The Best Soft and Chewy Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies — You won’t miss the butter at all in these coconut oil chocolate chip cookies! They’re so soft and ever so slightly chewy. Dangerously good!  

stack of Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ultra Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies … Without Butter!

If you think cookies made without any butter mean making a sacrifice in the taste department, think again. No butter, no problem. You definitely won’t miss it.

These coconut oil chocolate chip cookies are very similar to my favorite Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I loved them and wanted to see what would happen if I omitted all the butter and replaced it with coconut oil.

The results? Big success. It’s hard for me to say which cookie is ‘better.’ They’re similar, yet different, and both will leave you with your hand caught way too many times in the cookie jar.

Both versions are insanely soft and moist, with slight chewiness around the edges and at the base. There’s nothing crispy or crunchy about them, although you could bake the cookies longer if you’re looking for crunchier cookies.

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies on countertop

Ingredients in Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

For these seriously addicting chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil, you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Melted coconut oil
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips

How Does Swapping Butter for Coconut Oil Affect a Cookie’s Texture?

I find in general that cookies made with coconut oil are heavier, denser, and not as light as those made with butter.

It’s a function of oil versus butter; oil is just denser and heavier. It’s not a bad thing, but if you want a light, delicate, airy cookie, these aren’t that.

These chocolate chip cookies that are made without butter are wonderfully weighty and thick so you can really sink your teeth into the pillowy soft interiors dripping with chocolate!

stack of Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies with top cookie broken in two

How to Make Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Making chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil instead of butter is just as quick and easy! Here’s a look at how the no-butter chocolate chip cookies are made:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined.
  2. Add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined.
  3. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Using either a large cookie scoop or your hands, form 12 equal-sized balls.
  5. Chill the dough before baking. It’s absolutely crucial for thick, puffy, full cookies. If you bake with warm dough, your cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter and the coconut oil will render them oil puddles rather than cookies.
  6. Once chilled, transfer the cookie dough balls to a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden around the edges.

After getting the dough to the point where you add the dry ingredients, it’s super weird looking and does not look like ‘dough’. It’s shaggy and looks like shredded Play-Doh bits piled loosely in the bottom of a bowl. It’s both oily and dry, and you’ll think something is horribly wrong, but it’s fine.

If your dough is absolutely not coming together, and is fluffy, fuzzy, or too dry, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil at a time until it comes together. Do this as a last resort because it can make the dough oily.

stack of Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies oozing melted chocolate

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Cookies Taste Like Coconut?

The coconut oil chocolate chip cookies do NOT taste strongly of coconut. If you’re thinking piña colada, Hawaiian Tropic, tropical vacation, Seven Layer Bars type of in-your-face coconut flavor, no, not at all. It’s very subtle.

If anything, I think coconut oil creates cookies that taste a bit sweeter than butter-based cookies.

Do I Have to Use Pudding Mix? 

Yes, the instant vanilla pudding mix is a must in this recipe! You want to get the instant mix, not the cook and serve kind (and also don’t get sugar-free).

You don’t actually make the pudding according to package instructions, you just add it to the cookie dough and treat it like a dry ingredient. 

Can I Use Vegetable Oil in This Recipe? 

Without having tried it myself, I can’t say for sure. Like I said, I really love the subtle flavor the coconut oil adds to these cookies, so use it if you can. 

Can I Chill the Dough and Then Form the Cookies? 

I don’t recommend doing that since the dough becomes hard as a rock once chilled. It’s really hard to shape cookie dough once it’s chilled, so follow the recipe instructions as I’ve written them for best results. 

Can the All-Purpose Flour Be Substituted?

I’ve never made these no-butter chocolate chip cookies with any flour but all-purpose, so I can’t speak to how well these will turn out if you use a gluten-free flour or whole wheat.

I definitely don’t recommend using coconut flour in this recipe, as it acts like a sponge and will make the dough incredibly dry. 

three coconut oil cookies stacked on top of each other

Tips for Making Coconut Oil Cookies

Measuring the coconut oil

Your coconut oil MUST be liquid before you measure it out. Coconut oil becomes liquid when it’s warm, so you may need to heat yours for a few seconds in the microwave to get it to the right consistency. 

