Crisp and golden on the outside yet soft and flakey on the inside, these mocha coconut macaroons come together with simple ingredients in no time. Naturally gluten free and vegan, they’re dipped in chocolate and loaded with sweet coconut flavor for a tasty dessert perfect for every occasion.
Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons
If you’ve never had a coconut macaroon, you’re seriously missing out! In fact, they might be my all-time favorite cookie. Bold statement, I know. However, while I love all the classics like chocolate chip and sugar cookies, there’s just something truly irresistible about the light and chewy texture and sweet taste of macaroons. I can’t get enough!
Plus, they’re unbelievably easy to make. All you have to do is combine the ingredients, roll the batter into balls, and bake. No chilling dough or working with tricky batters required. Desserts don’t get better than this. Trust me when I say you’ll want to whip up a big batch to serve at holiday parties, give away as gifts, and snack on yourself!
What’s the Difference Between a Macaroon and Macaron?
Often confused, macaroons and macarons are not the same things. However, they do have quite a few similarities. For instance, both desserts contain whipped egg whites as a crucial ingredient. They’re also both made without the use of flour and are naturally gluten free and kosher.
Macaroons: Pronounced mac-uh-roon, coconut macaroons originated in Italy and come from the Italian word, “maccherone,” meaning paste. Traditionally, macaroons were made with almond flavor and were adapted as a Passover treat. As the dessert gained popularity and began to spread throughout the world, the coconut flavor was adopted and remains the most common flavor found today. When compared to macarons, coconut macaroons are larger, densier, and chewier. Plus, they’re so much easier to make!
Macarons: Pronounced mac-ah-ron, these cookies are believed to have been brought from Italy to France by Catherine di Medici when she married Henri II in the 1500s. It is thought that the original macaron was something similar to an Italian pignoli. Known for their vibrant colors that indicate their flavor, macarons consist of two meringue-based cookies used to sandwich a sweet filling of jam or fruit curd, chocolate ganache, or buttercream. As a result, their texture is much lighter than macaroons, and they have a chewy consistency similar to cake.
Simple Ingredients You’ll Need
Traditionally, coconut macaroons are made with whipped egg whites. However, to keep our version vegan, we swapped them out with aquafaba instead, and you would never know the difference!
- Aquafaba with Sugar – To keep this recipe sweet and satisfying while also providing structure, we took our standard whipped aquafaba and mixed in white sugar for good measure.
- Instant Espresso or Coffee – Technically optional, we love the robust flavor just a pinch of instant espresso or coffee adds to this recipe.
- Oat Flour – Used to form the base of the batter. You can find it in the baking section of your local grocery store or easily make your own.
- Salt – Helps enhance the rest of the ingredients for bold flavor.
- Unsweetened Finely Shredded Coconut – Used to provide extra texture and irresistible coconut flavor. Make sure they’re finely shredded! Otherwise, they won’t stick.
- Pure Almond Extract – Used in a similar way to vanilla extract, almond extract helps bring out the natural flavors of the rest of the ingredients and adds a subtle sweetness we love.
- Dark Chocolate – Used to dip, dunk, and drizzle, we prefer to use dairy free dark chocolate, but any chocolate you like best would do!
How to Make This Vegan Coconut Macaroons Recipe
Coconut macaroons might be the easiest cookies we’ve ever made! Just follow the instructions below, and they’re ready in minutes.
- Make the whipped aquafaba. Place the aquafaba (chickpea brine) in a stand mixer, and using a wire whisk attachment, beat the liquid until it is foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and beat on high until soft peaks begin to form. Place the mixer on medium speed, and slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until it is well incorporated into the mixture.
Tip: Save the leftover aquafaba to make vegan meringues!
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a second large mixing bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, oat flour, and salt. Add in the coconut and almond extract.
- Form the batter. Gently fold the whipped aquafaba into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop shape the mixture into evenly-sized balls, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and let the cookies bake until they are just lightly browned. Let them cool, and in the meantime, melt your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Then, dip, dunk, or drizzle your cookies with the melted chocolate, place them on a wire rack to set, and enjoy!
Baking Tips & Tricks
Fold Gently. Be sure to use a gentle hand when combining your ingredients. Whisking too vigorously will cause the aquafaba to deflate.
Toast the Coconut. For an even bolder coconut flavor, try toasting your flakes in the oven before mixing them into the batter.
Don’t Overbake. You’ll want to pull your coconut macaroons out of the oven as soon as they begin to turn golden brown. Otherwise, they’re likely to dry out and become a bit crumbly. We want the middle soft and the outside a little golden.
Use a Cookie Scoop. We always recommend using a cookie scoop to portion out even sized cookies which allows for even baking.
Don’t Forget the Parchment Paper! Be sure to line your baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone liner to prevent the bottom of the macaroons from browning too quickly which may cause them to burn.
How to Store
Although they disappear almost immediately, coconut macaroons can be transferred to an airtight container and kept at room temperature for up to 7 days.
Or, wrap each cookie in parchment paper, place them in a freezer-safe container or sealable bag, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Coconut Macaroons Frequently Asked Questions
While we don’t believe there is such a thing as good or bad foods, when it comes to dessert, these coconut macaroons are fairly nutritious! Thanks to the use of simple, vegan ingredients, they’re naturally high in fiber and have a good amount of healthy fats.
No worries! You can combine the ingredients by hand using an electric mixer. However, be aware that it will take more time and a bit of elbow grease to achieve the same results.
If you can’t find almond extract or can’t consume it, you can easily replace it with vanilla extract or even coconut extract instead.
More Gluten Free Vegan Desserts You’ll Love
Whether you’re preparing for a bake sale, prepping a holiday feast, or just want something a little sweet, we’ve got just what you need!
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!