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Made from only 6 base ingredients, these naturally gluten free almond butter coconut macaroons are soft and moist in the centers with extra chewy edges. We love them with chocolate and sea salt on top. Two key steps in this recipe include pulsing the coconut and almond flour together in a food processor and beating the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla together until creamy and thickened. Best part of all? No cookie dough chilling required!

gluten free almond butter coconut macaroons with chocolate drizzled on top

Coconut macaroons are a seriously underrated cookie. I can understand that because when done wrong, they’re dry, falling apart, and flavorless. Honestly who wants to waste their time? (And… calories. Ha!)

However, when done right, coconut macaroons are compact with chewy, moist centers. They’re like a coconut cookie cloud and, depending on the recipe, there’s no cookie dough chilling required. For those reasons and more, coconut macaroons will always be a staple in my holiday baking. Today I’m showing you how to amp up their flavor with almond butter.


Tell Me About these Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons

  • Texture: Forget everything you’ve experienced with dry coconut macaroon cookies. If you use the right almond butter and avoid over-baking, they’re soft and moist in the centers with an unbelievably chewy texture. (And they stay that way for days!) An optional sprinkle of flaky sea salt adds a little crunch.
  • Flavor: If you like coconut and the roasty toasty flavor of almond butter, you’ll enjoy these cookies. Because that’s all you taste! We obviously don’t want to miss the opportunity for chocolate, so give each cooled cookie a generous drizzle.
  • Ease: A food processor or blender is a key tool for this recipe. Not only does it chop up and blend the coconut, almond flour, and almond butter, it makes the blending process much quicker and easier. If you don’t have one, see my recipe note. I also appreciate that there’s no cookie dough chilling required. From measuring cups to oven in about 15 minutes.
  • Allergens: This is a gluten free recipe. I’m not a gluten free baker, but I have a pretty substantial naturally gluten free recipes section published on this website (these gluten free fudge no bake cookies are a reader favorite!). Assuming that your chocolate is dairy free, this is a naturally dairy free cookie recipe. Most pure dark and semi-sweet chocolate is, but check your labels. Or skip the chocolate.
an almond butter coconut macaroon cookie cut in half and stacked on top of another cookie
almond butter and shredded coconut in a food processor

Overview: How to Make Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons

This is a pretty straightforward and easy recipe, so I’ll keep things short.

  1. Get your oven preheated. Coconut macaroons like a cooler oven (325°F), which helps ensure the centers are cooked before the exteriors burn.
  2. Pulse half of the ingredients. A *key* step in this recipe is breaking down the coconut into finer pieces. Finer pieces of coconut make a tighter, more compact coconut macaroon that will hold its shape. Pulse it with almond flour, then pulse in almond butter. Consider this trio of ingredients your cookie dough base.
  3. Beat egg whites. Beaten egg whites are a crucial ingredient in any coconut macaroon recipe– they bind all of the ingredients together and help achieve that quintessential moist cookie interior. Beat them with sugar and vanilla extract until creamy and thickened. This takes about 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer. If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat with a whisk. Take breaks because this could take you 10+ minutes of mixing. You’re looking for a consistency that resembles thinned out marshmallow creme.
  4. Use a cookie scoop. This is a very sticky “dough” and a cookie scoop makes shaping easier. You want about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, so I recommend a medium cookie scoop. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, use a spoon.
  5. Bake. The cookies take about 20 minutes. Avoid over-baking, which dries them out.
  6. Top with chocolate and sea salt. Optional, but obviously tasty.

Step-By-Step Photos

Left photo below: coconut, almond flour, and almond butter pulsed together. Right photo below: beaten egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract.

almond butter coconut mixture and whipped egg whites with sugar

Left photo below: expect a sticky cookie dough. Right photo below: 1.5 Tbsp of dough per cookie. Make sure you line your baking sheets.

almond butter coconut macaroon cookie dough scooped with a cookie scoop

What Chocolate Do I Use?

For coating or drizzling cookies and candy with chocolate, I always use pure baking chocolate. I recommend Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, both sold in 4 ounce baking bars in the baking aisle. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and are difficult to melt down, though I usually have luck with Ghirardelli chocolate chips. If using chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (90g) is plenty. Melt them with 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil to help thin it out. You can also dunk the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate like I do with my regular coconut macaroons.

