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.
Welcome to Day 5 of Sally’s Cookie Palooza!
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 gluten free!
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. Any more than 4 and 3/4 cups will give you dry and flimsy coconut macaroons. The other ingredients you’ll need are egg whites, vanilla extract, and sugar.
Coconut Macaroon Success Tips!
- Pulse your shredded coconut in a food processor to really break it down. This helps create a tighter and more compact coconut macaroon.
- 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.
- Make sure there is no remnants of egg yolk whatsoever. Just egg whites.
- Avoid over-baking. Only a precise 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Over-baking will dry out your coconut macaroons.
- Use a cookie scoop for perfectly shaped cookies. This medium cookie scoop works wonderfully. You’ll want a heaping 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.
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.
- 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)*
- optional: two 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (226g), finely chopped
- 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.
- Make the macaroons: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with paddle or 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.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop a heaping 1.5 Tablespoons of the mixture and place onto prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and tops, about 20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pan to ensure even baking.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dip in chocolate: Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or (carefully!) 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.
- Macaroons stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: Macaroons, with or without chocolate, freeze well up to 2-3 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle loaded macaroons: After mixing in the coconut, carefully fold 1/2 cup sprinkles in the coconut macaroon dough. Proceed with recipe.
- 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.
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