While I could eat Key lime flavored goodies all year, it’s when warm weather hits that I really want to dial up that citrusy flavor. These Coconut Key Lime Cookies are the perfect way to channel the tropics.
Most of you are probably familiar with Key lime pie, the treat popularized after the introduction of sweetened condensed milk in the early 1930’s. The creamy tart pie is popular all over the U.S., but not nearly as much as it is in Key West.
So, I decided to take the flavors of the popular pie and make cookies instead. Almost like Lemon Cooler cookies, but with limes.
After all, these brightly flavored cookies are far more portable to take to parties and cookouts. Plus, twenty-four cookies is superior to the amount of slices in a pie, right?
Are Key Limes Regular Limes?
The simple answer is no. Key lime is a tad sweeter and less acidic. However, the majority of the time, regular limes can be used.
For this recipe, I do list lime juice instead of specifying the use of Key lime juice since it may be a challenge for people in some places to find Key limes or Key lime juice.
However, if you have Key limes or their juice available, you can really punch up the tangy flavor if you use Key lime juice. I have the most luck finding key lime juice in the grocery store aisle where lemon and lime juices are sold or in shops that sell cocktail ingredients.
Why You’ll Love Coconut Key Lime Cookies
Fresh key lime juice baked into fresh cookies with great flavor- what’s not to love about these delicious cookies? And if you are a lime-lover like me, this is paramount.
- Bright flavors– these cookies channel beach-time and are the perfect treat at any warm weather gathering.
- Easy– these cookies come together in about twenty minutes or less, and the bake time is even faster!
- Accessible ingredients– many avid bakers likely have most of the ingredients in their pantry already.
With basic ingredients, you can have the best, chewy cookies ready in no time!
- All purpose flour– if you like to bake you probably already have this pantry staple. However, if you need to grab it from the store, any brand will do. If you have a big bag, you can store it in a cool, dry cabinet. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to 2 years.
- Baking powder– this leavening agent helps these cookies to have a light texture.
- Salt– just a bit of regular table salt will help bring out the lime and coconut flavors in these cookies.
- Butter– since there’s salt in the recipe, make sure to use unsalted butter. Leave butter on the counter for about an hour to soften so that it mixes easily.
- Granulated sugar– this type of sugar dissolves quickly when mixing and baking. Granulated sugar will last for up to 2 years in the pantry. Make sure not to store it in the refrigerator, though, where it’s likely to get lumpy.
- Shredded coconut– you can usually find bagged shredded coconut in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. You’ll have some leftover which you can use to make frosted coconut bars or no-bake coconut balls.
- Eggs– you can use any eggs you might already have in your refrigerator as long as they are large eggs.
- Lime juice– you can certainly juice your own limes but bottled lime juice can be used as well. Please note that bottled citrus flavors tend to pack less punch than fresh lime juice. However, key lime juice will have more authentic key lime flavor when it is near impossible to find fresh key limes. You can also add key lime zest for even more lime-y flavor.
- Coconut extract (optional)- if you don’t have coconut extract on hand in your pantry, you can omit it or use vanilla extract. However, using it will help make these coconut lime cookies rather than just lime sugar cookies.
- Powdered sugar– this soft sugar will help to make these cookies pretty and also adds some extra sweetness.
How To Make Coconut Key Lime Cookies
You are going to love how easy it is to make the best cookies ever!
- Prepare oven and pan. Preheat oven and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Alternately, you can use a silicone mat.
- Whisk dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Be sure to fully incorporate all 3 ingredients.
- Beat butter and sugar. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer or stand-mixer, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, stir the coconut into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Add eggs. Add each egg, one at a time to the butter, sugar, and coconut. Beat the mixture well after each egg is added. Next, add the lime juice and the coconut extract (if using) and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients gradually, mixing it in until it is just combined.
- Scoop cookies. Scoop the cookie dough into 24 1½ inch cookie dough balls. You can use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop if you have one. A melon baller will work well, too. If you do not have either of those, two spoons can be used to scoop and form the balls.
- Roll in powdered sugar. Roll each dough ball into the powdered sugar. Then, arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheet with about 2 inches between each.
- Bake. Bake the cookies. When they are ready to be removed from the oven, their edges will be just slightly browned. Move baked cookies to a wire rack/cooling rack to cool.
- Ice. If you choose to frost these with a key lime glaze, make sure they are fully cooled.
We love this easy key lime cookie recipe exactly as written, but there are plenty of ways for you to make it your own.
- White chocolate chips – Key lime cookies with white chocolate chips have just an extra hint of sweetness. Toss in a handful or two to the cookie batter.
- Icing – try drizzling powdered sugar icing over the cookies after baking for a pretty presentation. Use lime juice for a quick lime glaze.
- Key lime juice – if your local grocery store has it in stock, try using Key lime juice instead of your typical lime juice for an even more floral and tart flavor.
- Berries – raspberries and blueberries pair particularly well with Key lime and coconut flavors. To add berry flavor, try tossing in some dried berries before baking.
- Graham crackers – For even more of a key lime cheesecake flavor, try folding some graham cracker crumbs into the cookie dough.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: You can store these key lime pie cookies in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Freezing: You can also freeze this key lime cookies recipe. Make sure to wrap in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.
Common Cookie Questions
First, consider using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line the cookie sheet before placing the dough. These non-stick surfaces create a barrier between the dough and the sheet, ensuring easy removal and minimal mess.
Secondly, chilling the cookie dough before baking can significantly reduce sticking. Refrigerating the dough for at least 30 minutes firms it up, making it easier to handle and release from the sheet.
Proper spacing between cookies on the sheet and allowing them to cool slightly before removing will also aid in achieving perfectly baked and non-stick cookies.
To prevent cookies from burning on the bottom, use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to create a barrier between the cookies and the baking sheet. Additionally, try reducing the baking temperature slightly and/or baking for a shorter duration.
To prevent cookies from drying out quickly, store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag immediately after they have cooled. Adding a slice of bread to the container can help retain moisture.
More Cookie Recipes
Coconut Key Lime Cookies
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract optional
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Blend in the coconut.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lastly, add the lime juice and coconut extract.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Place the powdered sugar in a bowl. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into 24 balls.
- Dredge each in the powdered sugar and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until cookies begin to just turn brown on the edges.
- Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.