These cookies are for coconut lovers. Coconut sugar cookies with bits of toasted coconut, a coconut cream cheese frosting and topped with more toasted coconut. These coconut cookies taste like a tropical vacation in every bite.
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Do you love coconut? If so, these are the perfect coconut cookie recipe for you.
These toasted coconut sugar cookies are really easy to make, the frosting and the toasted coconut on top takes them to a whole new level.
The cookies are loaded with coconut in several forms from the toasted coconut to coconut cream, milk and extract. All the coconut!
You can make these coconut cookies into smaller 2 inch cookies like I have, or make them double the size for jumbo coconut cookies.
Ingredients for toasted coconut sugar cookies:
- All purpose flour - I use 130 grams for 1 cup of flour. I go into detail lower down the post as why I weight ingredients instead of using cups.
- Baking soda - just a little, these cookies don't spread too much
- Kosher salt - I use Diamond Kosher - if you use another brand use a little less since other brands are saltier than Diamond.
- Butter - I always use unsalted butter unless I specify salted, always at room temp/soft when using in cookies.
- Coconut oil - you can use refined or unrefined for a stronger coconut flavor. I love baking with coconut.
- Sugar - granulated white sugar
- Eggs -just two large ones, have at room temperature before adding to the recipe
- Coconut cream - unsweetened, the kind from a can
- Coconut extract - another hit of coconut flavor
- Unsweetened shredded coconut - I go for the larger flakes - better for toasting
How to toast coconut:
You can toast coconut either in a toaster oven, conventional oven or in a shallow sauté pan on the stove. I have done it all ways and I will use a conventional oven when toasting a larger amount like seen here.
The trick is watching it closely and stirring often because as soon as you start to see some of the flakes turn from white to golden and toasted they will go from that to burnt very quickly. Let me tell you, burnt coconut isn't the best smell. Kind of like burnt popcorn.
You can toast it at the same temp the cookies bake at, and it will take about 6-8 minutes to toast. Let it cool on the pan then transfer to a bowl or an airtight container to store at room temperature if not using immediately.
Lets make the coconut cookies:
The dough comes together quickly, it does have a lot of ingredients but it lends to a coconutty melt-in-your-mouth texture that is oh so good.
The dough is soft but not sticky and doesn't require refrigeration.
I measure out 20 grams of dough (a generous tablespoon) and roughly roll into balls- they don't have to be perfectly round since they next get rolled in granulated sugar and then slightly smashed before baking. You can make the cookies twice the size if you want bigger cookies. I prefer these - about 2 and a half inches in diameter.
Ingredients for the coconut frosting:
- Unsalted butter - softened to mix easily
- Cream cheese - I use full fat, softened to mix easily
- Powdered sugar ( confectioners sugar) - well sifted
- Sweetened coconut cream ( the kind used in cocktails)
- Coconut extract - you can find this in any well stocked baking aisle
- Coconut milk - used to thin the frosting to spreading consistency. I use full fat.
Make the coconut frosting:
Whip up the ingredients together, using the coconut milk to thin the frosting to spreading consistency (specific details in the recipe card). This can be done while the cookies are cooling.
I use a thin spatula to spread the frosting on the cookies, I don't measure out an exact amount per cookie, just eyeball it.
Weighing ingredients Vs using cups:
I use my food scale and weigh out ingredients in grams because this is the most accurate way to get the best quality baked goods. Cups aren't accurate because not only are all cups not the same the sizes vary from brand to brand as well as from different countries. I have done tests with different brands of measuring cups and they all came out with different weights after I did the spoon and level as well as scoop method and then weighed in grams.
Baking is a science and science needs accuracy. Weighing is accurate and precise. Not to mention a lot easier. Another issue with cups is that I have no control over how people use measuring cups to measure dry ingredients especially flour. You could pack in way too much which would result in a sub-par baked good. Too much flour could throw everything off. Same with not enough. Not to mention also some ingredients are difficult to measure in cups such as nuts, dried fruit, chocolate etc. This is why weighing in grams is the most accurate.
