Coconut Macaroons

These homemade coconut macaroons are sweet, moist, and chewy on the inside with a delightfully crisp exterior. They’re made with simple ingredients and are naturally gluten free cookies.

stack of coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate on a red plate

When done right, coconut macaroons taste like the irresistible coconut center of an Almond Joy or Mounds bar. When done wrong, they’re dry, crispy, and falling apart. My coconut macaroons are none of the sort. They’re sweet, moist, and chewy on the inside with a delightfully crisp exterior. They’re also naturally gluten free.

Coconut macaroon dipped in dark chocolate

Coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate

How to Make Coconut Macaroons

Coconut macaroons are very easy cookies.

  • No need to chill the cookie dough
  • 1 bowl recipe
  • Just 5 simple ingredients

You need 4 and 3/4 cups of sweetened shredded coconut, which is a little less than a standard 14-ounce package. Make sure you measure your coconut accurately. The other ingredients you’ll need are egg whites, vanilla extract, and sugar.

Coconut macaroon cookie dough in a glass bowl with a cookie scoop

Coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with an almond

Coconut macaroons dipped and drizzled in dark chocolate with an almond on top of each on a red plate

Coconut Macaroon Success Tips

  1. Pulse your shredded coconut in a food processor to really break it down. This helps create a tighter and more compact coconut macaroon.
  2. Use a mixer. Beat the ingredients together with a mixer before folding in the coconut. Beating the dough creates deliciously fluffy volume, something whisking by hand just won’t get you.
  3. Make sure there is no remnants of egg yolk whatsoever. Just egg whites.
  4. Avoid over-baking. Only a precise 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Over-baking will dry out your coconut macaroons.
  5. Use a cookie scoop for perfectly shaped cookies. This medium cookie scoop works wonderfully. You’ll want 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.

Macaroons can be dressed up in so many different ways. While they’re absolutely incredible plain, I love dipping the bottoms in melted dark chocolate. Other varieties:

  • Chocolate almond macaroons: Pictured above! Instructions in the recipe notes.
  • Sprinkle loaded macaroons: Carefully fold 1/2 cup sprinkles in the coconut macaroon dough.
  • White chocolate cranberry macaroons: Add 3/4 cup of dried cranberries into the dough when you add the shredded coconut. Melt 4 ounces of pure white chocolate and drizzle over cooled macaroons.

Coconut macaroon dipped in chocolate

If you’re looking for a moist and chewy coconut macaroon with a toasty exterior, you’ve come to the right place. When you’re feeling fancy, dress the simple recipe up with any of my suggested varieties in the recipe notes.

More Coconut Recipes

Equally as irresistible!

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Coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with an almond

Coconut Macaroons

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 14-16 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These homemade coconut macaroons are sweet, moist, and chewy on the inside with a delightfully crisp exterior. They’re made with simple ingredients and are naturally gluten free cookies.


Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 and 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (a little less than one 14-ounce package, see note)*
  • optional: two 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (226g), finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  2. Make the macaroons: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract together on medium-high speed until foamy and the sugar is mostly dissolved, at least 2 minutes. Fold in the coconut, making sure the coconut is evenly moistened.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop 1.5 Tablespoons of the mixture and arrange on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and tops, about 20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pan to help ensure even baking.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Dip in chocolate: Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. For the microwave, place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each cooled coconut macaroon in the melted chocolate and place back onto the baking sheets. 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 up to 3 days in advance– cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  2. Coconut: I recommend pulsing the coconut in the food processor a few times to cut it down and break it up. Finer pieces of coconut make a tighter, more compact coconut macaroon that will hold its shape. Measure 4 and 3/4 cups after it’s been pulsed.
  3. Chocolate Almond Coconut Macaroons: Pictured above! Follow recipe above. Melt an additional 2 ounces of chocolate. (10 ounces in total.) Dip the bottoms of the cooled macaroons in the chocolate, as directed in the recipe above, then drizzle remaining chocolate on top of each. Press 1 almond into the tops.
  4. Sprinkle Loaded Macaroons: After mixing in the coconut, carefully fold 1/2 cup sprinkles in the coconut macaroon dough. Proceed with recipe.
  5. White Chocolate Cranberry Macaroons: Add 3/4 cup of dried cranberries into the dough when you add the coconut. Melt 4 ounces of pure white chocolate and drizzle over cooled macaroons.

Keywords: coconut macaroons

80 Comments

  1. I have made coconut macaroons many times and every time I make them they don’t turn out right — Until today that is. The baking tips made for the perfect Coconut macaroon, just as you described. As usually, another fantastic recipe. Thank you Sally!

  2. Amazing recipe! So easy to put together and really tasty as a small snack

  3. Sally, is it possible to use unsweetened coconut instead of sweetened? Thank you! -Carol
    P.S. Love your recipes! I’ve tried many and they all come out terrifically!

    1. Hi Carol! To be honest, I love unsweetened coconut for a lot of baking– however, it’s not the best coconut for my macaroon recipe. Maybe you can search the internet for another macaroon recipe that calls for unsweetened. Sorry!

      1. Hi Sally, I ended up using half sweetened (that’s all I had in the house at the moment) and half unsweetened coconut. It worked great and they were delicious! Also, I didn’t pulse the coconut because some of what I had was shredded. (The rest was flaked.) Worked like a charm!

