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Easy Coconut Macaroons

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Coconut macaroons are incredibly easy to make! They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and have a wonderful coconut flavor. While they are most often made for Passover, they are wonderful any time of the year.

a bowl of coconut macaroons
Every year at our potluck Passover, my cousins were responsible for bringing the coconut macaroons. The whole family (except me) raves about these particular macaroons – purchased from a neighborhood bakery. Sure, the bakery macaroons are better than the ones from the can that I grew up eating, but I knew I could do better. So, I took over as the coconut macaroon maker and we have never looked back.

What is a Coconut Macaroon?

Bowl of coconut macaroons with two in the front

A coconut macaroon is a cookie made from coconut, egg whites, and sugar.

Classic coconut macaroons use shredded sweetened coconut. However, for my recipe (inspired by the one in Alice Medrich’s book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies), I use unsweetened coconut flakes. The flakes give the macaroons more texture than your average coconut macaroon.

If you can’t find the unsweetened flakes, you may substitute the sweetened shredded coconut. You can also use half shredded sweetened coconut and half unsweetened coconut flakes for a more chewy cookie.

Coconut macaroons always have the word coconut in front of them because the original macaroons were actually almond macaroons. You can read more about that history in my post on first chocolate cookies.

What’s the Difference Between Coconut Macaroons and Macarons?

A stack of macarons and a stack of macaroons

Aside from both being cookies, coconut macaroons and macarons (pronounced with a hard o) have nothing in common. Macarons are delicate sandwich cookie made with meringue and almond flour.

Best Tips for Making Coconut Macaroons

Making coconut macaroons over a double boiler

To make coconut macaroons, you heat all of the ingredients over a double boiler. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make a double boiler; you simply set a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water. Be sure to regularly stir while the ingredients are heating up to ensure that everything heats evenly and the ingredients get well-combined.

Balls of coconut macaroons ready to go into the oven

Use an ice cream scoop to make balls of the coconut mixture. Don’t expect them to all look exactly the same. But, the scoop will help ensure that they are the same size – which in turn will help with even baking.

Macaroons do not need to be refrigerated. And, as a bonus, they can be made in advance and frozen!

Coconut Macaroon Variations

a spice jar, chocolate chips, dried pineapple, crystallized ginger, and an orange

If they are flavored with anything, coconut macaroons are most often flavored with vanilla extract. However, there are so many fun flavor variations that you can use.

  • Ginger: Mix in 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Lemon, Lime, or Orange: Mix in the zest of a lemon, lime or orange to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Dried pineapple: Mix in 1/4 cup of finely chopped dried pineapple to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Chocolate dip or drizzle: Melt 3 ounces of chocolate and dip the cooled coconut macaroons into the chocolate or drizzle the chocolate on top of the macaroons.
  • Chocolate chips: Mix in 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.

Dipped coconut macaroon

I also love making chocolate macaroons by adding melted chocolate directly to the coconut mixture as it is heating.

If You Like This Recipe, You May Also Like…

  • Brazilian coconut clusters (These taste VERY similar to coconut macaroons, but they are lighter and made with sweetened condensed milk. If I want something like a macaroon and it’s not Passover, I tend to make the Brazilian version. For Passover, that recipe isn’t ideal since it has dairy and can’t be served at a traditional Passover Seder.)
  • Chocolate mousse pie with a coconut macaroon crust (These macaroons make such a great pie crust!)
  • Matzoh popzoh (It’s a matzoh lollipop with coconut and caramel!)
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a bowl of coconut macaroons
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5 from 4 votes

Coconut Macaroons

Easy to make classic coconut macaroons!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish
Keyword coconut macaroon, passover recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 59 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 164kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler.
  • Stir continuously for about five minutes until the mixture gets moist and gloopy.
  • Set the bowl containing the mixture on the counter to rest for thirty minutes. The coconut will absorb even more liquid as it cools.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Scoop golf ball-sized scoops of the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Bake for 7 minutes or until the coconut just starts to brown at the edges.
  • Lower oven temperature to 325 F and bake for another 12-15 minutes until there are brown patches throughout the macaroons.
  • Set the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack.
  • Once cool, remove the macaroons from the cookie sheet.
  • If not serving right away, store in an airtight container for up to three days (they are best on day one, but are still great on days two and three) or freeze until ready to serve.

Notes

You don't need any fancy equipment to make a double boiler; you simply set a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water.
There are so many fun flavor variations that you can use.
  • Ginger: Mix in 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Lemon, Lime, or Orange: Mix in the zest of a lemon, lime or orange to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Dried pineapple: Mix in 1/4 cup of finely chopped dried pineapple to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.
  • Chocolate dip or drizzle: Melt 3 ounces of chocolate and dip the cooled coconut macaroons into the chocolate or drizzle the chocolate on top of the macaroons.
  • Chocolate chips: Mix in 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips to the coconut mixture just before scooping onto the cookie sheet.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Coconut Macaroons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 164 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Potassium 123mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 0.6%
Iron 3.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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