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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 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally, about to make your coconut macaroons for my coconut loving daughter’s birthday! Have you made this recipe with unsweetened coconut?
    I really like Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened flaked coconut, but don’t really know if it would be right for this recipe.

    1. Hi Bonnie! I love unsweetened coconut from bob’s red mill too. However, I just don’t think it’s the best coconut for my macaroon recipe. Maybe you can search the internet for another macaroon recipe that calls for unsweetened. Sorry!

  2. I tried these today they came out amazing. I’m so happy my friends and family enjoyed them. I’m definitely going to make some more. And try some of the other recipes.

  3. These are so good! This is the third time that I’ve had these and they’re great every single time! I think they’re at their best when they’ve been chilled in the freezer for an hour or so. Keep up the great recipes 🙂

  4. Hi sally! What type of shredded coconut did you u se? the fresh or dry kind? I really want to make these for my mom who loves coconut but don’t know what type of shredded coconut to use. Heeelp!!

    1. Hi Jade! it is moist, sweetened coconut shreds– they are partially dried. usually found in the baking aisle.

  5. Hi, Sally! I love this recipe and can’t wait to bake it. I’m planning to make it for my mom’s birthday. So I was wondering if I HAVE to put it in the refrigerator for 5 days, or if I do, can it be 1 day instead? Also if I leave it in room temperature will it still be okay if I leave it there for 1 day and then serve it?

  6. I accidentally bought the smaller package of shredded coconut, equivalent to 7 ounces. Is there anyway to alter the recipe to accommodate the lesser amount. Potentially halfing all ingredients?

  7. Great recipe, my family loves it. Very good with or without the almond extract. Cranberry Orange is definitely my favorite though!

  8. I have made these a few times and love them! However, the liquid tends to run out of them while they are baking (leaving a “melted snowball” with a sticky base and a drier cookie). I’m wondering if I need to use more coconut? Compared to the picture you show of your mixture, mine looks wetter, even though I don’t alter your recipe at all (the plain version).

    1. A little more coconut would help or even some flour to soak up the sticky liquid. Like, 1/4 cup.

  9. Just made these macaroons for my sister in law and mother in law.  Thank you for sharing this recipe.   This is the 1st time I’ve successfully made macaroon cookies!   Merry Christmas! 

  10. I just tried making these, followed the instructions for the batter, even added one extra egg white and they wont stick to a form a ball.. I love how good these taste but now I am just disappointed at how messy everything is. I’ve let the batter cool now and giving it another chance..

    1. Hey there Andra, I have had so much trouble making macaroons and decided to finally try again as I love them. I found this recipe and tried it today and although it worked well I burnt ALL the bottoms so have to start over again, so don’t feel too bad. One thing that I have found has worked for me is to make sure the egg whites and sugar are beat well until it is fairly thick and doesn’t look too liquidy. When you mix the coconut with the eggs it should stick well to the coconut and not be puddling on the bottom of the bowl. Also, when trying to make the balls try using an ice cream scoop (or tablespoon) but dip it in water each time so the batter doesn’t stick to it. That helped me immensely. I hope you had better luck with your second batch. 
      By the way, these are amazing macaroons for anyone who hasn’t tried them yet! I am overjoyed to finally find a recipe that works. (Just got back from a hike to the store for more eggs and coconut. Not going to burn them this time! 😉 

  11. Hi Sally, I really want to try your Macaroon recipe. Unfortunately, we don’t have shredded coconut where I live. Will this work with dessicated coconut?

  12. I wanted to make these for Easter with jellybeans.  Would I add the jellybeans before or after baking?  No flour in these?  Thanks.

  13. I just tried this at home and it so good!! They’re not too sweet so its prefect for me and my family as we don’t have sweet tooth like other people. Thank you so so much for sharing!!

  14. I made this and they came out so good I’m gonna make them again thanks for sharing.

  15. I am wondering if I can make the dough, portion it into balls and freeze them for baking later. Have you tried this with this recipe? TIA.

