Coconut Macaroons

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Simple Coconut Macaroons are made with minimal ingredients thanks to the “secret” — sweetened condensed milk! These macaroons are sweet, chewy, and completely addictive, especially when dipped and drizzled in chocolate! If you are a coconut lover, you are going to go crazy for these cookies.

Use leftover coconut flakes in these Coconut Oatmeal Cookies! Also, check out the Coconut Macaroons being featured in this Easter post with a free “Bunny Cottontails” Easter printable.

Coconut Macaroons stacked on top of each other

Coconut Macaroons

These macaroons are one of my mom’s “famous” recipes — I’ve shared her 7 Layer Bars, Carmelitas, and Rice Krispie Treats over the years, and am finally getting around to sharing this cookie recipe.

She’s known for these macaroons — so much so that people asked her if they’d be served at my sister’s wedding, ha! They were — in fact, we made several hundred of them the day before the wedding a couple of years ago. Good thing they are super easy to make!

A lot of the cookie recipes I’ve shared over the years can be fairly fussy to prepare, but these macaroons are about as easy and straightforward as they get. The base cookie only requires five ingredients. I’ll discuss those below.

Process shots-making Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroon Ingredients

  • Sweetened coconut flakes. There are a lot of varieties of coconut products in the stores these days. The most important thing to look for is that you are getting sweetened instead of unsweetened flakes– these cookies won’t be sweet enough otherwise. Also, be sure to get flakes– not desiccated coconut (dried and shredded), coconut flour, or coconut in a different form.
  • Sweetened condensed milk. Only sweetened condensed milk works in this recipe, so check the label to be sure you don’t get evaporated milk by mistake. Be sure to get the full-fat variety and avoid sugar-free cans. I personally use and love Eagle Brand® (not sponsored) sweetened condensed milk.
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Either work here; I do love the flecks of vanilla beans visible in the cookies when using the paste.
  • Fine sea salt. The salt acts as a great flavor enhancer and flavor balancer for these Coconut Macaroons.
  • Flour. Just a little bit of all-purpose, white flour helps hold everything together nicely.

That’s right — no baking soda, no baking powder, and no eggs required!

Process shots--making the chocolate topping for Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroon Tips

  • I highly recommend purchasing a new package of sweetened coconut flakes for these cookies. If you have some leftover lingering in the back of your pantry, you might want to save those for something else. These macaroons rely on very soft, ultra-fresh coconut for optimal flavor and texture. I even feel the bags at the store to find the softest feeling coconut!
  • Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to quickly beat the batter. While it can be mixed with a wooden spoon, the batter is very thick and sticky!
  • Use a cookie scoop! Not only does the cookie scoop make the process easier, but it also helps pack in the coconut. I use a scoop that is 1-1/2 tablespoons (about the size of a golf ball).
  • These cookies don’t spread. Basically, how these look going in the oven is how they’ll look coming out of the oven. You can bake quite a few all at the same time.
  • Embrace some browning. If the coconut browns a bit on the bottom or top, it’ll make the cookies taste even better — like toasted coconut!
  • Dip ’em. In my book, the only thing better than a Coconut Macaroon is one dipped in chocolate! Read more on this below.

Coconut Macaroons

Dip ’em in chocolate!

We love these Coconut Macaroons as is, but dipped in chocolate and they are sheer perfection! I also like to add a little drizzle of chocolate on top — they look pretty and taste even better (if you love chocolate as much as I do!). Here are a few tips:

  • Use high-quality chocolate chips for a better melt and a richer taste. My favorites are Ghirardelli® or Guittard® (not sponsored).
  • Microwave the chocolate chips in sturdy, heatsafe bowls instead of using plastic or melamine. 
  • To avoid burned chocolate chips, microwave the chips for 20 seconds at a time, and stir them for at least 20-25 seconds between each microwave burst. Remember, the chocolate is still melting even after it has been removed from the microwave. 
  • For the drizzle on top: Fit an open plastic bag inside a tall glass. Transfer some of the melted chocolate into the bag and then seal the bag without air in it. Press the chocolate down to one corner, snip off the top with scissors, and voila — it’s ready to pipe on these coconut macaroons!

QUICK TIP

Be careful when melting chocolate. If a drop of water gets in it, it may seize–get hard and grainy. Overheated chocolate may turn cloudy and sticky. Going slowly and gradually is the best way to prevent ruined chocolate!

Closeup of Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons FAQs

1What is the difference between a macaroon and a macaron?

An extra “o” makes all the difference.

Macaroon (two os; pronounced mack-a-ROON) is a mounded drop cookie made with shredded coconut.

A macaron (pronounced mack-a-ROHN) is made up of 2 almond-flour sandwich cookie shells that have a jam, ganache, or frosting filling inside.

