The best coconut macaroons recipe, made without sweetened condensed milk. They’re easy to whip up, super flavorful and great for all occasions.
Whether you’re looking for something sweet to make to curb that craving or you’re planning a party, coconut macaroons are the perfect cookies! These adorable little cookies are chewy and sweet, and there are many ways to make them fancy if the occasion calls for it.
We’ve put together the ultimate guide to making these delicious treats. From a winning coconut macaroons recipe to answers for common questions about macaroons, we’ve got it all below.
What Are Coconut Macaroons?
If you’re wondering, “What are macaroons?” then you’re in for a treat. These soft, spongy cookies are filled with chewy coconut, and they’re a nice, light dessert for any occasion.
With a little embellishment, they’re also a fancy treat for a party. Be sure to check out all the ways to dress up your macaroons in our variations section below.
How to Make Coconut Macaroons without Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Shredded Sweet Coconut
- Granulated Sugar
- Egg Whites
- Vanilla Extract
Measure and Prepare – Prep all of the ingredients, separate the egg whites and toss the egg yolks. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Also, preheat the oven.
Mix – In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
Scoop – Using a medium cookie scooper, scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake 9 at a time, spaced out.
Bake – Bake on the middle rack in a preheated 325° oven for 16-18 minutes. When the tops are just slightly turning golden brown, take them out.
Drizzle and Dip
You can do some fun macaroon variations without adding ingredients to the cookie mix. Instead, decorate them on the outside.
One common variation is to dip the cookie in chocolate. Use a double-boiler (or microwave) to melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly.
Then dip the base of each cookie in the chocolate about 1/4″. Set on parchment paper to harden.
You can also drizzle chocolate over the top of the macaroons, or use white chocolate. Use food-safe color to dye the white chocolate to match your event’s theme (for example, use red or pink chocolate drizzle for a Valentine party). Add a small topper, like an almond or a dried cherry, if you’ve also added mix-ins to your cookie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Coconut Macaroons Healthy?
Coconut macaroons are made with coconut, egg whites, a little bit of sugar and a touch of flour.
A typical coconut macaroons recipe also has sugar to give the cookies their signature taste. The question, “Are macaroons healthy?” has the same answer as most desserts: in moderation.
Many macaroon recipes are naturally gluten-free, so those with special diets may be able to eat these for dessert. Many recipes are also nut-free, as opposed to macarons (more on that below).
What Is the Difference Between a Macaroon and a Macaron?
If you’re wondering about the difference between a macaroon vs macaron, you’re not the only one. A lot of people, and even restaurant menus, get the two mixed up, with good reason.
A macaron is a small French sandwich cookie made from almond flour. It’s a touchy recipe and difficult to get right.
The story goes that small monasteries in France and Italy received almonds from Arabia some time before 1000 AD. In order to get the fine paste required to make the two halves of the sandwich cookie, the almonds had to be crushed, which is where the name comes from. The Latin “macerare” gave Italian the word “ammaccare.”
The monks in Italy and France invented the meringue cookies, and eventually we got the French cookie “macaron.” They’re filled with a ganache, jam, or frosting.
In the 1800s, chefs added coconut to the dough to help them last longer. They wanted them to survive the journey overseas on a sailing ship. As the cookies became available to other countries, the name “macaron” became Anglicized to “macaroon.”
Today, there are two different cookies:
- French sandwich cookies made from almond flour: macarons
- Spongy cookies made from coconut: macaroons
Both are delicious, but this recipe is the latter. The chewy coconut balances out the slightly crispy exterior for a perfect treat.
Can You Freeze Coconut Macaroons?
As with most cookies, you can freeze coconut macaroons after baking to help them last longer. Before you put them in a freezer bag, let them cool completely. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has some tips on which freezer bags keep your food freshest.
Layer the cookies in the bags between foil or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. You can also wrap each cookie individually (use cling wrap). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months before enjoying.
Do Macaroons Need to Be Refrigerated?
After baking your macaroons, you can store them in an air-tight container on the counter. They can be kept at room temperature and don’t have to be refrigerated. They are good this way for about a week.
See the above instructions about freezing the macaroons if you want to enjoy them for longer than a week.
How Long Until Macaroons Go Bad?
Then store them on the counter if your party is soon, or freeze them if your party is still a little ways away.
Variations of Coconut Macaroons
Once you’ve mastered traditional coconut macaroons, you may want to how to make macaroons with variations. There are all kinds of extras you can add to these cookies to make them more interesting, although we love the traditional recipe, too.
Change up the flavor of your macaroons when you add some extra ingredients. One way to give these cookies a bit of tangy sweetness is to add dried fruit.
Dried cranberries are delicious, and dried cherries are even more decadent. If you’re adding dried cherries, make sure you chop them first or they’re so large they take over the cookie.
You can also add mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings to your macaroons. If you know your guests love chocolate, this can be a great way to give them a fun surprise.
When there aren’t any nut allergies, adding nuts to macaroons is another delicious variation. Chop almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts to change the cookie flavor.
When you have the perfect dessert like this for your occasion, all you’ll need to worry about is changing the subject gracefully when your guests are monopolizing the conversation. The menu is all taken care of.
More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
Let us know if you make this coconut macaroons recipe by leaving a comment and review below!
Coconut Macaroons Recipe
- 11 ounces shredded sweet coconut
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Measure and Prepare – Prep all of the ingredients, separate the egg whites and toss the egg yolks. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Also, preheat the oven.
- Mix – In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
- Scoop – Using a medium cookie scooper, scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake 9 at a time, spaced out.
- Bake – Bake on the middle rack in a preheated 325° oven for 16-18 minutes. When the tops are just slightly turning golden brown, take them out.
- Dip in Chocolate – This is optional, but if you want to dip them in chocolate, melt semisweet morsels in a bowl in 30 seconds intervals. Stir until all of the chocolate is melted, then dip the bottom of the macaroons.