How to Microwave M&Ms

Microwave Your M&Ms
(c) Elizabeth LaBau

You might think it's hard to improve on M&M's candy. They’re tasty, portable, and come in a number of varieties, from classic milk chocolate to creative seasonal flavors, and with an increasing number of add-ons, including nuts, pretzels, caramel, and peanut butter.

We've been told for decades that M&M's melt in your mouth, not in your hands, but what happens if you want to melt your candies in the microwave? It's not difficult and depending on why you are melting your M&M's, you can do it safely while preserving the candy shell and the form of your candy, or breaking it up into pieces.

When the shell remains intact, you have a satisfying crunch on the outside, but the inside is full of smooth, warm, melted chocolate, like all the best parts of a chocolate chip cookie. It’s immensely satisfying and turns even standard M&M’s into a special treat.

Start Simple

Because each microwave is different, it's best to start with the basics. Experiment with plain M&M's, or a plain variation, instead of some of the filled M&M's, such as peanuts or pretzels.

Remove the candy from the packaging and spread them on a microwave-safe plate. While they can touch each other, they should not be on top of each other. Set the microwave to 30 seconds. This should be enough for a regular package of M&M's, but you might need a few more seconds, depending on the microwave and the quantity of M&M's. The first few times you do this, it will be a matter of trial and error to find your perfect melting time.

After the M&M's are finished in the microwave, you might notice that some of the candy shells have cracked, but that's OK. As soon as you bite into them, the shell cracks open and a flood of warm melted chocolate oozes out. The combination of crunchy shell and liquid chocolate is really good. This method of microwaving your M&M's can elevate even the plain ones into delicious treats.

Branching Out

Once you’ve mastered plain M&M's, try other flavors. Seasonal varieties, such as butterscotch, mint, and candy corn, are fun to play around with. And peanut M&M's take on a whole new texture when the chocolate that surrounds the peanut is melted.

You don't have to quit with the candy shell just cracked. Remove the candy from the microwave and flatten the candy with a spoon. Put the mixture back in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, watching closely until the center filling just starts to run. Pour the entire mixture over a dish of ice cream for an M&M's sundae. Top it with cherries or whipped cream.

Mix your melted M&M's with milk and heat the mixture for delightful hot chocolate. Tantalize your taste buds with mint or dark chocolate varieties of the candies.

Give it a try—you may never go back to M&M's straight from the package again.