Shaping the cookie dough balls

When shaping the cookie dough into balls, you need to compress and compact the dough by squeezing it and it’ll come together. Don’t be afraid to really squeeze it!

As a bonus, your hands will be wonderfully moisturized from the coconut oil and it’s some of the best raw cookie dough I’ve ever had. I’ve sampled tons and I’m alive.

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie

Bake time

Be careful not to over bake these cookies. They’ll likely still be pale and glossy in the very center when you take them out of the oven, but that’s okay!

I baked the cookies for 11 minutes, but if you choose to make smaller cookies, you’ll need to bake for less time. How much less? I don’t know.

The secret to these cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked, which I think is the secret to most good cookies. 

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies — You won't miss the butter at all in these coconut oil chocolate chip cookies! They're so soft and ever so slightly chewy. Dangerously good!  

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4.50 from 8 votes

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Averie Sunshine
You won't miss the butter at all in these coconut oil chocolate chip cookies! They're so soft and ever so slightly chewy. Dangerously good!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 26 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
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Ingredients  

  • ¾ cup melted coconut oil, in liquid state, measured like you measure canola, olive, etc. oil
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix, not sugar-free and not ‘cook & serve’, no substitutions
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • one-12 ounce bag, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s)

Instructions 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the oil, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  • Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Mixture will look shaggy and like shredded Play-Doh bits, and is both oily and dry; this is okay.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 12 equal-sized mounds of dough by compressing, compacting, and squeezing until the dough comes together; don’t be afraid to really squeeze it.*
  • Place mounds on a large plate or tray, flatten slightly (when properly chilled, cookies don’t flatten much while baking so flatten them now), cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading. Make sure the cookies are in the exact shape you want them before chilling, because it’s exceedingly difficult to re-shape them after chilling.
  • Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
  • Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Notes

*If your dough is absolutely not coming together, and is fluffy, fuzzy, or seemingly too dry, drizzle in one tablespoon of coconut oil at a time until it comes together. Do this as a last resort because it can make the dough oily in a hurry. The chips are prone to falling out, but just keep pushing them back in.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 442kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 284mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 41g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.50 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. Question about the instant pudding: the large boxes are 1.5 oz, but your recipe calls for 3.5 oz which is almost three boxes.

    Just want to make sure this is correct?

    Thank you for your time. I’m excited to try these.

    Gail

    1. The “normal” boxes are definitely about 3.5 oz. Sometimes like in chocolate, vanilla, and really popular flavors they make an even bigger size that’s in the 4.5 to 5 oz range but for this recipe you want a 3.5 oz box. Or the equivalent of that. Whatever you need to buy to get 3.5 ounces.

  2. these cookies are currently chilling in my fridge and my shoulders and arms are killing me lol.. it took some muscles making those chips stay intact.. can’t wait to try it :)

  3. Why does it matter to not use sugar free pudding mix? I try to make recipes as healthy as possible so I am curious what using the sugar free one would do differently. Thanks!

  4. I tried these last week and they turned out super yummy!  I would like to use this recipe as a basis for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I love that this recipe uses coconut oil and vanilla pudding and I think the addition of oats will be even better- or at least I will feel less guilty about eating them! Do you have any recommendations on how to adapt the dry ingredients to fit in oatmeal?  Not sure if the other ingredients will need adjusting as well.  Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried so can’t say for sure but I’d go with about 3/4 c oats and 1 1/4 cup flour. A total guess but that’s a starting point that I would try. As you’re mixing the dough up, use your judgment about if it’s too thin/thick etc and adapt as needed.

  5. I am sorry to say these are a pain in the you know what to make. The dough was so loose, it was very hard to get them to stay together. I didn’t want to add more oil for fear they would have been too greasy. I don’t think I will be making these again.

    1. I’m sorry that they were harder than you expected to make. Baking with coconut oil is different than butter with regard to how the dough behaves. I don’t think your dough needed more oil if it was already loose, perhaps more flour to bind it. Thanks for trying the recipe.

