Homemade vegan coconut macaroons that are toasty and golden on the outside and sweet, moist, and chewy on the inside. Made with just 4 simple ingredients (plus a tiny pinch of salt) and naturally gluten-free!
Hey friends it's coconut time!! And it's all squashed up in perfect vegan coconut macaroon form. Not your regular coconut macaroons though, because these are egg-free and they come with a refined sugar-free option too.
These vegan macaroons are sweet, coconutty and delicious. They are perfectly sweet and moist in the middle and slightly chewy on the outside.
Are Coconut Macaroons Vegan?
Regular coconut macaroons are not vegan because they are bound together with egg-white. In this recipe though, I use a combination of coconut milk and cornstarch to bind them. It works incredibly well.
These are also gluten-free vegan coconut macaroons. Lots of recipe use flour as a binder but as I use cornstarch to make them completely gluten-free. Using cornstarch improves the texture a lot too.
These macaroons are ALL about the coconut! We've got shredded coconut, and coconut milk going on, and the option of using coconut sugar too if you want to. If you don't like coconut, walk away now ... These are not for you. But if you do, you're going to love them!
Here's what you will be needing to make this recipe:
- Shredded coconut - Preferably unsweetened as other wise they will be too sweet, and it must be finely shredded/desiccated coconut. The coarser shredded coconut with larger shredded pieces won't work so well and you risk your macaroons falling apart. Let's Do Organic Shredded Coconut is my go-to brand.
- Sugar - White sugar, brown sugar or coconut sugar. Any of those are fine. I like to use coconut sugar to keep the coconut theme going and for the lovely golden, toasty colour it gives the finished macaroons.
- Coconut milk - Canned and full fat not light. The fat helps hold these vegan macaroons together as they cool and it gives them amazing flavour.
- Cornstarch - Acts as glue in this recipe in combination with the coconut milk and replaces the egg whites that would otherwise be used.
- Salt - Just a pinch. It's as important in sweet recipes as it is in savoury ones.
- And maybe some optional dairy-free chocolate to dip or drizzle?
What makes this recipe really fantastic is that there are only 4 ingredients (plus a tiny bit of salt) and no special equipment is needed to make them. Just a baking tray, some parchment paper or a Silpat, and an ice-cream or cookie scoop if you have one as it makes it easier to shape them.
How do you make Vegan Coconut Macaroons?
Here's how to make vegan macaroons step by step:
- Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl then add the coconut milk
- Stir together really well.
- Scoop up with an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop making sure it's packed in tightly.
- Use the scoop to place mounds of the mixture on the baking tray.
- Optional but recommended. Dip or drizzle in melted chocolate.
How to dip in chocolate
As lovely as they are plain, they are like OMG over the top if you dip the bottoms in some melted chocolate or drizzle it over the top of them.
Melt some dairy-free chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or really gently in the microwave. Then dip the bottom of each macaroon into the chocolate and place on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking tray. Then pop in the fridge or freezer just until the chocolate is set. It will only take a few minutes.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. If you don't, these macaroons will stick to the tray.
- Use finely shredded/desiccated coconut, not the large coarser shreds.
- Use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop for perfectly domed macaroons.
- Pack the mixture into the scoop really tightly each time so they look neat and tidy and stay together well.
- Don't over-bake as it will dry them out.
- Do not attempt to substitute any ingredients or to reduce the amount of sugar. Sugar doesn't just function as a sweetener, it also helps hold them together. There are such few ingredients that changing one will really affect how the recipe turns out.
Some ways you can adapt this recipe include:
- Make vegan chocolate coconut macaroons. Simply dip the baked and cooled macaroons in a puddle of melted chocolate, or drizzle it over them.
- Add ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or any other extract).
- Drizzle with melted vegan white chocolate.
- Make them refined sugar-free by using coconut sugar.
How to store & freeze
Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature. They don't require refrigeration, so are a great choice when you need to make a dessert for a party or potluck. That is unless you use the optional chocolate and the temperature is high enough to melt it. If so keep them in a container in the fridge.
To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag in a single layer and freeze for up to 3 months. Eat them straight from the freezer or leave them to defrost at room temperature for about an hour.
Here you will find frequently asked questions I have received regarding this vegan coconut macaroon recipe:
You need to really pack the mixture into the ice cream scoop when portioning these macaroons out onto the baking tray. If you don't they won't hold together securely and could crumble.
The macaroons can also be crumbly and fall apart if you don't measure the ingredient accurately, change any of the ingredients (even a small change) or if you use the wrong type of shredded coconut. It absolutely has to be finely shredded.
Nothing. It absolutely has to be full-fat canned coconut milk or the macaroons won't hold together properly.
I have only tested the recipe with cornstarch so I don't know if arrowroot will work as well.
No. The sugar isn't just for sweetness. It also helps hold everything together.
Vegan Coconut MacaroonsAuthor:
- 2 packed cups (180 g) finely shredded/desiccated coconut , not the larger, coarser shreds
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar , white sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar are all fine
- 5 tablespoons (37.5 grams) cornstarch , (cornflour in the UK)
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup & 2 tablespoons (150 mls) canned coconut milk (full fat not light)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (162 °c) and line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- To a medium sized mixing bowl, add the coconut, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir together really well.
- Gradually add the coconut milk, stirring as you go until the mixture is wet enough that you can squeeze it together in your hand and it stays mostly in one piece. You might not need all of the milk.
- With an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop that holds about 2 - 2½ tablespoons, scoop out the mixture, and press it in really tightly with your fingers or the back of a spoon or spatula to compact it. Then dollop it out gently onto the lined baking tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.
- Optional - See recipe notes for how to dip in chocolate.
Do not attempt to substitute any ingredients or to reduce the amount of sugar. Sugar doesn't just function as a sweetener, it also helps hold them together. There are such few ingredients that changing one will really affect how the recipe turns out.
How to store & freeze Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature. They don't require refrigeration, so are a great choice when you need to make a dessert for a party or potluck. That is unless you use the optional chocolate and the temperature is high enough to melt it. If so keep them in a container in the fridge. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag in a single layer and freeze for up to 3 months. Eat them straight from the freezer or leave them to defrost at room temperature for about an hour.
Nutritional information is provided for convenience. The data is a computer generated estimate and should be used as a guide only.
This recipe was originally published on July 18th, 2019. I've updated the post with new information and now I am republishing it for you. The actual recipe remains the same. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for following A Virtual Vegan!