2Why do my Coconut Macaroons fall apart?

It could be one of a few different reasons:

  • The mixture wasn’t compacted enough (balls were too loosely formed)
  • Old/hard coconut flakes
  • Using the wrong ingredients or the wrong type of coconut
  • Too much moisture/overly humid environment (add a tablespoon or two more flour!)

3How long do Coconut Macaroons keep?

These cookies will stay fresh, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. We do like these cookies best within 1-2 days of being made.

4Are Coconut Macaroons unhealthy?

Without chocolate, each macaroon has 120 calories.

There are 176 calories in one macaroon with the chocolate.

All cookies should be considered a treat,  not a health food. They have sugar (natural or refined) and no substantial nutrition. However, treats are wonderful things, and in moderation, they are part of what makes life wonderful! Coconut Macaroons aren’t nearly as decadent as many other treats.

*Always consult your nutrition professional for advice pertaining to your health.

5Can you freeze Coconut Macaroons?

These cookies freeze and defrost really well without the chocolate! Place all the cookies on a sheet pan in the freezer, freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw by pulling the macaroons out and leaving at room temperature (covered) for about an hour.

If you do freeze these cookies with the chocolate on, the chocolate may get cloudy when thawed. White spots will appear on the chocolate, which is just the milk solids rising to the top. It’s still safe to eat, but does not look as nice.

More delicious cookie recipes

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Coconut Macaroons

These simple Coconut Macaroons are made with minimal ingredients thanks to the "secret" -- sweetened condensed milk! These macaroons are sweet, chewy, and completely addictive, especially when dipped and drizzled in chocolate! If you are a coconut lover, you are going to go crazy for these cookies.
Print Recipe

Coconut Macaroons

These simple Coconut Macaroons are made with minimal ingredients thanks to the "secret" -- sweetened condensed milk! These macaroons are sweet, chewy, and completely addictive, especially when dipped and drizzled in chocolate! If you are a coconut lover, you are going to go crazy for these cookies.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword coconut macaroons
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 29 -32 cookies
Calories 114kcal
Cost $3.21

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (90g) white all-purpose flour
  • 5-1/2 cups (471g) sweetened coconut flakes Note 1
  • 1 can (14 oz.; 396g) full fat, regular sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • Optional: 1-1/2 cup milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon coconut or vegetable oil Note 2

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large trays with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and set aside.
  • COCONUT MACAROONS: In a very large bowl, add in the sweetened coconut flakes, flour, vanilla, and salt. Scoop out every bit of the sweetened condensed milk into the bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat ingredients until just combined; do not overmix. Use a large cookie scoop (1-1/2 tablespoons in size) to get golf ball-sized compressed (press into the cookie scoop) cookies. (See Note 3.)
  • BAKE: Place cookies on the prepared sheet pans, 1 inch apart. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted on top and bottoms are a very light brown. Don't overbake! Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before gently moving them with a metal spatula to a cooling rack.
  • OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE: If you want to dip these in chocolate, wait for the cookies to fully cool. Then, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in bursts of 20 seconds, stirring in between burst for 20-25 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remember, chocolate is melting even outside of the microwave, so stir for a while to ensure it doesn't get burned. Transfer about 1/4 cup (just eyeball it) of melted chocolate to a plastic bag. Seal the bag without air in it and set aside.
  • DIP: Generously dip the base of each cooled cookie in the remaining melted chocolate; transfer dipped cookies back to the parchment paper-lined trays. Use scissors to cut a tiny tip off the plastic bag with the remaining melted chocolate and drizzle that chocolate over the cookies. Allow to set up at room temperature.
  • STORAGE: These cookies will stay fresh, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. We like these cookies best within 1-2 days of being made. These cookies freeze and defrost really well without the chocolate. Place all the cookies on a sheet pan in the freezer, freeze until solid, and then transfer to an airtight freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: These macaroons rely on very soft, ultra-fresh, coconut for optimal flavor and texture. I even feel the bags at the store to find the softest feeling coconut! Make sure to get sweetened flakes.
Note 2: We love milk chocolate best, but any chocolate works here. If you're worried about sweetness, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate.
Note 3: The cookie scoop will get sticky and need to be washed a few times in the process. I like to spray it with nonstick spray or use another spoon to help coax it out of the cookie scoop. You can leave the cookies as is right out of the scoop for a more rustic appearance, or quickly roll them with your hands for a nicer appearance.
Nutrition information is for Coconut Macaroons without chocolate. There are 176 calories in one serving of these macaroons with the optional chocolate.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. will be making this soon i love macaroons sooooooooooooo much i never had homemade coconut macaroons before will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

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