Glazed Coconut Lime Cookies

In cookie recipes, it’s difficult to find the balance of enough liquid flavor without ruining the cookie’s texture and spreadability. However, these soft coconut lime cookies nail it! Using 1/4 cup of lime juice, a little coconut extract, and plenty of sweetened shredded coconut, the cookies are flavorful with just enough spread. Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before baking, then finish the cookies with tangy lime glaze.

coconut lime cookies with lime glaze

Coconut Lime Cookies Details

  • Flavor: These coconut lime cookies have a refreshing summery flavor that hits the spot if you crave a unique cookie when the weather warms up. Don’t skip the glaze because it adds flavor– it also sets after a couple hours so the cookies are convenient to stack, store, and/or transport.
  • Texture: These are soft cookies with a slightly cakey crumb. They are not nearly as cake-like as blueberry muffin cookies though.
  • Helpful Tools: This is a pretty simple cookie recipe that requires an electric mixer. If you have a food processor, pulse the coconut a few times to break the shreds down before mixing into the cookie dough. I recommend this in our coconut macaroons and coconut cake recipes, too. Smaller pieces of coconut keep the cookie dough balls tight and compact and leave a more desirable texture. If you don’t have a food processor, just give the coconut a quick chop with a sharp knife. You can use bottled lime juice or squeeze fresh limes at home using a citrus juicer. Here is a wonderful juicer if you don’t have one and need a recommendation. And finally, make sure you have a zester.
  • Time: Chilling the cookie dough for at least 1.5 hours in the refrigerator is a non-negotiable. These coconut lime cookies contain excess liquid (lime juice), so the dough is very soft and sticky. The colder and firmer the cookie dough, the less they’ll over-spread. As a bonus, giving the dough time in the refrigerator before baking allows the flavors to develop and settle.

stack of coconut lime cookies

Video Tutorial: How to Make Coconut Lime Cookies


Key Flavor Ingredients in Coconut Lime Cookies

  1. Lime Juice & Zest: You can use regular limes or key limes. I haven’t tested these coconut lime cookies without citrus. For a coconut lemon cookie, feel free to swap the lime juice and zest with lemon juice/zest. There’s a bit more citrus flavor in today’s cookies than the lemon ginger cookies. (This recipe also yields more.)
  2. Sweetened Shredded Coconut: I strongly recommend using sweetened shredded coconut because it’s moister than unsweetened and that makes a big difference in the cookie’s flavor, moisture, and texture. Knowing the texture and flavor will change, you can use unsweetened coconut flakes if that’s all you have.
  3. Coconut Extract: Like in this coconut cupcakes recipe, I found the coconut flavor lacking in these cookies without a little coconut extract. The cookies are still great without it, but if you can find coconut extract, use it. It’s pretty common in most major grocery stores.

Some step-by-step photos to help guide you through the recipe:

sweetened shredded coconut in a food processor next to a photo of key limes and coconut extract

prepared cookie dough in mixing bowl next to a photo of cookie dough balls rolled in granulated sugar

cookie dough balls before baking and baked cookies on wire rack

coconut lime cookies

Recipe Testing: What Works and What Doesn’t

After I mastered the base recipe with enough lime juice and coconut flavor, I wanted to experiment with different finishing touches. These include rolling the cookie dough balls in confectioners’ sugar, leaving them plain, and rolling in granulated sugar. When I first envisioned the cookies, I wanted a crinkle cookie similar to chocolate crinkles. However, as you’ll read below, I found their flavor lacking without the glaze.

Each of the following cookies were made with the same cookie dough.

  1. Top Left – Butter Too Warm: Before I could even start taste testing with different finishing touches, I sabotaged my efforts by accidentally starting with too soft/too warm butter. Remember that room temperature butter is still quite solid and cool to the touch.
  2. Top Right – Rolled in Confectioners’ Sugar: These coconut lime crinkles were certainly delicious, but taste testers couldn’t detect a strong lime flavor.
  3. Bottom Left – Plain: I baked the cookie dough balls completely plain without rolling in granulated sugar. I also skipped the lime glaze. The cookies were tasty, but they definitely benefit from both of the following finishes.
  4. Bottom Right – Rolled in Granulated Sugar + Added Lime Glaze: These were the clear winner. Taste testers could not stop snacking on them (even when the cookies were 3 days old!). Thanks to the lime glaze, the lime flavor was strong. Rolling in granulated sugar was the perfect amount of sweetness AND it gave the edges a little bit of texture.

4 coconut lime cookies with different toppings

Remember baking is a science and I’m happy to test variations so you don’t have to!

