Coconut Pineapple Thumbprint Cookies: From sundae to everyday treat

A few years ago here in town we had an ice cream stand called the Udder Delight. Run by a great guy named John and his family, it featured homemade ice cream in wonderfully different flavors; a great expanse of green lawn with pink picnic tables, and twinkling white lights in the trees in the evenings.

No matter what time of day you went, you were sure to run into friends out for a treat, too, and have a good old chin-wag along with your root beer float or sundae.

My husband is a tried and true peppermint stick ice cream fan, but I liked to experiment with many of the different options John had to offer. As soon as the weather started to warm up (in Vermont that’s anything over 40°F), I started thinking about a few of his specials. The “Freezer Queen for a Day” sundae, Don’s Purple Cow Float, and the Tropical Sundae.

The Tropical was one of my all-time favorites. Coconut ice cream, pineapple, whipped cream, and toasted coconut topping. It tasted like the Caribbean in a glass, like all the goodness of summer in one spoonful.

These days I can’t go to the Udder Delight** any longer; but I can go to my kitchen and make something that has all the tastes of my favorite sundae, any time of year. It all starts with a simple mix and a handful of ingredients. Let’s make Coconut Pineapple Thumbprint Cookies.

**Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what became of John and the Udder Delight at the end of this post.

3-coconut pineapple thumbprints

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

In a large bowl combine one box of King Arthur Flour Coconut Macaroon Cookie Mix. Add 1/2 cup diced dried pineapple, 1/4 cup pineapple ice cream topping, and 1/2 cup boiling water.

Mix until well combined and the dough is quite wet, but not dripping or soggy.

Shape into balls the size of large walnuts, and roll in toasted coconut. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and gently press a 1″ depression in the center of each with your thumb or fingers. These cookies don’t spread much so you can place them closer together on the sheet.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes.


The edges will be deep golden brown, and the center depressions will be paler, a perfect combination of crisp and chewy.

Allow the cookies to cool completely while you make the coconut filling. This is the creamy part that mimics the coconut ice cream in the original sundae.

Combine 1/3 cup shortening, 1/4 cup coconut milk powder, 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavor, 1 cup  confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness. The mixture should be thick, like the fondant filling in a chocolate. You can add a very little bit of milk or water if it’s too thick to pipe.

Place the filling in a piping bag or large zip-top bag with the corner snipped off.


Fill the thumbprint of each cookie with about 1 tablespoon of filling.

You’re now ready to serve the cookies with a big glass of cold milk, or cup of hot tea.


And now for the sad story of John and the Udder Delight.

Oh, wait – it’s not sad at all! John sold the business to a former student of mine who keeps it running all summer long; and John went to work for a great company.

Yep, that’s right… John is now a happy King Arthur Flour employee-owner, and we still see each other often.

And yes, we still talk about ice cream!

Tell me about your favorite ice cream shop. Have you ever created a special treat based on your favorite flavors? Inquiring baking minds want to know!

Please make, rate and review our recipe for Coconut Pineapple Thumbprint Cookies

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MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. AnneMarie

    A place in the early 80s called GD Ritzys. It made high butterfat ice cream and bragged about that fact. It made modern ice creams look like diet food. It was so rich and decadent, unbelievable. No other cookies and cream ice cream could beat it, not even today. Long gone now though, tbey too experimented with wild and crazy flavours, but nothing more memorable than their chocolate cookies and cream.

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Ah, that sounds wonderful. I’m on a winter ice cream kick right now, I need to get some heavy cream STAT! ~ MJ

  2. beenz

    This looks fantastic. Coconut Macaroons are my favorite kind of cookie. Unfortunately I live in Hong Kong and if I were to pay shipping costs for the ingredients from King Arthur, I might as well be eating Beluga Caviar or truffles. Are there any substitutions I can make?

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      I haven’t tried it, but I think if you made a classic coconut macaroon recipe and stirred in the dried pineapple it would not be too different. Finding coconut milk powder should be fairly easy where you are, so the filling should be a snap. ~ MJ

  3. Paul from Ohio

    What a lovely happy ending to your story. I wish our favorite local Chicago ice cream had had a happy ending, but didn’t: Valas. Made the very best ever then or since – HAND-PACKED Vanilla Fudge. They were ahead of their time with their quality, generous amount of thick dark fudge, as well as their flavors. Quoting from the obituary: Chuck Olin was responsible for Vala’s Ice Cream, which was a hand-packed premium product with exotic flavors that anticipated Ben & Jerry’s by twenty years. Some Chicagoans will remember the Peter Max style purple, pink and black packaging of “the world’s most expensive ice cream.”

  4. waikikirie

    There’s a place in town that’s run by the local diary (I believe…..) Open during the warm winter months only. I am boring. Always order chocolate ice when I’m out, but LOVE my homemade Coffee and Rum Raisin. The DH’s fave is strawberry but will venture out when it come to ice cream. One time we went in and they had Blueberry. DH loved it some much, when back a few days later and they didn’t have it. They use what’s fresh and available. No Blueberries that day so I think she settled for peach.