I also use grams for most liquid measure since 100 grams equals 100 ml of water. Smaller amounts of items measured in teaspoons I usually leave as teaspoons, tablespoons are sometimes listed in grams as well but for the most part the different tablespoons I have used have all resulted in the same amount. Aside from cute, decorative ceramic tablespoons and teaspoons are never accurate. Those are better as decoration than for being used for baking.
A few recipe questions:
Can I make these gluten free?
What if I don't like coconut?
What's the best way to store the cookies?
More coconut recipes to try:
- Toasted Coconut Layer Cake - Moist coconut layer cake with coconut custard and coconut buttercream. So good!
- Coconut Rum Milk Punch - Rum punch cocktail made tropical.
- Coconut Cream Pie - Classic coconut cream pie with an extra flaky crust spiked with rum.
- Coconut Lemongrass Margaritas - Tropical coconut margaritas with a lemongrass simple syrup.
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp - Juicy Coconut Shrimp made in an air fryer served with a spicy passionfruit dipping sauce.
And now the Toasted Coconut Cookies recipe:
Toasted Coconut Cookies with Coconut Frosting
- g= grams, ml=milliliters
- 150 g flaked coconut unsweetened (1.25 cups)
For the Cookies:
- 780 g All purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 226 g unsalted butter softened (1 cup)
- 177 ml coconut oil melted and slightly cooled
- 250 g granulated white sugar
- 75 g powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons coconut cream unsweetened
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 113 g unsalted butter soft
- 113 g cream cheese soft
- 496 g powdered sugar sifted
- 2 Tablespoons sweetened coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 3-4 tablespoons coconut milk
- Heat oven to 350 Deg F (176C). Set out a few baking sheets lined with parchment paper, one without
- Spread the unsweetened flaked coconut out on a baking sheet without parchment and toast in the oven until golden, stirring every few minutes. This takes about 6-8 minutes. Watch it closely since the toasted coconut can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly. Once toasted, let it cool completely still in the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and kosher salt. Set aside
- In another large bowl if using a hand mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer ( I suggest a stand mixer over a hand mixer) cream the butter, coconut oil, granulated sugar and powdered sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl during mixing and after.
- Add in the eggs one at a time ( please crack open and discard the shell - egg shell doesn’t belong in baked goods) mixing between additions. Next, add in the coconut cream and coconut extract, again mixing until well combined.
- Add in the flour mixture and 77 g or one cup of the toasted coconut and mix on low until just combined.
- The dough doesn’t need to be chilled, although you can save half of the dough in an air tight freezer safe bag or container to bake the cookies later. This recipe does make a lot of cookies.
- Roll out the cookies in 20 gram sized balls ( a generous tablespoon) then roll in sugar. Place each sugar rolled cookie dough ball on the parchment lined baking sheets a few inches apart. I get 12 cookies per sheet.
- Gently press the cookies with a small jar, glass or even a shot glass. Just press down enough to where the edges start to crack a little. If the glass starts to stick to the cookies, you can dip the bottom of it in the sugar then press.
- Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes until set. You don’t want these to get golden brown or else they will be too tough.
- Repeat until all the cookies are baked, and completely cooled. I have double ovens so this took about an hour.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the coconut frosting.
- Mix together the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl if using a hand mixer or with a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add in the sweetened coconut cream and the coconut extract and mix again until well combined. Next, add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until well combined then thin the frosting with unsweetened coconut milk until you get the consistency you like. I usually use around 4-5 Tablespoons.
- Using a thin spatula, spread about a tablespoon of the frosting over the cookies then sprinkle with a little bit of the remaining toasted coconut.
- Serve at room temperature. These keep well up to three months in a freezer in an air tight container or bag. I would freeze on a baking sheet first then transfer to a bag or container so the frosting doesn't smear all over the cookies.