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Coconut Icebox Cookie Recipe

This Coconut Icebox Cookie Recipe is a thin and crispy shortbread cookie with toasted coconut garnish. Guaranteed to satisfy any coconut lover. Keep the frozen dough in your freezer for unexpected company or sneaky sugar attacks.

three baked coconut shortbread cookies

Do you remember icebox cookies from old cookbooks?

“Icebox?” That’s an old-fashioned term. Are they the same as “slice-and-bake cookies?” Oh yes!

Why you should make these cookies

This recipe has all the convenience of grocery story slice-n-bake cookies. Keep them in your freezer and you can have fresh warm cookies in the time it takes to preheat your oven and bake them.

With only 5 ingredients, it won’t take you long to throw the dough together. However, it MUST be refrigerated (or frozen) before baking, so plan ahead.

coconut cookies on dutch plate

If you are a coconut lover, you simply must add this crazy simple cookie to your collection. They’re great on their own, but they also play nice with a simple dessert, like ice cream, pudding, or creme brulée.

FAQ for Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Would these be good cookies to mail?

These lovely but delicate cookies are not good travelers. That is to say, no US Mail or UPS. On the other hand, they are perfect for a party, shower, or tea time snack.

How long can I store the dough in the freezer?

The dough will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Double wrap the dough to avoid freezer burn.

How long will baked shortbread cookies stay fresh?

Store them in an air-tight container for up to a week. Store in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.

How can I keep the shortbread from spreading too much while baking?

Two things:
1. The cookie dough must be well-chilled. Either freeze for two hours before baking or chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Cover your cookie sheet with a silicone baking sheet. It helps to prevent spreading.

Since there is no baking powder in these cookies and they are not confined to a pan, they will spread some. You won’t have to wait very long for the cookies to cool and get crispy.

What kind of coconut should I use?

I use flaked, sweetened coconut. You could also use unsweetened coconut for a slightly less sweet cookie. I don’t recommend shaved coconut.

How to form Coconut Shortbread Cookies before chilling

coconut short bread story board
Cover log with flaked coconut, pressing into dough

More recipes for coconut or shortbread lovers

Posts Related to Coconut Shortbread Cookies

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    Yield: 40 cookies

    Coconut Icebox Cookies

    Coconut Icebox Cookies

    Keep the dough for these crispy coconut shortbread cookies in your freezer for sweet emergencies.

    Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


    • 1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup flaked coconut plus some for rolling


    1. Mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla. Gradually add in flour, then coconut, and mix well.
    2. Form dough into 12 x 3 x 1-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. I like to form a log into a shape that will result in rectangular cookies when sliced.
    3. Optional: Sprinkle the wax paper or plastic wrap with about 1/4 cup of loose coconut. Lay the shaped log on top of the coconut and roll it to press the coconut into the sides.
    4. Freeze at least 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
    5. Preheat oven to 300˚F.
    6. Slice dough into 1/4-inch slices and arrange 1 inch apart on a silicone mat-covered cookie sheets.
    7. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Edges should begin to turn golden. Makes about 40 cookies.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

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    Thursday 10th of August 2017

    Can i use dessicated coconut?


    Thursday 10th of August 2017

    Hi Maya,

    Probably. But honestly, I haven't tried it myself so can't say for sure.

    April F

    Monday 26th of August 2013

    I just made these tonight for my husband who LOVES coconut. They are fantastic!!! This is a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing.


    Tuesday 14th of February 2012

    I have made your greek yogurt which, by the way, is now the center of my life, and these cookies. They are to die for. Everyone at work took the recipe. But the yogurt will get me to 80 - I'm now 70!!! Ha!


    Saturday 1st of May 2010

    These look fabulous Romaine! I don't make shortbread enough, and it's sooo good :)


    Thursday 29th of April 2010

    I LOVE refer cookies! They are so convenient - but I've never made coconut refer cookies. Will have to add this to my must-bake list. I'm sure they were wonderful the the burnt sugar ice cream - I made this and it's in my freezer - locked up tight. It's too tempting to not eat the whole container! I love the shape of these cookies too - they're just perfect Springtime cookies!