6 Ways To Soften Cookies | Secrets For Making Soft Cookies

When next you make cookies and they are hard, do not toss them into the bin. Here, I’ll show you a list of ways you can soften your cookies after baking them. Before that, you should know why your cookies came out hard (despite your rich dough).

Your cookies may be hard because they are stale, or you overbaked them. For any of these reasons, you will find a hack in this list. Plus, they are easy to work out and you won’t need to break the bank to revive your cookies.

So, prepare your milk, coffee, tea, or smoothie. Breakfast is going to work out!

Why are your cookies hard?

Your cookies may come out hard because of any of the following reasons:

  • You overbaked them
  • They were out for too long
  • You did not store them in airtight containers
  • You bought stale cookies
  • It could also be because you stored the cookies too long
  • If you made your cookies at home, overworking the dough can make them hard
  • In addition, using too much flour and less moisture will make your cookies hard

How to soften cookies

1. Microwave hard cookies

An easy way to soften hard or stale cookies is to microwave them. This method is good for homemade and store-bought cookies.

Wrap the cookies in a damp paper towel and microwave on medium heat for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also microwave them bare.

2. Soften the cookies with bread

This sounds magical and almost impossible, right? But it works. Get a slice of fresh bread with mild or no flavor. Also, get a clean mason jar.

Put the slice of bread at the bottom of the jar, place the hard cookies on it, and close the jar tightly. By morning, you should be getting ready for a breakfast treat with tea or coffee.

You should use plain bread or bread with mild flavor because cookies can easily absorb the flavors if you use a type of bread that has intense flavor.

3. Soften hard cookies with a damp paper towel

Another easy way to revive hard cookies is to expose them to moisture through a damp paper towel. To do this, you need an airtight container like a mason jar, aluminum foil, and a damp paper towel.

Wrap the damp paper towel in the aluminum foil and place it at the bottom of the jar. Poke some holes in the foil to allow moisture to escape and soften the cookies. Place the cookies on top and cover the jar for 12 hours or overnight.

Wrapping the damp towel with aluminum foil helps to keep the cookies from getting wet or soggy.

4. Soften cookies with sugar cubes

Sugar looks dry, but it contains moisture. Pour some cubes of sugar into a cookie jar or an airtight container. Add the cookies on top and cover it for 12 hours.

5. Add moisture to the cookies with apple slices

Apple slices can also help to soften stale and hard cookies. You should use this method if you don’t mind your cookies tasting like apples.

Put a few apple slices into the bottom of a mason jar or any airtight container. Cover it tightly and leave for 12 to 24 hours.

6. Eat hard cookies with tea

Instead of going through any of these processes, you can eat your cookies as they are with milk, hot tea, or chocolate. Dunk the cookies into the liquid to soften them. For best results, you should leave the cookie in the liquid for at least 20 seconds.

Moreover, the taste and sweetness of the liquid can help add an extra level of sweetness to the cookies.

What ingredients do you need to make soft cookies?

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a humectant; it helps to retain and preserve moisture. Adding corn syrup to cookie dough will soften cookies and preserve their moisture.

Brown sugar

Using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar will add more moisture to your cookies, keeping them soft and chewy. Brown sugar retains moisture better than white sugar and can also help to prevent spreading, which is the reason behind flat cookies.


Butter – melted or cold – is good for cookies and helps to add moisture. But you can substitute shortening for butter or add it to melted butter to get soft cookies.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a leavening agent. It releases carbon dioxide into the dough, leavens it, and makes it soft and fluffy.

If you are using baking soda, make sure you bake immediately after mixing the dough. Otherwise, the reaction will stop, and your cookies will come out flat.

Baking powder

Baking powder can be an alternative to baking soda. It makes your cookies light, airy, and cake-like.

It uses the moisture in the dough to begin its action, which involves releasing carbon dioxide into the dough. This increases the volume of the cookie and lightens its texture.

Egg yolk

Egg yolks have a two-way benefit for your cookie dough. They add moisture to the dough and the protein helps to prevent spreading and flat cookies by adding structure to the dough.


Adding cornstarch to the dough inhibits gluten development and prevents the cookies from becoming hard.

However, you should only add this ingredient if you do not mind having chewy cookies instead of the crispy, crunchy texture.

How to prevent cookies from becoming hard

  • The first measure to put in place is to bake soft cookies. Use soft cookie recipes. Use the right ingredients in the right proportion
  • Do not bake cookies for too long. Use a timer and follow it judiciously
  • Once the cookies are ready, get them off the cookie sheet. Do not leave them to cool on the baking sheet. Otherwise, they will continue baking and will come out overbaked. Move them to a cooling rack instead
  • Store cookies with a slice of bread at the bottom of the jar
  • Also, do not leave the cookies out for too long
  • Wrap up cookies immediately after cooling and keep them in airtight containers and bags
  • Refrigerating cookies may look like the best long-term storage. But it could also harden them. Room temperature is the best storage condition for your cookies
  • When storing cookies at room temperature, keep them away from sunlight
  • Most importantly, use good quality ingredients and do not use stale flour or expired baking soda


Why are your cookies flat?

Your cookies came out flat because your dough contained too much butter and little flour. It is too greasy and will spread out more than expected.

Your cookies could also be flat because the oven was too hot, you used a cookie sheet that was too hot, the dough was too thin, you rolled the dough too thin, you didn’t chill the dough before baking, or you used an expired baking soda.

Why are your cookies too soft?

If your cookies are too soft, it could be because you didn’t bake them well enough. So, they are undone and raw on the inside. To fix this, you should bake the cookies again for 7-8 minutes in a preheated 300°F or 325°F oven.

How do you know your cookies have too much butter?

Cookies with too much butter will expand more than they should, and they will be too soft. The cookies will be cakey in the middle, crispy at the edges, and airy throughout. It will also be too greasy.

How long do homemade cookies last?

Homemade cookies will last 3 days out of the refrigerator or freezer. When storing homemade cookies at room temperature, keep them in a cookie jar or wrapped with plastic wrap in an airtight container.


Chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal, and peanut butter cookies are naturally soft. However, if they stay out too long and become stale, if you overbake them or do not store them properly, the cookies will become hard.

Using any of the methods above, you can soften your cookies, and they will be as enjoyable as when you first made them. But you should remember that you must consume rebaked cookies at once. Otherwise, they will become worse than before.

Most importantly, you can keep your cookies soft if you use the right ingredients in the right proportion, bake them correctly, and store them properly.

Learn how to store fresh and leftover pretzels to keep them fresh.

Thanks for reading.