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Paleo Coconut Macaroons

paleo coconut macaroons gluten-free dessert recipe

Coconut macaroons are the perfect Paleo treat for Passover and Easter.

With only four ingredients, this simple gluten free dessert recipe will wow your Passover or Easter guests. These primal macaroons are made of coconut, egg whites, honey and salt, making them an optimal Paleo cookie recipe. They’ll be devoured within minutes!

Rather than shredded coconut, I used flaked coconut as I wanted to try something different, and I thought it would look pretty and brown nicely.

Paleo Coconut Macaroons


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites and honey with a fork
  2. Briefly whisk in salt, then stir in coconut flakes
  3. Place bowl in fridge to chill for ½ hour
  4. Fill a 2 tablespoon scoop with batter, so it’s heaping full
  5. Using your hand, firmly pack batter into scoop so it is level
  6. Release batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  7. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until macaroons are golden brown
  8. Cool for 1 hour and serve

Yield 8

I don’t usually have a lot of tips for the recipes I write, however, I do have a couple for this Paleo Coconut Macaroon recipe.

As noted above, I did not use shredded coconut in this recipe; I used flaked coconut which is quite different.  Coconut flakes are much larger than the tiny pieces in shredded coconut. I do not know if shredded coconut will work. If you try it, please let us know how it goes.

Next, the 2 tablespoon size scoop is important for the recipe to work –a smaller scoop won’t work as it will not hold the coconut flakes. I’m not sure if an even larger scoop will work as I haven’t tried using one. Feel free to experiment with any size scoop you wish.

Finally, the idea to let the batter sit in the fridge comes from the macaroon recipe at paleodiet.cz. I like this method as it helps the batter set up and creates a macaroon that holds together better after it is baked.

Does your family have a favorite macaroon recipe? If so, feel free to share it in the comments below.

posted on April 5, 2012, 100 comments

  1. Eileen

    Elana – can you tell me where to purchase a 2-tablespoon scoop? And the brand that has worked well for you.

  2. Noelle (@singerinkitchen) @ singerskitchen.com

    This sounds delicious and simple

  3. Aidel.K

    Eileen–I have an Oneida 2-tablespoon rounded spoon that looks like a scoop. It was sold as a coffee measure. I found it on clearance at Target several years ago, and I wish I had purchased a few. It is one of the handiest tools in my kitchen–for cookies, meatballs, etc. (I think most coffee measures are 2 tablespoons.)
    Thanks, Elana, for another great Pesach recipe! Happy Pesach!

  4. Nan C

    I really like the addition of almond, although commercial almond paste has sugars and other ingredients. Maybe I’ll play with adding some kind of almond flour, more honey, and almond extract. Thank you for this recipe!

    (Am looking forward to receiving your Almond Flour recipe book which I ordered!).

  5. Marion

    Anything besides honey??

  6. darkhorse

    Wow! These look amazing! I can’t wait to make them this weekend…if they are as good as your other recipe they will be a hit!!! Thanks again Elana!

  7. beth@redandhoney @ redandhoney.com

    These look interesting! My family’s favourite coconut macaroon recipe is a chocolate version, and I blogged it a while back:


  8. MaryCay

    Macaroons got me thru withdrawal in the early days of going grain free!
    I make mine with the shredded unsweetened coconut with great results. I use a mixer to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks slowly adding sweetener (just like meringues) then fold in coconut. Chilling it eliminates that step I bet, gonna try!
    Ive used dfferent sweeteners too, not paleo but tasty- sugar, agave, maple syrup, added choc chips or dipped in choc after baking and cooling.

  9. Jerri-Lynn DeGayner @ rdegayner@new.rr.com

    I’m with Marion, can these be made with stevia or lo han sweentners? I’m Fighting a systemic yeast infection and these are the only sweentners that wont feed this horrific fungus.

    • I have tried to substitute sweeteners for the same reason and the honey helps hold it together so it has never worked. You could try making paleo coconut balls or coconut oil balls as they stay together through refrigeration.

    • Rosemarie

      After years of fighting systemic fungus, taking Nystatin RX, I tried increasing hydrocloric acid by taking HCL supplement with each meal. No more fungus problems! I use the lower dose of 250 ML instead of the 600 Ml
      three times a day with meals. Inadequate hydrocloric acid can cause fungal overgrowth and malabsorption of nutrients. Apple Cider Vinegar with a glass of water can work too.

    • sarah

      I just made these with xylitol honey substitute and a few drops of stevia to add sweetness and they turned out pretty good. Xylitol is also an approved candida diet sweetner as it is antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. You can order the xylitol honey substitute online, along with xylitol maple syrup and ketchup.

  10. Mandy

    These look amazing! Can I substitute Stevia for honey?

