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Coconut Macaroons

These classic, easy Coconut Macaroons are the perfect treat for true coconut lovers! My 30-minute recipe is very simple to make with coconut, egg whites, vanilla, and just a touch of flour and sugar (no sweetened condensed milk in sight). You’ll fall head over heels for this classic cookie with its sweet, moist interior and slightly crunchy exterior.

If you need a quick and elegant dessert for dinner, you can mix and bake these coconut macaroons in under 30 minutes. That’s a winner in my book.

Coconut macaroons on a white pedestal.

If there was ever a “classic” recipe, Coconut Macaroons is certainly one. According to the culinary encyclopedia Larousse Gastronomique, macaroons are an ancient sweet treat with roots dating back to the 8th century. The earliest record was traced to Commercy, France, in the year 791, where they were made at a local convent.

Of course, the original recipe was probably quite different from our modern versions. And there are so many versions! Many of them contain sweetened, condensed milk and loads of sugar. Some are dipped in chocolate (which is really good!), some contain nuts, some contain fruits.

But this version is my favorite, probably because it’s not nearly as sweet as most of the others. Mine have a very prominent taste of sweetened coconut and vanilla, but most of all, they’re incredibly easy to make. You simply mix together a few ingredients and pop them in the oven until they reach a beautiful golden brown on the bottom, and there you are! Simple.

🤔 What’s the Difference Between Macaroons and Macarons?

You’ve probably heard of “macarons” (they’ve become really popular in the last few years) and wondered whether they were the same as “macaroons.” Even though the words are very much alike and pronounced similarly, the actual cookies are quite different. Macaroons are made with shredded coconut. Macarons are a meringue sandwich cookie with buttercream or ganache fillings.

❤️ Why I Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make (30 minutes start to finish)
  • Uses common ingredients (nothing fancy here!)
  • Can be made ahead and freezes well

You’ll also find this recipe in my cookbook!

Coconut Macaroons are on page 284 of my cookbook, My Southern Table. Get your signed copy today.

🛒 Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make this recipe.

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  • Sweetened flaked coconut — I specifically recommend Baker’s Sweetened Angel Flake Coconut brand for this recipe. It’s dependable and always works out just right. I wouldn’t try frozen or unsweetened coconut in this.
  • Sugar — plain old granulated white sugar.
  • All-purpose flour – My personal favorite is White Lily flour.
  • Salt
  • Egg whites
  • Vanilla extract – Choose a quality brand such as Nielsen Massey.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How I Make Coconut Macaroons

Prep the Oven and Baking Sheets

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set them aside.

👉 PRO TIP: Instead of greasing the baking sheets, you can line them with parchment paper if you like. It makes clean up very easy and ensures that the cookies won’t stick to the pans.

  1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. 
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork until frothy.
  3. Add the beaten egg whites and vanilla to the coconut mixture. Stir with a fork until well mixed.
  1. On the prepared baking sheets, drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls. You can also use a very small cookie scoop to portion them out.
  2. Place the two baking sheets in the lowest positions in the oven. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Switch places with the baking sheets halfway through baking.
  3. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 30-36 macaroons.
Macaroons in a glass serving dish.

🔀 Variations, Options, and Add-Ins

  • For a deeper coconut flavor, toast the coconut briefly before adding it to the recipe.
  • Add 1/2 cup of your choice of mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or finely diced dried fruit to the batter.
  • Cooled macaroons may be dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts (toasted almonds are especially delicious!)
Coconut macaroons on a white pedestal.

❓ Questions About Coconut Macaroons

How do I store the macaroons?

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. To freeze the macaroons, wrap well in plastic wrap and place the wrapped cookies in a plastic freezer container (to prevent breakage). May be frozen for up to 6 months. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

I thought macaroons contained sweetened condensed milk?

There are definitely recipes out there for macaroons with sweetened condensed milk. In my opinion, those recipes are overly sweet and hide a lot of the true coconut flavor. You’ll find this recipe will produce a macaroon with a light texture, a sweet, chewy interior, and with predominant flavors of coconut and vanilla.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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Coconut macaroons on a white pedestal.

Coconut Macaroons

A 30-minute recipe for easy Coconut Macaroons, the perfect treat for coconut lovers with a sweet, moist interior and slightly crunchy exterior.
5 from 7 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 35kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 ⅔ cups sweetened flaked coconut (recommend Baker's Angel Flake sweeted coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set them aside.
  • In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the coconut, sugar, flour, and salt.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork until frothy.
  • Add the egg whites and vanilla to the coconut mixture. Stir with a fork until well mixed.
  • On greased baking sheets, drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls.
  • Place the two baking sheets in the lowest positions in the oven. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom, switching places with the baking sheets halfway through baking.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks.

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
  • To freeze the macaroons, wrap well in plastic wrap and place the wrapped cookies in a plastic freezer container (to prevent breakage). May be frozen for up to 6 months. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 35kcal | Carbohydrates 4g | Protein 1g | Fat 2g | Saturated Fat 2g | Sodium 40mg | Potassium 29mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 3g | Calcium 1mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on January 19, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and some additional information.

Coconut macaroons on a pink and white serving plate.
5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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15 Comments

  1. Aunt Rand says:

    OooLaLa!! EXACTLY what my great-niece will love for her upcoming French themed 12th Birthday Party!! We just bought everything, including sweetened condensed milk, for a recipe on the back of a fresh cranberries. Will now use your recipe!! (1/2 with chopped cranberries)

  2. Hi there

    Can I use gluten free flour in place of reg flour?

  3. I love cocoanut. Always have. Think I may try these this weekend.

    Miss P

  4. Could you explain this portion of the recipe?
    “Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom, switching places with the baking sheets halfway through baking.” Are there two pans in the oven: one up and one down? Thank you.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Yes, two pans. They should both be in the bottom half of the oven.

  5. I love, love macaroons, too, Lana. And my recipe is quite similar to yours—I don’t mind recipes with sweetened condensed milk, but I prefer them without :) Now I have a big craving!!!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I don’t mind sweetened condensed milk either, Liz, but I really prefer these macaroons without it and with less sugar. Although I wouldn’t turn down one made with condensed milk :-)

  6. These are some of my favorite. Thanks for the history lesson. How interesting to know how they originated.
    Neena

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Mama – I really like this recipe because I’ve cut way back on the sugar used in it (most recipes would call for about 2/3 cup of sugar) and it tastes more strongly of coconut and vanilla instead of being so, so sweet.

  7. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    I love macaroons and even though I’ve tried making the seemingly more elegant ‘macaron’ I have to say, even when successful I still like their cousin. the macaroon better!

    I did gussy some up once and made German Chocolate Macaroons; you have to admit that is a nice marriage; all that coconut and chocolate and pecans! :)

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Ohhh….German Chocolate Macaroons!! Yum.

  8. Jean Alfieri says:

    Sound yummy and easy to make!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Very easy to make!

  9. I like that this recipe uses very little sugar and look forward trying them. How to you think they would freeze? It’s just the two of us and need to ration the sweets.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      They do freeze well, Deb! They should be wrapped very well in plastic wrap and I then put the wrapped cookies in a plastic freezer container (they’ll break easily if something falls on top of them). They last about six months in the freezer.