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coconut lime cookies with lime glaze

Glazed Coconut Lime Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 50 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These coconut lime cookies have a refreshing summery flavor that hits the spot when the weather warms up. Don’t skip the glaze because it adds flavor– it also sets after a couple hours so the cookies are convenient to stack, store, and/or transport. Set aside enough time to chill the cookie dough in step 4.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (100g) sweetened shredded coconut*
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (313gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh or bottled lime juice (regular or key lime), at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (regular or key lime)*
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Lime Glaze

  • 1 cup (120gconfectioners’ sugar (or more, as needed)
  • 2 Tablespoons (23ml) fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Optional but recommended: Pulse the coconut shreds in a food processor or chop them up with a sharp knife so they are finer. Smaller pieces make a more desirable texture in the baked cookies. Set aside for step 3.
  2. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 1 minute. Add the egg, lime juice, lime zest, and coconut extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Mixture will appear curdled and that’s ok. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer down to medium speed and beat in the coconut. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Dough is thick, creamy, and sticky.
  4. Cover and chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Pour remaining sugar into a large bowl. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie. Roll each in granulated sugar. Arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Make the glaze: Whisk the glaze ingredients together. If desired, add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more juice to thin out. The thicker the glaze, the whiter (and less translucent) it will be. Drizzle on cooled cookies and feel free to garnish each with more shredded coconut and/or lime zest. Icing will set after about 1 hour, so these are convenient to store and transport.
  10. Cookies without glaze stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cookies with glaze stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cookie dough balls without coating in sugar freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw for 30 minutes, coat each in sugar, then bake. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough. Baked cookies, with or without glaze, freeze well for up to 3 months.
  2. Sweetened Shredded Coconut: I strongly recommend using sweetened shredded coconut because it’s moister than unsweetened and that makes a big difference in the cookie’s flavor, moisture, and texture. Knowing the texture and flavor will change, you can use unsweetened coconut flakes if that’s all you have. Give them a rough chop or pulse in the food processor as instructed in step 1.
  3. Cornstarch: If you don’t have cornstarch, you can leave it out. It helps maintain a thicker, softer cookie but test batches without it were still intact and delicious.
  4. Limes: You can use regular limes or key limes. Since they’re so tiny, you need at least 7-8 key limes for this amount of juice (in the dough and glaze) and zest. If using regular limes, you need about 3. Feel free to use lemon juice/zest instead of lime. I haven’t tested this recipe without citrus. If you want a plain coconut cookie, try these coconut macadamia nut cookies, skip the nuts, and add 1 teaspoon coconut extract when you beat in the vanilla extract.

Keywords: coconut lime cookies

53 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday, Sally!

    I can’t wait to make these- they look and sound delicious, like all your recipes!
    I’d also like an option for a crisper cookie. Can I just leave these in the oven a little longer, or do you know a better way?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robynne, absolutely — you can leave them in the oven a minute or two longer for a slightly crisper cookie. You can also leave out the cornstarch if you wish, since it helps create a thicker and softer cookie. Let us know how they turn out for you!

  2. Do you think bottled lime juice will work for the glaze?

    1. Absolutely! Fresh or bottled lime juice works for the dough and glaze.

  3. All I can find in the grocery store is imitation coconut extract. Is this what you use in this recipe? Thanks.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shaunna! Imitation coconut extract will work just fine for this recipe. Hope you love them!

  4. What do you say I’ll replace the butter with coconut oil?
    Will it upgrade the taste?
    Thanks Sally!

    1. Hi Rachel! I missed your question the other day. I haven’t tested this recipe with solid coconut oil, but I do expect the cookies to spread more. You may want to extend the cookie dough chill time. Let us know if you try it!

  5. Darren Manley says:

    Hi Sally:
    First thing I’d like to say is thank you for the detailed explanations you provide…the “why’s”. I started baking a couple years ago and I appreciate your approach of pursuing variations. Heaven knows that your explanations have saved me a lot of time and materials.
    Second thing, I am so excited to try these cookies. Lime and coconut is one of the best flavor combinations…cheese cakes, pudding cakes, whatever but in a homemade cookie! Don’t threaten me with a good time
    Thanks again for your time and effort.

    Best regards,

    Darren

  6. Instead of using coconut extract, could you substitute with vanilla extract? Have you tried this?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tracy, the cookies are still great without it! If you can’t find coconut extract, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract works wonderfully. Hope you enjoy them!

  7. Delicious! I’m great summer treat!

  8. Made these yesterday and they are so good! I pulsed the coconut flakes as suggested and I also used fresh limes in both the dough and glaze, these cookies did not disappoint.

  9. katherine demaray says:

    cookies made! and i haven’t stopped singing Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” since i saw the recipe … i added a little zest to the glaze to amp up the lime flavor – would consider doing that as well for the dough … what a fun little summer cookie – thank you!

  10. These look delicious. I am having a hard time finding coconut extract…would you recommend substituting vanilla or almond extract? Thank you…planning to make these soon!!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, the cookies are still great without it! If you can’t find coconut extract, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract works wonderfully, or use a combination of 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Happy baking!

