These beautifully elegant Coconut Cake Cookies look like they took a lot of time and effort, but they're are super easy to make because they utilize store-bought boxed cake mix.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making coconut cake cookies is available at the end of this post. Or you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
The ingredient list:
For the cookies:
- box cake mix
- vegetable oil
- sweetened coconut flakes
- coconut extract (optional)
For the frosting:
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- mixing bowls
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- measuring cups and spoons
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- cookie scoop
- kitchen timer
- cooling rack
- large piping bag (optional)
- large star tip (optional)
- offset spatula
- baking spray
Why this recipe works:
If you love soft cookies with a pillowy bite, then these coconut cake cookies are for you!
In addition, this cake mix cookie is totally customizable.
Feel free to use your favorite brand or flavor cake mix to either pump up the coconut flavor or make it more subtle.
Can these cookies be frozen after baking?
Yes, but I would recommend freezing them BEFORE adding the coconut buttercream frosting, especially if you need to stack the cookies. However, they will freeze well even if they're already frosted.
Store them well in an air-tight freezer container for up to 3 months.
Can the coconut buttercream frosting be made in advance?
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to thaw buttercream frosting after freezing:
If making and freezing coconut buttercream frosting in advance, allow the frosting to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to frost the cookies, allow the frosting to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes which will make the frosting easier to pipe or spread.
What flavor cake mix was used in the cookies shown?
I used a Duncan Heinz banana-flavored cake mix. Next time I'm going to use a white or yellow cake mix with no additional flavoring.
That said, If I'm 100% honest I was truly hoping to find a coconut cake mix in the baking aisle. Preferably the new Duncan Heinz/Dolly Parton coconut cake mix collaborations. But sadly, my local grocery store didn't have it.
Even though I was disappointed, it didn't dissuade me from making the recipe idea I had in my head, so I continued still excited about the cookies to come!
Can store-bought canned frosting be used in place of the homemade coconut buttercream?
Yep, and you can still pipe it onto the cookies if you'd like to make them look extra special. It's totally your call, and you can use whatever flavor strikes your fancy!
How many cookies does this recipe make?
As written this recipe makes 24 - 2½" round cookies with frosting.
Is a star tip and piping bag necessary to frost these cookies?
No. Not at all.
A butter knife or offset spatula will work to spread the frosting onto the baked cookies, but the end result won't be as pretty (in my opinion).
What about toasting the coconut first? Will that work?
Yes, but ultimately toasting the coconut will turn it tan/golden color which is why I didn't toast mine as I was going for a more tonal look.
Can unsweetened coconut be used in this recipe?
By all means, yes!!
If you're looking for a cookie (or frosting) that isn't overly sweet, then I completely recommend going with unsweetened coconut and carrying on with the recipe as written.
Can coconut oil be used in place of the vegetable oil for this recipe?
Make sure to melt the solid coconut oil first in the microwave, and then use the exact same amount of oil as the recipe requires.
What occasions or holidays are best suited for these coconut cake cookies?
When I first had the idea for these cookies I was thinking these would be best suited as an Easter dessert.
However, when I was taking the final photos and I had the cookies set up on pretty white plates, I was reminded how wonderfully elegant they would be as a sweet treat served at a bridal shower or wedding. I'd love to know if you agree.
All that said, I also don't think these easy-to-make coconut cake mix cookies need to wait for a special occasion or holiday. I urge you to make them whenever you have a taste for a soft cookie with a delightful coconut flavor.
Additional recipes for coconut lovers:
*Pan-Seared Coconut Crusted Tuna Steaks (shown below)
This recipe for Pan-Seared Seared Coconut Crusted Tuna Steaks was inspired by the coconut shrimp dish I’d had recently while out to dinner and I love the way it turned out! I trust you will too!!
*Coconut Caramel Crescent Ring (not shown)
This Coconut Caramel Crescent Ring is super simple to make and uses everybody’s favorite store-bought ingredient… canned crescent rolls.
*Slow-Cooker Banana Coconut Pudding (shown below)
Comforting and extra delicious! This super easy and creamy Banana Coconut Pudding for the slow cooker will be your new favorite dessert!
This Giant Peanut Butter Cup will delight an entire crowd with its fun presentation and super delicious filling of peanut butter, coconut, and pecans. It’s not your average peanut butter cup. It’s MEGA AMAZING!!
*Coconut Cake Cookies with Coconut Buttercream Frosting (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's easy cake mix cookies featuring coconut and coconut buttercream frosting.
⭐If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Coconut Cake Cookies with Coconut Buttercream Frosting
- baking spray (optional) for spraying the cookie scoop
For the cookie batter:
- 1 box (15.25 ounces) cake mix
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
For the coconut buttercream frosting:
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 4½ cups confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened coconut set aside ¼ cup for garnish
To make the cookie batter:
- Place all the cake mix, eggs, oil, and coconut extract into a large bowl and blend until thoroughly combined. *Note - The batter will be thick.
- Add ½ cup of coconut to the cookie batter and stir well to combine.
- Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
To make the coconut buttercream frosting:
- Beat the softened butter in a large bowl until creamy.
- Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar, the coconut and vanilla extract and blend.
- Slowly add the remaining confectioners sugar to the butter and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Use a spatula to stir in the sweetened coconut flakes. Set aside (or chill) until ready to frost the cookies.
How to form and bake the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a small-sized (1 tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion out the cookie batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets (12 cookies per sheet).
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes and then rotate the baking sheets to bake for an additional 6 - 7 minutes. *Note - the cookies will spread but should not turn brown in color.
- Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before piping or topping them with the coconut buttercream frosting.
- Once frosted, top each cookie with a small amount of the remaining ¼ cup of sweetened coconut, serve and enjoy!
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's easy and delicious coconut cake mix cookie recipe as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
Thank you so much for visiting me today in my Kudos Kitchen. I hope you found something you'll love and that you'll come back and visit me often. There is always room for you around my table!
Should you have any questions or comments regarding anything you've seen here on my blog, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to respond to you just as soon as I possibly can.