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!
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.
- 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 and a roundup of all my favorite gluten free dessert recipes (this gluten free apple crisp is 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.
Overview: How to Make Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons
This is a pretty straightforward and easy recipe, so I’ll keep things short.
- Get your oven preheated. Coconut macaroons like a cooler oven (325°F), which helps ensure the centers are cooked before the exteriors burn.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake. The cookies take about 20 minutes. Avoid over-baking, which dries them out.
- Top with chocolate and sea salt. Optional, but obviously tasty.
Left photo below: coconut, almond flour, and almond butter pulsed together. Right photo below: beaten egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract.
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.
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.
Sally’s Cookie Palooza
This recipe is part of my annual cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. It’s the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Browse dozens of cookie recipes over on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page including the following no-chill cookie recipes:
- Lace Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies
- Mini M&M Cookies
- Vanilla Bean Biscotti
- Spritz Cookies
See all of my no chill cookie recipes.
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.
- 14-ounce (396g) 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 (113g) semi-sweet chocolate bar + sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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 silicone 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Macaroons stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Food Processor | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Medium Cookie Scoop | Cooling Rack | Double Boiler or Liquid Measuring Cup (for melted chocolate)
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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