These pretty cherry coconut cookies are super easy to make, anyone can make them. The cookies are filled with grated coconut and bright red and green glace cherry cubes, making them super perfect Christmas cookies too!
Cherry Coconut Cookies
These cherry coconut cookies have a soft and light texture. They are lightly crispy on the edges and soft and crumbly in the centers. The cookies themselves are not overly sweet and combine so perfectly well with the sweet candied cherries.
I shaped my cookies into simple balls and flattened them with a fork. For the deco, I used 2 small cubes of the cherries, one red and one green, and pressed them right in the center of each cookie. All in all, these cookies are super easy to make and you should try them too.
How to Make Cherry Coconut Cookies
- Plain flour + baking powder + salt
- Corn flour (cornstarch)
- Grated coconut (fresh, unsweetened)
- Granulated sugar
- Chopped glace cherries (red and green) + extra for deco
- Vanilla Essence
Preparing the coconut
- Start by dry roasting the freshly grated coconut. To dry roast, simply put the coconut into a pan and roast it over low heat.
- Stir constantly to ensure the coconut is evenly roasted.
- The coconut is ready when it starts turning slightly brown and feels light as you stir and mix it in the pan.
- Remove the coconut to a dry plate and let it cool down. Once cold, place the coconut into a food processor and pulse until it is fine. Leave aside.
Mixing the coconut cherry cookie dough
- Start by creaming the butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Beat only until both are well combined. Do not overbeat.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until the traces of the egg are no longer visible.
- Sift in the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder into the creamed mixture with a spatula until all the ingredients are well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the coconut and cherries. This will help the cherry cubes separate and not stick to each other.
- Add the coconut – cherries mixture into the cookie dough.
- Mix them in with a spatula until well combined. It is best to not use the cake mixer when mixing in the cherries to avoid breaking the cherry pieces further.
Shaping and baking the cherry cookies
- Scoop the dough into 1 tablespoon size.
- Form them into round balls by hand and place the cookie dough balls slightly apart on a lined baking tray.
- To shape the cookies, press the cookie balls down with a fork vertically. At this point, don’t flatten the cookie too much.
- Lift the fork, and press it down onto the cookie, this time, horizontally. Reinforce the vertical lines again, making sure not to press the cookie down too much. Dip the fork in some flour to avoid it from sticking to the cookie dough.
- Press 2 small cherry cubes (one red and one green) in the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven (175 degrees Celsius) for 12 minutes until the sides turn golden brown.
- Let the cookies rest in the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
These cookies last well for a good 2 weeks.
Cherry Coconut Cookies
Why is it important not to cream butter and sugar too long?
- Unlike cakes, where butter and sugar must be creamed until light and fluffy, it is contrary for cookies. When creaming butter and sugar for cookies, it is best to not over-cream them. Suffice if both are mixed together until they are well combined.
- Over beating will result in your cookies spreading too much. during baking, so this is something worth taking note of, not only for these cherry coconut cookies but also for other cookies in general.
How to avoid the chopped glace cherries from clumping together?
- Since the glace cherries are sticky, it is hard to separate them after chopping, so you often end up with clumped chopped cherries. Mixing them directly into the cookie dough will not separate them and you will end up with unevenly distributed cherries in the cookies.
- The best way to deal with this is to mix the chopped cherries with the processed coconut. Use your fingers or a spoon to break the cherry clumps as you mix them in with the coconut. This way, you get to separate the cherry pieces and when you add them to the cookie dough, they will not clump together.
Is desiccated coconut and coconut flakes the same?
- No, they are not. Both are essentially the white flesh of a coconut, but both differ in texture. Desiccated coconut is the dry form of grated coconut, and is finer compared to coconut flakes. Grated coconut often comes in 2 forms, freshly grated coconut (which is moist and slightly wet) or dry desiccated coconut. In most recipes, it is important to take note of the form that is used as the dry desiccated coconut is often very light as compared to the fresh one. Hence when measured, 100g of freshly grated coconut will be a lot lesser than 100g of dry desiccated coconut. My cherry coconut cookies are made using the fresh version.
- Coconut flakes often come in long, thin strips and are sometimes sweetened. Though these are essentially dried coconut, they are not as dry as desiccated coconut.
Can you use coconut flakes instead of desiccated coconut?
- Yes, you can. Dry roast the flakes until they appear dry and turns lightly browned.
- Let the flakes cool down and process them in the same way as the desiccated coconut.
Can you use sweetened coconut to make these cherry coconut cookies?
- Yes, you can.
- The recipe calls for unsweetened grated coconut. If you don’t have the unsweetened version, you can still use the sweetened one. All you need to do is reduce the amount of sugar in the cookies to 100g instead of 150g as mentioned in the recipe card.
Can you use dry desiccated coconut?
- No, these cookies are best made with freshly grated coconut. Even after dry roasting, the fresh coconut still has moisture it in and is best that way for these cookies’ texture. Using dry desiccated coconut might result in overly dry cookies.
Can you use fresh cherries instead of glace cherries?
- No, fresh cherries will not be suitable for these cookies. They will be too wet and can alter the consistency of the cookie dough and the baked cookies. Candied ones are the best for these coconut cherry cookies.
Can you increase or decrease the cookies sizes?
- Yes you can, but be sure to increase the baking time accordingly too.
Cherry Coconut Cookies Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my cherry coconut cookies recipe:
Cherry Coconut Cookies
- 75 g grated coconut (fresh, unsweetened)
- 275 g plain flour
- 50 g corn starch
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100 g glace cherries – green and red (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 175° Celsius. Line your baking trays.
- Dry roast the grated coconut until it is light and slightly browned. Let it cool down and then pulse in a food processor until fine. Leave aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar lightly. Add the egg and vanilla essence and beat again until all traces of the egg are no longer visible.
- Sift in the flour, cornflour, salt, and baking powder. Mix with a spatula (or a cake mixer) until the flour is well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix the chopped glace cherries with the coconut. Add the mixture into the cookie dough and mix with a spatula until the cherries are evenly distributed.
- Form 1 tablespoon-sized cookie balls. Place them slightly apart on the baking tray.
- Use a fork (dipped in flour) to press the cookie balls down. Press twice – once vertically and once horizontally.
- Decorate each cookie by placing 2 small cherry cubes in the center.
- Bake the cookies at 175°Celsius for 12 minutes until the sides are lightly browned.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest in the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.
And that’s that. My super easy, super festive cherry coconut cookies!
Cherry Coconut Cookies
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Coconut Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze Topping
- Sago Pudding with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar
- Snowflake Sugar Cookies
- 3-Ingredients Shortbread Cookies
Happy baking 🙂