How to soften butter the easy way | The Life Jolie Kitchen Basics

It IS possible to soften butter in the microwave without melting it and I’m going to show you how to soften butter the easy way!

It IS possible to soften butter in the microwave without melting it and I'm going to show you how! Here are a step-by-step directions to get perfectly softened butter without having to plan ahead.

This post contains Affiliate Links. Please see the disclaimer here.

If you’re anything like me, you get inspired to make cookies and you fail to plan ahead. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been ready to make some killer cookies, only to realize my butter is super cold and hard as a rock. And then, to make matters worse, I would put it in the microwave for much too long and end up with melted butter.

I tried the whole put-a-glass-over-the-stick to lock out all the air. All those Pinterest hacks promising instantly softened butter? Yeah, I tried them and my butter was still not soft. I got to the point where, I knew I had to figure out how to make the microwave work for me and by butter and not against us.

So one day, armed with a box full of sticks of butter, I set out to find a solution the this problem. After much trial and error, I figured it out.

An overhead shot of two sticks of butter on a plate from how to soften butter

Now, as with most things in life this isn’t completely fool proof. Microwaves will vary. But it’s good. It’s very good. You can microwave butter to soften it without ending up with a bowl full of butter that’s begging you to dip some lobster meat into it. You just have to get to know your microwave.

But in the interest of saving you some money and several sticks of wasted butter, I’m going to break it down for you in a clear way that may will take a large chunk of the trial-and-error out of the equation. You may lose one or two stick of butter up front but follow my method and you will get to know your microwave in no time and be able to make those delicious cookies without having to plan ahead!

Two sticks of butter on a plate from how to soften butter

How to soften butter the easy way | Kitchen Basics

1 minPrep Time

1 minCook Time

2 minTotal Time


Recipe Image
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 stick of butter
  • A microwave-safe dish
  • Your microwave


  1. Leave the butter in it's wrapper and carefully place it onto your microwave safe dish.
  2. Place the dish into the microwave and close the door.
  3. Run the microwave for 10 seconds at full power.
  4. Open the door and feel the butter
  5. This is where you need to use your judgement. My butter still felt relatively firm but not cold anymore and not actually warm either.
  6. If the butter feels how I just described it, turn it over and nuke it for 10 more seconds.
  7. If the butter feels a bit softer than I described above turn it over and microwave it for 5 more seconds.
  8. If the butter feels firm but still a bit cold, microwave it for 15 more seconds.
  9. After this you can carefully unwrap the butter and resume your baking.


After the first-or-so times you do this, you'll have an idea of exactly what to expect from your microwave. Then you'll be golden. In my experience, most microwaves are pretty consistent and I've personally had consistent results without our microwave (which isn't new but isn't too old either).

You can find a full index of my recipes here.

Don’t forget to follow The Life Jolie on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration!

Or if Pinterest isn’t your style, bookmark this post!

Let’s keep the conversation going- join my Facebook group!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Deborah Breen
    December 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm When I forget to take butter out to soften for cookies, etc., I just grate it on the largest holes in a cheese grater. Works great. By the time I am finished grating, the butter is soft.
    • Reply
      December 27, 2017 at 11:28 am Deborah that is brilliant! I have to try it- I've only ever grated frozen butter for biscuits!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.