These Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are bursting with chocolate and coconut flavor and you have the option to bake or no-bake them - it's your choice. This is one of the easiest macaroon recipes you can make in just a few minutes using chewy coconut flakes and dark chocolate, and without condensed milk or eggs.
6 reasons to make them
Inspired by one of my reader's request to recreate an old macaroon cookie from the brands Rickaroon and Emmy's Organic, and based on my Almond Macaroon Bars this Chocolate Coconut Macaroons recipe was born. So here are 6 reasons to make them and why I think you'll love them compared to traditional coconut macaroons:
- Super easy to make in just 1 bowl without condensed milk or eggs.
- Bake or no-bake. Baking these macaroons is optional - you decide!
- This healthy recipe is made with nutritious ingredients that are gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, Vegan and Keto.
- Chewy, moist and full of chocolate chips on the inside and irresistible when dipped in dark chocolate.
- Stores well and perfect for making ahead to give as gifts on holidays like Christmas, Passover and Easter.
- This homemade version tastes so much better than store-bought macaroons, much more moist and chocolaty.
As you can see, this is not just another coconut macaroons recipe! We're making stellar, healthy, chewy and very chocolaty Chocolate Coconut Macaroons.
Ingredients you'll need
To make this delicious macaroons recipe without condensed milk you'll need a few wholesome ingredients that are naturally gluten-free and rich in antioxidants.
Some key ingredients worth noting in more detail are unsweetened shredded coconut, almond butter and cocoa powder and here's why:
Unsweetened shredded coconut gives these macaroons the perfect chewy texture and flavor. It’s also naturally sweet and makes the tastiest and best macaroons. In contrast, if you make macaroons the traditional way using sweetened coconut and sweetened condensed milk can you image how sweet this cookie tastes!?
Almond butter is the next star in this recipe because it's sticky and replaces the need to use eggs helping to bind the ingredients. Plus it tastes amazing and sweet.
Dark Chocolate - Coconut macaroons are delicious plain but even more irresistible dipped and filled with chocolate. Because of that, we'll be adding natural cocoa powder and high quality 60% to 70% dark chocolate to bring these macaroons to life.
- Begin by adding all of the ingredients listed to a large bowl and mixing with your spatula and hands until the dough forms. The texture of the dough should be slightly crumbly and stick together. But if your dough is soft and doesn't hold shape well or it's dry and crumbly - see troubleshooting notes.
🌟 Important note
- Almond butter: be sure to mix the contents in the jar until fully incorporated before measuring the amount needed and you can use an immersion blender to make mixing easier.
- Chocolate chips: if you live in a warm and humid climate, mix the chips in the dough after it is formed so they don't melt.
- Next, scoop tablespoons full of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (use a medium cookie scoop to get an even 1.5 tablespoons per cookie).
- Bake or no bake your macaroons because with or without an oven they're delicious:
- How to bake: Bake in a preheated oven to 350°F for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool on a wire rack, then place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
- No bake: Place the macaroons in the fridge to chill for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Note: Chilled macaroons are easier to dip in chocolate because they're firmer and easier to handle.
Texture and flavor - baked vs. not baked
The texture of these cookies doesn't change whether they are baked or not. However, when baked your macaroons have a wonderful toasted coconut flavor which is my favorite. So try baking them, but also keep a few in the fridge to see how you like them best.
- Chocolate dipped macaroons are the best because the combination tastes amazing and it makes these macaroons a touch sweeter. So after chilled, dip the bottom of each macaroon in melted chocolate, returning them to the lined baking sheet, then drizzling some more on top.
Melt chocolate using a double boiler or microwave (the double boiler is best because it melts it slowly). So place a bowl with chocolate over a pan with one or two inches of water and turn on your burner to a simmer. As the water heats up, the steam heats the bowl and melts the chocolate.
How to store them
Store your chocolate macaroon cookies in an airtight container in the fridge, freezer or at room temperature. They keep well for weeks, even at room temperature. But I suggest storing them in the fridge because they taste amazing chilled, the texture is firmer and still nice and chewy.
Substitutions you can make
- Almond butter: Use any other type of nut butter such as cashew or hazelnut butter.
- Nut free option: In place of almond butter, use natural sunflower seed butter, tahini, coconut butter or peanut butter.
- Sweetener: Substitute the honey for any other liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, coconut nectar or date syrup. It's important to use liquid sweeteners because they're sticky and help to bind the ingredients.
