Baking Tip: How to Get Perfectly Softened Butter Fast

Have you ever decided to bake cookies and then realized that you need “room-temperature” softened butter? Of course you didn’t pull the butter out ahead of time because you just decided to bake cookies.

This happens to me all the time. I used to try to microwave the butter but it would either almost melt or not be soft  enough.

Then I heard this awesome tip for how to quickly soften butter. It’s one of those this-is-so-easy why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-myself kind of tips.

how to get perfectly softened butter fast

Put your stick of butter with the wrapper still on in the microwave.
(Just make sure it’s not a foil wrapper!)

Heat for 4 seconds on high.
Flip it to the next side and heat for 4 more seconds.
Do this for each side for a total of 16 seconds. The time ma vary ever-so-slightly depending on your microwave power.

The result will be a slightly squishable stick of butter that is softened just right!


If you like this tip, please click the “pin it” button at the top so others can see it too! Thanks!


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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.


  1. Good idea! I usually microwave it until it’s a melted mess, but then my cookies are flatter because of it lol. Like this idea better! 😉

  2. Great tip. I always put mine on defrost so it doesn’t melt and get hot and that also works wonderful!

  3. Thanks for the tip! Love your blog.

  4. THANks for the tip! NOw if only I could figure out the secret to keeping the cookies soft lol!

  5. This is an awesome tip!!! I hate it when the butter is too hard and you have to let it soften. When I try microwaving it I always overdo it… I am not exactly a kitchen mom, so this tip is great for mr as it is really fool proof! Thanks, and I pined this on my Pinterest too.

  6. I am DEFINITELY going to try this next time I need softened butter! I never plan ahead enough to have softened butter! :-)

  7. alisa niki says:

    awesome I have to try this!

  8. Rachel Robertson (Azrael) says:

    I love this tip! I always put it on the top of my stove and usually find it melted all over :(

  9. Thank you! I always micro too long and this tip is awesome!!

  10. great tip, thanks!

  11. I always forget to thaw my butter too whether it be making garlic bread or baking……hard butter is not easy to work with and melted butter can be a pain too! I love this idea and will be using it! Thank you for posting.

  12. Michelle says:

    I’ve been doing this for years. I thought everyone did it. lol

  13. I guess I’m probably in the minority, still using margarine much of the time for baking … some brands of margarine have a foil cover, so NOT put them in the microwave with the wrapper still on! *Ü*

  14. That’s what I do, except that after the first zap I flip the butter 180 degrees to its opposite side. Zap again. Then rotate 90 degrees. Zap and rotate 180 degrees. That makes it sound more complicated (it’s really not) but it’s just so I can remember which sides have been on the bottom so that it all softens uniformly. Otherwise I get one side that is soft and mushy because I’ve lost track 😉

  15. Thanks for the great tip. I never thought of leaving it in the wrapper!

  16. Microwaving butter changes the chemistry of the butter, if a recipe calls for room temp butter that is what you should use. Softened butter creates a totally different cookie.

    • True, but if you don’t have the time to let it soften at room temperature, this works. It’s better than melting it, that’s for sure! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Microwaves do not change the molecular structure of any foods. This is based on old incorrect information that unfortunately microwave phobia has persisted over time. Here is a great article with backed up scientific evidence and peer reviewed journals on the safety of microwaves and your foods. ““Some nutrients do break down when they’re exposed to heat, whether it is from a microwave or a regular oven. Vitamin C is perhaps the clearest example. So, as a general proposition, cooking with a microwave probably does a better job of preserving the nutrient content of foods because the cooking times are shorter.” The University of Harvard Medical School (18)”

  17. I found that using my rolling pin to roll it flat works that BEST and you still get fluffy cookies!!!!!!

  18. Stephanie says:

    I’ve only ever seen sticks of butter wrapped in foil here (I live in Canada) so unfortunately this wouldn’t work unless you wanted a lightening show in your microwave 😉

  19. Another way that works is 1 minute on 20% power for 1 stick of butter. Works perfect every time.

    • I used to try that, but it didn’t work for me. I think that it would probably vary depending on the microwave. But if you can get it to work, it’s easier than rotating it!

  20. Just saw this on Pinterest! What a great idea. I will for sure be using this tip!

  21. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    Thank you for the tip. I also have had trouble softening butter. This will be a great help. I pinned it.

  22. We microwave ice cream too if it’s too hard to scoop easily.

  23. Colleen Maurina says:

    Thanks for sharing this cooking tip! I always end up melting the butter which of course usually ruins the recipe. I can use all the cooking tips I can get – keep them coming!

  24. Gretchen Gerth says:

    I found that grating frozen butter works great for softened butter.

  25. Jennifer Fitzgibbons says:

    I love this tip, I have never figured out the right timing for this. You rock!

  26. Alpaca Farmgirl says:

    This is a great tip if you don’t have much time. I always put the stick of butter in my apron pocket. Body heat usually warms it up a lot quicker than room temperature.

  27. I keep my butter in a small tupperware-ish container with a lid. I just stick it (no pun intended) in the cleavage area of my bra in the morning as I’m making breakfast. By the time I get the breakfast stuff out and the toast or muffins ready, the butter is soft enough to spread. And it always brings a smile to my husband when I whip it out. LOL.

  28. Except if the butter you buy happens to be wrapped in tin foil, then you definitely do NOT want to put it in the microwave :)

  29. THIS WORKS PERFECTLY!!!! Thank you soooo much!!!!

  30. Heather says:

    Great tip! I do this too!

  31. My family always kids me that I make butter “soup” when I try to soften butter in the microwave. Thank you for this tip. I have got to try this.

  32. I figured out that if I reduce the power in my microwave down to low, like 30% power, it will just soften the butter without melting it. You still have to keep an eye on it though. I will try your 4 seconds each side method and see if it works with our microwave, sounds pretty simple.

  33. Sharon Awbrey says:

    I just saw this (better late than never?) and it worked like a charm! Thank you so much for posting this.

  34. I a man, but I like this tips :) thanks mis…

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