Whether you’re short on time or simply don’t have an oven, you may be wondering if cookie dough is suitable for the microwave? We ran some tests in the kitchen, then reached out to the biggest cookie dough makers in the United States and got their advice. Here’s what we discovered.

An illustration of Gordon Ramsay

Tip: Want to know what we think Gordon Ramsay would say about using the microwave? Find our interactive graphic further down the page, then click or tap on Chef Ramsay’s head.

Is cookie dough suitable for microwaving?

Store-bought or homemade cookie dough is safe to cook in the microwave, but won’t taste as good as conventional cookies. From our tests, the final baked goods were edible, but they weren’t chewy inside and lacked a crispy exterior as you’d get from the oven-baked ones.

Microwaved cookies have a similar taste to baked ones, but the biggest problem is their texture. Unlike an oven which heats food from the outside first, a microwave does the opposite. So, the cookie isn’t chewy or crisp; instead, it’s best described as tough. Still edible for some, but traditionalist bakers won’t be impressed with the result.

Store-bought cookie dough

Here’s how the store-bought tubes of cookie dough turn out. No matter what cooking time we used, they were as flat as a postcard.

Microwaved Cookies
Store-bought cookie dough microwaved.

Homemade cookie dough

We also tried making our own dough. If you look at the below result, you can see the cookie looks much more appealing.

Quick Tip: Having a rounder, taller ball of dough stops the cookie from turning flat. 

The results of microwaved homemade dough at different stages of cooking
Homemade choc chip dough microwaved.

What the experts say

We reached out to some of the biggest cookie dough manufacturers in the United States and around the world. Here is their advice.

Cookie Dough BrandWhat They Recommend
PillsburyWe do not recommend microwaving our cookie dough.
Aunty Kath’sUnfortunately our cookie dough should be cooked in the oven.
Sweet Loren’sYes, you can. We recommend about 20-25 seconds for a gooey, semi-baked cookie consistency.
Annie’sWe advise you not to use the microwave. It needs to be baked as per packaging instruction.
Nestle Toll HouseOur cookie dough is meant to be baked in the oven or as stated in our directions. It's not to say it's something that can't be done, but we do not have microwave baking directions as it has not been tested in our kitchen.

Note: Toll House won the internet by offering us a cookie discount code!

Related reading:
Can you microwave milk? We asked the experts to find out.

Infographic

Check out our infographic which shows our results and some handy advice from the leading cookie dough brands. Don’t forget to click/tap Chef Ramsay.

 

Benefits of heating dough in a microwave

While a microwaved cookie may not taste as good, there are some useful benefits from cooking them in this way:

  • no preheating required
  • the snack is ready in under one minute
  • easier to wash up a small plate
  • a more energy-efficient option
  • test new recipes in small quantities

How to Microwave Cookie Dough

Before starting, you’ll need cookie dough. Make your own by using this delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe that only requires a few staple ingredients. Otherwise, buy some ready-made stuff in a tube.

  1. Place one ball of dough, enough for one cookie, on a plate. If you have a tube of pre-made, use a knife to slice one half-inch piece.
  2. Position the plate in the center of the microwave oven and heat on high for 20 seconds.
  3. Check the dough isn’t burning, then cook for another 20 seconds if required.

Warning: The center of cookies that are microwaved will be extremely hot so take care.

Tips for microwaving cookies

Let it sit: Your cookie may feel under-done at first, but if you leave it for a minute or two, it’ll harden a little.

Avoid metal: Microwaves and metal don’t play well together, so don’t try using a metal tray.

Try a ramekin: You can add a larger quantity of dough to a ramekin for a mega cookie. It’ll also hold its shape better. For the perfect dessert, you can also add ice cream and sauce, aka cookie ala mode.

Be flexible: Cooking times vary with different microwaves so watch it closely. Your first cookie may require some trial and error.

Watch the add-ins: Chocolate chips are okay microwaved but oats and the shells of M&Ms turned tough and unpleasant. Use care if you choose to use our legendary M&M cookie recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to microwave cookie dough?

Microwaving cookie dough is a safe cooking method but pay close attention to your food as it will quickly overcook. Always allow the cookie to cool before eating as the inside will be very hot.

Can you put Pillsbury cookie dough in the microwave?

Pillsbury does not recommend cooking their dough in a microwave.

Can you microwave Nestlé cookie dough?

Nestle Toll House advises that their dough is meant for baking in a conventional oven. They have not tested their products in a microwave.

Can you microwave cookie dough to soften it?

If you’ve got chilled or frozen cookie dough, then you’re best to allow it to soften at room temperature rather than microwaving. Some dough makers recommend putting frozen dough directly in the oven and cooking rather than thawing first.

If you let the dough soften on the bench then don’t forget about it. You can also check out our handy guide on how long cookie dough stays good out of the fridge.

Can you microwave store-bought cookies?

A short burst of heat for 10 seconds in the microwave will help rejuvenate cookies, adding freshness and a little warmth.

Can you cook cookie dough on the stove?

Cookies can be cooked on the stovetop by placing them in a lined brownie tin or something similar. Then place the tin inside a large pot and cover it with the lid. To stop the cookies from getting too much heat, place the tin of cookies on a small wire rack, stones, or anything that’ll keep the tin away from the bottom of the pan.

Can you microwave cookie dough in a mug?

You can add the dough to a mug or cup before microwaving but cook in short bursts to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn. Take extreme care using this cooking method as the center of the “mug cake cookie” will be scorching hot.

You might also want to read: How good do mussels taste microwaved?

Final words

If you’ve got an oven, then bake the cookies for a much better result. For those that find themselves without an oven or short on time, you can microwave cookie dough. Although zapping them is quick and easy, don’t expect the final result to be anywhere as good.