Easy Chewy Coconut Macaroons recipe takes the best coconut macaroons and brings the next level of delicious! Gluten free coconut macaroons are mixed with cherries, drizzled with chocolate, and have a fudgy chocolate center.
I’m like the Goldilocks of macaroon cookies, and I’ve been on a quest for the perfect Coconut Macaroon cookie.
Every recipe I tried didn’t hit the mark. Too sweet. Too dry. Missing chocolate. Missing something.
With all the macaroon recipes out there, why does the quintessential Coconut Macaroons recipe fail to exist? Something had to be done about it.
The Best Coconut Macaroon Recipe
There are various ways to make coconut macaroons, but they all contain sweetened coconut and a sweetener. Most recipes do not have flour, so they make a naturally gluten free, flourless dessert.
Some recipes have sweetened condensed milk mixed with egg whites and shredded coconut. Although this is a quick, easy recipe, I find the end result too syrupy and sweet.
Alternatively, sugar can replace the sweetened condensed milk. It is mixed with egg whites and coconut. This tames the sweet factor, but dough can be hard to work with and doesn’t hold together.
When I stumbled across Taste of Home’s version, I was intrigued by the addition of a small amount of flour. This would help bind the dough together.
Also, since it’s only a couple tablespoons of flour, substituting gluten free flour wouldn’t significantly change the taste or structure.
I added chopped cherries because that is how my mom made her coconut macaroons recipe for the holidays. I love the extra dimension of flavor and the added color makes them festive for Valentine’s or Christmas.
Generally I feel any dessert can be made better with chocolate (or even more chocolate). Since chocolate and coconut are magic together (HELLO, Almond Joy Cake), why not add a fudgy chocolate center AND drizzle more chocolate on top?!
The fudge filling for these Chocolate Coconut Macaroons makes more than you need for this recipe. Therefore, I posted Easy Nutella Cookies to use the remaining fudge in.
Now you can get a great start on your Christmas baking with two cookie recipes!
To save time, the fudge center may be omitted. Bake the cherry coconut macaroons as directed. Cool completely and dip the bottoms in melted chocolate, drizzle chocolate over the tops, or enjoy as is!
If you love a soft, chewy coconut macaroon use these basic ingredients. Optional add-ins, such as maraschino cherries and chocolate, enhance the flavor.
- Shredded coconut – Use sweetened coconut flakes for sweetness and to make sure the ingredients bind together.
- Egg whites – For best results separate the egg whites while cold. Set out on the counter to reach room temperature.
- Vanilla extract – Almond extract may also be substituted.
- Flour – Just a couple tablespoons are used to bind the ingredients together and give a slightly lighter, less dense structure.
Are Macaroons Gluten Free?
Most coconut macaroon recipes are flourless and gluten free, but you need to be careful.
Some recipes add a bit of flour for structure. This coconut macaroons recipe does use two tablespoons of flour. However, I made them gluten free by substituting an all-purpose gluten free flour, such as Cup 4 Cup.
Making Macaroons without Sweetened Condensed Milk
Egg whites mixed with granulated sugar replaces the sweetened condensed milk in this recipe. I find the texture and taste to be less syrupy with whipped egg whites and sugar.
If you prefer using sweetened condensed milk, follow these steps.
- Mix together coconut, half 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl whip eggs whites until stiff with whisk attachment or beaters.
- Carefully fold beaten egg whites with coconut mixture.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and drop macaroons dough over fudge center, if using. Bake in 325ºF oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
How to Make the Best Coconut Macaroons Recipe
- Combine the melted chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk for the fudge center. Pour into a 8X8 baking pan and refrigerate until set.
- Use half of the fudge (see recipe card for suggested uses of leftover fudge or use in Easy Nutella Cookies) and cut into small squares. Shape squares into ball shape.
- Mix together sweetened shredded coconut, sugar, salt, and flour in a large bowl. For gluten free coconut nut macaroons, I use and recommend Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour.
- Beat room temperature egg whites until frothy with a fork or electric mixer. Add to coconut mixture with chopped cherries and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a heaping tablespoon of dough over fudge ball. Use fingers to cover and shape around fudge.
- Bake in a 325ºF oven for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cookies are done when coconut starts to toast and turn golden brown.
- Cool completely before dipping them in chocolate or drizzling with melted chocolate.
How to Store
Store coconut macaroons in an airtight container up to a week. I use a glass container with locking lid and separate layers with wax paper.
Coconut Macaroons may also be frozen for several months. For best results, wrap 1-2 cookies in plastic wrap. Freeze in gallon ziplock freezer bag or freezer-safe storage container.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Gluten Free Sugar Cookies with Sugar Cookie Icing
- Flourless Chocolate Cookies
- Soft Ginger Snap Cookies
- Caramel Marshmallow Treats
SAVE THIS Coconut Macaroons Recipe TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Coconut Macaroons Recipe
Cherry Coconut Macaroons:
- 2 ⅔ cups sweetened shredded coconut
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or all-purpose gluten free (I used Cup 4 Cup's all-purpose gluten free flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten with fork until frothy
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- Line a 8X8 pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Heat over medium low until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared pan and let set for at least 2 hours in refrigerator. Can store cooled fudge covered in fridge until ready to use.
Cherry Coconut Macaroons:
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take half of the prepared fudge (You will have fudge leftover. See Recipe Notes for leftover ideas.) and cut into 24 1" squares. Shape each square into a ball shape. Place fudge balls on the prepared baking sheets, placing about 2 inches apart. Push down slightly on the ball so it has a flat bottom and doesn't roll around. Set aside.
- In a bowl combine the coconut, sugar, flour or gluten free flour, and salt. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and chopped cherries. Stir to combine.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of cherry coconut macaroon mixture and place on top of each fudge ball. Shape macaroon dough to cover the fudge. (Don't worry about bottom, just get the macaroon dough to mound over top and sides of fudge ball.)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pans halfway. Cookies are done with coconut starts to brown and toast. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Glaze (optional):
- Place chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on high until chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle over baked cookies. Let chocolate set (can refrigerate to speed up process) before stacking and storing cookies.
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Tips for Making Coconut Macaroons Recipe:
- To save time, the fudge center may be omitted. Bake the cherry coconut macaroons as directed. Cool completely and dip the bottoms in melted chocolate, drizzle chocolate over the tops, or enjoy as is!
- Leftover fudge can be sliced and enjoyed as is, frozen for future use in cookies, or stuffed inside Easy Nutella Cookies.
- Store coconut macaroons in an airtight container up to a week. I use a glass container with locking lid and separate layers with wax paper.
- Coconut Macaroons may also be frozen for several months. For best results, wrap 1-2 cookies in plastic wrap. Freeze in gallon ziplock freezer bag or freezer-safe storage container.
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