Learn how to make classic coconut macaroons that are crisp on the outside with a moist, chewy interior. Easy gluten-free recipe with just five ingredients.

Overhead close-up shot of coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate.

Original publish date: April 12, 2019

Spring has sprung!

Right now I am all about spring recipes like carrot cake cupcakeslemon loaf, and pineapple upside down cake. These kinds of flavors just scream spring to me!

Same goes for coconut. For some reason I always associate coconut with this time of year.

And nothing could be more iconic than classic coconut macaroons. They’re sticky sweet and so good.

I especially love the kind you can get on the boardwalk at the shore. Big as your fist and so chewy and moist.

They totally converted me from a coconut-hater to a coconut LOVER!!

Bonus points if they’re dipped in chocolate.

If you like macaroons that are light and a little crisp on the outside, with a soft, moist interior, then look no further! This coconut macaroon recipe is JUST like the ones that you get on the boardwalk.

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

Table of Contents

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Why this is the best coconut macaroons recipe

Simple ingredients: These cookies are simple, with only five ingredients.

Easy: This is an easy recipe that doesn’t require any fancy techniques. If you can whip up some egg whites, you can make these cookies!

Texture: The chewy coconut combined with the sweetened condensed milk and fluffy whipped egg whites creates an irresistibly toothsome texture!

Versatile: You can get creative with these coconut macaroons in so many different ways. I like to dip them in melted chocolate and add a drizzle on top, but you could also dip them in white chocolate or incorporate other flavorings like citrus zest for a personalized touch.

Gluten-free: I love that these cookies are naturally gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them.


Ingredients for coconut macaroons

Coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut gives macaroons their signature flavor and texture.

Sweetened condensed milk: Sweetens the cookies and helps with the chewy texture. You’ll need more than half a can of condensed milk. Make sure you buy “sweetened condensed milk” and not “evaporated milk.” They are NOT the same thing!

Extracts: A combination of vanilla extract and almond extract add a touch of sweet, aromatic flavor and compliment the coconut.

Egg whites: The whites only (from large chicken eggs or a 1:1 plant-based substitute) act as a binder, giving structure to the macaroons.

Salt: Salt balances out the sweetness of the macaroons and helps to carry and intensify all the flavors. I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any bitter-tasting additives (like iodized table salt does), and it’s cheap and easy to source.

Chocolate: This ingredient is completely optional but melted chocolate (either dark, milk, or white) can be used for dipping the bottoms of the macaroons or drizzling on top.

Variations and substitutions

Almond Joy macaroons: Incorporate chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips into the macaroon mixture to mimic the flavors of an Almond Joy candy bar.

Citrus zest: Add the zest of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, or lime to the macaroon mixture for a burst of citrusy freshness.

Chocolate mint macaroons: Mix in mint extract and fold in mini chocolate chips to create a refreshing chocolate-mint variation.

Tools and equipment

How to make perfect coconut macaroons

This easy recipe comes together in just 5 steps (or less!).

Step 1: Make the coconut mixture

Coconut flakes, condensed milk, vanilla, and almond extracts all go into a big bowl. Stir in just enough condensed milk to make the mixture sticky without it being overly wet.

Pouring condensed milk over shredded coconut for macaroons.

Add half the can at first and stir in a little more at a time until you get the right consistency.

Shredded coconut mixed with sweetened condensed milk.

Step 2: Whip the whites

Whip the egg whites until they can hold stiff peaks.

Whipped egg whites on a whisk.

Step 3: Fold

Add the whites to the bowl and fold everything together. You’ll notice the egg whites will make the mixture even more wet.

Bowl of coconut, condensed milk, and stiffly whipped egg whites for macaroons.

That’s your coconut macaroon batter made! Pretty simple, right?

Close up of coconut macaroons batter

Step 4: Bake

Use a 1/4-cup scoop to shape the mixture. Pack the batter in there as tight as you can, and try not to have strands of coconut hanging off the sides of the scoop. Then, press them onto your prepared baking sheets.

Unbaked coconut macaroons scooped onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake the macaroons until golden brown.

Step 5: Garnish (optional)

Melt the dark chocolate using a double boiler, or in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each.

Dip the little mounds of coconut cookies in melted dark chocolate and drizzle the tops. This extra step is optional, but it makes for a really pretty presentation.

Overhead image of coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

How to serve

  • Serve coconut macaroons on a decorative platter or in a stylish bowl as a classic and inviting dessert. These treats taste delicious with a cup of gourmet coffee or espresso.
  • For Easter, arrange the macaroons in the shape of a nest and fill the center with chocolate eggs or other small candies for a birds’ nest display.
  • Use as a decorative element on cakes or cupcakes.
  • Include these cookies on a candy buffet at events or celebrations.

Expert tips

  • Have leftover condensed milk? Try putting it in your coffee! It’s SO good. You can also use it to make no-churn ice cream, banoffee pie, fudge, or key lime pie.
  • Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature before whipping. This helps achieve greater volume when whipping them.
  • When combining the egg whites with the coconut mixture, use a gentle folding technique to maintain the light and airy texture. Avoid overmixing, as it can deflate the egg whites.
  • Keep a close eye on the cookies as they bake. Overbaking can result in dry macaroons. Aim for a golden-brown color on the edges.
  • Allow the macaroons to cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them set and achieve the desired texture.
  • If adding chocolate, use a piping bag or a fork to create elegant drizzles. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.
Overhead image of chocolate dipped coconut macaroons in a white bowl.


What is the difference between coconut macaroons and French macarons?

It’s an easy mistake to call macarons “macaroons,” but they are actually two completely different things.

French macarons are made with almond flour and meringue, and they’re sandwiched around a filling.

Macaroons are made with coconut and condensed milk. They’re naturally gluten-free and perfect for Passover.

How do you know how much condensed milk to add to the coconut mixture?

Not enough condensed milk will result in dry macaroons, and too much will cause your macaroons to spread too much and form a puddle of condensed milk around the base.

Look for a sticky texture that’s not too wet.

Why is there a puddle of condensed milk around my baked coconut macaroons?

If you have a ring of condensed milk around your baked macaroons, there was too much condensed milk in your batter.

If this happens, don’t worry. You can easily trim the excess using a sharp knife or round cookie cutter.

How to store

Room temperature: Place these cookies in an airtight container. They can be left out at room temperature for up to a week.

Refrigerator: If they haven’t been eaten after a week at room temperature, transfer them to the refrigerator. They will be good for another week.

Freezer: Macaroons freeze beautifully. They’ll last, tightly wrapped, in the freezer for at least a month or two. Thaw them at room temperature and they’re just as delicious as the day they were made!

Bowl full of coconut macaroons with dark chocolate drizzle.

If you love coconut, definitely give this recipe a try! It’s got such a great flavor and moist, chewy texture. Bake up a batch or two for Easter or Passover!

A few more of my best coconut recipes

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Overhead close-up shot of coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Coconut Macaroons

Servings: 10 to 12 2-inch diameter cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Learn how to make classic coconut macaroons that are crisp on the outside with a moist, chewy interior. Easy gluten-free recipe with just 5 ingredients.  



  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Place the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl and stir together until combined.  (The coconut should be moistened but not overly wet.)
  • Whip the egg whites and salt together until they hold stiff peaks, and fold into the coconut mixture.
  • Scoop 1/2 cup mounds onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 28 to 36 minutes, or until lightly golden.  
  • Optional: Dip the bottoms of the cooled macaroons in dark chocolate and drizzle additional chocolate on top. 
Calories: 285kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 204mg, Potassium: 238mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 0.9mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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