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      My honey is definitely a fruit guy too, and I’m all over the chocolate blends most of the time. Sounds like we should get together from a frosty frozen fun day! ~ MJ

    2. waikikirie

      Name the time and place, my sister-from-a-different-mister!!!! Would love to “hang” with ya!!!

    3. waikikirie

      Name the time and the place, “my-sister-from-a-different-mister”, and I’ll be there…..spoons and homemade ice at the ready…..teehee….xooxoxxoxo

  5. Carol

    I would love to make these cookies but I try and bake from scratch, not using mixes. Is this cookie more like a shortbread or more like a macaroon? They look great. Oh! BTW, We used to go to Wells Maine on vacation and we would always stop at “Big Daddy’s”. I do not know if it is still in business. Yum!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This recipe is definitely more like a macaroon in taste and texture, happy baking! Jon@KAF

    2. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Hi Carol,
      These are definitely macaroon, not shortbread. Hope that’s what you’re looking for. Our Maine ice cream haunt was Brown’s up by Nubble Light. Best Mint Chip anywhere! ~ MJ

    3. Susan

      Oh, yes! Big Daddy’s is definitely still in business and still delicious. It’s open only seasonally, so it’s our family’s much anticipated summer treat to stop there as often as we can.

  6. Margy

    During the summer you can do the Maryland Ice Cream Trail which covers 8 local creameries/farms that make ice cream with their own products. You get a “passport”, get it stamped at each place, and submit it for a drawing at the end of the season. And there are other farms making ice cream that aren’t on the Trail. Nothing like buying ice cream where the cows are mooing their approval just outside the door!

    1. Nina

      As a native Marylander, I remember Delvale’s ice cream, and Abbot’s. Both of them were really delicious. My favorite was the vanilla with the little specks in it. Perfect over fresh peaches, just-picked blackberries, or by itself.

      Now we live in Idaho, and in Idaho Falls there is Reed’s Dairy. They have a Holstein herd, and make the most wonderful ice cream. They sell it year around, regardless of the temperature outside. If you visit here at Christmas, you’d want to try the Eggnog. In our freezer right now is Peppermint Chocolate Chip. We finished off the Grasshopper. We also buy their heavy whipping cream, and it’s just plain sublime. Reed’s also has a “petting zoo” consisting of ponies and calves. They are all so cute!

  7. Margy

    Last summer it ran from May 22-Sept 9. You can find some wild and unexpected flavors. My favorite was maple bacon–delicious!

  8. Amy

    I can’t help but always get something different at good, local ice cream shops, but I have very fond memories of picking up little half-pint cartons of the most lovely locally made passion fruit-rose petal sorbet from a particular grocery store near where my grandmother used to live. Passion fruit-rose petal pavlova sounds like it would work pretty well, and I’m thinking about adding pistachios on top. Thanks for the idea!

  9. mdlrvrmuncher

    In North Jersey there was a family chain called Gruning’s. There were 5, maybe 6. The best location was in the South Mountain area of South Orange. It had a view of the Manhattan skyline that was stunning. And it was never busy. Alas, they sold that property in the late 70s and shortly thereafter the chain closed. They had peach ice cream that 40 years later, I still define as the definition of ice cream. That comes from a guy who has eaten ice cream on three continents. I wince just thinking about it.

    1. PJ Hamel

      Interesting, the peach ice cream made by Four Seas in Centerville, Mass. (Cape Cod) to me is THE BEST ice cream ever. Wonder what it is about peach ice cream that makes it so darned good? Love the semi-frozen bits of fruit – that’s one thing, for sure… Glad we could bring back old memories for you. PJH

  10. sallyeyring

    I NEVER buy mixes. It’s too much fun to bake from scratch! So, if I don’t buy mixes, how can I make these cookies?

  11. Phyllis

    I live in Atlanta, but my favorite ice cream shop is in Buffalo, NY! Antionette’s makes their ice cream the old-fashioned way with real ingredients. I remember they put the butter-fat percentage on the black board, but don’t know if they still do that! They also make the best sponge candy, which is something you simply cannot buy in the South (although they do ship). Fun, fun times with simply indulgent foods!

    1. PJ Hamel

      Ah, food memories… they’re the best, Phyllis, right? You’re probably right in thinking Antoinette’s may not list their butterfat content anymore – people have become so fat- and calorie-conscious, they probably don’t want to know! 🙂 Thanks for sharing here – PJH

  12. Liz from Ocean County, NJ

    Many years ago we had a place called Buxton’s in Jamesburg (Monroe Township), NJ. I think it was associated with their dairy business. It was my favorite destination for practice driving when I got my permit. Their ice cream was really good but what I remember most is that they had the BEST fresh whipped cream. It was so good I would order a sundae and ask them to put just one scoop of ice cream and fill the rest of the dish with the whipped cream. They had 1 or 2 other locations but they all closed up maybe in the late 80’s.

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      The dough freezes very well, but the cookies can get a bit soggy if frozen. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This recipe uses a coconut macaroon cookie mix (item 3912). We haven’t tested this, but you might try the recipe with a GF macaroon cookie mix and use the flavors we did to get the pineapple variation. Happy GF Baking – Irene@KAF

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