Chewy, flavorful, and easy coconut macaroon cookies are made with sweetened condensed milk and coconut and are naturally gluten-free. Add tasty ingredients to make variations like chocolate chip macaroons, chocolate-dipped, cherry, apricot with almond, and more.
It’s hard to find a more glorious combination than toasted coconut and the creamy sweetness of sweetened condensed milk. I combined these two favorite ingredients to make these coconut macaroon cookies.
This is a 4-ingredient cookie recipe that you can dip in chocolate or add mix-ins to.
Done well, these cookies taste like the delicious filling of an Almond Joy candy bar! My recipe makes soft, chewy macaroon cookies with little bits of crispy coconut caramelized on the outside.
These simple flourless cookies are perfect for Passover or Purim, but also make a great Hanukkah dessert, tasty Christmas cookies, Easter treats, and are generally just awesome for any celebration in between!
These are easy, flourless, gluten-free coconut macaroon cookies using sweetened shredded coconut.
What’s Needed for Coconut Macaroon Cookies?
As mentioned above, these easy macaroons are made with just four ingredients: egg whites, salt, sweetened shredded coconut, and sweetened condensed milk.
Sweetened condensed milk has been around for many years and is a staple in many desserts, beverages, candies and cookies. Where would Tres Leches cake be without the most important leche, sweetened condensed milk?
Not to forget the other side of the spectrum — it can even be found in savories such as Asian-inspired marinades and curries. It stores well and will keep in the refrigerator after opening for up to 3 weeks.
If you have leftover sweetened condensed milk from a recipe, you can always find many places to drizzle it. Try it in hot chocolate, on hot cereal, or over cake.
In this recipe, the milk solids add a wonderful nutty flavor as the chewy coconut macaroons brown in the oven.
Condensed milk macaroons don’t need extra ingredients to help with binding. The thick and sweet milk does the trick.
Can You Make Coconut Macaroons Without Condensed Milk?
Coconut macaroons don’t need sweetened condensed milk to be great. However, if you omit the condensed milk you will need to add flour and sugar.
The condensed milk acts as both a sweetener and a binder. Without it, the egg whites couldn’t do the job of building these cookies on their own!
Recipes without condensed milk have a little all-purpose flour and some granulated sugar.
How to Make Coconut Macaroon Cookies
There are just a few steps to making easy coconut macaroons with condensed milk. With only 4 ingredients, it won’t take you long to put them together.
- First, whisk 2 egg whites with salt in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Then, gently fold in coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
- Next, you can add mix-ins if you’d like: stir in chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit.
- Now scoop 2-inch balls about 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. I use a cookie scoop.
- Bake at the low temperature of 300°F until golden, about 25 minutes
A Few Notes About the Egg Whites in This Recipe
Whisking the egg whites in this recipe helps these macaroons stay less compact as the tiny air bubbles expand the volume.
Here are a few things to remember when working with the egg whites:
- When beating egg whites, remember that their volume increases six to nine times in size so use a large enough stainless steel or glass bowl for best results.
- Plastic bowls inevitably retain grease no matter how clean they are, and the tiniest bit of fat will prevent the peaks we want to achieve.
- Start with egg whites at room temperature to ensure fullest volume.
- These macaroons call for sweetened condensed milk to be folded in gently to maintain that volume of the egg whites.
Recipe Variations to Try
Macaroon cookies are typically just coconut. Sometimes they are dipped in or drizzled with melted chocolate.
I couldn’t resist a few little additions that I think make them truly special.
Adding dried cherries and mini chocolate chips is my favorite combo. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite combination. I also recommend toasted almonds and dried apricots – delicious!
Add up to 1½ cups of your mix-in ingredients to this recipe. Use any combination below or make up your own.
Here are some ingredients you could add to classic coconut macaroons:
- Walnuts and orange zest
- Dark chocolate mini chips
- Dried apricots, cherries, or cranberries
- White chocolate chips
Are Coconut Macaroons Gluten-Free?
These easy cookies are naturally gluten free because there is no added flour. All the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten free.
How to Store Macaroon Cookies
Baked macaroons store well and last up to 5 days in an airtight container. The cookies will stay soft and tasty, although kept overnight the crisped exterior will become as soft as the inside.
Can You Freeze Coconut Macaroons?
The baked macaroon cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze them in layers of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container.
To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight, then bring to room temperature.
What Readers Are Saying
“We love Macaroons at our house and these are at the top of the list!” — Mary B.
“I made these today for my husband who is a huge coconut lover. I made them with the chocolate chips and he said they are the best coconut cookies he has ever had!” — Beth
“These macaroons are simply magnificent! I can’t wait to bake these again. My kids loved everything about these and they really took our holiday cookie platters to the next level. Thank you for sharing such an elegant, but simple macaroon recipe.” — Jacque H.
Now that you know how to make the best coconut macaroons with condensed milk, I say get a batch going! You won’t regret dipping them in chocolate or adding sweet and tart mix-ins.
More Festive Cookie Recipes:
Easy Coconut Macaroon Cookies
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 bag (14 oz) shredded sweetened coconut
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups mini chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit (optional)
- Heat oven to 300ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk egg whites with salt in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
- Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and/or dried fruit; scoop 2-inch balls about 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 300°F until golden, about 25 minutes.
Tasty cookie recipes!
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon.