coconut macaroons recipe

Coconut macaroons are the most coconut-y of all cookies. Loaded with almost all coconut, these chewy, tender coconut bites will leave you in tropical, coconutty heaven. They are delicious by themselves but even more irresistible when dipped in dark chocolate. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.

These coconut macaroons are not to be confused with macarons. Although these two confections have a lot in common, they are different.

Yes, their spelling is almost identical, they are both members of the cookie family, most likely of Italian origin, and even their ingredients are similar. However, macarons and macaroons differ in their main ingredient – for macarons it’s almond flour, whereas for macaroons it’s shredded coconut.

Macarons are made from a batter of ground almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners’ sugar that puffs up to form a smooth-surfaced cookie. These airy almond meringues are then formed into sandwich cookies filled with ganache, jam, or buttercream and chilled, yielding a chewy center and shell-like surface.

Macaroons, on the other hand, are made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They have a craggy surface and chewy interior and are often dipped in chocolate.

So, where does the confusion come from?

The English word macaroon comes from the French macaron, which in turn is a translation of the Italian word maccarone. With some American bakers translating the almond sandwich cookie into English and others sticking with the original French selling, it’s easy to confuse the two.

So, to be clear – this recipe is for dense and chewy coconut macaroons.

raw coconut macaroons

Tips for Making Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients

Although these raw coconut macaroons don’t contain whipped egg whites, sweetened condensed milk, or confectioners’ sugar, they are sweet, buttery, and full of coconut flavor. Here’s what makes them just as good as classic macaroons:

  • Coconut: my favorite type of coconut for these macaroons is unsweetened desiccated coconut because it yields the most delicate macaroons. You could also use shredded or even flaked coconut, but make sure it is unsweetened. Whichever form of coconut you choose, just keep in mind that the finer the coconut is, the more delicate and denser the macaroons will be.
  • Almond flour: while you can stick with only coconut for the dry ingredients, I prefer macaroons that are more cookie-like, which is exactly what almond flour delivers. Use finely ground blanched almond flour for best results. 
  • Coconut butter: what sets these coconut macaroons apart is coconut butter. Coconut butter takes the place of traditional egg whites, binding all the ingredients together. It also makes the macaroons rich, buttery, and even more coconutty. You can either buy already made coconut butter or make your own from desiccated coconut.
  • Maple syrup: it’s important to use liquid sweeteners because they’re sticky and help to bind the ingredients. However, liquid sweeteners that are too thick and sticky, such as coconut syrup, aren’t ideal. Thinner liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup, agave, or yacon syrup, work much better.
  • Vanilla extract: I have a deep love for vanilla in desserts. It’s warm, with a sweet floral aroma that makes any dessert sparkle. I like to use both vanilla paste and vanilla extract, but you can use either.

ingredients for coconut macaroons

How to Make Raw Coconut Macaroons

The proper color of macaroons is a matter of great controversy and personal taste. Snowy-white or toasted golden? If you love raw desserts like me, keep the macaroons raw. If you prefer a more traditional dessert, bake the macaroons at 275°F/135°C until slightly golden, for 25-30 minutes. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Mix the ingredients. Add the desiccated coconut, almond flour, coconut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a medium bowl and mix until well combined. The mixture will be slightly crumbly, but it should stick together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a little bit more coconut butter, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time. If it’s too wet, add a little bit more desiccated coconut. 
  2. Shape the mixture. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop, fill the scoop with the dough and release it onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The cookie scoop will create a dome shape that is flat on the bottom.
  3. Chill. Transfer the macaroons to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.

how to make coconut macaroons

How to Store Raw Macaroons

  • Refrigerating: transfer the macaroons to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 month.
  • Freezing: transfer the macaroons to an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Coconut Macaroons Variations

While the basic coconut macaroons are easy and taste great, they can be gussied up in many ways:

  • Dip the macaroons in chocolate: once chilled, you can dip the bottom of the macaroons in melted tempered chocolate. There’s just something irresistible about the contrast between the coconut-y base and the dark chocolate at the bottom. Tempering the chocolate will create a nice, crisp shell around the outside of these soft cookies. Alternatively, you can also drizzle melted chocolate over the macaroons.
  • Add almond extract: if you prefer the pure coconut-almond flavor, add ½ tsp./2.5 ml or so of almond extract. 
  • Stir in chopped blanched almonds: to add a little bit of crunch, you can stir in some chopped blanched almonds. 

vegan coconut macaroons

More Coconut Macaroons Recipes

If you love coconut and enjoy raw desserts, try these macaroons next:

  • Raw chocolate coconut macaroons: love chocolate? These chocolate coconut macaroons are essentially a chocolate version of this recipe. They are coconutty, chocolaty, tender, and slightly chewy.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

coconut macaroons
5 from 5 votes

Coconut Macaroons

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 12 macaroons
Coconut macaroons are the most coconut-y of all cookies. Loaded with almost all coconut, these chewy, tender coconut bites will leave you in tropical, coconutty heaven. They are delicious by themselves but even more irresistible when dipped in dark chocolate. Watch the video above to see how to make them!

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Mix the ingredients. Add the desiccated coconut, almond flour, coconut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a medium bowl and mix until well combined. The mixture will be slightly crumbly, but it should stick together when you press it between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a little bit more coconut butter, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time. If it's too wet, add a little bit more desiccated coconut. 
  • Shape the mixture. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop, fill the scoop with the dough and release it onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The cookie scoop will create a dome shape that is flat on the bottom.
  • Chill. Transfer the macaroons to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.
  • Dip in chocolate (optional). Once chilled, dip the bottoms of the macaroons in melted chocolate and then place the macaroons back onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining chocolate on top. Refrigerate to allow the chocolate to set, for about 10 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover macaroons keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12, Calories: 164kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keywords: coconut macaroons, coconut macaroons recipe, macaroons