Classic Coconut Macaroons

There’s this recurring internal debate that many a troubled cook has regarding what to do with leftover egg whites:

Keep, or toss?

Vertical image of macaroons drizzled with chocolate and white text with a dark brown background.

If you’ve ever made our delicious chickpea saffron stew, potato fritters, or our ice cream recipes like rum raisin and rhubarb swirl, you’ll inevitably end up with a bowlful of abandoned egg whites.

Vertical image of a plate of macaroons drizzled with chocolate.

And you’re then faced with the same difficult decision. What do you do?

I’ll make the final choice easy for you – save them! All of them!

Vertical image of a mound of macaroons in a white bowl.

With this recipe for classic coconut macaroons, you’ll actually be making up endless excuses to gather as many egg whites as you can get your hands on.

It’s an easy and simple dessert to make. Mix together all of the ingredients by hand in the same pot before portioning the batter and baking these small nuggets of sweetness for 20 minutes.

Vertical top-down image of a plate of toasted cookies drizzled with chocolate on top of a white napkin.

If you’ve ever had store-bought coconut macaroons before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with this homemade version. They are so soft and chewy in the center, with a crispy, toasted, caramelized crust that will make you swoon with happiness.

Vertical image of one macaroon drizzled with chocolate on a mound of shredded coconut.

For a final garnish, I like to melt some dark chocolate to dip them in or drizzle over the top, but that step is entirely optional. Who’s on my side, chocolate lovers?

Use up those egg whites, and enjoy these bite-sized cookies now!

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Horizontal image of dipped macaroons in chocolate on a white platter.

Coconut Macaroons

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 35 cookies 1x


Have leftover egg whites? Use them to make the most delicious coconut macaroons, flavored with honey and drizzled with chocolate.


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (optional)


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, and vanilla. Over low heat on the stovetop, stir the mixture together until it is just barely warmed, not hot.
  3. Add the shredded coconut and flour. Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes until it cooks enough to form a very thick batter. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls in your hands or with a small ice cream or cookie scoop, squeezing the dough gently to press it together. Space them evenly on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.
  6. If decorating, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Line a clean baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate, or drizzle on top, and set the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate has set.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: coconut, macaroon, honey

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Horizontal image of separated egg yolks and whites in two white bowls.

Line one baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Measure all of the ingredients. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. With a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board, roughly chop the chocolate, if you’re using it.

Horizontal image of a bowl of shredded coconut.

For the shredded coconut, you can use larger flakes or finely ground shreds. The larger flakes will make a chunkier, more rustic cookie. The smaller shreds (like what we used in this recipe) will be more uniform and smoother.

Step 2 – Warm the Eggs

Horizontal image of a frothy white mixture and a whisk in a metal pan.

In a large skillet, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, and vanilla. Over low heat on the stovetop, stir the mixture together with a whisk until it is barely warmed, but not hot. You don’t want to risk cooking the eggs. You just need them to be slightly warmed so the mixture gets a little looser.

Step 3 – Make the Batter

Horizontal image of a chunky batter and a wooden spoon in a metal pan.

Add the coconut and all-purpose flour. Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes, until it cooks to a very thick batter. It’ll look and feel like a thick oatmeal, and a thin film will start to develop on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. The mixture will start to thicken as it cools.

Make ahead: The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for about two months. Bring to room temperature when you’re ready to shape and bake.

Step 4 – Shape

Horizontal image of portioning dough on a baking sheet pan lined with a silicone mat.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls in your hands, squeezing the dough gently. If you want the dough to look very smooth, dampen your hands before shaping them.

Horizontal image of unbaked portions of dough on a silicone mat.

For more even rounds, use a small cookie scoop. Place them on one of the prepared baking sheets, evenly spaced.

Step 5 – Bake and Cool

Horizontal image of baked circles of dough on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat next to a white towel.

Bake until the crust on each cookie is lightly golden, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely on the baking sheet.

Step 6 – Decorate

Horizontal image of rows of cookies freshly dipped in melted chocolate.

Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave, or use a double boiler. If it seizes, learn how to quickly save it.

Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and set the cookies on the clean prepared baking sheet. You can also drizzle it on top of each one.

Horizontal image of toasted cookies freshly drizzled with melted chocolate on a pan.

Refrigerate for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

Step 7 – Serve

Horizontal image of dipped macaroons in chocolate on a white platter.

Once set, serve and enjoy!

They will keep for up to seven days in an airtight container at room temperature. If dipped in chocolate, store the cookies in the refrigerator so the garnish does not melt.

Mm-Mm Macaroons!

Extra egg whites sitting in your fridge? Why let them go to waste? Use them in this recipe!

Horizontal image of stacked macaroons with dark chocolate.

These chewy coconut treats are a subtly sweet go-to every time you have some extra whites.

Flavored with honey and vanilla, and baked until a caramelized, crunchy crust forms, this classic recipe has everything you love about this delicious dessert. And that dark chocolate drizzle on top is the perfect decadent finishing touch.

For a variation on this classic recipe, try our lemon almond macaroons. Bonus: they’re gluten-free!

