Elise’s Piñata Coconut Cookies

In the US, this weekend marks the beginning of summer.  The pools open, school gets out, and its time to throw a FIESTA! For a student event we had a few weeks ago, I thought we could have a little Mexican flare.  (Warning: the food for this event was not authentic but rather inspired by Mexico.  I’m still working on my cooking abilities so you’ll have to forgive.) For decorations, a good old fashion sombrero served as our chip container and then some homemade tissue flowers gave a little more color to the table.  Our menu included fresh watermelon (for $.29 a pound, I couldn’t refuse), individual Mexican layer dip, and Elise’s Piñata Coconut Cookies.

Note on the piñata cookies: So everyone has been raving about these Piñata Cookies from Project Denneler on Pinterest, blogs, etc.  They have real treats inside!

I 100% agree that these cookies look amazing but I ran into several problems when attempting to make them: 1) they take a TON of dough, 2) they take a TON of time, and 3) I am just not this skilled at baking yet.

Here is my much easier version of piñata cookies:



  • 1 package Pillsbury sugar cookie refrigerator dough (or your own sugar cookie recipe)
  • 1 can vanilla icing
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Food coloring


  1. Roll out Pillsbury dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out donkey shapes (our in my case, cut out giraffe shapes and mold into donkeys)
  2. Bake according to directions
  3. Divide coconut into four bowl and stir in 3-4 drops of different food coloring into each bowl – I did red, blue, yellow, and orange
  4. Once cookies are cool, spread vanilla icing and then sprinkle coconut in lines to give the striped look

 They aren’t quite as cute as above but they do the trick…and tasty too!


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