These coconut lime cookies get a flavor boost from coconut oil, shredded coconut, and lime juice. The lime glaze and zest garnish catapult them into star territory.
This recipe was inspired by the crispy coconut cookies from Tate’s that I find in the bodegas and stores near my New York City apartment. Tate’s Bake Shop started in the Hamptons but has expanded their baked goods to stores across the country. Here I blend the idea of their super light, buttery coconut cookie with my favorite lime sugar cookies. The intense, citrusy lime flavor and a hint of toasty coconut in these cookies is incredible. I’ll warn you, though: They are addictive.–Tara Teaspoon
☞ Table of Contents
Coconut Lime Cookies FAQs
Can I freeze the cookie dough before baking?
Yes. After scooping the dough into balls in step 7, place the dough balls on the baking sheets and set in the freezer until frozen. Stash them in a resealable bag and bake from frozen, as needed. Note that you may have to add 1 to 2 minutes to your baking time.
How do I toast coconut?
Spread the coconut in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a 325°F (163°C) oven and cook until golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir once during baking to ensure the pieces of coconut toast evenly.
Coconut Lime Cookies
For the cookies
- 2 tablespoons grated lime zest from about 4 large limes, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice from about 3 – 4 large limes
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut lightly toasted
- 1 large egg
For the icing
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice from about 3 – 4 large limes
- Crystal sugar for garnish
Make the cookies
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180°C). Adjust the oven rack to the center position. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer 1/4 cup lime juice until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: Keep a careful watch on the juice as it reduces as once it begins to evaporate, it tends to disappear quite quickly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime zest and coconut oil.
☞TESTER TIP: If you think of it, zest your limes a few days in advance and let the zest dry out a bit. This will make it easier to distribute both in the cookie dough and when sprinkling on top of the cookies. Using it right after zesting will make the pieces clump.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, coconut, and egg on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until combined well, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add lime-oil mixture, and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop dough into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) balls and place, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, on prepared baking sheets.
☞TESTER TIP: Be certain to leave some room between the cookies on the baking sheet as they’ll spread somewhat during baking.
- Bake until golden brown around edges, 13 to 18 minutes.
- Set the sheet on a wire rack and let cool slightly. Place the cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Make the icing
- In a bowl, stir together 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1/4 cup lime juice until smooth.
Ice the cookies
- Drizzle the icing over the cookies. If desired, sprinkle with crystal sugar and extra lime zest, if desired. Let the cookies rest until the icing has set, about 5 minutes. Devour.
☞TESTER TIP: A baggie with the corner snipped off or a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip makes easy work of icing the cookies and gives you more control for your Type A personalities.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love these coconut lime cookies. My partner, who will eat any kind of cookie as long as it’s a chocolate chip cookie, called these addictive. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and filled with the flavors of toasted coconut and lime. They are sweet but not too sweet. The lime is very pronounced in the icing that gets dribbled on top, which makes them oh so good.
And they store well. I stored them in a closed container and on day 3 they tasted as good as they did on day 1. Try them. You will be in for a treat!
Nice tasting coconut and lime cookies. It’s a sandy cookie due to the lack of liquid and high fat content.
It took 4 minutes to reduce the juice (keep an eye on it because once it started to reduce, it went quickly). The finished batter is really light and fluffy. Leave room as they spread in the oven. I would sprinkle zest on top of the glaze as they are very blond.
These are really good. I was surprised that, given all of the lime juice and zest, they didn’t have more of a lime flavor. The texture is a real win–delicate with a buttery inside and crisp edges. Pretty much my dream cookie texture.
They’re quick and easy to make and a classic flavor combination put together in a unique way.
I didn’t have a cookie scoop so I used a heaped tablespoon and then quickly shaped them into 1 1/2-inch balls with just slightly damp hands to prevent sticking.
I played with putting the dough in the freezer for the second batch. The dough was just so soft that I thought for sure they would spread and be flat given the generous amount of coconut oil. My assumption was incorrect! My room temp dough baked up great, maybe a touch flatter than what they appeared in the image, but overall good. The dough that went into the freezer ended up slightly flatter and with lacy edges that went a little too dark.
These cookies are light and delicious without being overly sweet. I love the tartness of the lime mixed with the mild flavor of toasted coconut.