    1. You sure can! Freeze for up to 3 months. I would bake from frozen. Thawing first would encourage over-spreading.

  16. These were my first attempt at coconut macaroons and they came out really good so thank you for the recipe 🙂
    The only problem I had was that they were a little bit runny and I was not able to form nicely shaped balls, they were more flat than I would like them to be.
    They are also a little bit too sweet for my taste – do you think replacing part of the sweetened coconut with just regular shredded unsweetened coconut would work? Unsweetened coconut is much more dry, so maybe steaming it for a little bit so it gets moist would help. What do you think?

    1. Hi Izabela! You can absolutely swap in some unsweetened coconut for the sweetened kind. Steaming it is a great idea, though I don’t think that would be necessary.

  17. What a hit!!! I planned to use chocolate.. BUT, these got such rave reviews they seriously don’t need a thing! Everyone says they taste like a coconut angel food cake. I made them for all my neighbors for the holidays and they’ll be staying in my recipe book!

    1. Hi Marty, 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).

  18. Sally, can I dip these completely in dark chocolate? Do I add oil to the chocolate? Also, you first mentioned using a medium scoop but scrolling down to the recipe it says to use a large scoop. Which do I use?

    1. Hi Linda! Scoops vary in sizes between brands, but I usually use a MEDIUM scoop for these. Sorry about that confusion. You can fully dunk in chocolate. I recommend adding oil to the melted chocolate to thin it out.

  19. Sally,
    I made these chocolate macaroons this morning to complete my 10 dozen cookies that I need for this weekend. This is definitely a “keeper” recipe. Thank-you for sharing your knowledge of baking. I also ordered and received the baking sheets that you recommended. They are priceless.

    1. Hi Debbie! I don’t recommend agave syrup, but brown sugar may work. The macaroons may spread a bit from the extra moisture.

  20. If i dont have a foodprocessor can i use the blender, and if i can how do know the particle sizes r good?

    1. I have the same problem, Karla. I only have a blender – hope we get a response as I really would like to use this recipe. Sounds yummy!

  21. If i cut out the almond extract is that ok? And I have semi sweet chocolate chips chop ans meltimg those shouldn’t be to much of a difference right?

    1. Hi Bethany! Chocolate chips don’t melt down properly to use as a drizzle or coating, but you can try adding oil to thin them out. You can leave out the almond extract if desired.

  22. Sally, I like your recipes for several reasons, a major one being that you (usually) provide weights not just volume. But for this one, you say how important it is to get the right amount of coconut, but instead of the weight it says “Measure 4 and 3/4 cups after it’s been pulsed.” And elsewhere it says “a little less than a standard 14-ounce package” How much is a little less??

    1. This is an older recipe, before I started adding the weights! If you pulse the entire 14oz bag and then measure out 4 3/4 cups you will still have some left – you won’t need the full bag.

  23. Recipe calls for 4 and 3/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk and then it says little less than one can.

    4 and 3/4 cups is a lot more than one cup?

    Would like to try this recipe, but not sure of amount?

    1. Hi Deanna! The recipe calls for 4 and 3/4 cups of sweetened shredded coconut.

  24. Hi, Sally! I just made these & will take it off line as I have too many questions to post here! But, basically 1) My cookies were “soupy” & flattened out. 2) How do you dip the cookies & get them out! I have short nails & it was hard getting the cookies out of the chocolate.
    Thanks!

  25. Hi Sally,
    Made these this morning, can’t believe how easy! It was a request from my wife, and they came out perfect! Very simple, no chocolate, just you’re basic recipe.. thanks again, you make my baking so easy :).

  26. These taste delicious. They do have a sticky feel to them. I used a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop and made 26 cookies. The first time I used a heaping tablespoon and a half and made 16. So I’m not sure how big they’re supposed to be.

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