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Classic coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate are for every coconut lover. These cookies are soft and chewy in the center with crisp exteriors.

coconut macaroons on wire rack

This recipe is made with 7 simple ingredients and doesn’t require sweetened condensed milk. It’s a go-to that will quickly become your favorite.

Coconut macaroons are made with egg whites, sugar, and shredded coconut. Some recipes call for vanilla, almond, or other extracts.

My version uses both vanilla and almond extracts for a deeper flavor profile. The almond is subtle and adds just a little something extra.

The bottoms of each cookie are dipped in melted chocolate but this is completely optional. You can also drizzle the chocolate over the top to make them look prettier.

The proper color is debatable, though. I like mine to be in between a snowy-white and toasted golden color.

The toastier they are, the more the coconut flavor shines through. It’s also a nice texture contrast – crunchy exteriors with chewy centers.

Bake them a little longer than the recipe calls for if you want more of a golden brown color.

After you’ve made these cookies, give my toasted coconut white chocolate chip cookies and coconut cookies try!

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

What is a coconut macaroon

Some people confuse macarons and macaroons. While they both contain egg whites and sugar, They are vastly different.

Macarons are a delicate meringue-based cookie that is made with a variety of flavors and fillings.

But macaroons are densely textured with coconut, moist and sweet, and often dipped in chocolate. Sometimes slivered almonds are pressed into the tops.

Are coconut macaroons gluten-free?

There is no wheat in coconut macaroons which means they are 100% gluten-free. They are a favorite for people observing Passover and those who avoid gluten.


Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make my classic coconut macaroon recipe. Just 7 simple ingredients is all you need.

  • Egg whites: Egg whites will act as the “glue” to hold the cookies together. Make sure they are at room temperature before you use them.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is mixed with the egg whites.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt is added for a balanced flavor.
  • Vanilla extract and almond extract: You can use both or only one. I prefer both extracts for a deeper flavor profile.
  • Shredded coconut: It’s important to use unsweetened coconut that is finely shredded.

Can I use sweetened coconut?

My recipe will not work with sweetened coconut or flaked coconut. The coconut must be unsweetened and finely shredded.

Can I make macaroons without eggs?

Macaroons can be made without eggs. Some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk in place of the egg whites and sugar. But, you need the egg whites for my recipe.

If you can’t eat eggs, Google a recipe for “eggless coconut macarons”. There are a ton of options online.

classic macaroons with chocolate bottoms on parchment paper

Tools needed

This recipe doesn’t require a ton of equipment which is one reason I like it.

  • Mixing bow: You need 2 mixing bowls. One for the cookie batter and one for the melted chocolate.
  • Hand mixer: An electric hand mixer is best for mixing the egg whites and sugar together.
  • Scoop: A small 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop is what I used to portion the batter.
  • Baking pan: The recipe yields about 21 cookies so you’ll need two baking sheets.
  • Silicone spatula: A silicone spatula works best for folding the coconut into the egg white mixture.

How to make coconut macaroons

  1. Beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the coconut and stir until all the coconut is well coated. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Scoop the mixture onto baking sheets and bake on the lower third rack at 325°F for 18-20 minutes.
  4. Let the cookies cool completely then dip the bottoms in melted chocolate.
How to Make Coconut Macaroons
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

It is important to let the coconut mixer sit for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. Since the coconut is unsweetened, it’s dry and needs to soak up the liquid.

You can prep the mixture a day in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Also, do not bake the cookies in the center of the oven. The tops will brown too much. Move the rack to the lower third position, just below the center.

Can you freeze coconut macaroons?

Baked and cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Package them in an airtight container or ziptop freezer bag.

Allow the cookies to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then serve cold or at room temperature.


Jazz up homemade coconut macaroons

There are so many ways to jazz up this basic macaroon recipe. I typically keep mine simple and dip the bottoms in chocolate. But, here are some other variations to try:

  • Whip the egg whites and sugar into a meringue: This will yield a fluffier cookie that has more crunch.
  • Add nuts or chocolate: Mix chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips into the matter.
  • Add dried fruit: Mix your favorite dried fruit into the batter for more flavor.
chocolate coconut macaroons on parchment paper

Tips for success

  • Make sure to whip the egg whites and sugar until thickened. You don’t want stiff peaks but a slightly thicker consistency is what you are aiming for.
  • Let the batter rest! This recipe uses unsweetened coconut which means it is dry. Let the coconut mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Overnight is even better.
  • Size matters! You want about golf ball sized cookies. This is best achieved with a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop.
  • Line the baking sheet. Macaroons are sticky and will stick like crazy to the baking sheet. So line the baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

