As the days start to get a bit longer after a dark and bitter winter, I begin to crave citrus. Something about a burst of fresh summer fruit that makes my tastebuds sing. And a zing of citrus is exactly what these amazing vegan and gluten-free coconut orange cookies are. Requiring no-chill time, you’ll be enjoying a fresh summer-inspired cookie in a flash.


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A tall stack of coconut orange cookies that are covered in white shredded coconut.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Coconut Orange Cookies

Thick coconut orange cookies with a chewy melt-in-your-mouth center and light crisp golden edges, these vegan and gluten-free cookies are going to hit the spot. Perfect for an Easter brunch or spring afternoon snack, they are made with coconut oil, full of fresh real orange flavor, and rolled in sweet shredded coconut. Get ready for some serious cookie yum!

How To Achieve Real Orange Flavor

Packed with real orange flavor that will hit your tastebuds with a citrus punch, all you need is a large orange. Start by zesting the orange. You can use a fancy zester or simply the small grating side of a cheese grater. That’s what I did and works like a charm. This orange zest contains all the wonderful fragrant orange oils that will not just make these cookies taste like orange, but smell like orange too.

Creaming the orange zest with coconut oil and sugar will release the sweet citrus essential oils contained in the zest and create a deliciously enticing aroma as soon as you start to mix. Gorgeous little orange zest speckles will appear in these baked coconut cookies creating a beautiful looking, not to mention tasting, cookie.

Coconut orange cookies covered in white shredded coconut on a table in a haphazard line. One cookie has a large bite taken out of it and is facing towards the camera.

How To Roll A Cookie in Coconut

I contemplated combining the coconut right into the cookie batter and actually tested the recipe both ways. Shredded coconut in the cookie was tasty but produced a slightly dry cookie. Rolled in shredded coconut, these cookies have a gorgeous crispy texture on the outside while staying incredibly chewy and moist inside.

Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the coconut may not want to stick to the cookie very well. If that’s the case, get a small bowl of room temperature water and give the rolled cookie dough balls a quick little dunk in the water and then roll them in the coconut. Problem solved!

A tall stack of coconut orange cookies that are covered in white shredded coconut. The top cookie has a bite taken out of it.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Tips

As with any and all gluten-free baking, double-check all of your ingredients to ensure they are certified gluten-free. The next step of successful gluten-free baking is to take a look at the gluten-free all-purpose flour blend you are using. Check to see whether it contains xanthan gum or not. Xanthan gum is the metaphorical glue that will hold these cookies together. I’ve included xanthan gum in the recipe but if your blend already contains it, simply omit it.

Eggs used to be a staple in my kitchen for any and all baking. I’m slowly learning that there are lots of easy and accessible egg replacers. Going with the tried and true ground flaxseed, this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon. Ground flaxseed, sometimes called flax meal, combined with liquid, in this case, orange juice, creates a gelatinous emulsifier. This is sometimes referred to as a flax egg.

Coconut orange cookies covered in white shredded coconut. There are two cookies sitting in front of a cookie stack and one of the cookies is leaning up against the other cookie and has a large bite taken out of it.

The Best Vegan & Gluten-Free Coconut Orange Cookies

Thick chewy coconut orange cookies that will melt in your mouth. This easy vegan and gluten-free recipe comes together in a snap and requires zero chill time. Fresh bursts of summer orange citrus combined with sweet shredded coconut produce a bright and truly scrumptious cookie perfect for a spring snack. I bet you’ll enjoy these cookies as much as I did!

Fresh Citrus Baking Ideas

Looking for some bright citrus baking recipes. Here are a few I highly recommend:

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Coconut orange cookies covered in shredded white coconut. There is a cookie in front with a bite taken out of it leaning up against the other cookies.

Coconut Orange Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 27 Minutes
  • Yield: 8-9 Large Cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A fresh burst of bright citrus in every single bite. These easy vegan and gluten-free coconut orange cookies are thick, chewy, and will practically melt in your mouth.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup (120ml) coconut oil, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar *
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 ¼ (160g) gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum **
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (120g) shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a cookie pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl on a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with electric beaters, combine the coconut oil and sugar and cream together on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the orange zest and mix on high for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the orange juice and flaxseed and mix until combined.
  5. Add in the gluten-free flour, baking powder, xanthan gum (see note), and salt and mix until a dough forms.
  6. With a large 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls and roll in the shredded coconut. Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet approximately 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.
  8. Allow the cookies to fully cool on the cookie sheet. Enjoy!
  9. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

Notes

* Granulated sugar can easily be swapped for cane sugar or coconut sugar

** Omit xanthan gum if your gluten-free flour blend already contains it

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Cookies
  • Calories: 180
  • Sugar: 15 Grams
  • Sodium: 29 Miligrams
  • Fat: 7 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 4 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1 Gram
  • Trans Fat: 0 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 26 Grams
  • Fiber: 1 Gram
  • Protein: 1 Gram
  • Cholesterol: 26 Miligrams

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