  11. Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z @ glutenfreematters.com

    I don’t usually take the time to bake on Passover, but these look so easy and delicious I will have to try them for the Seder this year. Great photo too.

  12. I LOVE macaroons. Looks like a great recipe, I love how simple it is.

  13. These look so good! I plan to try this! :)

  14. susana Jones

    these look great! Do you need the honey to hold these together? I was hoping to use Stevia instead.

  15. Barbara

    I love your other Coconut Macaroon recepie on your website. It’s easier for me to buy the shredded coconut so I will stick with that recepie for now. Thanks Elena for all you do! Your recepies changed my life and taught me how to cook!

  16. Baker Bettie @ bakerbettie.com

    Gorgeous! And only a few ingredients. You are really making switching over to grain free baking so much easier. Thanks for all the hard work you have done on all of your recipes!

  17. Eileen

    Thank you for the link to Amazon for the 2 T scoop. Another question – where do I purchase the unsweetened coconut flakes? I looked on Amazon and there are many choices to pick from. I haven’t used coconut in years in anything. I appreciate your time and help.

  18. reisha @ farmboxla.com

    anything to replace eggs? vegan?

  19. Karen

    This looks crazy good. Can’t wait to try! I wonder what they would be like to add some sliced or chopped almonds- may be too much of a good thing.

    Regarding the scoop, here’s the one I have (as a former PC rep) and it’s great for lots of uses and very sturdy: http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=238&words=medium%20scoop. You can order from your local Pampered Chef rep or on line.

  20. Julia {The Roasted Root} @ roastedrootfood.com

    I’m always happy to see paleo desserts – I like to believe I’m getting a 2 for 1 deal with these kinds of desserts – super tasty but healthy at the same time! I love baking desserts using coconut flour and honey in place of wheat flour and sugar. Thanks for the awesome macaroon recipe – I’ll have to pick up some flaked coconut next time I go grocery shopping!

  21. I love almonds in my coconut macaroons, so I will be add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and replace a 1/2 cup of shredded coconut with a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. And dipping them in melted chocolate; what a tasty idea MaryCay!

    • Ivy

      I added chopped almonds and cinnamon! And finally drizzle with chocolate syrop. Yummy!
      Thanks Elana for teaching me how to bake and for your guidance in learning how/ what to eat on a gluten free lifestyle.

  22. Chris Albe

    I love macaroons, but am keeping all sugar out of my body due to a diagnosis of cancer. Do you think I could use almond extract or vanilla instead? Am not allowed “any” sweetener, natural or certainly not artificial either. :)

    • Trish

      Chris- Sorry to hear about you diagnosis! Great you are keeping all sugar out of your diet. Hope fruit too! It just feeds the tumor. I’m going to try these without the honey as well. But thinking they may need something else as a binder?? Going to try a little coconut butter or oil with some vanilla.

  23. Karen

    Baked these treats up tonite, using unsweetened shredded coconut (vs the recommended flaked), as that is what I had on hand and it worked fine.

    I actually got 12 cookies from the batch and I was even a little light on the coconut amount as the bag had been opened already, but all worked fine. I DO recommend you make sure to pack the dough tightly into the 2oz scoop so that the cookie stays together when you drop it onto the cookie sheet.

    Raves all around- paleo and non-paleo alike!

  24. Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com @ healthymamainfo.com

    Sounds so simple, and looks yum!

  25. Zsoka

    So I tried them tonight – they tasted great. BUT they did not stick together properly….I wonder why. I’m thinking that the flakes might have been too large (and I even tried to crumb them up a bit with my hands before mixing them in, and also tried to leave a few minutes longer in the oven). I’m thinking that I’ll try to put one more egg (I made a double batch, and used 4 eggs). The other thing I’m thinking that the scoop I had was 4-spoon, tried to fill only half way through, but of course it was hard to pat down…..just ordered the two-spoon from Amazon with Elana’s link :-)

  26. These look so yummy.
    I like the look of the flakes, did you find a different consistency with them in comparison to shredded coconut? Were they crunchier?
    These are going on my to do list!

  27. CarolAnn

    I made these for a Seder dinner, with shredded coconut because it was what I had on hand. I refridgerated them for probably 45 minutes and used a 1/4 cup measure, packed 1/2 full and they “plopped” beautifully onto the cookie sheet. They are delightful! Very light and fluffy and held together nicely.
    One note, I would recommend stirring the “batter” again after having them in the fridge to redistribute the binding ingredients.

  28. Lauren Cavanagh

    Hi Elana,

    I made your Paleo macaroons for Pesach this year and they were wonderful. I did use unsweetened shredded coconut and a one tablespoon scoop but I added a little vanilla, some chocolate chips and an extra egg white. Following your directions, I made the cookies and they came out beautifully and tasted great. Thanks for the recipe.