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coconut macaroons on wire rack

Basic Coconut Macaroons

Yield: 21 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Homemade coconut macaroons are sweet and moist with soft, chewy centers and crisp exteriors. They require only a few simple ingredients and are naturally gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 3 large (105 g) egg whites, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional - SEE NOTE 1
  • 3 ½ cups (223 g) unsweetened shredded coconut - SEE NOTE 2
  • 4 ounces (115 g) semi-sweet, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts with an electric mixer until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Don't overmix. You don't want to whip to soft or stiff peaks. It should only have a little air incorporated and appear slightly bubbly.
  2. Use a silicone spatula to fold in the coconut, making sure it is evenly coated. Cover and let the batter sit for about 30-60 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position (Just below the center of the oven). Preheat the oven to 325º F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  4. Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to form mounds, place the mounds on the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 18-20 minutes or until the macaroons start to turn golden brown.
  5. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  7. Remove from heat and dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the melted chocolate. Place back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Served cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. The addition of almond extract is subtle yet tasty. I highly recommend you try it.
  2. You must use unsweetened shredded coconut. Sweetened coconut or flaked coconut will not work with this recipe.

Make ahead tip

  1. The dough can be made, covered tightly, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, continue with step 4.
  2. Store baked macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Or they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Served cold or at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 21 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 38mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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14 Comments

  1. Thank you for this recipe. These were super easy to make and have the perfect amount of sweetness for us. The only change I made was to leave out the Almond Extract since I absolutely hate it. This is going in the permanent recipe box. Thanks again!

  2. Aisha Ellis says:

    I used liquid egg whites and my whites spread out of the coconut! They look yucky but I haven’t tried. Do you think that is why it didn’t turn out? Let sit over 2 hours and absorb into unsweetened coconut. I did refrigerate while absorbing but couldn’t think of a reason not to. I measured out the egg whites according to instructions on egg white container to equal 3 eggs. I will try them and see how they taste but they don’t look like yours.

    1. It’s quite possible the liquid egg whites caused the recipe to fail. I’ve never had luck with getting those to whip up properly. Try the recipe with whites form whole eggs and see how it turns out.

  3. Hi Jen..I tried this recipe and it turned out yum.. my family loved it. However after a while of cooling on the rack… they turned a bit sticky and lost the crispness they had when initially out of the oven.
    Any reason why and how to maintain the crispness
    TIA
    Regards preeti

    1. Do you live in a humid environment? Mine usually stay crisp for a couple days. They do tend to soften after that, though. You can try baking them a little longer to attempt to dry them out more. Also, make sure you are using unsweetened coconut. It’s usually a little drier than sweetened coconut.

  4. Looks like a good recipe (I’ll try it tomorrow). Thanks! I have a bunch of unsweetened coconut left over from making Nanaimo bars at Christmas. This will help me get rid of it without going overboard on calories.

    That said, I think there’s something off on your nutritional calculation. Perhaps, you’ve not included the chocolate in the nutritional info? It says there are only 8 grams of sugar in each macaroon. For a recipe of 21 macaroons, that’s 168 grams of sugar. I think you’ve left out the chocolate in your calculations. The 150 grams of sugar + about 18 grams of sugar in the unsweetened coconut makes sense. But when you add the semisweet chocolate, that’s another 50-60 grams. Not criticizing, just pointing it out for folks (like me) who are tracking their sugar intake. Thanks again!

    1. I use a third-party app that automatically calculates the nutrition based on the ingredients of the recipe. It’s not guaranteed to be accurate and is only offered as a courtesy. For the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you use to make the recipe, using your own nutrition calculator, nutritionist, or medical professional. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate. Please have a look at the nutrition disclaimer.

  5. Robyn Majewski says:

    Hi Jen I’m interested in why you prefer unsweetened coconut and no condensed milk.

    1. Unsweetened coconut absorbs the liquid better than sweetened coconut. And I don’t need condensed milk since I use egg whites. Egg whites are lighter and airier.

  6. Seara Williams says:

    Can flour be added to this recipe?

  7. Grace Sweet says:

    Made these today, honestly the perfect recipe.

  8. Delightfully delicious! I really like using unsweetened coconut. The end result was sweet, but not too sweet. The little bit of chocolate was a nice balance of flavors.

    1. This recipe was perfect! Thank you for sharing! It was a great hit with the family!