Coconut Cookies (Soft and Chewy)

Coconut lovers, you’re going to fall hard for this Coconut Cookie recipe that’s absolutely packed with toasted coconut!

coconut cookies with flaked toasted coconut on a pink background

I teased these coconut cookies back in early December over on Instagram, and then like a true monster, I waited until February to actually share them with you all. I hope you’ll forgive me for the delay when you taste how truly rich, buttery, and wonderfully coconutty these cookies are!

The real reason this cookie recipes is 2 months late is because it took me several tries to get exactly what I wanted. I made cookies that were too flat, spread too much, and were too crisp before I finally landed on a coconut recipe that delivered everything I ever wanted:

  • Crispy, buttery edges
  • Soft, chewy centers
  • Distinct coconut flavor with no weird fakey aftertaste
  • And BONUS: no chilling required!

Because this is a no chill cookie recipe, these Coconut Cookies can be all up in your tastebuds in less than an hour. Read on to get the recipe and learn my favorite cookie baking tips!

stack of toasted coconut cookies

How to Make Toasted Coconut Cookies

  1. The best coconut cookies have to start with toasted coconut. Toasting coconut brings out all those nutty, tropical flavors us coconut lovers dream about. Plus, it makes your house smell amazing. I have a whole post on How to Toast Coconut using different methods, but since we’re firing up the oven to make cookies anyway, it’s a breeze to pop some coconut shreds on a baking tray and toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 8-9 minutes, stirring often.
  2. While the coconut shreds toast and cool, we can work on the cookie batter.
  3. Like many of my other cookie recipes, this one starts by creaming together butter and brown sugar and white sugar then beating in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. When that mixture is smooth, we mix in the dry ingredients–flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. Then, stir in a generous amount of toasted coconut.
  6. But we can’t stop there with the coconut goodness! Once the dough is scooped or rolled into balls, we roll it in more untoasted coconut, so our baked cookies have lovely shredded coconut bits scattered on the top.
  7. The cookie dough can go straight into a 350 degree oven and be baked for 10-12 minutes

coconut cookies on a cooling rack

Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies Every Time

After making dozens of giant chocolate chip cookies and even battling out a few cookie recipes, I’ve picked up a few tricks for making incredible cookies every time.

  1. Add cornstarch to give the cookies lift and help keep them soft.
  2. Use a higher proportion of brown sugar to white sugar to give cookies a chewier texture.
  3. Instead of using 2 full eggs, use 1 egg and 1 egg yolk to increase chewiness.
  4. Add enough salt! I typically add a 1/4 teaspoon more salt than most recipes call for. The salt tempers the sweetness and makes all the other ingredients sing!
  5. Use a solid cookie scoop (This set is the BOMB, and doesn’t jam or break with even the thickest, stickiest cookie doughs) to easily make every cookie the same size.
  6. If your cookies spread a bit too much while baking, use two spoons to smoosh the edges back towards the center as soon as they come out of the oven. This is a tip shared by Karen at The Food Charlatan, and it’s pretty amazing how well it works to give a flat cookie those tempting chewy ridges.

stack of coconut cookies with one cookie propped in front

How to Keep Cookies Soft

  • Under bake them! I always recommend taking cookies out when the centers are still puffy and pale, letting them set up on the pan after they’ve been removed from the oven. The fluffy domed tops will collapse into the center, creating those irresistibly chewy, craggly centers.
  • Store in an airtight container. Air is the enemy of soft cookies, so be sure to choose a container with a tight seal or a zip lock bag.
  • Add bread! Have you ever used a slice of bread to keep a tub of brown sugar soft? The same concept works for cookies! After the cookies have cooled, place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag with a slice of fresh bread. The cookies will draw moisture from the bread, leaving them soft and fresh while the bread becomes stale and hard.

coconut chocolate chip cookies stacked on top of each other

Can you freeze cookies?

You betcha! Coconut cookies can be frozen before or after baking. To freeze before baking, scoop the dough as you normally would and line the cookies up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flash freeze for about 1 hour, then transfer the dough balls to an airtight container or freezer bag. The cookies can be baked from frozen, just add a few more minutes to the baking time.

For more details, you can check out my Ultimate Guide to Freezing Cookies.

unbaked frozen coconut cookie dough balls

Coconut Cookie Variations:

Coconut purists will enjoy these cookies without any additions, but if you love coconut and other flavors together, try these variations!

Tip: I like to divide the dough in half and add chocolate or nuts to one half and keep the other half plain. Everyone wins!

  • Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies– Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips to the dough. This is a great twist on a traditional chocolate chip cookie, and has a subtle Almond Joy vibe.
  • Coconut Pecan Cookies– Toast 1 cup of chopped pecans in a dry skillet until fragrant. Allow to cool, then stir into the dough along with the shredded coconut. I love to add pecans for a little crunch!
  • Cranberry Coconut Cookies– Add 1 cup of dried cranberries to the dough. This flavor combo is a little more unusual but works really well together!

close up of chocolate chip coconut cookies

More Cookie Recipes for the Coconut Lover

Can’t get enough coconut? Try these recipes:

stack of coconut cookies with one cookie propped in front

Coconut Cookies (Soft and Chewy)

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Rich toasted coconut cookies have buttery crisp edges with soft and chewy centers. A coconut lovers' dream!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg, 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, chopped pecans, or other additions (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. Spread 2 cups of the coconut on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, stirring once, or until the coconut has golden brown edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the toasted coconut and other additions, if desired.
  5. Place the remaining untoasted coconut in a small bowl. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough, rolling the tops in the coconut before dropping them on the sheet pan. Make sure the cookies are at least 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown, but the centers are still very puffy and light in color. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan (cover with a dish towel for maximum softness), then transfer to an airtight container or ziplock bag while still warm.

Notes

Coconut cookies should be stored in an airtight container or zip lock bag. They should stay soft for up to 5 days.

For instructions on freezing coconut cookies, see the post text above.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review, or head over to Instagram and share a photo! Tag your projects with #neighborfoodies!

8 Comments

  1. these cookies turned out AMAZING!!! i tweaked a couple things (less baking soda and cornstarch, didnt roll them in toasted coconut) and they’re fluffy, chewy, and SOFT!!! i love this recipe and i’ve never been one for coconut things!!

  2. I made the cookies and they came out flat did i add to much butter? Failed badly! I did not use all my batter is there a way to fix it and i can still make them look like yours.
    Please help!

    1. I’m sorry about that! That should have read cornstarch! No cream of tartar. It’s corrected in the recipe. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.