Use a spoon to drizzle all over the cooled cookies. You could also use a squeeze bottle, which is the handy tool I use for decorating Christmas sugar cookies with easy cookie icing!


melted chocolate in liquid measuring cup

coconut almond butter macaroons with chocolate and sea salt on top

More No-Chill Cookie Recipes

See all of my no chill cookie recipes.

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coconut almond butter macaroons with chocolate and sea salt on top

Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons (GF)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 26 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made from only 6 ingredients, these naturally gluten free almond butter coconut macaroons are soft and moist in the centers with extra chewy edges. We love them with chocolate and sea salt on top.


Ingredients

Scale
  • one 14 ounce package sweetened shredded coconut (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup (35g) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (128g) almond butter
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional topping: 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bar + sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Make the macaroons: Pulse the coconut and almond flour together in a food processor or blender until the coconut is finely chopped and the two are combined, about 10-12 pulses. Add the almond butter and pulse until mixture is moistened and combined, about 10 more pulses. Set aside until the end of the next step.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract together on high speed until creamy and thickened and the sugar has mostly dissolved, at least 4-5 minutes. See photo above for a visual. (Should look like thinned out marshmallow creme.) Using a rubber spatula or your mixer on medium speed, fold/beat in the coconut almond mixture until combined and the coconut is evenly moistened. Dough is wet and sticky.
  4. Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop 1.5 Tablespoons of the mixture and arrange on prepared baking sheets at least 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Optional Topping: Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. For the microwave, place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl or use a glass liquid measuring cup. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Drizzle on cooled cookies. Sprinkle each with sea salt, if desired. Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  7. Macaroons stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Macaroons, with or without chocolate, freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can prepare the coconut macaroon dough (steps 2-3) up to 3 days in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  2. Don’t have a food processor? Use a blender in step 2 instead. If you don’t have either, give the shredded coconut a rough chop with a sharp knife. Mix with the almond flour, then mix in the almond butter. For mixing, use a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment on medium speed.
  3. Coconut: You can use unsweetened coconut if desired. The cookies are still plenty sweet, but feel free to increase sugar to 2/3 cup (135g).
  4. Almond Flour: Almond flour helps keep these cookies intact. I don’t recommend replacing with regular all-purpose flour, oat flour, or coconut flour. If you don’t have almond flour, use 1/4 cup of raw unsalted almonds. Pulse them into a fine crumb before adding the coconut and pulsing in step 2.
  5. Almond Butter: Feel free to replace with peanut butter. In my recipe testing, I found that the drier and thicker the almond butter, the drier the cookies taste and the less they spread. (They stayed in a tall mound shape.) The best batch was made with a fresh jar of creamy and almost runny almond butter. Open the jar, stir in any separated oil, then measure.
  6. Sugar: I have not tested this recipe with any other sugars, but feel free to try it with coconut sugar. Keep in mind that beating the egg whites and sugar together until thickened is a key step and you may not reach that point with any sugar substitutes.

Keywords: gluten free, cookies, coconut

gluten free almond butter coconut macaroons with chocolate drizzled on top

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This recipe looks simply divine! Do you think I could use unsweetened coconut instead?

  2. Could I use Skippy creamy peanut butter instead? Or should I do homemade almond butter?

  3. Hi Sally, this looks like a lovely recipe. I’m excited to try the cookies! Can I use cake flour instead of almond flour? Thanks!

  4. Sally! Did you know it is National COokie Day in the US? Perfect time for your Cookie Palooza! Have a great day and thank you so much for all of these delicious recipes!!
    😀

    1. I do know that! Certainly a day to celebrate. (Not like we ever need a reason to bake cookies!)

    1. Hi Karen! I’ve only tested these with fresh eggs, but egg whites in a carton should be fine. I would use the equivalent the carton says (I know some can be different). The instructions and mixing times would be the same.

  5. I know it’s not recommended, but just curious if anyone has tried with all purpose flour?

    1. Hi Angelica, flour will dry out the cookies. (These aren’t typically made with any type of flour, but I add almond flour to help bind the ingredients.) Your best bet is to use the almond substitution listed in the notes or skip it altogether.

  6. Sally,
    I so look forward to seeing your recipes, for me you have made baking fun and enjoyable. During these trying times I am especially glad to see your Blog and all your new cookie recipes. Keep up the good work, you are making us Americans smile and helping us to get through a scary time in our history.
    fondly ❤️ A baking grandmother from New Jersey

  7. Hi,
    Can I use whole almonds with all the ingredients (Instead of almond butter) and then grind it up? Or will take be too pasty?
    Have a great weekend. Hugs 🙂

    1. Hi Iram, you can make your own almond butter from almonds. Simply pulse/grind until you have smooth almond butter. (Takes a few minutes.) Or you can replace with peanut butter or another nut butter if you have any.

