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These are the most delicious and easy coconut cookies you could dream of. Super soft, chewy, with irresistible crispy edges, and bursting with sweet coconut flavor. They require 1 bowl, 5 ingredients, and minimal prep time.
Published in April 2020/updated Dec 8, 2023
For all the coconut lovers out there, this is the only coconut cookie recipe you will ever need. Seriously.
This recipe for coconut cookies is a throwback from 2020, but I’ve made some important tweaks and got them so amazingly delicious this time. I’m so excited as I improved texture and flavor with this new version, and it’s also way easier than the original.
First things first, I blend the desiccated coconut until it’s a flour-like consistency. I find that the lighter texture makes the cookies exceptionally moist. I’ve also added more lemon zest for freshness and lovely vanilla extract, and both pair wonderfully with the sweet coconut flavor.
I’ve also made these coconut cookies naturally flourless and gluten-free.
I tested the new recipe several times and I’m delighted to say I’ve ended up with the most delicious coconut cookies ever. Crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, filled with coconut goodness, and dusted with powdered sugar for a wonderful snowy whiteness.
They look gorgeous, elegant, and keep very well for days making them the perfect Christmas cookies to bake and share with family and friends. They will be a HUGE hit with everyone!
Added bonus? They are incredibly easy to make in 1 bowl.
But don’t take my word for it, grab a bowl and let’s make coconut cookies!
List of the ingredients
- Unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Powdered sugar
- Egg whites
- Lemon or lime zest
- Vanilla extract
How to make coconut cookies
(Note: this is a description of the method, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Place the desiccated coconut in either a high-powered blender, food processor or coffee grinder. Blend or ground just until it gets a flour-like consistency.
- Add the ground coconut, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg whites to a bowl.
- Using a spoon, combine all the ingredients until you get a soft, smooth but pliable coconut cookie mixture. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
- Scoop, roll, and shape a tablespoon of the coconut mixture into balls.
- Coat each coconut ball with desiccated coconut and place them on a baking sheet.
- Gently press them into round coconut cookies (about 2/3 inch / 1.7 cm thick).
- Bake for about 14 minutes. Enjoy!
Ingredients for coconut cookies
Coconut: I used unsweetened desiccated coconut. Either shredded or flake coconut works as we process it in a blender until we get a flour-consistency. I’ve never used sweetened coconut flakes.
Sugar: I find the powdered sugar (aka icing sugar in the UK) works best for this recipe. If you don’t have this type of sugar on hand, simply process regular sugar in a blender; that’s what I usually do using my high-speed blender.
Vanilla extract & lemon zest: They both add plenty of fresh notes and aroma, a wonderful combination with coconut flavor.
Egg whites: They give a lighter, chewy texture.
Tips for the best coconut cookies
The recipe is pretty straightforward, here are just a few tips to make your coconut cookies spot on!
- Blend the coconut: Its fine texture keeps the cookies moist and makes a dough that is smooth, pliable and easy to work with.
- No need to dry out the coconut flakes: Technically, when we blend the coconut, we are not making coconut flour, so there’s no need to bake or dried out the desiccated coconut. Its high-fat content might turn the coconut to a grainy mixture when blending, just make sure you stop after 4-5 seconds. No worries if the mixture is not exactly flour-like consistency, that won’t affect the texture of your cookies.
- Chill the coconut cookie mixture: Chilling makes shaping and rolling easier.
- Don’t over-bake: The cookies spread and are still very soft and pale after the baking time, but they will dry out quickly as soon as you take them out of the oven. Don’t over-bake them.
How to store them
These coconut cookies stay soft for up to 1 week (if they last that long!). Store them in an airtight container like a metal tin, room temp is perfectly fine. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month.
More easy cookie recipes?
- Italian fig cookies
- Coconut chocolate chip cookies
- Easy almond cookies
- Almond biscotti (Italian cantucci)
- Vegan chocolate almond biscotti
- 1-bowl orange chocolate cookies
- 15 Amazing Christmas cookies
- Lemon biscotti
- Chocolate dipped biscotti
- Christmas tree cookies
- Reindeer cookies
If you make this easy coconut cookie recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
- 2 ½ cups (200 grams) desiccated coconut, finely grounded
- 2 (75 grams) egg whites (from 2 medium-sized eggs)
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- ½ lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (40 grams) desiccated coconut, grated
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Prep the coconut: Add the desiccated coconut to either a blender, food processor or coffee grinder. Pulse until you get a fine texture (it takes just a few seconds), then transfer to a large bowl.
- Combine the mixture: Add the egg whites, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract to the ground coconut. Using a spoon stir the mixture until fully combined, smooth and pliable. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This rest in the fridge makes the mixture easy to work with.
- Preheat the oven to 340°F / 170°C, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat, and place ½ cup of desiccated coconut (not ground) in a small ball.
- Using your hands, roll and shape a generous tablespoon of the coconut mixture into balls. Try to make them similar in size (about 20 grams each).
- Roll the coconut balls in the grated coconut until they're coated. Place them on the baking sheet and gently press them to make round cookies about 1.5 cm thick. Keep in mind they will spread a little bit once they are in the oven.
- Bake in the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 14 minutes. The cookie will spread and look pale and soft. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently transfer them on a cooling rack. They're very delicate when they are warm, but they perfectly fine and delicious after 10 minutes of rest. Enjoy at room temperature.