Coconut Macaroons

5 Min Read

Easy, Perfect Coconut Macaroons

Not to be confused with their fancy French cousin, the macaron, today’s coconut macaroons are a relatively simple and straightforward cookie. They use only a few ingredients, come together quickly, and, as a bonus, are relatively low in calories (but really, who’s counting?).

Made with sweetened condensed milk and no flour, coconut macaroons are actually closer to being a candy than coconut cookies. To up their candy-like flavor, you can even dip them in chocolate–this is my favorite way to eat them!

Perhaps the most complicated parts of this recipe are 1) following it carefully and 2) whipping your egg whites. Like meringue cookies, coconut macaroons need egg whites whipped to stiff peaks. If this makes you nervous, don’t worry–I’ve got plenty of tips to help you along the way!

Let’s get started!

Ingredients for Coconut Macaroons


Here are some of the key ingredients you’ll need to make my coconut macaroons:

  • Sweetened shredded coconut. Use sweetened shredded coconut. Unsweetened coconut doesn’t have the same texture or flavor and is more prone to falling apart. I now recommend pulverizing the coconut briefly in the food processor, which I didn’t do when I first shared this macaroon recipe. This makes the texture of the macaroon softer, more even, and less stringy. You can skip this step if you want to; however, all of my taste testers preferred the pulverized coconut texture.
  • Sweetened condensed milk. Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk and NOT evaporated milk (a common mistake that leaves you with runny coconut macaroons). My original recipe called for slightly more milk, but I’ve reduced it to make sure you don’t experience “puddles” beneath your coconut macaroons. Note: you will NOT use a full 14oz can of condensed milk.
  • Vanilla and coconut extracts. For flavor, I recommend adding both vanilla and coconut extract. My original recipe only called for vanilla, but I find adding the coconut extract really brings out the coconut flavor of the macaroons. If you don’t have coconut extract or don’t want to use it, they’ll still taste great without it!
  • Egg whites. You’ll need only egg whites for this recipe–no yolks! I recommend using fresh eggs and not the whites from a carton, as those tend to have a hard time reaching stiff peaks. Under-beating the eggs (or over-mixing when you’re stirring them into the coconut/condensed milk) can also cause puddles to form under your coconut macaroons.
  • Chocolate. This is optional, but if you’re a fan of chocolate and coconut like me, you can dip your macaroons in melted chocolate. I suggest using a semisweet or dark baking bar (chopped), melting wafers, or chocolate chips.

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

  1. Pulse the coconut flakes in a food processor until you have fine, snowy flakes. While this step is optional, it gives the macaroons a finer, less stringy texture that I think is worth the extra effort.
  2. Stir together coconut, condensed milk, extracts, and salt until completely combined.
  3. In a separate, clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until you have thick, glossy peaks. You must beat the egg whites all the way to stiff peaks or the macaroons will spread all over the baking sheet.
  4. Gently fold the egg whites into your other ingredients until completely combined. Use a spatula for this step, being too aggressive with the mixing will deflate the egg whites you just worked so hard to whip!
  1. Drop coconut macaroons by rounded scoops onto baking sheet (use your fingers to tuck in any stray coconut flakes!) and bake until the edges are just beginning to turn light golden.
  2. Let cookies cool completely, then dunk the bottoms in melted chocolate (or drizzle them with chocolate instead!).
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