3-ingredient coconut cookies

3-ingredient coconut cookies

These coconut cookies are, maybe, a little too easy to whip up! We’ve been having them pretty much every night this week! :/

Made with unsweetened coconut, these are Paleo, AIP (if the vanilla is a problem, skip it), gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

They taste great to someone who’s used to eating a low- or no-sugar diet. If you’re cooking for people who are accustomed to sugar in their diet, you might want to swap out sweetened coconut for some or all of the unsweetened stuff. If it’s someone you’re trying to wean off sugar, you can then, in following batches, slowly back off the sugared coconut till it’s all unsweetened!

For the best, sweetest flavor, the banana needs to be super, super ripe! The banana shown in the picture below was really not quite ripe enough.

Also, I usually use bulk coconut from the bulk bins at Whole Foods for this recipe; it’s cheaper than the pre-packaged stuff, and since you’re breaking it down very fine, the uneven nature of the bulk coconut works fine here.

This batch makes 8 cookies. You can easily halve or double it.

3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies Recipe

Printer-friendly docx: 3-ingredient coconut cookies recipe

coconut cookies recipe - ingredients


1 VERY ripe banana (the peeling should be almost completely dark; more than the one shown above)

2/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut (measured after shredding)

1/4 teasp. (or just a small splash) vanilla extract

optional: add chocolate chips and/or nuts, if those fit in with your diet


Preheat oven to 350 F.

If your coconut isn’t already finely shredded, break it down in a blender or food processor. It should be about the fineness of instant oatmeal (the stuff that comes in individual packets and cooks in 1 minute).

In a small bowl, mash the banana a little, add the vanilla, and continue to mash until thoroughly mashed. Then stir in the coconut till all is combined.

coconut cookies recipe - mid-mix

It should look like coarsely mashed potatoes. It may be a little wet, or fairly dry, depending on the banana.

coconut cookies recipe - raw mix

Using about 2 Tablespoons per cookie, scoop or roll them into balls and place on a parchment-line cookie sheet. Then, using a fork, gently mash them down crossways, like you would for traditional peanut butter cookies.

coconut cookies recipe - pressing the cookies

Place the cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 11 minutes. Check the cookies: they should be just starting to show bits of brown around the edges (left image), and if you gently flip one over, they should look like this on the bottom (right image):

coconut cookies recipe - half-done

Then put them back in the oven (not flipped over; still in original position), and change the oven setting from bake to broil.

Continue baking and watching carefully for another one to four minutes. If, after two minutes, they’re not browning on the top, you may move the sheet up to a higher rack, but watch them constantly with the door slightly open, because they can burn quickly. You’re just looking for them to brown in places, like this:

coconut cookie recipe - perfectly done!

There may be a few small too-done places, but those are easy to pick off.

Let cool just long enough to comfortably handle — and eat!

They can be kept in an airtight baggie or container, either at room temp or in the fridge. But unless I make a double batch, they never last that long in our house!

Like it? Pin it and like it, please! 🙂

3-ingredient coconut cookies - Paleo, grain-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, + egg-free! AIP, too.

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  1. I just made 3 versions of them and am quite happy with the results! In the first batch, I made as directed but added some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. For the next, I added almond extract instead of vanilla. In the last batch, I put in lime zest and fresh lime juice in place of the vanilla. Thanks for posting!

    1. Hmm… I don’t know what would have the same consistency as bananas, and taste good with coconut. Bananas are pretty unique among fruits. I haven’t tried it, but maybe really ripe peaches?? If you’re not needing to avoid eggs, you might include a little bit of egg or egg white in the mixture, to hold it together.

      If you experiment and find something that works, come back and let me know!

      1. Maybe chia seeds? I use them as an egg replacer. One tablespoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons filtered water. Mix an let stand for 5 minutes then add to your recipe. They work really well in pancakes & cupcakes/ cakes.

        1. I have no idea how plantains would work texture wise, but the cookies would definitely need some kind of sweetener. Have you looked through the other comments? Others have suggested various banana alternatives.

        1. Might, but I suspect you’d need to add some coconut flour to absorb the excess water content. Also, pumpkin isn’t sweet, so it would want something else for sweetness. Thanks for pitching in – experimenting is great!