- Coconut oil: Instead, use the oil that has separated in your jar of nut or seed butter. Another healthy option is avocado oil.
- Keto option: Use a low-carb sweetener such as Lakanto's Maple Syrup. And use 70% to 80% dark chocolate or one sweetened with stevia.
Tips & troubleshooting
The final texture of your macaroons baked or not baked should be slightly crumbly, while also holding a firm shape. Here are some important notes in case you end up with a different texture and how to fix it.
- The most important tip I can give you is to make sure to mix the contents in the jar of almond butter well before measuring the amount needed so that you don't end up adding more or less oil in the recipe. To make mixing easier you can use an immersion blender. The same holds true if you use another kind of natural nut butter, seed or peanut butter.
- Make your own nut butter like I showed you how in this Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe and use it in this recipe so there's no separation of the nut oils. Or purchase freshly ground nut butter from the store which is usually thicker and there's also no oil separation.
- Use a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop to make perfect macaroon domes of the same shape and size.
Why do my macaroons fall apart, not hold shape, spread or come out flat? This is most likely because you added too much fat (oil) in the recipe. Be sure to mix your almond butter in the jar very well before measuring the amount needed.
How do I fix the dough if it's dry and crumbly, or wet, oily and runny? Your dough should have a slightly crumbly texture but also hold shape. If the dough comes out wet, oily and runny add more shredded coconut little by little to absorb some of the moisture. Likewise, if your dough seems too dry, crumbly and won't hold shape add more oil, 1 tablespoon at the time until you have the right consistency. Watch the recipe video for a visual example.
My chocolate macaroons are bitter... What happened? Most likely this is because you made them with cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa. I recommend using raw cacao powder because it's naturally sweeter, doesn't contain added ingredients and because it's made from cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, which means it's full of healthy antioxidants and minerals.
A coconut macaroon is a chewy and very sweet coconut dessert (or cookie) most often made from sweetened shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk, egg whites and sugar. They're delicious, but if you’re looking for a version made with chocolate, not as sweet and that is also gluten free, dairy free, eggless, Vegan and Paleo, this easy recipe is the way to go.
Coconut macaroons and macarons are different types of cookies and the ingredients for each recipe differs. The main ingredient for coconut macaroons is shredded coconut and they're flourless. In contrast, macarons are light meringue-based sandwich cookies made with almond flour and filled with ganache, jam or buttercream. Here's a gluten-free, healthier Vegan macarons recipe you can try.
The short answer is yes! If for any reason you want to make this macaroons recipe without chocolate just omit the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Make the recipe as directed and they'll turn out just as delicious. You can even get creative and replace the chips for raisins, dried cranberries, chia seeds or drizzle the tops with my homemade caramel sauce - yum!
I make this recipe all the time, but I always wondered how they would turn out if I shred coconut meat from fresh coconuts and use that instead of dried shredded coconut. I bet they would be even better. What do you think? Let's try it and leave a comment below with the results!
More macaroons & coconut cookies
Looking for more delicious coconut desserts? Here are other easy coconut macaroon recipes and some coconut cookies that I think you'll really enjoy. These recipes are also gluten free, dairy free and Paleo friendly - check them out!
These are the perfect healthy snack to have stocked in your fridge to curb your daily sweet tooth. My family loves them so much and I think yours will too! If you make them please let me know how it goes, leave a rating and your photo in the comments below. I'd love to know how they turned out!
🎥 Recipe video
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Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
- 1 cup (92g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup (131g) almond butter
- ⅓ cup (24g) raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons (23g) coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons (44g) raw honey, or another liquid sweetener like maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
- pinch fine himalayan salt
- ⅓ cup (69g) semisweet mini chocolate chips, or chocolate bar chopped into small pieces
Optional - dipping and drizzling:
- ½ cup (100g) semisweet mini chocolate chips
- Mix all ingredients listed in a large bowl until well combined. But if you live in a warm, humid climate, mix the chcoolate chips into the dough after it's formed so the chips don't melt.
- Using a 1 ½ tbsp cookie scoop, scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Baking is optional - If you're baking these, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bottom and edges start to turn darken. Allow them to cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill. If you're not baking them, place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill the macaroons for about 20 minutes.
Optinal - dipping and drizzling:
- If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt chocolate using a double boiler or microwave. Dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate and return to the lined baking sheets, then drizzle some more on top. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
Nutrition per serving
This recipe was originally published in Aug 2013 and this post has been updated in March 2021 with new information, photos and recipe video. No adjustments were made to the recipe.