This year for the holiday season I’m gifting little boxes of coconut macaroons, the perfect sweet treat!

December means cookies and around these parts, holiday cookies most definitely means macaroons. No, I don’t mean those delicate, finicky French almond macaron treats – I mean crisp and coconutty haystacks. A good coconut macaroon is a delicious thing: tall and mounded with crisp and crunchy outsides and soft chewy insides.

I’m a huge fan of macaroons, especially when they’re homemade. I love coconut macaroons! They’re coconutty, hearty, chewy little cookie-cakes that are the perfect tea time snack.

chocolate covered macaroons |

Macaroon cookies

If you haven’t had one, macaroons are little coconut cookie-cakes that are usually mounded up like a cute little snow capped mountain. They’re dense and moist and sweet and are probably going to be the easiest cookie you’ll ever make. They also keep well for days making them the best bake ahead treat. If you like mounds bars or almond joys, you will LOVE these coconut macaroons.

This coconut macaroon recipe is near and dear to me. It was gifted to me by a dear friend years ago and is one of my favorite treats to bake and gift. Macaroons are kind of unassuming: they don’t have the wow factor of iced gingerbread cookies and they don’t have the instant recognition of chocolate chip cookies. But to me, they are perfect.

Macaron vs macaroons

Macaron are those notoriously difficult to make little French flat almond floured based cookies that sandwich different flavored fillings. Macaroons are mounded cookie haystacks made with shredded coconut. The only difference between their names is an extra “O” but the difference between the two treats is vast.

Personally, while I love having a macaron on occasion (if it’s from a patisserie and well made) it’s more of a poncy sometimes treat. Truth be told, I would much rather eat macaroons.

macaroons |

How to make coconut macaroons

Making coconut macaroons is super easy. It’s probably the easiest cook you’ll ever make. All you do is measure, stir, and bake. No whipping eggs, no chill time, just mix, bake, and eat!

  1. Mix. Mix together shredded coconut, a bit of flour, and sugar.
  2. Stir. Stir in the egg whites until everything comes together.
  3. Scoop. Scoop out little mounds on to a baking sheet.
  4. Bake. Bake until lightly toasted, let cool, and enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons |

Coconut macaroon ingredients

You only need four ingredients for these perfectly plush cookies!

  • Shredded coconut. You’ll want to pick up a bag of unsweetened shredded coconut, also sometimes called fancy coconut. More on shredded coconut and all of its varieties below!
  • Sugar. We’re going to use just enough sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of coconut.
  • Flour. Lots of macaroons are gluten free (these can be too, just sub almond or coconut flour!) but I find that just the tiniest amount of flour helps everything hold together properly.
  • Egg whites. Egg whites are what is going to bind everything and also give the macaroons crispy edges and a moist middle.

What is shredded coconut?

Shredded coconut is what you think of when you buy coconut for baking. It’s dry, but with a tiny bit of moisture, shredded into thin strips. You’ll find it in the baking aisle. Shredded coconut goes by a bunch of different names: grated coconut, desiccated coconut, dried shredded coconut, and fancy coconut.

If you end up getting desiccated coconut, you’ll find that its pieces are not as long as shredded coconut. It will still work for these macaroons, but I prefer the texture of shredded. Whichever type of shred you end up getting, make sure you go for unsweetened.

coconut flakes |

Tips and tricks for coconut macaroons

Use a cookie scoop! I like my trusty medium cookie scoop, which portions out the batter into 1.5 tablespoon cookies.

Don’t bake them too long. You want a little bit of golden toastiness, but don’t over bake or you might end up with dry macaroons.

How to decorate macaroons

Sometimes I keep them pure and have them plain but a little chocolate bottom with a drizzle of chocolate on top is very festive. You can even make peppermint bark macaroons by putting 1/4 teaspoon mint extract into the batter, drizzle with dark and white chocolate, and sprinkle on crushed up peppermint candy canes!

macaroon cookies |

Why this coconut macaroon recipe is the best

  • No whipping egg whites
  • No condensed milk
  • Your macaroons will not spread because the batter is stiff
  • Your macaroons will not burn because there isn’t a huge amount of condensed milk pooling around the edges
  • Super simple, only 4 ingredients
  • You can easily make them gluten free by swapping the flour for coconut or almond flour
  • Mega coconutty flavor
  • Perfectly toasty on the outside and chewy and moist on the inside
  • Super fast

macaroons |

How long do coconut macaroons last?

To store and keep your coconut macaroons, keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

Happy macaroon-ing! I ate five of these for breakfast today >_<
xoxo steph

PS – Other things to make with shredded coconut if you have some extra:

Coconut Macaroons |

Coconut Macaroons

A good coconut macaroon is a delicious thing: tall and mounded with crisp and crunchy outsides and soft chewy insides.
Serves 16 Cookies
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins


  • 172 g unsweetened shredded coconut 6oz, roughly 2 2/3 cups
  • 67 g sugar 2/3 cup
  • 45 g all purpose flour 1/3 cup
  • 120 g egg whites about 4 egg whites


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine the coconut, sugar, and flour in a bowl.
    coconut flakes |
  • Stir in the egg whites.
    coconut macaroon batter |
  • Use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookies in mounds and place the mounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    coconut macaroons ready to bake |
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are very lightly golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!
    coconut macaroons |

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Coconut Macaroons
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 87
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.7g15%
Saturated Fat 8.3g52%
Cholesterol 0.01mg0%
Sodium 13mg1%
Potassium 16mg0%
Carbohydrates 13.9g5%
Fiber 1.8g8%
Sugar 9.3g10%
Protein 2.1g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Rosa Louie says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and very excited to try this recipe, because I love coconut and also because I’ve had extra egg whites sitting in my fridge I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. I do have a question about the coconut – though the picture you provided to illustrate what “shredded” means is very helpful, 2.6 cups is a tricky amount to measure. Can you provide any further information? I’m assuming you didn’t provide the weight in grams because different coconut brands weigh differently. I’m a moderately experienced baker, but have had a few coconut recipe fails that I think can be attributed to the fact that coconut brands are so all over the map in terms of size/weight (so I weighed my coconut and ended up adding too much)… for example, the unsweetened coconut that’s easiest to find in my area is Let’s Do Organic, but because the shreds are so tiny, I’m assuming it counts as “dessicated,” though the bag clearly says “shredded” (

    Can you tell us what brand you used, and how we might measure 2.6 cups?

    Thank you!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi rosa,
      i just measured out my coconut and for the shreds, 2 2/3 cups came out to 6 ounces. if you don’t want to use a scale, 2 2/3 cups will do :) the brand coconut i used was local brand, i don’t think they sell it anywhere else. hope that helps!

  2. Nadine says:

    I dont understand this 2.6 cup coconut. Is this two and two thirds cups coconut, or some mysterious fraction of 1 cup of coconut?

    1. Stephanie says:

      it’s 2 and 2/3 cups. for some reason the recipe plug in doesn’t like 1/3 cups :)


    Can you please give the directions for the cookies as shown with the chocolate?
    Thank you

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kelly,
      i melted some chopped up baking chocolate (2 ounces) in a double boiler over low heat and then dipped the bottoms and place them on a lined baking sheet. i used a spoon to drizzle extra on top then popped everything into the fridge where it set.

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