These super easy 5-ingredient gluten-free coconut macaroons are crispy on the outside and soft inside with a chewy texture. Fragrant with the taste and smell of coconut, they are the perfect snack for anytime of the day or a light dessert after meals. Make a big batch of these cookies in just 30 minutes and you can snack on them all week. Naturally dairy-free too, but no one would know!
- Cookie Exchange Season
- What are Macaroons?
- Why This Recipe Works
- Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ingredient Notes/Substitutions:
- How to Make Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons (Step by Step):
- Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Other Gluten-Free Cookies You’ll Enjoy!
- Sweet Treats to Indulge In:
- Your Turn…
- Easy Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons (Dairy-Free)
Cookie Exchange Season
It’s the time for holiday baking, and between batches of the typical Christmas cookies such as gingerbread cookies, snickerdoodles, molasses cookies, and crunchy almond biscotti, my oven has certainly been working hard this holiday season.
While these coconut macaroons aren’t as common as the other cookies, they definitely warrant a place at your cookie table, or as part of the cookie exchange this year!
What are Macaroons?
Macaroons are small cakes or cookies made primarily with ground almonds, coconut, or other nuts, in addition to sugar and additional flavorings (such as vanilla, honey, or spices). Some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, and some also call for a chocolate coating.
Coconut macaroons basically refer to macaroons made with shredded coconut, and these coconut cookies make a perfect sweet snack for the coconut lover that’s super easy to come together.
(Do not to confuse macaroons with the French macaron, an egg-white cookie sandwich.)
This is one of the earliest cookie recipes I’d ever made, adapted from Lan’s chocolate coconut macaroons.
Why This Recipe Works
- Just 5 Simple Ingredients: All you need is just 5 basic ingredients that you probably already have (and if not, are easily accessible).
- Ready in No Time: You can bake a big batch of these homemade macaroons from scratch in just 30 minutes.
- Toasted Outside, Soft Interior: When first baked and fresh out of the oven, these chewy coconut macaroons are baked until toasted and crispy on the exterior while maintaining a soft, cake-like interior. (If not eaten within the same day, the outside will no longer be crispy after a while as coconut absorbs moisture from the environment.)
- Make Any Shape You Like: The first time I made these gluten-free coconut macaroons, I shaped them into small tiny pyramids, but this time, I wanted to shape them into small igloo-like domes. Since the macaroon cookie dough is very easy to mold, you can literally make them in any shape you like.
- Totally Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free: This recipe doesn’t use any wheat flour, but uses shredded unsweetened coconut as the bulk of its ingredients instead. Also, unlike other coconut macaroon recipes which use condensed milk, this version doesn’t require any lactose, which makes it naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. This means that even those with Celiac disease or have gluten or lactose intolerances can still enjoy these cookies!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s a visual overview of the ingredients required for making this gluten-free macaroons recipe.
(For exact measurements and quantities, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- Shredded Coconut: I prefer using unsweetened coconut since we are already adding sugar to this recipe.
- Eggs: The eggs are essential in binding the ingredients together. If you prefer not to use egg yolks, you can substitute the 2 whole eggs with 4 egg whites instead. Alternatively, if you are allergic to eggs or simply want to make vegan coconut macaroons, you can use aquafaba or en egg-replacer instead.
- Sugar: I used normal white sugar in this recipe. However, you can also use light brown sugar, maple sugar, or coconut sugar if your prefer (just bear in mind that using brown sugar or coconut sugar will make the macaroons a darker brown in color). If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend that you use Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (a 1:1 sugar alternative with zero glycemic index).
- Vanilla Extract: I like adding vanilla extract to give it extra flavor, but if you rather not, or don’t happen to have vanilla on hand, that’s fine too. Alternatively, you may also use almond extract if you like the flavor of almonds.
- Water: I used water in this recipe because it’s easier, but you may also use non-dairy milks such as almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, soy milk or coconut milk.
How to Make Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons (Step by Step):
1. Preheat and Line
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, mix the unsweetened shredded coconut with the sugar until combined.
3. Add Wet Ingredients to Form Dough
Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the coconut mixture in the large bowl and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is easily shapeable.
4. Shape the Dough
For each macaroon, 1 tablespoon of dough (either with a small ice cream scoop or cookie scoop) and shape into a small dome. Place the domes in a single layer 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the tops of the coconut cookies are golden brown.
6. Cool Before Eating
Let the baked macaroons cool on the cookie sheet at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before removing and transferring them to a wire rack to cool fully before serving.
Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks:
- Size the Macaroons As You Wish: I used 1 tablespoon of cookie dough per macaroon, which gave me approximately 24 coconut cookies in total, but if you prefer to make smaller cookies, simply use 1/2 tablespoon to get double the amount of cookies!
- Use a Silicon Mold/Muffin Liners: If you are not crazy about shaping the macaroons one by one, you can also press the dough into a chocolate silicon mold or muffin liners before baking.
- Optional Add-Ins: Feel free to add in chocolate chips or raisins to the dough if you’ve like to jazz up these coconut cookies a little!
- Dip in Chocolate: You may also dip the cooled gluten-free coconut macaroons in melted dark chocolate or white chocolate for extra chocolate flavor.
If not eating immediately, store these gluten-free macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Since these coconut cookies will get soft as the coconut absorbs moisture overtime, toast them for 5 to 7 minutes in the oven at 350F before eating or serving.
To freeze these gluten free coconut macaroons, place the fully-cooled cookies in single layers in freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags and freeze them for up to 2 months. Before eating, toast the frozen macaroons in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 350F before serving or eating.
Yes! These macaroons are completely gluten-free because they are made with shredded coconut as the main ingredient (which is naturally gluten-free) and the recipe does not contain any wheat flour. This means Celiacs and anyone with gluten intolerance or gluten allergies can still enjoy them!
Other Gluten-Free Cookies You’ll Enjoy!
- Easy Snickerdoodles (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Chewy Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Crunchy Almond Biscotti (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Buckwheat Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Sweet Treats to Indulge In:
What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Tell me in the comments below, I’d love to hear!
P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!Print
Easy Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons (Dairy-Free)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 24 macaroons 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
These super easy 5-ingredient coconut macaroons are crispy on the outside and soft inside. Fragrant with the taste and smell of coconut, they are the perfect snack for anytime of the day or a light dessert after meals. Make a big batch of these cookies in just 30 minutes and you can snack on them all week. Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free too.
- 3 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat and Line: Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl bowl, mix the unsweetened shredded coconut with the sugar until combined.
- Add Wet Ingredients to Form Dough: Add the eggs, vanilla extract to the bowl and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is easily shapeable.
- Shape: Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a small dome. Place the domes in a single layer 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake: Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the tops of the domes are golden brown.
- Cool: Let the coconut macaroons cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the baking sheet and serving or eating.
Shredded Coconut: I prefer using unsweetened shredded coconut since we are already adding sugar to this recipe.
Eggs: The eggs are essential in binding the ingredients together. If you prefer not to use egg yolks, you can substitute the 2 whole eggs with 4 egg whites instead. Alternatively, if you are vegan or allergic to eggs, you can use aquafaba or en egg-replacer instead.
Sugar: I used normal white sugar in this recipe. However, you can also use light brown sugar, maple sugar, or coconut sugar if your prefer (just bear in mind that using brown sugar or coconut sugar will make the macaroons a darker brown in color). If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend that you use Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (a 1:1 sugar alternative with zero glycemic index).
Vanilla Extract: I like adding a bit of vanilla extract to give it extra flavor, but if you rather not, or don’t happen to have vanilla on hand, that’s fine too. Alternatively, you may also use almond extract if you enjoy the flavor of almonds.
Water: I used water in this recipe because it’s easier, but you may also use non-dairy milks such as almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, soy milk or coconut milk.
Storing: If not eating immediately, store these coconut macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Since the macaroons will get soft and the coconut absorbs moisture overtime, toast them for 5 to 7 minutes in the oven at 350F before eating or serving.
Freezing: To freeze these, place the fully-cooled macaroons in single layers in freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags and freeze them for up to 2 months. Before eating, toast the frozen macaroons in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 350F before serving or eating.
Adapted from: More Stomach
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: coconut macaroons
I made these today and they turned out really well and much healthier than the condensed milk based macaroons. Thankis.
Felicia Lim says
Hi Dana! YAY so happy to hear that! Yes, less sweet compared to the condensed milk version, but equally delicious. So glad you enjoyed these dear, and thank you for letting me know how they went! 🙂 would love to see you around the blog again sometime soon. Happy Sunday!
Grace Lim says
Good Morning Felicia,
These coconut cookies are a real treat to daddy who loves to eat any cookies or kueh that is made with coconut . These cookies are definitely better than the ones he used to buy from the cookie house in Malaysia the last time he was in Malaysia.
I will do a batch for him to enjoy 🙂
I love and bless you!