        Love your recipes, Sally. I’m making New York Crumb Cake today!

  4. Made these for the second time today. The first time I did not pulse the coconut and they came out beautiful with the signature errant coconut flake sticking out here and there with golden tips. The pulsed coconut gave them…more of a merengue look. The pulsing did make the 4 and 3/4 cups more like 4 and 1/4 cups and since I only purchased one 14 oz bag of coconut I did not have enough for the full recommended amount. They are still pretty but I would recommend maybe an additional amount of coconut or skipping the pulsing.

  5. Linda Westhauser says:

    My daughter made these for Christmas. Since I have to watch my sugar intake she subbed with unsweetened coconut, erythritol and melted Lily’s chocolate chips. They were delicious!

  6. I used an entire 14 oz bag of shredded coconut and it measured just 4.25 cups. The recipe came out fine anyway— very tasty. My cookies stuck to the silpat, but a light touch of cooking spray fixed that. Recommended recipe.

  7. These were incredibly easy to make! I had just under 4.75 cups before pulsing, but that made them moist and not too crumbly. I’m a fan, thanks!

  8. Wouldn’t change a thing! Made these while in self this weekend. Even the kids loved helping. We loved them dipped in chocolate. Thanks Sally!

  9. Would this work with dessicated coconut, instead of pulsing shredded coconut… would that change the amount of coconut in the recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Janice, Unfortunately, no. You need shredded or even flaked. Shredded is preferred though.

  10. I went ahead a tried, they came out super dry with the desiccated coconut. I guess you’d need a whole lot more egg whites.

    Thanks very much for the reply, so nice of you!

    Stay well and stay safe!!

    Janice

  11. I made these with desiccated coconut and they tasted nice but next time I’ll add only 3 cups of coconut to begin with. They were so so dry, but, entirely my fault. I wasn’t thinking about it too hard and added all the coconut in one go without waiting to see how moistened it would be. Anyway, they’re in the freezer now and are less dry in the mouth.

  12. best recipe for coconut macaroons that we’ve found. Very moist with a delicious crunch on the bottom. These are so easy and perfect because we can’t find flour right now!

  13. Sally,
    When I made these Coconut Macaroons the liquid seemed to pool at the bottom of the macaroon during cooking leaving the tops a little dry and the bottoms wet…what do I need to do different the next time?

    1. Hi Lynn! I find this happens when there isn’t enough coconut to soak up the liquid– try adding another 1/2 cup of coconut. This will helps!

  14. Karisma Kulkarni says:

    Hi Sally,

    Is it possible to use liquid egg whites for this recipe rather than the egg whites from the egg directly. I have a bunch of liquid egg whites in my fridge that need to be used up!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karisma, Use 3 tablespoons of liquid egg whites per egg white called for in a recipe. Just make sure it’s 100% whites (and not Eggbeaters or similar with added ingredients).

  15. Sally, I love your site – your recipes always turn out for me. Today though I strayed and tried a DIFFERENT macaroon because I wanted them to taste more like Samoa girl scout cookies. The texture was all wrong. All that being said, do you have any ideas on how you could imbue the above recipe with a salted caramel flavor?
    Thanks for all your lovely posts!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Martha, We haven’t tested this recipe with caramel in the actual cookie, but let us know if you try anything! You can certainly dip the bottom in chocolate and then drizzle salted caramel sauce over the top.

  16. Michael Forman says:

    MIne bled egg whites/sugar during baking. Were my whites not stiff enough? They were definitely foamy maybe 3 mins at medium high. Thanks.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michael! We find this happens when there isn’t enough coconut to soak up the liquid– try adding another 1/2 cup of coconut. This will help!

  17. Hi, I would like to make little coconut macaroon nests for Easter, do you think that this recipe would hold that shape? Thanks!
    I love your posts!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but we can’t see why not. Let us know if you give it a try!

  18. Donna Ann Herman says:

    Help! My first time making these. All I had was finely shredded unsweetened coconut, so I used that. Didn’t pulse. I did substitute coconut palm sugar for granulated sugar. Otherwise followed directions exactly. My macaroons were dry and crumbly. Was it the coconut sugar? They tasted fine, but fell apart when picked up.

  19. Very good and I appreciated the tip about chopping them in the food processor to help them stick together. My coconut weighed 475 grams (16.75 oz) and I don’t think the recipe would have worked with less as there was a tiny bit of liquid oozing in a few of them, the ones with less coconut. I will make these a lot as they were soft inside and crispy outside and so quick to make.

  20. QUERINO DE-FREITAS says:

    I LOVE YOUR RECIPES…I WAS BROUGHT UP IN TRINIDAD>WEST INDIES..WE HAVE A RECIPE FOR SUGAR CAKE,,ALSO MADE WITH GRATED COCONUT BUT COOKED ON THE STOVE LIKE FUDGE…….I AM GOING TO TRY MY HAND WITH. YOUR COCONUT MACAROONS,,THANKS………..QUERINO

  21. This recipe did not work. It created a crumbly mess of coconut that might be suitable for topping a cake, but even before baking the mixture barely held together in any shape resembling a macaroon.

  22. If I prepare the dough in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake do I need to let the dough come to room temperature first?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ann, you can bake them directly from the refrigerator, no need to bring to room temperature first. Enjoy!

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