If you love a BIG coconut flavor these Coconut Cookies deliver! They are loaded with bursts of coconut, vanilla chips and toasted coconut on top. This is a coconut lover cookie through and through.
If a coconut macaroon delivers a light coconut flavor, these large coconut cookies pull out the flavor big guns perfect for a true coconut fan. They have a light crunch (versus chewy cookies) and are packed with flavor without being overly sweet.
The crispy coconut cookies are an easy cookie recipe to make. They are great for everything from after school snacks to an unexpected dessert. This may become a new favorite!
If you love tropical flavors also try these Magic Cookie Bars!
Recipe Ingredient Notes
The coconut cookies recipe only needs a handful of ingredients you’ll find at the grocery store!
Flour. Use regular all purpose flour or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend. We use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour for all our gluten-free recipes.
Unsalted butter. Start with softened or room temperature butter for best results.
Coconut extract. Instead of vanilla extract we use coconut extract in this coconut cookie recipe.
Sweetened shredded coconut. Shredded coconut is available in either sweetened or unsweetened varieties. The kind of coconut you’ll use is the sweetened type for this cookie.
Vanilla baking chips. This cookie includes vanilla baking chips.
How to make Coconut Cookies – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a non-stick cookie sheet or prepare a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with a sheet of parchment paper.
STEP 2. Make cookie dough
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt (photo 1). Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated white sugar together until creamy (3-5 minutes)(photos 2-3).
Mix in the egg and coconut extract (photo 3).
Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the wet ingredients (butter sugar mixture) (photo 4) and continue mixing until a dough has formed and it’s no longer crumbly. Don’t over mix, just mix until the crumbles are gone.
Fold in the shredded coconut and vanilla chips (or any other mix ins you choose to use) (photo 5).
STEP 3. Scoop and Bake
Scoop the cookie dough with a ¼ cup measuring cup (photo 6), flatten it slightly in your hand (photo 7), and add a bit more of the shredded coconut on top of the cookies (photo 8).
Place onto the prepared cookie sheet about 3 inches apart (photo 9). These cookies don’t spread a ton but do take up space in size.
Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, just until the tops no longer look wet and the coconut topping has started to brown.
STEP 4. Cool
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling wire rack (photo 10).
Swap the vanilla chips. You could swap in chocolate chips for the vanilla chips. Add some chopped almonds for an almond joy candy bars type flavor. Or try chopped dried pineapple instead of the vanilla chips for a tropical flavored cookie.
Using unsweetened coconut. This cookie has a BIG coconut taste but not overly sweet. If you want to use unsweetened coconut just increase the granulated sugar to ½ cup. If you would like to use ½ sweetened and ½ unsweetened, leave the sugar amounts as is.
Love a Mounds candy bar? Drizzle these cookies with melted chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark chocolate) or dip a portion of the cookie in melted chocolate.
Want a smaller cookie? Use a large or medium cookie scoop (nothing smaller) and follow the recipe steps to slightly flatten the cookie (see Recipe Tips). Check the cookies at 9-10 minutes baking time. Remove from the oven when the tops no longer look wet and the coconut topping is starting to become golden brown.
These cookies do not spread so flattening them slightly is key and will determine their size (diameter).
If making a smaller cookie do not use anything smaller than a medium cookie scoop for best results.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut + some extra for topping the cookies with
- ½ cup vanilla chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If not using a non-stick baking sheet, spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with a piece of parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy (3-5 minutes).
- Mix in the egg and coconut extract.
- Add the flour mixture and continue beating until a dough has formed and it’s no longer crumbly. Don’t over mix, just beat until the crumbles are gone.
- Fold in the shredded coconut and vanilla chips (or any other mix ins you choose to use).
- Scoop the cookie dough with a ¼ cup measuring cup, flatten it slightly in your hand, and top it with a little bit of shredded coconut. Repeat to use all the cookie dough.
- Place onto the cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. NOTE: These cookies don’t spread much but do take up space in size. Bake for 13-15 minutes, just until the tops no longer look wet and the coconut topping has started to become golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Store covered at room temperature.
- To use unsweetened coconut: increase the granulated sugar to ½ cup.
- To use half sweetened and half unsweetened coconut: the sugar amounts can be kept them same as written.