  29. Peddler's Choice @ peddlerschoice.com

    Thank you for this post! I can’t wait to make these for my family!

  30. Becky @ Pure Vitality @ getpurevitality.com

    This sounds yummy. My favorite is the raw coconut mac. It melts in your mouth when warm fresh from the dehydrator.

  31. Tracy Deakyne

    I am just so thrilled with all of your recipes! These were just delicious! But because I’m so fond of maple syrup, I just had to switch it out for the honey!
    My 2 daughters are in a cake sculpting class and are bringing your chocolate banana cake and carrot cakes tomorrow to class and we just enjoyed your pumpkin pie muffins and they are to die for!! Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes. Tracy

  32. Jen

    Tried this with coconut powder (finer than flakes but coarser than flour, tiny dried bits of coconut) because that’s all I had in the pantry, and was desperate for a cookie! They turned out well, didn’t brown as prettily, but tasted yummy! Next time I want to try drizzling them with some organic sugar-free chocolate…thanks for the great recipe ;)


  33. green beans & grapefruit @ chefjamielevine.com

    Love the touch of using thick, unsweetened coconut flakes! The traditional ones don’t do it for me!

  34. Libby

    If I wanted to sub stevia for the honey, how many drops do you think I would need?

  35. The Healthy Apple @ thehealthyapple.com

    LOVE this recipe; hope you had a wonderful Passover! xxo

  36. A friend of mine has been taking crossfit classes and recently started a paleo diet. I’ll have to pass on this recipe!

  37. Elisa Martin

    I tried the coconut macaroon recipe with shredded coconut and they turned out great. I substituted coconut milk and stevia for the honey, and I doubled the amount of liquid because it seemed a bit dry (the shredded coconut really absorbed the coconut milk) and that doubled the cooking time, but they came out great and are a new favorite.

    I love your recipes; thanks for making it easy and delicious to cook for my very restricted diet.

  38. suzanne @ suzanneholt.com

    These look great! We love coconut, and this doesn’t look that difficult to make. I can’t wait to see what they taste like.

  39. Carol, Simply Gluten Free @ simplygluten-free.com

    I love simple recipes. This one looks delicious!

  40. Reedy

    Not sure what I did wrong, but most of the honey and egg ran out of the bottom of the macaroons while they were baking! This is the first of your recipes that hasn’t worked for me – I have made many others and loved them :-)

  41. Jennifer

    I just added coconut cream. I’m hoping for a dense and moist macaroon. I’m not one for changing a recipe because it doesn’t turn out well, usually. I’ll let you know.

  42. Norma Pascal

    Dear Elana,what molds do you use to freeze popsicles since I know you try to avoid plasic? What filtration system do you use for the drinking water in your home? I hope is not reverse osmosis,it’s all plastic!!!. I live in La Jolla CA, I’m from Mexico City,if you are interested in delicious simple mexican recipes I can share some with you…Norma Pascal

  43. Mandy

    HI All, did anyone bake them with coconut milk or oil instead of honey? I am going to make these tonight, so I will post results. Thanks.

  44. katey @ superfoods @ thesuperfoodsbook.com

    So is using coconut flour and coconut flakes alright when you are on the paleo diet? Most paleo food lists do not show coconut as an allowable paleo food.

  45. Has anyone ever used an egg replacer (i.e. baking powder, Ener-G egg replacer, ground flax etc.) for macaroons or any recipe that calls for egg whites?

  46. elise johnston

    awesome – I usually use grated fresh coconut which is awesome too! cheers :P

  47. Cecile Tandus

    I made the macaroons not with the coconut flakes and they were fine. They held together. I dip the bottom in melted chocolate. Very very yummy !!!!!!!

  48. I made these with shredded coconut, it came out way too dry.

  49. kate

    can i replace egg replacer powder with egg whites since I only need 2 egg whites as I am vegan?

  50. Sherry Fredley @ SherryFredley.com/blog

    I am so excited to make these and I have everything on hand!!!! Thank you again for this wonderfully easy, super simple- healthy recipe!

    Sherry at sherryfredley.com

  51. Clarise

    If I don’t have a 2-tablespoon scoop, can I just use a regular tablespoon and try to sculpt them into the ball shape? :).

  52. Adriana

    I added some dark chocolate chips and they came out delicious!

  53. Lara

    I made these with almond flakes instead..yummo!

  54. Janice

    Didn’t have parchment paper – used waxed paper – disaster with a capital D.
    They burned on bottom and stuck, couldnt get them off at all. If you don’t have parchment paper – any other suggestions ?

  55. Kat

    The first batch I made fell apart after I let them cool. So, the second time I made them I refrigerated them for an hour and increased the cooking time to 15-20 minutes. They turned out perfect.

