Made with sweet shredded coconut and coconut cream, baked to toasty perfection, and dipped in rich dark chocolate, these decadent vegan macaroons are a coconut-lover's dream come true!
Coconut macaroons are, without a doubt, one of my favorite holiday cookies. Mom always made them when I was growing up, and then when I lived in Philly I used to visit a bakery that sold macaroons that were about 6 inches in diameter. I was in heaven!
But I avoided developing a recipe for vegan macaroons for a long time. It seemed like it would be tough, because: eggs. What could I possibly use to hold an eggless macaroon together? It turns out that all I needed was a little flour and some cornstarch. (Cornstarch makes a surprisingly great egg substitute in lots of recipes, in case you didn't know!)
The resulting macaroons were as delicious as any I'd ever eaten before![feast_advanced_jump_to]
What You'll Need
- Coconut cream. Look for this in cans near where coconut milk is sold. If you can't find it, buy full-fat coconut milk instead. Place the can in the fridge for a day. It will separate while it chills. The solid part is coconut cream that can be used in this recipe.
- Sugar. Make sure you're using organic sugar if you live in the U.S. This will ensure that it's vegan.
- Vanilla extract.
- Almond extract.
- Sweetened shredded coconut. Be careful when buying this, as it might be sweetened with white sugar, which isn't always vegan if you live in the U.S. Buy organic (which is processed without animal products), or look for the "vegan" label on the bag. I used Wegman's brand, which has that label.
- Flour. The recipe uses all-purpose wheat flour, which acts primarily as a binder for the cookies. I haven't tested the recipe with other types of flour, but because the amount is so small I suspect you'd be fine using any type of wheat flour, spelt flour, oat flour, or an all-purpose gluten-free blend. I would not recommend attempting these cookies with almond flour or coconut flour.
- Baking powder.
- Vegan chocolate. I used Enjoy Life brand vegan chocolate chips.
How to Make Vegan Coconut Macaroons
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
- Heat up your sugar and coconut cream in a small saucepan, whisking the mixture the whole time. Keep heating it until the ingredients melt and just come to a simmer.
- Stir in a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. This will thicken up the mixture and act as an egg-replacer.
- Once the mixture thickens, take the pot off of heat and stir in your vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt.
- Mix your shredded coconut, flour, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar and coconut cream mixture.
- Shape the mixture into balls and place them on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Tip: The mixture will be somewhat loose and very sticky, which can make it a challenge to shape the cookies. The best method I've found is to use a 1 ½ inch diameter cookie scoop. Pack the coconut mixture together in your hand, then pack it into the scoop and dispense it on the baking sheet. Rinse the scoop in a glass of cool water between cookies in order to prevent sticky buildup.
- Pop the baking sheet into the oven and bake the cookies until they've got a bunch of golden-brown spots on top.
- Place the baking sheets on cooling racks and let the vegan macaroons cool completely.
- Once they're cool, dip the bottom of each cookie in some melted chocolate. Place the dipped cookies on parchment paper to set, then drizzle the tops with more chocolate.
Shelf-Life & Storage
Store your coconut macaroons in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or freeze them for up to 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven't made a gluten-free version myself, but you should be able to do so by using an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of wheat flour
You can! Just add an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar in step 1. I prefer sweetened coconut only because I find it to be more tender than most unsweetened coconut.
You probably need to pack the mixture more densely when shaping the cookies. See my tips above in the detailed recipe tutorial! Also make sure you're baking them long enough and that your oven temperature is correctly calibrated.
More Vegan Coconut Desserts
- Vegan Coconut Cake
- Vegan Lemon Coconut Doughnuts
- Coconut Almond Butter Truffles
- Strawberry Coconut Milk Pops
- Vegan No-Bake Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Vegan Coconut Macaroons
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ¾ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 (14 ounce or 396 gram) bag sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 8 ounces vegan chocolate chips (about 1 ¾ cups)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl or cup. Set it aside.
- Place the coconut cream and sugar into a small saucepan and set it over medium heat.
- Whisk the ingredients together while heating, until both are fully melted and the mixture just comes to a simmer.
- Stir the cornstarch mixture into the coconut cream mixture. Bring everything back to a simmer while whisking. The mixture should thicken up within 30 to 60 seconds. Once it does, remove it from heat.
- Stir the vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt into the coconut cream mixture, then set it aside.
- Stir the coconut, flour, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl, then add the coconut cream mixture from the saucepan. Stir until everything is well-mixed.
- Fill a glass with cool water.
- Use a 1 ½ inch (approximately 1 tablespoon) cookie scoop to shape the coconut mixture into balls. Do this by densely packing a bit of the mixture together in your hands, then packing it into the scoop and dispensing it onto the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Rinse the cookie scoop by dipping it in the water glass between scoops.
- Bake the macaroons for about 20 minutes, until they have lots of golden-brown spots.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer them to cooling racks. Let the macaroons cool completely.
- While the cookies cool, melt the chocolate chips by placing them in a bowl and microwaving in 30 second increments, stirring well between each increment*.
- When the cookies have cooled, carefully remove them from the baking sheets with a spatula. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate, then place it on parchment paper. Drizzle the tops with a bit more chocolate.
- Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature, or speed things up by placing the macaroons in the fridge.