These simple coconut cookies are crispy on the outside and super chewy on the inside. They are easily made with either coconut rum or extract and sweetened shredded coconut. If you love coconut desserts, you will love these easy to make delicious coconut cookies!
Coconut is either a love it or hate it type flavor and I am on the love it side. Especially when you put it into crispy, buttery, cookies.
Even as a trained pastry chef though, sometime the recipes I create need a couple tries before getting it right. This recipe was no exception. The first time I made them they didn’t have enough coconut flavor. The second time I made them, I decided to roll them in shredded coconut and they came out just perfect!
These easy to make cookies have coconut rum in them for flavor as well as a bunch of shredded coconut that gets crispy on the outside while the inside is chewy and delicious.
Why you should make this recipe
- They are incredibly crispy, buttery, and delicious
- They have a ton of coconut flavor that makes you feel like youre on a beach vacation.
- The cookies are super easy to make!
- Unsalted butter- You’ll need room temperature butter. If you forgot to take it out early, learn how to soften butter quickly with these 3 tips!
- Brown sugar– using a mixture of brown and white sugar makes the cookie extra chewy.
- Granulated sugar– for sweetness.
- 1 egg large plus 1 extra yolk- Eggs give the cookie its structure. The extra yolk helps with the texture.
- Coconut rum, such as Malibu – This gives the coconut flavor. You can sub with coconut extract, see below for how.
- All purpose flour– Builds the foundation of the cookie.
- Baking soda– This is a leavening agent.
- Baking powder– Another leavening agent.
- Kosher salt– Adds flavor
- Sweetened shredded coconut– Give the best coconut flavor and crispy chewy texture.
A note on the Malibu Coconut Rum– This is used instead of extract. If you prefer extract and you have it, you can use 1 tsp of coconut extract to replace the rum. Do not use it 1:1 or the extract will be too much. You can sub any kind of coconut rum, this is just the one I used.
How to make coconut cookies
Start the cookie batter: Cream the butter and sugars in a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy about 1 minute. Add the egg, the egg yolk, and the rum and cream again for another minute.
Add the dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low-medium speed until a smooth dough forms.
Scoop and roll: Scoop out the cookie dough using a small 1 1/2-2 tbsp cookie scoop or shaping by hand. Pour shredded coconut into a shallow ball and roll the cookie dough around, covering in coconut.
Chill: Line the cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or if you are short on time, freeze for 30 mins.
Bake: Bake for 15-18 mins at 350° F until golden and crispy on the edges.
- This recipe uses shredded sweetened coconut. I tried using unsweetened coconut and the recipe did not com as as good. Definitely stick with the sweetened coconut for this recipe.
- You can toast the coconut for extra flavor. With the oven preheated to 350, spread the coconut on a sheet tray and bake for 5 minutes until toasty. Make sure to watch it though because it can burn quickly!
- You can use a regular sized ice cream scoop to measure out the cookie dough. The cookies will be larger and will need a longer baking time- up to 20 minutes.
- Use a small cookie scoop or a kitchen tablespoon to measure out the cookies accurately and to make sure they are all the same size. I used a small cookie scoop for this recipe.
- You can substitute 1 tsp coconut extract for the rum in this recipe
- Make sure to use room temperature ingredients
- Add in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or nuts for an added crunch and flavor.
- Add 1 cup chocolate chips to make them chocolate coconut cookies
- Add 1 cup chopped nuts to make them crunchy.
- Use 1 cup of dried fruit like craisins or chopped apricots.
Make ahead Instructions
To make the cookies ahead, all you have to do is make the cookie recipe up until the chilling part.
After the cookie dough chills for 30 mins, transfer the cookie dough balls to a zip-top bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Bake as usual, there is no defrosting needed!
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Store the cookies in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days. You do not have to refrigerate the cookies.
Freezing: To freeze coconut cookies, place them in a zip top freezer safe bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Should I use sweetened or unsweetened coconut to make cookies? You should use the sweetened shredded coconut for cookies for the best flavor. Unsweetened coconut has a different texture and wont add sweetness.
What are coconut cookies made of? These coconut cookies use brown and white sugar, one egg and an extra egg yolk, as well as other panty staples like flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. For flavor we use coconut rum and sweetened shredded coconut.
What can I substitute for the rum? You can substitute 1 tsp of coconut extract for the tbsp of rum. Do not use 1 tbsp of extract because it would be too much.
More awesome cookie recipes:
Crispy and Chewy Coconut Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg large
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp coconut rum, such as Malibu
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 1 cup softened butter with the 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar until fluffy. About 1 minute on medium speed.
- Add the 1 egg and another egg yolk along with the tablespoon of coconut rum. Cream again for another 30 seconds on medium speed.
- Add the 2 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix again this time starting on low and working up to medium speed for another minute.
- Pour the one cup shredded coconut into a shallow medium sized bowl. Scoop out the cookie dough using a small cookie scoop or kitchen tablespoon and roll the dough into the coconut until it's completely covered.
- Line the cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the cookies 8 at a time on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 17 minutes. If you use a larger cookie scoop the cookies will need 20 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are golden and crispy.