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My easy gluten free macaroons are the perfect chewy coconut macaroon with a dark chocolate base.
Macaroon versus Macaron
Despite the similarity in name, macaroons and macarons have some pretty significant differences between them.
The key difference is the main ingredient in the two cookies:
- Shredded coconut is the main ingredient in a macaroon.
- A macaron, on the other hand, is made with ground almond (or almond flour).
Another difference is the way in which the two are presented:
- Macaroons are sometimes served as small balls or at other times as fairly larger cookies. They are generally eaten as individual chewy toasted coconut bakes, no matter the size.
- Macarons are traditionally a delicate sandwich cookie with a filling, such as buttercream or ganache.
Making Gluten Free Macaroons
Ingredients for the Easy Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons
- Shredded coconut - I use Baker's Sweetened Angel Flake Coconut. This is sometimes difficult to come by in the UK and will come at import cost. If you cannot find Baker's, look for shredded coconut in ethnic food isles. It is different from dessicated coconut as the shredding produces thicker pieces of coconut. Shredded coconut is also softer and more mixable than coconut flakes or chips.
- Salt - just a pinch!
- Sugar - if you use unsweetened coconut, you may find you need more sugar than my recipe reflects.
- Egg whites
- Almond Flour - you can use store bought ground almond flour or grind your own.
- Almond extract - almond really brings out the flavour of coconut and is often used in coconut cake recipes. It is great in macaroons too!
Another Easy One Bowl Recipe
This is a classic and quick one-bowl recipe. In a large bowl, simply:
- Mix together the dry ingredients - coconut, sugar, salt and almond flour.
- Add the wet ingredients - egg whites and extract and stir to combine.
The mixture will be a thick moist coconut batter.
The process of dolloping out macaroons is really up to you, but the size of these will have some impact on the baking time. (The larger the macaroon, the longer the baking time)
For large chewy macaroons, I chose to use my OXO Good Grips #40 Scoop. This made for large dollops, about 1.5 tablespoons of batter.
You can use any size kitchen spoon and dollop out macaroons.
Place these at least one inch apart on the baking sheet. These won't spread when baking.
When using a scoop, such as my OXO Good Grips, you're likely to create large dollops that stick up quite a bit from the baking sheet. I like to squish these down lightly to make them more like macaroon cookies.
Lightly dampen your hand under the tap and press onto the top of the scooped macaroons. The water will help prevent your hand from sticking.
Once your tray of gluten free macaroons are ready, bake these in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
Depending on the size of the macaroons, your cooking time may vary. You are looking for the tops to be turning a light brown as the edges of the coconut begin to toast.
When baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Dipping Macaroons in Chocolate
The gluten free coconut macaroons in this recipe can be eaten as is, without chocolate.
I am, however, a massive fan of chocolate macaroons! Making these into gluten free chocolate macaroons is incredibly simple, and just requires a bit of melted chocolate.
Melting Chocolate for Dipping Macaroons
So, melting chocolate is super simple - you can either use a double boiler or microwave. I always use a DIY double boiler for my chocolate.
Using Double Boiler for Quick Tempering
In a double boiler, simply melt the chocolate in a small bowl over the simmering water (never allowing the water and chocolate to meet).
If you want to ensure a better shine, you will want to take steps to more properly temper the chocolate. For my recipe, this can be achieved by reserving about .25 or .5 ounce of the chocolate. Melt the rest in the double boiler. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the reserved chocolate. Stir until this too melts.
This will reduce the temperature suddenly, which is a simplified version of tempering chocolate and should produce a more glossy final product.
That said, you can just melt all of the chocolate together in the double boiler at the same time - this may result in some fading to the chocolate, but it won't impact the flavour!
How to Dip Macaroons
Once you have your molten chocolate, you can really dip these however you wish! I like to do mine in the style of a Mrs Crimbles Chocolate Macaroon, which involves a chocolate dipped base and a drizzle over the top.
First, holding each macaroon carefully by the top, dip each into the chocolate so that the base is submerged at least .5cm. Remove from the chocolate and allow excess to drip off before placing on a parchment sheet or silicone mat to dry.
Dip each macaroon in the same fashion.
Once you've finished, you'll have a bit of leftover chocolate.
Use this leftover chocolate to drizzle over the tops of your macaroons. I put my chocolate into a piping bag, but you can use a ziploc bag or do this manually with a spoon or fork - however you find most convenient.
Allow the chocolate dipped macaroons to set for a couple of hours for the chocolate to harden. This can be expedited in the refrigerator if needed.
For my macaroons, I opted for dark chocolate, but you could also use milk chocolate, white chocolate or even rose chocolate depending on your preferences!
FAQs for Homemade Gluten Free Macaroons
These little macaroon cookies keep well for several days at room temperature. They're best preserved in an airtight container for freshness. Depending on how you've melted the chocolate, this may fade a bit over a couple of days, especially if left open to condensation, but it is still fine to eat.
Yes, these gluten free chocolate macaroons can be frozen. They are best to place in a single layer in a ziploc bag to freeze. Once solid, they can be moved around for more efficient storage if needed. They are fine to keep for a couple of months.
Yes, you can make these nut free by substituting the almond flour with another nut free flour. If you do not need these to be gluten free, you can easily use plain or all-purpose flour in this recipe. Alternatively use conventional gluten free flour to replace the almond flour. The almond extract an also be removed entirely or substituted with a flavour such as vanilla if needed.
If you like this recipe, you might be interested in other no-bake cookies:
- Chocolate No Bake Cookies without Peanut Butter
- Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Edible Brownie Batter
Gluten Free Macaroons
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- ¼ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoon almond flour
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 4 oz chocolate chips
- Preheat an oven to 325°F (160C/140C Fan) and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the coconut, sugar, salt and almond flour.
- Add the egg whites and extract, mixing to combine.
- Dollop out macaroon batter onto the prepared baking tray, leaving an inch or so between. Gently press the tops down with a dampened palm.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the coconut starts to toast and appear light brown.
- Transfer the macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely (about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies).
- Once cool, prepare the chocolate for dipping. Melt this in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Tips for a better shine available in the blog post.
- Dip the base of each macaroon into the melted chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- With any leftover chocolate, drizzle the tops of the macaroons and allow to set for a couple of hours for the chocolate to harden.