      1. Hi Averie, thanks so much for responding to my comment. I have never baked with coconut oil so I guess I need some practice :-) I think I will try them again but add more coconut oil. If you know of any websites that talk about baking with coconut oil can you let me know. By the way, I love your blog!

      2. I have baked extensively with coconut oil over the years and practice makes perfect. Not all brands behave the same and you just have to kind of play around with things. I don’t scour the internet anymore for coconut oil baking tips because I’ve learned through trial and error but I’m sure a google search will pull up tons!

  6. Can I refrigerate the dough or freeze in in a big mass, THEn form and  bake cookies later? Have u ever done so? have u ever made bars of t his dough?

  7. Averie – Continue to love your site and your recipes . . . I followed this recipe pretty much perfectly, but I found that the dough was so dry that some of them fell apart in the refrigerator and a few others fell apart while baking.  Any thoughts?  I can’t imagine what I did differently from your recipe . . .

    1. Two things come to mind right away…slightly over-measuring your flour (many people do, this is common and use a lighter hand in the future; barely toss it in the measuring cup rather than hard-scooping it out like digging out sand for a sandcastle. Toss it in, like you’re playing ring toss, with flour. Do that with most all baking and across the board, less flour = better results, generally speaking but I digress).

      Secondly, the amount of oily-ness in coconut oil can vary widely! Some kinds are very gloppy, oily, sloppy. And others are much less so and more ‘dry’. Mine may have just been more goopy and oily than yours and so given your climate, brand, etc. just use a tbsp or two more next time, or play it by ear judging how the dough is coming together. Baking with coconut oil does have some variables that generally you don’t have with a stick of butter but once you kind of get the gist, it’s great!

      Keep me posted how things pan out!

  8. Hi Averie,
    I have made a few of your cookie recipes and love them. However I’m finding difficulty in finding the bake time for cookies that I have frozen. What is the bake time for cookies that have been stored in the freezer?

    1. It really depends on how frozen they are, like if they’ve been in there months and months or just a few days or what. And also the size of the dough mounds and your oven, so many variables. I take the frozen dough of of the freezer, place on baking sheets, preheat my oven (that takes about 7 minutes) and then bake them – usually 1 minute more than if the dough isn’t frozen, but sometimes longer, you just have to play it by ear.

  9. Averie,

    What are you using for your recipe builder?! I have a similar recipe, but I have never posted it because I can’t figure out how to adjust the total time for chilling… :(

    I will be making your recipe soon to learn from your skills! I love all your cookie recipes… they are the best! I only make cookies from your site :)

    Hilary

    1. Recipe builder? I just do what I think/know/suspect will work when I start developing cookie recipes based on things I’ve already made as well as some common sense in the kitchen and usually can get pretty close to my intended goal the first time around these days, after years of trial and error and practice.

      Glad you love my cookies!

  10. I made these for my family and they were absolutely amazing! I doubled the batch to make 24 cookies and used about 1/2 a cup less of chocolate chips since I’m not a giant chocolate chip fan and they were delicious. I was also in a rush to make these so I chilled them in the freezer for only 15 minutes but it obviously didn’t have much of an effect on the cookies. Definitely bookmarking this recipe for future references.

    1. Glad they came out great and that you were able to shortcut things with a quick 15 min freezer chilling! Happy you love the cookies!

  11. Hi Averie! I love your website and have tried lots of your baked goods with great success. I just tried this recipe, however, and the dough is so crumbly it barely forms a ball! I tried baking them anyway and they’re good but not at all gooey like the picture. The only change I made was using coconut flour instead of regular flour. Do you have any tips? Was the flour substitution a bad idea? Thank you!

    1. coconut flour instead of regular flour = YES THAT WAS A HORRIBLE IDEA to be blunt!! Eek! Coconut flour is a SPONGE! It soaks up every last drip and trace of moisture and absolutely, without a doubt, can never be substituted for recipes that call for AP flour unless you are very experienced in working with it, at which point you have to mix tiny amounts of coconut flour with AP flour, for a combo, but you’d never bake anything with JUST coconut flour. And in the case of these cookies, don’t even go there at all.

      Try again, follow the recipe as I wrote it, and your cookies will be perfect!