    2. I hate cooked banana so I tried the chia seeds idea. I used 2 tablespoons of chia and 4 of water. It was okay, a little bland at first, but then the coconut slowly developed. I think next time I would still do the chia but with some form of sweetener to lift it a little more.

    3. I substituted 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 Tblsp cashew butter and 2 dates. Not sure if you nee the cashew butter but they came out great.

    4. 1/4 cup mashed banana (= 1/2 banana) could be replaced by pumpkin or sweet potato or 3 tablespoons applesauce (or pear sauce, apple butter, apricot puree or pureed prunes) plus one more tablespoon of water – all are said to bind. If you use pumpkin add, some pumpkin pie spices.

      1. Thanks for the great tips! I’m trying it with pumpkin purée, a little AIP pumpkin spice, and a touch of local raw honey right now! Crossing my fingers! ??

      2. It didn’t come out quite as sweet as I was hoping and a bit too delicate, so I brushed the tops with maple syrup and have them in the dehydrator. Fingers crossed!

    5. IMHO…Perhaps you could try using a lighter-fleshed variety of sweet potato, well-baked (baked in an Instant Pot would work nicely for moisture content) or steamed, then mashed? I like Japanese sweet potatoes. I would then add a small amount of coconut oil to the mashed potato because sweet potatoes differ in moisture than bananas. Certainly any sweet potato would work, but the mild and different flavor profile of the Japanese sweet potato is an excellent contender for substitution.
      Good luck!

    6. This question was posted along time ago, but I’ve used pumpkin puree in place of banana in muffins and they turned out great.

  2. Pingback: 20 AIP Snack Ideas
  3. Hi
    I have everything on hand and I am waiting for my banana to get very ripe and I will try this! I will try baking them in the toaster oven because my apt kitchen is not air conditioned.
    These are a nice treat I can have with my tea every day.
    Maybe some ground flax with some added water to get the consistency of smashed banana might keep it together for folks who cant have banana or to change it up.

    1. Yes, but the banana provides most of the sweetness, so you’d probably need to add some stevia and/or honey, too, and since there are so few ingredients, a change to either the coconut or the banana is going to significantly affect the outcome. I’d love to hear about any experiment results! 🙂

  4. Hi i’m planning on making these tonight but my bananas aarent ripe enough and accidently geabbed the unsweeted coconut when i wanted to sweeted one instead. is there something i can add to make my cookies sweet? i have agave nectar and sugar on standby if you could tell me how much of which i could possibly add. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. I would just mix them up then add a little sweetener, taste, and add more until it suits your taste. This is just a guess, but I would start with 1/2 t. sugar. You might want quite a bit more if you’re used to eating sweets. I don’t use agave, so I have no guess there.

  5. Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe—so excited I can make these (egg-free, nut-free paleo recipe)!!! And they look so delicious. Can’t wait to make these.

  6. I tried your recipe this morning, added roasted sliced almonds and sprinkled a little kosher salt on top of the cookies before I baked them. My husband will enjoy these I am sure of it, I did a taste test to make sure, Awesomeness!!

  7. My daughter is doing AIP and really misses her sweets. This recipe is so perfect and I can’t wait to make them tonight for her! I’m wondering, if I make a double batch, would they need to be refrigerated? Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I definitely pinned it 🙂


  8. Would love to make these but can’t figure out how to print the darn recipe! Is there a print button somewhere that I am missing?

  9. Made these tonight, and while they are delicious, I was thinking they would be more crispy. Mine came out very chewy. Did I make too big or maybe not cook long enough. I did add about 5 minutes to the time. Any suggestions on what I can add to dry them out a little bit?

  10. These are good! I’ve also made them in the evening and then put them in the dehydrator overnight. Super crunchy! And more portable that way. I packed some dehydrated ones in my purse and at the end of they day they were still completely intact. I’m whipping up a batch now and I plan to add some raisins and cinnamon to achieve a faux ‘oatmeal’ raisin cookie. Thanks for this recipe! It’s so good, so simple and could also go in so many directions.

    1. Hmm… I guess since it contains alcohol, that would be true. You can certainly make this without the vanilla. It’s been a while since I went off AIP, so I don’t remember how stringent you have to be about small amounts. I did find this note in “A Simple Guide to the AIP Diet” by Eileen Laird: “The one exception [to avoiding alcohol] is cooking; since most of the alcohol burns off under heat, we can use grain-free alcohol in recipes.” p. 24.

