These delicious Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies create the perfect balance between sweet, salty, and tangy. Buttery soft cookies have a surprisingly tart key lime twist with a hint of coconut and are filled with sweet white chocolate chips and plenty of salty, crunchy macadamia nuts. A true tropical summer treat.
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Why You'll Love These White Chocolate Key Lime Cookies
These delicious key lime cookies will make you think of tropical islands complete with the flavors of key lime and coconut.
Decadently rich with chunks of white chocolate and crunchy macadamia nuts.
Buttery soft cookies flavored with white chocolate will just melt in your mouth.
What is the difference between lime and key lime?
If you've never seen a key lime, they are much smaller than a regular Persian lime, about the size of a golf ball. Key limes have a stronger, more aromatic flavor and are a bit more tart. Oh, and utterly delicious! So let's hear it for key limes!
Here's a handy list of what you'll need for making white chocolate chip cookies. Full info and exact measurements are in the recipe card below.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- White granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Key limes for the juice and zest
- White chocolate - bars for chunks or chips
- Sweetened coconut flakes
- Macadamia nuts
How to Make Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Place butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add key lime juice.
- Beat until smooth and well combined. Continue beating while adding egg and lime zest.
- Beat until mixed.
- Slowly add flour with mixer at lower speed.
- Mix until all is combined.
- Place white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of shortening in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt in the microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
- Pour into cookie dough.
- Add chopped macadamia nuts, white chocolate chunks or chips, and coconut.
- Stir until evenly distributed.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets. I like to form a ball with my hand so the cookies come out more uniform.
- Bake in a 375°F oven for 9-111 minutes or until they just start to brown around the edges. They should be a nice light brown color.
Let cool on cookie sheets for about 10 minutes then place on wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. They will keep for about 1 week on the counter although they disappear long before that!
- When zesting limes, only zest the outer green layer. The white pith under it is bitter.
- Use your fingers to rub the key lime zest into the white granulated sugar to release the oils and give the cookies extra flavor.
- Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
- If key limes are not available, you can use regular limes instead.
- Don't overmix the dough which can lead to tough cookies.
- Use a cookie scoop to ensure the cookies are the same size.
- Be careful not to overbake the cookies. They should be just golden around the edges.
- Extra Flavoring - Add ½ teaspoon of key lime extract.
- Lemon Lime - Substitute half of the lime zest and juice with lemon zest and juice.
- Orange - Substitute the key lime with orange.
- Nuts - Substitute the macadamia nuts with almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
Glazed, Frosted, or Sandwich Cookies
Glazed Cookies - Make key lime glaze and drizzle it over the cookies. To make the glaze, combine 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of key lime zest, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of key lime juice (just enough juice for a thick consistency).
Frosted Cookies - Make key lime white chocolate buttercream frosting and spread it on top of the cookies. Sprinkle coconut flakes and finely chopped macadamia nuts on top. To make the frosting, use a mixer to combine ½ cup of softened butter, ½ teaspoon key lime zest, 2½ cups of powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of key lime juice.
Sandwich Cookies - Make key lime white chocolate buttercream frosting and use it to sandwich 2 cookies together.
Make Ahead Dough
You can make the dough in advance and freeze it. Instead of baking the cookies, put the cookie sheet with the dough balls in the freezer until frozen. Transfer the frozen dough balls to a freezer-safe container or plastic freezer bag. Freeze the dough for up to 3 months. You can thaw it in the fridge overnight or bake the frozen dough.
When ready to bake the cookies, simply bake as directed. Add a minute or two if baking frozen dough.
How to Store and Freeze
Storing: Allow the cookies to cool then transfer them to an airtight container or plastic ziptop bag. Store the cookies at room temperature for up to 6-7 days or in the refrigerator for up to 8-10 days.
Freezing: Allow the cookies to cool then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or plastic freezer bag. Freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature.
More Summer Desserts
Find lots of easy recipes for cookies right here on 2CM!
Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅜ cup butter
- ⅜ cup + 1 teaspoon shortening, divided
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons key lime juice
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons key lime zest
- 12 oz white chocolate, divided & coarsely chopped (bars work better than chips)
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 7 oz can or 1-½ cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (flour - salt).
- Using your electric mixer, cream butter, ⅜ cup shortening, sugars, vanilla and key lime juice together until smooth and well combined.
- Continue beating while you add in egg and zest.
- Turn mixer lower and slowly add in dry ingredients. Mixing in thoroughly.
- Melt 4-oz of white chocolate with 1 teaspoon shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30-second increments, stirring in-between, until smooth.
- Add melted chocolate to batter and blend.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in white chocolate chunks, coconut and macadamia nuts.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop our dough, roll into ball with hands, and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookie starts to brown around the outside edges. If you like a little crisper cookie, bake for the longer time.
- Let cool on cookie sheets for 10-15 minutes then remove with spatula and place on wire racks to finish cooling.
This post has been updated with new photos, more tips and tricks, and step-by-step directions to help you make the best cookies possible. It was first published on February 15, 2016.