I used an ice cream scoop as the recipe suggested but quickly found that to be too big for the 1 1/2-inch balls called for. I think a melon scoop would be better but an ordinary spoon will work fine. My first tray was too big due to using the ice cream scoop so they baked perfectly but were more like sugar cookies than crisps. The second tray was smaller so they were crisper but still seemed more like a sugar cookie to me. I have no complaints in the way they turned out but I would need to make the recipe again to try to get the crispness the recipe describes.
These light and tasty coconut cookies are perfect for a summer picnic or party. They’re perfectly flavored with coconut and lime. The recipe comes together quickly and reducing the lime juice really amps up the flavor, as does toasting the coconut.
They bake up in 13 minutes with lightly crisp edges and a chewy center and look beautiful with the glaze and lime zest. I would suggest to sprinkle with a little toasted coconut with the zest instead of sugar so people know what is in the cookie. This one’s a keeper!
These coconut and lime cookies are a bright citrusy, tropical taste of sunshine. And definitely addictive. They have a lovely crunch when you first bite into them that leads into a nutty chewy hit of coconut and zesty lime. They’re wonderful on their own but the drizzle of icing and sprinkle of zest makes them oh so pretty and pleasing. Delightfully good.
A perfectly crisp yet tender tropical sensation of a cookie. The flavors were impeccable and so welcome during our snowy week in the Midwest. My cookie panel rated these 10, 8, 9, 9 – near perfection. I asked what could have made these better, the 8 tester said he would have liked a more chewy cookie, so I think we’ll chalk that up to personal preference.
Also, be sure to use the ice cream scoop for a perfectly round cookie which gives them a master baker touch and a perfect cookie for gifting.
The warning attached to these coconut and lime cookies is “addictive” and that they were! The cookie had a crisp exterior with a softer, flaky interior which provided a wonderful contrast in texture. The flavor was spot on as well. I was hit with lime with my first bite followed by coconut and salt. I love a salty cookie, but if that’s not your thing, then maybe reduce the amount indicated.
I was skeptical of the directions to mix the butter, sugars, coconut, and egg from the start, however this seemed to be the right way to go. My dough was a little too wet/soft so I ended up chilling for 30 minutes before I scooped to bake. I did get a higher yield of cookies(40) so I am not sure that the 4-cm measurement in the recipe is correct. I also experimented with just baking as-is from scoop and pressing to flatten the cookie. They do not spread much, so I think pressing them is the way to go. I found the icing to be a little thin. It did not hold it’s shape as the picture shows. I would reduce the ratio of sugar to juice.
Overall a delightful cookie with a bright flavor. I shared them with a group that I volunteer with and received great feedback. They were enjoyed by all!
This is a wonderful cookie that’s appropriate for any season—the green and white and citrus make it perfect for summer or spring. Add a red serving plate and some decorative holly and you have Christmas. Combine it with a fall theme and you can’t go wrong. The flavors of the lime, coconut, and butter all melded together perfectly. And the cookie has just the right amount of crunch and melt-in-your-mouth butteriness.
The cookies take 18 minutes to bake and when you see them turning golden brown around the edges, they are ready to come out of the oven.
I did have to add a few more tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar to get the icing to the right consistency. You can make the icing while the cookies are baking, but just be sure to cover it with an airtight cover to avoid the icing drying out and forming a crust.
To get the beautiful drizzle icing shown in the photo, I used a disposable decorating bag with a #3 piping tip. This will give you more control over the design of the drizzle or you can just use a spoon or fork to produce your drizzle Jackson Pollack-style. I suggest zesting your limes a few days in advance and letting the zest dry out a bit. This will make it easier to distribute on top of the iced cookies. Using them right after zesting will make the pieces clump and be more difficult to sprinkle over the cookies.
I used a cookie scoop which produced 1 ½-inch balls. These cookies do spread, so be sure to space them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
These cookies are great—full stop. Bright lime flavor with crispy edges and a crackly glaze that gives way to butteriness with undertones of coconut. It’s a lime flavor that is in no way sharp, acidic, or artificial; just floral and tangy. These are wonderful and are definitely joining my regular roster.
I drizzled the icing onto the cookies in very fine lines using a ziplock baggie. It dried quickly and looked great! I had 33 cookies after all was said and done and I happily scarfed down 3 right away. Very good cookies!
Originally published December 15, 2020