Coconut Chocolate Macaroon Recipe

Coconut macaroon recipe

Many people tell me this is one of their favorite recipes from my cookbook, Ready For Dessert. In addition to these fantastic Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons you’ll find my much-loved recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake which makes a fantastic summertime dessert served simply with sliced, juicy-sweet peaches or flavorful strawberries and raspberries.

I made a batch of macaroons for a Thai banquet last night here in Paris, where a happy alliance of French and American food lovers got together for dinner. We chopped giant bunches of vivid-green herbs like cilantro, mint, and other greens with names that we learned have no English, or French translations. Jumbo prawns from Chinatown were quickly peeled and sautéed, and tiny branches of fresh green peppercorns were quickly skillet-cooked until tender.

Succulent beef was grilled and marinated in a spicy glaze then tossed with hot chilies, fresh cilantro leaves, and cooling slices of cucumbers. Things heated up as we simmered tea-smoked duck in red coconut curry sauce which was spooned over steamed rice fragrant, with aromatic pandanus leaves. And I loved the shrimp stir-fried with vivid-green garlic shoots, which mellowed considerably once cooked quickly with the plump shrimp and Thai spices. These were the perfect ending.

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons
Print Recipe
30 Cookies
From Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed)
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut (see note)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
In a large skillet, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour.
Heat over low-to-moderate heat on the stovetop, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom as you stir.
When the mixture just begins to scorch at the bottom, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
(At this point, the mixture can be chilled for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.)
When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch mounds with your fingers evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool completely.
To dip the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave.) Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and set the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

Note: Unsweetened coconut is available in most natural-food shops or you can purchase it online.

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  • Alisa
    June 8, 2005 2:40pm

    …..and just when I was wondering if it would be polite to ask for the recipe :)

  • June 9, 2005 6:55am

    Ditto! I’ll probably end up getting the book anyway, though…!

    My stepdaughter loves coconut so we are definitely going to have to make these the next time she visits!

  • Susan
    November 20, 2008 6:39am

    Funny enough that you describe it as a summertime treat – in germany something very similar is traditionally served around christmas. :-)

  • Jilly
    November 24, 2008 8:59am

    Makes my mouth water! I have to eat gluten free and so these would be perfect.

    In what form is the coconut? I live in the UK and can get dessicated coconut, creamed coconut in a block and coconut oil.

  • November 24, 2008 9:08am

    Hi Jilly: Any small-shred unsweetened coconut will work. It should be small flakes: the kind I use resembles coarsely-shredded Parmesan.

    The terminology can be confusing since in America, we have coconut powder, medium shredded coconut, and coconut flakes.

    Check and see if your coconut resembles one of those, as any will work for this recipe. I’ll add this to the recipe, above, in case others have the same question. Thanks!

  • Evie Krebs
    November 24, 2008 1:04pm

    Hi David,

    I love these macaroons!! These are the ones that won that cookie contest for me after I went to your class at Ramikins in Sonoma several years ago. It is my most requested holiday cookie by far.

    I was wondering if I wanted to make all chocolate macaroons how much chocolate would I have to add and would I have to change the recipe any? I have tried other recipes and they just don’t taste as good as this recipe.

    By the way. In the States I am able to find unsweetened coconut at Whole Foods regularly.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog and site. Always fun to read.


  • ann
    December 16, 2008 10:20am

    i was thinking these might be french macaroons. do you have a recipe for french macaroons of any flavor that you like?
    also, do you have any recommendations for taking a pastry class in paris, i.e.
    a weekend class?
    thank you kindly,

  • December 16, 2008 10:25am

    Hi Ann: If you use the search engine on the site, you’ll find links to my macaron recipe (and tips and techniques) plus a post I did listing many of the cooking and pastry classes in Paris.

  • January 21, 2009 10:04am

    This might be too late, but for Jilly’s question, the coconut called for here is dessicated or dried coconut. Coconut macaroons are widely popular here in the Philippines as well, considering the number of coconut trees we have. Usually baked on colorful 3/4-oz paper cups with a tiny piece of maraschino cherry on top. YUMMY!

    Be careful not to confuse coconut powder with coconut flour/fiber or powdered coconut milk/cream.

