts, checking in between, until it’s soft enough to scoop and roll into balls.

Flip the dough

Halfway through defrosting, flip the dough over. This will ensure even thawing on all sides. Flipping the dough will also prevent the underside from getting soggy as the ice melts.

Stand time

Once the dough has defrosted in the microwave, let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes before handling.

This standing time allows the temperature to distribute and equalize and helps the dough become pliable enough to roll and scoop.

If it’s still too firm after standing, return it to the microwave in a short 15 to 30 seconds, flipping each time, until it’s ready to handle.

Knead Briefly

After standing, briefly knead the dough with your hands to distribute the temperature and get an even consistency.

The dough should feel cool but pliable. If it’s still icy in spots, continue defrosting in short bursts and kneading until the temperature is uniform throughout.

Be careful not to over-knead the dough which can make cookies tough.

Get Scooping

Once the dough is pliable and evenly cooled, you’re ready to scoop it by rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet to bake as directed in your recipe.

Enjoy your freshly baked cookies in no time!

With these tips for defrosting cookie dough in the microwave, you’ll be enjoying warm homemade cookies before you know it.

Storing and handling defrosted cookie dough

Once your cookie dough has defrosted in the microwave, there are a few things to keep in mind to handle and store it properly.

Let it stand

After microwaving, let the dough stand for 5 to 10 minutes before handling.

This allows the temperature to equalize and prevents the dough from being too hot to handle in some spots.

You don’t want to burn yourself or have the dough start melting in your hands!

Giving the dough time to stand also allows it to firm up slightly. Immediately after microwaving, the dough will be very soft and pliable.

Letting it stand helps it regain some of the sturdier, moldable consistency you’re used to for scooping and shaping cookies.

Portion and chill dough

Once cooled enough to handle, portion the dough into rounded scoops on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.

Cover the portions loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before baking.

Chilling the dough helps the portions hold their shape better during baking.

It also improves the texture of the final cookies, giving you soft and chewy centers with slight crispness at the edges.


So there you have it, a step-by-step process for quickly and safely defrosting cookie dough in the microwave. In just a few short minutes, you’ll have soft, pliable dough ready to portion out and bake.

No need to plan ahead and leave the dough on the counter for hours.

With a few precautions like using a lower power setting, stirring frequently, and letting the dough stand before baking, you’ll be enjoying fresh-baked cookies in no time.