This chewy coconut cookie recipe is soft, buttery, and packed with coconut flavor from the extract and shredded flakes. The ingredient list is so simple and reminds you of the kind you would find at the bakery.
When the sweet tooth hits and you need an easy cookie recipe, go with coconut cookies! They are light sweet treats that are ready in less than 25 minutes, so can be whipped up anytime! If you like these great flavors, you’ll love chocolate chip coconut cookie bars. They are very similar, except baked in a dish and sliced into squares. They are also a little nuttier because of the slivered almonds.
If you have leftover coconut or if you are just a coconut lover, make a batch of coconut macaroons, Martha Washington candy, or chocolate coconut balls. This is also a nice mix-in for peanut butter oat balls and trail mix bars.
What do I Need for this Recipe?
- unsalted butter – allow the butter to soften so the dough mixes easier
- white sugar – adds sweetness and when combined with brown sugar makes the softest cookie.
- light brown sugar – pack it into the measuring cup to get the most accurate amount.
- eggs – allow the eggs to come to room temperature
- vanilla extract – rounds out the flavor.
- coconut extract – if you can’t find it, leave it out. It does add an extra boost of flavor, but you will still end up with delicious cookies
- all-purpose flour – we have not tested this recipe with almond flour or coconut flour.
- baking soda – helps the cookies to rise
- cream of tartar – prevents the sugars from crystallizing, resulting in less crispy cookies.
- sea salt – used as a flavor enhancer
- sweetened shredded coconut flakes – adds more of a coco-nutty flavor. As it cooks, it caramelizes just a bit which adds a little extra flavor.
These would also be delicious when drizzled with melted chocolate.
- Electric mixer – can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment
- Large baking sheets – I used 2
- Scoop – a small cookie scoop or ice cream scoop makes things a little easier.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Crispy coconut cookies – let them cook a little longer.
- Unsweetened coconut flakes – these are not as flavorful as the sweetened ones but can be used as a substitute.
- Chocolate chips – add up to ¾ of chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, white, or dark chocolate) before making the dough balls.
- Eggless coconut cookies – we have not tested this recipe without using real eggs. However, you can swap the eggs for 2 flax eggs as an experiment.
- Gluten-free – use an all-purpose gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill.
PREP: Line the cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1: In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Step 2: Add the extracts and eggs, and beat for a few minutes longer.
Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients by a spoonful to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.
Pro Tip: Do not over-mix the batter. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Step 5: Use a rubber spatula to fold in the coconut, and reserve a ⅓ cup for later.
Step 6: Use a scooper to make 2-inch cookie dough balls, roll them in the palm of your hand, and place them onto the baking sheets. Leave 2 inches in between the cookies.
Step 7: Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown with slightly crispy edges.
SERVE: Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!
We like our coconut cookies to be soft and chewy, which is why we take them once the top is lightly toasted. Undercooking them just a touch makes them extra chewy.
The coconut palm is considered one of the most useful trees in the world, as nearly every part of the tree can be used for food, shelter, or other purposes.
Keep the chewy cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days on the counter or freeze them for up to 3 months.
This is really a personal preference. Sweetened coconut has more flavor and contains added sugar, while unsweetened coconut lacks a little flavor and is much better in savory dishes.
Coconut Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a standing mixel, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium speed). Add vanilla and coconut extracts and the eggs and continue beating on high speed for 2-3 minutes longer, occasionally scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture by the spoonful and mix on low speed until the flour has all been added.
- Fold or beat in most of the coconut (reserving about ⅓ cup), just enough to mix it evenly into the dough.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons) onto the cookie sheets, spacing cookies 2” apart. Sprinkle the reserved coconut flakes over the tops of the cookies.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden brown and the coconut is just toasted.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
The coconut extract adds an extra boost of coconut flavor to the cookies. You can omit it if it’s not available.
Cookies are soft and chewy. They have a nice soft center. We like to take them out of the oven as soon as the top toasts and the bottom edges are golden brown – undercooking them just a touch so that they’re extra chewy.
Use sweetened coconut – when it toasts across the top of the cookie, it caramelizes a bit and adds something extra to the cookies.