Oatmeal-Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

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These chewy Oatmeal-Coconut cookies rate “OUTSTANDING” for appearance and taste. A boxed cake mix makes them quick and easy to mix-up rating a “RELAXED” for no-stress preparation.

There’s just something about oatmeal cookies! They just seem so homey and so comforting. They also feel “wholesome,” almost healthy (emphasis on “almost” – after all, they are cookies!). Oatmeal raisin cookies are the traditional version. However, I have a bunch of coconut lovers in my world, so I switched it up and swapped out the raisins for coconut and TA-DA, cookie perfection! While these chubby, chewy cookies look like they took all day to bake, thanks to my favorite secret ingredient, a boxed cake mix, they take only minutes to mix up and get into the oven. These cookies are a perfect cooking project for young bakers and non-bakers!

image of the ingredients

For these cookies, I used a spice cake mix, but a yellow cake mix works too. I love cake box cookies! The box mix does most of the heavy lifting, leaving room for creativity with the add-ins, like oatmeal, coconut, and walnuts. The nice thing about cake mix is that it’s frequently on sale. My grocery store offers a buy one/get one (BOGO) deal on some brand of cake mix at least 1-2 times a month. I won’t pay full price for a cake mix. I make a point of stocking up when they are on sale. I can make cookies out of any flavor cake mix! And, btw, I sometimes even make cakes with it!

Mixing bowl with creamed sugar and fats
Cream the brown sugar and butter and shortening.

These cookies are a little more involved than my usual cake mix cookie recipes. This recipe calls for both butter AND shortening (like Crisco). Butter adds a rich taste but causes the cookies to spread too flat. Shortening, while flavorless, makes baked goods softer, more tender, and “taller.” Using half butter and half shortening is the perfect combination. Using an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar with fats (butter and shortening). Creaming is a culinary term that means mixing butter/shortening and sugar together at a moderately high speed until fluffy.  

Bowl with dry ingredients added to cream mixture
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture

Add the cake mix, water, cinnamon, and egg mixing on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. 

Spoon stirring in oatmeal, coconut and walnuts
Stir in oatmeal, coconut, and walnuts

With a spoon, stir in oats, coconut, and nuts. 

Cookie dough on baking pan
Drop cookies onto a baking sheet/pan and bake for 9-12 minutes

Using a cookie scoop or rounded spoon, drop dough about 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet/pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. In a preheated oven, bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes (centers will be soft.) Cool 2 minutes; remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack.

cookies cooing on wire rack
Transfer to a wire rack to fully cool

I could offer serving suggestions, but frankly, these cookies will be gone so fast that there’s no point. Just enjoy!


Oatmeal-Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Dessert, SnacksDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Baking Time



Chewy oatmeal and sweet coconut in a chubby spicy cookie made in minutes with a box of cake mix.


  • 1 box spice cake mix

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened

  • ½ cup shortening

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, if desired


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (350°F). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the brown sugar, butter, and shortening until fluffy. Add cake mix, water, cinnamon, and egg and beat on medium speed for another minute until well combined. Using a mixing spoon, stir in the oatmeal, coconut, and nuts.
  • Using a cookie scoop or rounded spoon drop dough by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet/pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Bake 9 to 12 minutes (centers will be soft). Cool 2 minutes; remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Store covered.


  • Cake mix substitution: Yellow cake mix will also work.
  • Oatmeal-Rasin Cookies: Substitute raisins for the coconut.

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