Beautiful and delicious coconut macaroons are the quintessential coconut lovers treat. Made without condensed milk, these are simply perfect coconut macaroons. Enjoy plain or garnished with salt or chocolate. These macaroons are a naturally gluten free, too!
Are you a coconut lover? If so, you owe it to yourself to drop whatever you’re doing and make these Coconut Macaroons right now! They are toasty and crispy on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside, and just the perfect amount of sweet.
These simply perfect coconut macaroons are made without sweetened condensed milk. Simply combine coconut with egg whites, a bit of sugar and vanilla and bake.
Ok, maybe it’s a bit dramatic to suggest that you drop everything now. But soon :) These are a coconut lovers treat, that can be garnished with just a sprinkling of finishing salt for a lovely sweet and salty flavour. Or put a few chocolate chips on top as soon as you take them out of the oven, to bring a little chocolate to your coconut.
Coconut – you can use either sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut or, if you have access to them, unsweetened coconut chips.
Egg Whites – you will need 4 egg whites. I’ve included some ideas for using up the extra egg yolks below for you!
White Sugar – you can tweak the added sugar to some extent to your taste, though some amount is needed to create the “glue” that keeps these cookies together. For most control, start with unsweetened coconut and the lower amount of sugar and adjust slightly up or down to taste.
These coconut macaroons start by simply stirring together the coconut, egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Next, we’ll heat the mixture in the bowl, set in a skillet of simmering water. Be sure to stir regularly and warm the mixture until it is hot to the touch. Allow to stand for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Once ready to bake, use a 2-inch scoop to portion out 12 macaroons on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 350F, then reduce the oven to 300F and bake about 15 minutes more, or until golden and set. Top with salt or chocolate chips as soon as they come out of the oven.
When it comes to heating the macaroon mixture on the stove-top, you can use either a stainless steel bowl or a glass bowl. Stainless in preferred if you can, as it heats more quickly. If using glass, make sure that your water doesn’t boil too vigorously. The heating will take longer with a glass bowl.
Toasted coconut is fabulous, but scorched coconut definitely isn’t. So watch your macaroons when they are in the oven and lower the oven temperature if they seem to be browning too quickly or too much.
Macaroons are sweet, but I love to pair them with a healthy sprinkling of a coarse finishing salt right when they come out of the oven. The combination of sweet and salty flavours is where macaroons really shine!
Storing your Coconut Macaroons
Coconut macaroons don’t need to be refrigerated. They will keep well in an airtight container for 4 or 5 days.
You can freeze coconut macaroons in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
What to do with the left-over 4 egg yolks
Check out my post “What to Do with Left-over Egg Yolks“, where I have 8 recipes listed that will all use up those left-over egg yolks.
Alternately, keep in the fridge and slip an extra yolk into an omelette or frittata.
Get the Recipe: Alice Medrich's Coconut Macaroons
- 4 large (4 ) egg whites
- 3 cups (280 ml) sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut, or 3 1/2 cups of unsweetened dried coconut chips
- 1/3 - 2/3 cup (100 g) white sugar, use 1/3 - 1/2 cup for sweetened coconut and 1/2 - 2/3 cup for unsweetened coconut, to taste *see Note 1
- 2 tsp. (9.86 ml) pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 tsp. (1.23 g) salt
For garnish (optional):
- Fleur de Sel, or other coarse finishing salt
- Toasted almond slices
- Chocolate chips or pieces
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Combine all of the ingredients (except garnish items) in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel but glass will work.4 large egg whites, 1/3 - 2/3 cup white sugar, 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. salt
- Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the mixture with a spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, about 7 to 10 minutes. (I find glass bowls take longer).
- Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the flavours to meld.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Position rack in the centre of the oven.
- Using 2 tablespoons of batter, make heaps of mixture 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet. (I used my plastic egg separator to shape the cookies and then tapped onto baking sheet).
- Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to color, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Lower the temperature to 300F and bake for about 15 minutes more, until the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold colour, with deeper brown edges. Watch regularly and rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time.
- Set the pan or just the liner on a rack to cool. Sprinkle with salt, if using. If topping with chocolate, place your chocolate chips on top as soon as they've come out of the oven and let them melt on their own for 5-10 minutes, then use a skewer to stir them a bit on top. If you'd like to top with some toasted almonds as well, spread on a cookie sheet and pop into the hot oven to toast right after you take your macaroons out. Let cookies cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie.
- The cookies are best on the day they are baked. The exterior is crisp and chewy and the interior soft and moist. Although the crispy edges will soften, the cookies remain delicious stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
- Adjust the added sugar based on taste and whether you are starting with sweetened or unsweetened coconut. For sweetened coconut, somewhere between 1/3 - 1/2 cups is suggested. I generally use 1/2 cup, but I salt the tops heavily. For unsweetened coconut, try between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup, to taste.
Adapted slightly from Alice Medrich
I’m a huge coconut fan Jennifer, so I have to add these to my baking list! They look perfect!
Thanks Mary Ann :) They are a wonderful coconut treat and this is easily my favourite version!
I definitely am a coconut lover! Love it in food and scented stuff. These macaroons look like such a delicious way to kick off the week. Wish I had a couple right about now to go with my coffee. :)
Thanks Dawn and yes, perfect with a cuppa :)
Lovely recipe! I am a huge coconut macaroon fan but never make them at home – excited to try this recipe out! And the ideas for using the yolks all look delicious!
Thanks Milena! I am a coconut lover, so love to make these often :)
I make very similar coconut macaroons, but with regular unsweetened coconut flakes (desiccated coconut), but am quite intrigued about the coconut chips. Haven’t seen them here in Estonia – we have either regular small ones or then those really large ones that are lovely as a garnish, but wouldn’t work in your macaroons.
Hi Pille, they aren’t all that common here, either. I find them at my local health food store. They have a lovely texture. Very chewy, so nice for macaroons.
I made this last fall…BEST macaroons ever!!! Yours are perfect!
Thanks Liz. I loved them!
Wow these look so beautiful and sound delicious!
Thanks so much, Sophie. They would be a great treat for your Mom. My Dad is a macaroon lover as well, but needing to watch his sugar these days, so I had to keep these away from him. I feel badly … I’m sure I inherited my sweet tooth from him ;)
These are just beautiful! You have such talent for photographing your creations :) These remind me of the macroons my mom used to make… until I grew up, I actually thought macaroons always had coconut in them :) Happily, my health-food store locally sells coconut chips, too! I’ll have to make these!… and give some to Mom :)
I am a huge fan of coconut and macaroons in general.
I have always loved coconut, but for some reason have never made macaroons (although I’ve eaten a few :)
I will definitely have to make these Jennifer! I love coconut macaroons and a little bit of chocolate never hurts! Thanks for the tip about checking out your local health food store – I will have to do that! :)
Thanks Liz. I find all kinds of goodies at the health food store. Love it for natural parchment and baking cups and small bags of flours and baking ingredients. And coconut chips, of course :)