  • aireene
    February 12, 2009 6:18pm

    good day. i just realized that i am starting to like baking. hehehe. i only have a microwave oven at home. is there any way where i could bake macaroons with my microwave oven? please help me with the procedures. thanks.

  • April 10, 2009 10:29am

    David, my friend Lara passed this recipe of yours on to me last year, and I finally made the macaroons last night for Passover. I subbed almond meal for the flour and added a bit of almond extract as well. They had a fantastic flavor… every single person at the Seder asked for the recipe. I didn’t even have time to dip them in chocolate (bringing the Passover story to life, I suppose). Many thanks!

  • July 18, 2009 11:36pm

    a few months ago, I visited an indian grocery store and got excited when i saw a bag of “coconut powder”, because all I had known before were those sweetened coconut shredded flakes.

    and they sat in my pantry, waiting, waiting, waiting, since I had no idea what to do with them. until i saw your recipe. perfect! and what was even better was that the bag equalled exactly 2.5 cups. so not a bit wasted!

    and they were absolutely delicious. thank you for the great recipe :)

  • Shaun McGowan
    August 12, 2009 11:16pm

    Absolutely yummy!!! Thanks David.

  • Beverly Wright
    October 27, 2009 1:38pm

    I made these last night. They were delicious. I didn’t dip in chocolate. They were a hit on my job. I will make these again. Thanks!!!

  • Marie
    October 31, 2009 3:39pm

    Hello David! Can you tell me why the vanilla extract gets stirred in after cooking as opposed to added at the beginning?

    I also want to say that I just discovered your blog and facebook feeds while looking for something to do with extra egg whites. The macaroons are incredible and I’m completely smitten. Btw, I loved your pictures of cognac bottles covered in spiders and webs.

    Thank you!

  • October 31, 2009 3:51pm

    Marie: You could add it at the beginning, too. If you add it at the end, through, you get the full brunt of the vanilla flavor as it doesn’t get cooked off.

    Glad you liked the Cognac post and pictures!

  • jamie
    November 7, 2009 9:49pm

    Hi – I don’t understand how the macaroon mixture will scorch using low to medium heat. Is there something i can look for before taking it off the heat – I don’t want to cook it too long. thank.


  • Katie
    March 20, 2010 7:53pm

    i haven’t even baked these yet.. it is all i can do to not to eat spoonfuls of the coconut mixture while it cools on my counter. i know these will be amazing! planning to dip half in a good quality dark chocolate and dip the other half in chilli dark chocolate. i think the bite of the chilli will add a great level of complexity and balance out some of the sweetness that make macaroons too intense sometimes. can’t wait to try them, thanks for posting!

  • March 24, 2010 8:23am

    just delicious!!! thanks for the recipe.

  • April 25, 2010 7:59pm

    I (born & raised in New York State) live in Lima, Peru and have started making these macaroons here with one small adjustment: I replace the vanilla extract with fresh lime juice and a pinch of lime zest. Refreshing and delicious! These have the perfect texture and are a huge crowd pleaser. Here they go by the name “cocadas.” Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  • April 28, 2010 4:48pm

    David- Thank you for this wonderful recipe. You have made me look brilliant again! I love how cooking the coconut mixture deepens the flavor, and the honey adds a mellow richness; I make this recipe all the time. I have a couple pounds of Valhrona milk chocolate and was wonderfing if you think it would go with milk as well? I usually dip them in bittersweet…

  • Amanda
    December 5, 2010 7:05am

    I love all of your recipes, especially the ice cream! For some reason I struggled to make my macaroons look as beautiful and plump as they’re supposed to be. Mine ended up being kind of runny and while the macaroons taste amazing, they don’t look very pretty. I can’t figure where I went wrong. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • December 5, 2010 11:22am
      David Lebovitz

      Sound like you didn’t cook the mixture enough, if it was runny. And make sure to measure ingredients carefully. Good luck!

  • Burning Water
    December 24, 2010 1:09am

    I am a terrible cook. And this month, I was a terrible cook in desperate need of fabulous Christmas-treat recipes. But despite my hapless kitchen skills and my complete inability to find UNsweetened coconut, these resulted in a beautiful and delicious dessert that was adored by all. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to find dessicated coconut (‘unsweetened coconut’ in ‘Strine), but all the same the result was golden and plump and oozing in sweet, rich flavour. Thank you so very much!