Felicia Lim says
Hi mummy, these cookies actually remind me of the coconut cookies that we usually eat during Chinese New Year (although I can’t seem to remember what those cookies are called now). Hopefully daddy will like these if you eventually make a batch for him!! Let me know how it goes 😉
Love you too mummy!
Min (@mjandhungryman) says
Again, I find comfort in your words..change…whew that’s always a toughie..I could relate to the uncertainty, anxiety, sadness…all those feelings a lot of us try to run away from. You sure have been through a lot, and you are a lot braver and stronger now I’m sure. These lil’ pyramids are so adorable! Whenever I bake, I linger around the oven, peeking in every other second it seems ;). Hope you are having a wonderful week, Felicia!
Thank you Min!! Well, change is always tough, but I suppose if we always stay in our comfort zone and the little box we are used to, we’ll never find out what bigger things lie in store for us, right?
Tale care my dear friend! Have a great weekend!!
Sure – will definitely try out your recipe one day for family and friends 🙂
Yes my dear, I can really relate to everything mentioned in your post regarding change – something most of us find it difficult and apprehensive to embrace at the beginning but later on become thankful for what the change has brought us.
Indeed the little golden cone-shaped macarooons are very attractive to look at and tempting to eat. I can just imagine how both Val and you are enjoying eating them while watching “criminal minds” on TV Ha ha! Love you both! 🙂
Mummy! Make these coconut vanilla drop cookies for daddy, I believe he will love them!
Lan | morestomach says
look at you! these are wonderful, and the shapes are fabulous.
like you, i also squat in front of the oven to witness the changes whatever i have in there, sometimes it’s more entertaining than whatever is on tv.
your changes sound difficult, but sometimes, they are good. hopefully this change is a good one!
aren’t the little pyramid shapes cute? Haha, for a while it felt like I was playing with lego but with an Egyptian backdrop!
And yes, yes! I’m so glad you get what I mean about squatting outside the oven window! I’m so anxious by nature, I always want to see how the cookies/bread/cake in the oven is evolving! And the other day I was making blonde brownies, and peeked into the oven window just as the self-raising flour starting to rise – it was wonderful!!
Have a lovely week my dear! BIG HUG! and all the best with the rest of wedding prep! I’m sure going to the tailor was fun!
Felicia!!! I’ve been in Spain for the past month and a half, suffering with an extremely slow WiFi signal, please forgive my absence to your blog. Know, that I have promptly taken note of the ingredients needed to prepare these delicious beauties, ready to make them the moment I return home! They look amazing! I confess you had me at coconut. I love it! Regarding your lovely post, yes, change is hard. That said, it also brings a new realm of possibilities! Think of all the lovely dishes you have yet to prepare in your new digs! ha! Sending hugs your way, my friend! 🙂
Hello my dear friend Bella!!! Spain must be exciting and fun! I still remember my three days spent in Barcelona in Autumn 2007 with great fondness! : ) Don’t worry about wifi and blogs! Go live the wonderful Spanish life!
And yes, you definitely have to make these coconut vanilla cookies if you like coconut. These were really, really good. Plus, I made them into pretty small pyramids, so they made for good munching while relaxing on the couch, while reading, while doing anything basically!!
And yes, thank you for the lovely encouragement about making new dishes at my new place!! Definitely have already starting using the kitchen and the oven! Thank god it’s an electric oven this time! I’ve been using gas ovens the past 3.5 yrs that I’ve lived in Argentina, and it’s nice to know what temperature your oven is set at for a change!
UN BESO ENORME!!
Hey! I’m the first to “like” today! 🙂 I will be making these Felicia. They are so cute and I love coconut macaroons, so there is no doubt these will be loved by all of us. I feel the same way about change. I noticed as I get older I do not like change very much. I’m changing jobs in two weeks and it is keeping me up at night. Even though this is a positive move it still has an unusual grip on me. Hope your new place brings plenty of happy moments and your kitchen continues to turn out wonderful recipes.
Hey Seana! Yes, make these cookies, please! They are sooo good and really so easy to make! The only hard part is molding them, but then again, you could also shape them like you would normal macaroons!
All the best for your new job! I believe changes are always good for us, even if we may not see how right now, or even if it gives us butterflies in our stomachs! 🙂
I’m getting used to the new place (even if we’re only renting it for another 3 wks), and made some really awesome blonde brownies which should hopefully appear on the blog sometime soon!
have a beautiful monday and week dear!!