Sesame Almond Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Hi folks! Well I couldn’t resist. I had to think up a second recipe for Sophistimom’s and Challenge Dairy’s shortbread cookie contest. I was inspired to do a sort of east-meets-west cookie this time around. After some quick brainstorming, the ideas that I kept circling around back to were of Chinese sesame seed cookies and those pink box almond cookies. Baked sesame seeds have such a unique, nutty, and oily flavor to them that I felt would work great in a shortbread.

At the last minute, I decided to also throw in a little bit of unsweetened flake coconut for texture. I had to tinker with the ratios a little bit, but I think I landed on a great combination. These cookies are buttery, but the sesame seeds keep them from being overly rich. The combination of sesame seeds and almond meal create an amazingly nutty flavor, but without the nuts. (I’m not a fan of whole nuts in baked goods, unless they’re pecans, hehe.) Maybe this would be a great tea cookie for jasmine or oolong tea.

I used white sesame seeds for this recipe because that’s what I had on hand, but using whole black sesame seeds would probably yield some stunning looking shortbread I bet!

Sesame Almond Coconut Shortbread Cookies (half recipe, makes 8 wedges) | Adapted from Sophistimom
(Original recipe in black, my additions in red)


  • 1 stick butter + 1 tablespoon, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame powder (grind sesame seeds in a coffee or spice grinder)
  • 2 tablespoons whole sesame seeds, white or black
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal (or grind up whole almonds, with or without skin)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flake


  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Mix together flour, sesame powder and seeds, almond, and coconut.
  3. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Press one teaspoon into a 9-inch round cake or springform pan.
  6. Bake approximately 30 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown.
  7. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, then score the shortbread and loosen its edges from the sides of the pan.
  8. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cooling rack to cool completely.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve got a batch in the oven right now, though I’ve altered it as follows (to adhere to my no white flour/no white sugar diet)…

    – Subbed chickpea flour and a little rice flour for the all-purpose flour
    – Subbed powdered honey for the sugar
    – Added a fair amount of orange zest and chopped almonds
    – Subbed out 1/2 of the butter for coconut oil
    – Drizzled date syrup over the top

    Will let you know how it turns out! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Wow, let me know how it turned out!

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