  11. This was really good. Think my banana was too ripe as it was a very moist mixture. Didn’t really crisp. Probably shoulda called oked longer but I was needing a snack????

    1. They brown, but they don’t really get crispy. They’re a moist, chewy cookie. One reader put them in her dehydrater and said that made them crispy.

  12. Hi, awesome recipe. I am looking forward to trying this today.
    Just wondering if these can be frozen?
    My daughter is allergic to egg and I need some treats that I can freeze in a container for her at daycare to have when the others are having treats that she cannot have.

    1. Oh, I just remembered that one reader put her cookies in her dehydrater. I know not everyone has one, but if you do, you might try that. And you can probably find them cheap at garage sales and thrift stores.

  13. Made these last night…my husband, who recently started eating paleo, loved them! Making another batch so that he has something yummy he can have as a treat after Thanksgiving dinner. They come together quick and easy!

  14. How long would you say a batch stays good for ? My 2 year old has fpies and I made your cookie for him for his very first cookie on thanksgiving. Since he is new to having any safe food it takes him a good deal of time to eat just one.

  15. Love these and so did my wife. I added a tablespoon of baking chocolate and flipped after 11 min. and baked for another 5 min. Yumm. Thanks

  16. I have just recently started an AIP diet to clear up and figure out what is causing my eczema. I have been doing really well with it, but sometimes you just want a little “something”. So I ran across these little gems and Oh. my. gosh! These are amazing. So easy to make and just the right something I needed. Mine needed to bake a little longer because they wouldn’t get brown, but with a little patience they turned out perfectly! These are perfect in the evening with a cup of Coconut White Tea. These will definitely be made again and again. And it was refreshing to have an untried recipe turn out the first time! Thank you!

    1. It would give you a completely different result, texture-wise, and I’m not sure how the flavor would be affected, or if they would hold together.

  17. Hello! These are absolutely delicious. I just went AIP last week and have been struggling with the lack of grains and bread. This seemed like a macaroon recipe to me, so I added a teaspoon of tapioca starch and crossed my fingers, in hopes of adding to add to how chewy they would be. Oh my gosh. This is the best thing I’ve had since starting the elimination phase. I’m in heaven. Thank you for your wonderful recipe!

    1. They can be kept in an airtight baggie or container, either at room temp or in the fridge. But unless I make a double batch, they never last that long in our house!

  18. I was looking on my Pinterest page and came across this recipe. Since we are all locked in for self isolation I decided to try it but I only had coconut flour which is a little denser, I feel, then using the dried coconut. So I added an egg. After the broiler part, I threw three dark chocolate chips on each cookie because why not? Chocolate goes great with bananas and coconut. I love that they are low sugar and gluten free. I made them a little smaller because this way I can eat more! Thanks for a great simple recipe.

  19. if you want them to taste even better push a little hole in the middle and cook the normal way, at the end of the 11 minutes put a small dollop of rasberry jam into the little hole, cook for another 3-5 mintues them eat while still warm, you will be in heaven

    1. I don’t have any specific info. The sugar content of bananas goes higher the riper they are, so I would be cautious about a diabetic eating too many at once, especially in the absence of protein. One or two after a meal might be tolerable. This is not medical advice: just my best guess. Thanks for the question.

  20. My second time making them and they are great for a treat if you are doing a special diet like we are. This time I cooked a little longer and added cinnamon. Also tried some mixed with almond butter and they came out great! Thank you – so hard to find recipes with no sugar at all!

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think the texture or the flavor would be as good.

      Commenter Mary Porod has tried that, though. You might look to see what she said.

  21. I’m very grateful for creative folks who make AIP easier as a lifestyle. I read all the comments and put mine in a dehydrator because I discovered I need a better food processor and as a result they came out of the oven too moist. My coconut flakes weren’t small enough. I added sea salt, a smidge of cinnamon and ground cloves. ( AIP has taught me ground cloves is an underutilized spice) The result was delicious. I’ll add pumpkin this fall. I want to try the suggestion of lemon or lime, maybe even orange zest as a more tropical version. Thank you!

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