Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

Sometimes I get a strong craving for a sugar cookie. A crunchy-around-the-edges, chewy-on-the-inside sugar cookie. While a plain sugar cookie can suffice, this coconut lime one will always fulfill my craving. As soon as the sun starts to warm, this cookie recipe comes out of hibernation.

In case you missed it, last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. I was excited to get an invitation to contribute to a luncheon for our high school teachers. The elementary teachers get breakfasts every month, and I think they’re appreciated pretty well. The secondary teachers get very little love. And they have to deal with sass and hormones and cell phones… We definitely need to appreciate them! I knew I would send in cupcakes, but these cookies refused to leave my mind. I baked them as well.

In a surprising turn of events, our third grader was named Star Student of his class again last week. You know, the student who gets special attention for the week and gets to share favorites and stories with the class. This generally just happens once during the year, am I right? Well, not for our kid. Why, you ask? I think because at the end of the week, the student brings in a treat to share with the class (and teacher). This particular teacher is always asking for these sugar cookies. There was no time to make those, but for the record, she kept all of the extras I sent in of these cookies! After doubling the recipe, I only had five cookies that didn’t need to go to either school. Which meant I only got to eat half of a cookie. And now the craving is SO strong!

Eight baked cookies are on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

These cookies are very easy to make. You don’t even need a mixer (though I still use mine). Just one tip for you… do not use the super sweet shredded coconut here. Look for the unsweetened coconut that is chopped real small. It will be in the natural/organic section of the grocery store. I use this from Bob’s Red Mill.

Stack of six cookies on top of a white cake stand placed on a wooden table. Coconut shavings and lime wedges are to the left of the cookies, and a green napkin is under the cake stand in the upper left corner.
Stack of six cookies on top of a white cake stand placed on a wooden table. Coconut shavings and lime wedges are to the left of the cookies, and a green napkin is under the cake stand in the upper left corner.

Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

Course Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Yield 24 cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for flattening
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 (or 3) rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk the flour, grated coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Place 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, the cream cheese and the lime zest in a large mixing bowl. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar on a plate or flat bottomed bowl and set aside. Pour the warm butter over the sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (I use my mixer and beater blade). Some small lumps of cream cheese will remain, but they'll smooth out later. Whisk in the oil until incorporated. Add the egg, milk and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix with a rubber scraper (or mixer) until a soft homogenous dough forms.

  4. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to measure out roughly 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Using your hands, briefly roll each piece of dough into a ball (don't overwork the dough – they don't need to be perfect). Place 10-12 cookies on a baking sheet (the cookies are big, so I do 10 on a sheet, alternating rows of 2 and 3 so they don't run into each other). Dip the bottom of a drinking glass into the bowl of cookie dough to moisten it, then dip the bottom of the glass into the reserved 1/4 cup sugar. Use the sugared glass to flatten the dough balls until they're about 2 inches in diameter. Repeat until all cookies are flattened and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies evenly with the remaining sugar (discard any excess).

  5. Bake the cookies, (one sheet at a time is recommended, but who has time for that?!), until the edges are set and beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheet after 7 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature (if you can wait that long to eat them).


Source: just slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

4 thoughts on “Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

  1. These cookies are AWESOME. I even dolloped a big scoop of coconut chocolate chip gelato on top and it was like summer in a dessert bowl!

    Quick question though — my dough seemed a little bit wet/sticky/difficult to roll (I may or may not have spilled the milk as I was pouring it :/ ). Any suggestions when this happens? Add a little more flour?

    1. Ice cream, of course! 🙂 Yum

      This dough is pretty moist, but yes, even more so if you add extra liquid. So first, I would love to encourage you to never measure over the mixing bowl (I get it, washing extra dishes is never desirable) and do be sure to use a liquid measuring cup. But if I can’t convince you and spills happen again, then yes, a bit more flour would help. Fat/sugar/coconut ratios would be off, so it’s not an ideal option, but it could help.

  2. Tbh, I’m not a huge sugar cookie fan. But, these are not normal. They’re extraordinary!

What do you think?