Don’t let the fun stop at just these recipes. Leave the oven on, and take a look at our entire cookie collection to find what you’ll be baking next. Or take a look at some of our favorites such as:

Have you ever baked homemade macaroons? Easy, right? Do you prefer them with large flakes of coconut, or more uniform, like in this recipe? Leave a comment below, and be sure to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Jennifer Swartvagher February 8, 2011. Last updated: October 22, 2020 at 22:29 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

19 thoughts on “Classic Coconut Macaroons”

  1. Well, I’ll admit it: I’ve never had macaroons, and I’ve never had sweetened coconut, so I have absolutely no idea what to imagine or expect from this one here. They look great in the pictures though, and your description of having them drizzled with dark chocolate sounds amazing. Judging from the ingredients, I would guess that it is somewhat like a cookie or a cake of some sort, am I right? 🙂

    Either way, they do seem very simple to make, so I think they’d be worth a try some time! Thanks for sharing one with us, Jennifer.

  2. These look absolutely yum!

    Coconut is a flavor that I can never have too much of and they give that extra crackle to stuff like cookies and even chocolates that I love. Although I am a little fuzzy about how different a cookie is from a macaroon, who cares as long they taste great am I right?
    Can’t wait to try these out!

  3. I could make these. In fact, I could make a whole bunch of them. I might be one of the only people in my house who eats them though, so I had better not get too happy. Maybe I’ll just make a small batch to treat myself for now, and put these on the list for holiday baking.

    Oh, you just had to go and mention chocolate, didn’t you? Haha. That actually sounds great. It would look pretty too. I’m going to try it.

  4. Coconut is one of my absolute favorite things in the world! I could eat anything as long as it had coconut in it. I feel like the chocolate really ties of this together though. Put chocolate and coconut together and you automatically have a masterpiece! I’m not sure about the macaroons though because I’ve never had them. They’re definitely on my to-try list now.
    I love finding new recipes; I bake sweets for my family all the time! So thank you very much, Jennifer, for the wonderful new recipe.

  5. Those cookies must smell so aromatic and delicious. I love the smell of coconut and the taste of dark chocolate. I have made cookies in the past but never tried making macaroons.

  6. I’ve made macaroons before, but this recipe looks like a must-try! I like how real and rustic they look, not like the hard perfect circle cookies you can buy. I’ve never thought of drizzling with chocolate before. I wonder if they would be good drizzled with white chocolate or caramel? Thanks for the share!! I will be making these for sure.

  7. I made these once with the chocolate stirred in. Absolutely delicious. Of course, I would say that since coconut and chocolate are two of my favorite things, haha. They really are much easier to make than I thought they were, problem is I don’t make them enough! Will have to remedy this soon.

  8. I remember making coconut macaroons in school as a child so it has always annoyed me to see the overpriced versions you see in bakeries. They are so cheap, quick and easy to make and the recipe has inspired me to take a trip down the culinary version of Memory Lane!

  9. That is so strange, I’ve never seen coconut macaroons like those in the picture before! I used to not like these treats when I was little but as I got older I began to find them yummier and yummier; these days, I only buy them as a treat on occasion and I try to not over-indulge when I have them at home. While they are yummy and are made of coconut (which are suppose to be good for you), they are still really high in sugar. Which totally sucks because I love these so much!

    I have never tried making these before though so I will have to do it at some point. Maybe I can make it with a little bit less sugar so it won’t be too fattening and sweet?

  10. I love recipes that are bare bones. I can enjoy the extravagant as well but when it’s only a few ingredients, like this one, you tend to get a homestyle taste other additives cannot provide. Thanks for the recipe. I’m uite sure additions could be welcome in a 6 ingredient situation.

  11. I really like the chocolate drizzle extra. I can only imagine the chocolate on them. It looks easy to make; will try them out soon.

  12. Aaah! Coconut Macaroons are my FAVORITE! I can’t wait to make these. This is the simplest recipe i’ve ever seen for them. You left the sugar out of your step by step instructions, but i’m guessing they get blended with everything in the coconut bowl . I would love to find a way to perhaps give them a raspberry center and dip them in dark chocolate… Then put them on a stick. I love this recipe!

  13. I love all macaroons. I’ve made coconut versions as well as almond, and they’re both delicious. As far as almond variety, there are the regular crunchier type, as well as the chewy ones. Some people don’t like coconut, and prefer almond cookies, but I usually make both at the holidays. I haven’t had either since Christmas, so perhaps it’s time to try out your recipe, and celebrate Christmas in July!

  14. I love macaroons! I’ve never even attempted to make them, and I admit I was skeptical about the ease of making them. After reading this, I think it’s possible that I could make a palatable macaroon! LOL They look so pretty and so yummy! I think I’ll give them a try. They’d be great for Christmas.

  15. Macaroons from where I live are different from those macaroons (shock! >_< and no, I'm not talking about macarons, hahaha). But I'm not really sure whether they're made of coconuts or some other fruit. And I also don't know how to make them, haha. Still, I'm interested in this version of macaroon 😀 I'd like to try it at least once! (And preferably not just once ^_^)

  16. They look yummy. I do remember when I was young, my auntie used to make a variation on the ‘coconut macaroon’ theme, using desiccated coconut which she would bind with condensed milk then refrigerate. Once the mixture was firm enough, she’d roll into balls, coat in chocolate and put them back in the fridge to chill. They were absolutely delicious (and very fattening!).

  17. Coconut Macaroons? Now that’s something new that I never heard of here in Europe, but they do look pretty tasty in the photos. huh, I love the innovative idea to prepare a dish like this!

  18. Well the smell of coconut spreading through the kitchen is a nice image, as is the notion that they are easy to make. I know that I often get intimidated at foods that I am not too familiar with, and I would definitely put macaroons in this category. That said, though, I like to experiment and try new things, so this is a really a nice way to do just that, so thank you.


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