  56. Sherry

    Made these just a bit ago. Halved the batch just because I was nearly out of honey, but they came out great! Used half unsweetened half sweetened (all I had!) coconut flakes. Would love to throw some chocolate chips in next time for a change. Will definitely make these again, thanks for sharing!!

  57. Thanks Elana. Coconut Macaroons are one of my favorites. We’re looking forward to trying these out.

  58. Kristy Hawkins

    I tried this recipe yesterday and they were to die for right out of oven. Such yummy crunchy goodness. However after being stored all night in a Tupperware container they were gooey and fell apart today :( Did I do something wrong or is this normal? How do you store yours?

  59. Kathy

    I just made these and not sure what I did wrong. Extremely runny, even after an hour in the refrigerator.

  60. adriana

    I added some dark chocolate chips and walnuts and they came out delicious!

  61. Rachel

    Mine came out terrible! I followed directions and ingredients exactly. I don’t know what happened. When these failed, I tried the macaroon recipe in your almond flour cookbook that I had borrowed from the library. Tried that recipe twice. Failed both times. Came out really chewy not light like I’m used to with macaroons. So desperate for a macaroon I bought a box of Tree of Life. Eased cravings but really want to figure out how to make my own. Batter on this recipe just didn’t hold together or stay combined. Maybe I will try refrigerating longer. Also, the flakes were difficult to pack tightly into my scoop so perhaps the shredded might work better. Thoughts?

    • Sella

      I am thinking the same thing, that the shredded is better for this kind of dessert. I think the flakes I will be reserving for granola or trail mixes only. :-) Let me know if you find the perfect recipe!

  62. Kerry

    I have made these and they are delicious!

  63. Sella

    OH gosh. I tried to make this using the large coconut flakes but I wanted to make it truly sugar free. I used egg whites, 1/4 cup of brown Ideal xylitol sugar, 2 droppers of nustevia vanilla extract drops, 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk, the salt, and the flakes. I could tell after refrigerating it it still was not going to hold its shape. I baked a few and sure enough they were very delicate. Too delicate, so I made the rest in little heart shaped silicone molds to eat out of. I wanted to make it truly sugar free and was hoping the milk and eggs would be enough to bind. It wasn’t. I will keep experimenting and let you know when I come up with a good one. If anyone else has a suggestion, please let me know!

  64. Colleen

    Recently came by this recipe and have tried it 3 times with shredded coconut. The first time I used the same measurements of everything just shredded instead of flaked, and used 1 tbsp scoop. The first batch was too sweet for me (though others liked it), so I subbed 1 banana for the honey in the second batch, which was too dry (dipping in chocolate helped). The third batch I used 4 egg whites and 2 bananas with the 2-1/2 cups shredded coconut, turned out perfect. Also cooked them at a lower temp 300 for 10 minutes then broiled for 1-2 minutes to brown the tops.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  65. Joanne Raus

    I used a small ice cream scoop from Williams Sonoma to make these cookies. I filled it 3/4 and compressed the dough. This worked for me and I was able to get 20 cookies from the recipe.

  66. Chris

    I’m trying to steer clear of sugar and have been off of it for a few weeks. I was craving something and made these with 1/8 cup of honey and they are perfectly sweet using half the recommended amount.

    Love your blog and websites Elana. I have made so many of your recipes. Thank you for sharing. :)

  67. allyn

    is the sea salt necessary for the macaroons to turn out, or can you omit it?

  68. allyn

    is the sea salt necessary for the macaroons to turn out, or can you omit it?

  69. Sue C

    I use a combo of coconut flakes and shredded coconut. It has nice consistency and the shredded coconut holds the macaroon together better

  70. Linda

    I’ve learned how to make homemade coconut milk but don’t know what to use the leftover shredded coconut in. These sound delicious, I wonder if I can use the leftover coconut to make a healthy “cookie” … wouldn’t that be awesome?

  71. julia

    these came out delicious, but way too dry..they fell apart for me…any advice?

  72. Scarlett

    I just made these and they were absolutely delicious! I didn’t have an ice cream scoop so I just used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filled it half way. It worked great! I also drizzled the macaroons with melted chocolate and pecans and let the chocolate harden.

  73. Maxine

    I just used a combo of flakes AND shredded coconut since I had some extra: http://m.iherb.com/Edward-Sons-Organic-Shredded-Coconut-Unsweetened-8-oz-227-g/32712. Worked out great!!!!! Thank you!

  74. Jabbara Edwards

    I want to try this with lime zest and strips of candied ginger. A long gone food cart made a macaroon with the large flakes and that flavoring, I’ve been wanting to replicate it, this might do it.

  75. Does anyone know how long these will keep…….refrigerated or not?

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