    1. Hi Ellen, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay. Some almond butters I use: Good & Gather, Justin’s, & MaraNatha.

  8. Just made these today. My cookies didn’t spread as much as yours. Followed the directions to the letter, what do you think it could be? They still taste excellent!

    1. Hi David, It’s likely the type of almond butter you used: the drier and thicker the almond butter, the drier the cookies taste and the less they spread. See the recipe note on almond butter for details!

  9. Just pulled these out of the oven – they are divine!! Thank you for a new favorite!

  10. Thank you for this scrumptious gluten free cookie recipe! Will they likely still work out if I don’t have a food processor to break down the coconut? Could I just use a finer coconut to begin with?

    1. Hi Christina! You can use a blender or a knife to give the coconut a rough chop. See recipe notes for more details.

  11. I live in Florida and these cookies were great when they first came out of the oven, but the next day they were just soggy. Maybe I didn’t cook them long enough? They look like the pictures. I wonder if they would crisp up in a toaster oven (although the chocolate makes that difficult).

    1. Hi Kristin, the centers should be chewy and moist, but definitely not soggy. How are you storing them? It sounds like they might just need a few extra minutes in the oven – an easy fix for next time! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try.

  12. Hi Sally, I’m planning on making this for my mother in law who can’t eat sugar. I was going to swap the sugar for the correct conversion of monk fruit sweetener. Do you think this swap will mess with the texture of the cookie?

    1. Hi Brittany, We haven’t tested this recipe with any sugar substitutes but let us know if you try it!

  13. My family just loved these macaroons. I followed the recipe just as it is. The batter was a little thinner than I expected so added a little more coconut and almond butter mixture. I guess the size the eggs matter here. I added an extra as the eggs I had were not large. And beating the eggs to the required consistency is a must.

    1. Hi Debie, we recommend you stick with fresh eggs for this recipe. Hope you love them!

  14. Truly an easy recipe that is beyond delicious – I highly recommend it! We used vanilla almond butter in lieu of plain almond butter, and it was excellent.

  15. HI Sally,
    Can I add chocolate chips to this recipe instead of drizzling the chocolate after they are baked? How much would I add?
    Thanks!

  16. These are delicious! The almond butter is subtle but really seems to add moisture to the cookie. I drizzled half of them and left the other half plain and I like them both ways! I got 33 cookies from a 1.5 Tbs. scoop and used Kirkland (Costco) brand almond butter. They will most certainly be made again!

  17. These cookies are extremely chewy and moist! I made 29 cookies with a 1.5 tbsp scoop. The instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow, came out perfectly.

  18. Hi, do I have to bake these for longer if I make them larger with a 3 tbsp scoop?

    1. Hi Tasheen, Yes, larger cookies will likely need an extra minute or two in the oven. Enjoy!

      1. I think I’ll try an extra minute, don’t wanna risk them drying out. Thank you!

  19. Your cookies look delicious. I would like to make only 13 cookies do I half all the ingredients. please? Thanks.

    1. Hi Enia, for a half a batch of macaroons, you can simply halve the ingredients.

  20. I have a LOT of tahini leftover from another recipe. Do you think these might work with tahini instead of almond butter?

    1. Hi Laurie, We haven’t tried this substitution. If you do, let us know!

  21. these look wonderful! Have you had any comments on using coconut sugar. I know you said it could be used, but wondered if it changed the texture / rising of the cookie. thank you!

    1. Hi Janet! I just did a quick search though these comments and nothing came up for bakers using coconut sugar yet – let us know if you give it a try!

    1. Hi Sally! We don’t have much experience with GF flour, but other bakers have reported success using 1:1 flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup).

  22. I LOVE THESE COOKIES! I make time at least once a month! The most recent time I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and it was SO GOOD!

  23. Admittedly, I was a bit hesitate to try this recipe as I have had such consistently stellar results with Sally’s regular Coconut Macaroons. Yeah, was I pleasantly surprised! The Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons turned out very well. The nutty taste of the almond butter coupled with the semi-sweet chocolate and sea salt are simply divine.

    Will definitely make these again and look forward to sharing with worh friends and family. A great recipe, Sally!

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