  11. Hi, I tried this recipe – halved it with just the egg white and (against your advice!) used unsweetened coconut. I still stuck to your suggested quantity of sugar. I kept them in the oven for an additional 3 min for a more crisp cookie. It turned out really well. A bit on the sweeter side for me with the frosting but still delicious!

  12. I made these cookie for a cookout today and they were a hit! I followed the directions exactly and loved the texture as well as the flavor. Garnished, they looked so pretty! My son, (grown) asked for the remainder to take to a social gathering. His friends are restauranteurs. I was so pleased that he found them good enough to share with them. Thanks Sally!

  13. Very yummy!
    They do not sell sweetened coconut here. I toasted regular shredded coconut in a pan and added 3 tbsp of simple syrup after it had cooled. The first sheet was baked at 180°C, didn’t spread much and browned quickly on the edges (baked for 12 minutes). So for the second sheet, I flattened the dough balls a little and baked at 160°C for 13 minutes. Came out perfect, soft in the middle and a little crispy around the edges.

  14. These cookies are so delightful! I added some chopped candied ginger and ground coriander just for fun. And because I couldn’t find coconut extract, I threw in a tablespoon of dark rum – so glad I did! Thanks, Sally, for yet another amazingly delicious recipe!

  15. These cookies are so delightful! I shared them with several groups of friends and colleagues and they all really enjoyed them. I’m at high altitude (5000′), so I reduced the baking soda to 3/4 tsp., and reduced the sugar in the cookies to 180 g. I baked them at 360 for about 10 minutes.

  16. Very tasty! Even better on day 2! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  17. These were delicious. I used almond flavoring in place of the coconut extract. Yum

  18. I love these. I accidentally used a full cup of butter, but they are great anyway. I did use unsweetened coconut, so maybe that helped.

    I really enjoy your recipes.

    Thank you.

  19. I made these today and they were amazing! I added zest and a small dash of lime juice to some coconut to crumble on top. I only had one hiccup, I used a store brand confectioners sugar for the glaze and I taste a hint of soap. No one else does, so it’s probably a sensitivity similar to my problem with cilantro. These were easy to bake and a big hit with the family!

  20. Another winner!! Rolling these guys in sugar then putting a glaze on is pure genius. I made both 1 TBL and 2 TBL sizes and actually prefer the larger size. Thanks again for yet one more “favourite” cookie!

  21. I made these for a baby shower and everyone enjoyed them. They especially commented on the lime flavored glaze. I followed the recipe exactly but found the cookies to be lacking in coconut flavor. I used coconut extract and the sweetened coconut flakes which I pulverized in my NutriBullet. Any thoughts on how to amp up the coconut flavor??

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jay! You could definitely add more coconut extract to taste next time. We’re so glad these were a hit!

  22. Wow! Just made these cookies today and they are outstanding! I’m obsessed with the flavors and the pillowy soft interior of the cookie. Thanks for another great recipe!

  23. Barbie Teed says:

    These are amazing! My husband is all about tropical flavors so I knew I needed to make these for him. Now I have a problem: I can’t get enough of them! I am definitely making these again! These were so easy to make and taste great. Thanks for another bombshell recipe, Sally! Yours are always my favorite!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for this rave review, Barbie!

  24. I am OBSESSED with these cookies! The first time I made them, I used a 1.5 tbsp scoop and the cookies were gone way too fast. I just made them again and doubled it, because I learned my lesson! I have found that I’m running out of glaze each time. Not sure if my glaze is too thick? I also struggle to get those pretty glaze lines. I might need a drizzle 101 video!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, so great to hear that you’re enjoying these cookies! It’s possible that your glaze is thicker, which is causing you to run out. Feel free to either thin it out a bit or even 1.5x the glaze recipe so that you have enough.

  25. Judie Cummings says:

    These were great cookies! I love the blend of sweet and the lime which helps cut the sweetness. The glaze is a definite must 🙂 I did try some cookies without it and they taste good without the glaze and are amazing with it!

  26. LOVE THESE! They are so refreshing and bright. I used limes from my own tree, so that was a fun bonus.

  27. Bette Collins says:

    Just made these and I LOVE them❤️❤️❤️. Came out exactly the way they were pictured. The only thing I did differently was to ad a pinch of salt to glaze, I think it enhances the lime flavor❤️❤️

  28. Great summertime cookie—will add to my seasonal rotation!
    Thanks, Sally.

  29. I have started to bake and you are my to go website, Sally. These cookies are easy to make, delicious and summery! Thank you Sally for another great recipe! My husband is my tester and he approves!

  30. Pat Shearon says:

    This cookies are wonderful. I made them by the recipe and the flavor is incredible.

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