Gluten-Free Macaroons

These gluten-free macaroons are the perfect balance of a chewy, tender cookie on the inside with a crispy outer shell. All coconut lovers will fall for this healthy version of a delicious family favorite. Feel free to drizzle these coconut cookies with melted chocolate or enjoy them as is, in all their coconut splendor. It’s national macaroon day so scroll past the recipe for lots of great macaroon ideas!

Several gluten free macaroons sit on a wire rack, cooling after being baked.

I have loved coconut for a long time. I think it goes back to those little striped coconut candies they sell in the grocery stores. I’m not even sure they sell them anymore, but when I was a kid I really loved them.

I thought you’d enjoy this recipe today for gluten-free coconut macaroons. I’ve shared a couple of raw macaroon recipes, including my chocolate-dipped macaroons. Those are so good!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using vegan sweetened condensed milk means this recipe is made with only 4 ingredients
  • Ground flax seeds acts as an egg replacer for these cookies
  • Shredded coconut adds flavor and texture, making every bite better than the last!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Shredded coconut — I prefer unsweetened coconut flakes for this recipe.
  • Sweetened condensed milk — You can buy dairy-free sweetened condensed milk these days. I use Nature’s Charm Coconut Sweetened Condensed Milk. Or you can make homemade vegan sweetened condensed milk.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground flax seeds — I buy these at the health food store. Some grocery stores carry it, too. It’s also another of my favorite vegan products at Costco.

Ingredient Spotlight

Looking down on a wooden bowl full of coconut flakes that spill over onto the white counter around the bowl.

What Coconut is Best for Cookies

You can actually buy several types of coconut, such as desiccated coconut (dried coconut that has been shredded into fine bits), coconut flakes (larger flakes of coconut that retain some of the coconut’s moisture), and shredded coconut (longer strips of coconut that are also more moist that desiccated coconut). It can be overwhelming knowing which one to choose for your cookies. I recommend using unsweetened shredded coconut because it’s easily available and provides the perfect amount of moisture. You can find it in the baking section of most grocery stores. In a pinch, you can substitute sweetened shredded coconut.

How to Make Gluten-Free Macaroons

This may be the easiest cookie recipe I’ve shared so far. The toughest part may be finding the ingredients, but I’m sharing tips to make that easy for you as well.

  1. Stir together the ingredients.
  2. Use a cookie dough drop scoops of batter on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on your desired crispiness of the outer shell. 
  4. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

Step One: Make the Batter

In a large bowl, add the coconut flakes. Pour the coconut sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and ground flax seeds. Stir until combined.  

A hand pours coconut sweetened condensed milk into a bowl with shredded coconut.

You really don’t have to do the ground flax seeds, but I do think it serves as a nice binding agent in these cookies. And, besides, ground flax seeds add omega-3s to these cookies…and that’s a good thing.

A hand uses a red spatula to stir the sweetened condensed milk and coconut.

Stir the ingredients together and then use a cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls. You’ll want that cookie scooper because this batter is pretty sticky.

A bowl of coconut macaroon cookie dough in a bowl.

In the photo above I haven’t yet added the vanilla and ground flaxseed. It doesn’t photograph as well, but you can add that to your dough to add flavor and to create a binding agent for the finished cookies.

Step Two: Distribute Batter and Bake

  1. Use a cookie dough scoop and dispense 1.5″ balls and place them on your baking sheet around 2″ apart.
    Uncooked coconut macaroons are lined up in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the heated oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on your desired crispiness of the outer shell. 
  3. When done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  4. Optional: drizzle with melted chocolate using this vegan ganache recipe.

Storage Tips

Store these cookies in an airtight container. In the fridge, they will last up to two weeks.

Is Coconut Gluten-Free?

Yes, coconut is gluten-free, but like any products you buy, if you’re highly sensitive to gluten, you will want to make sure that the coconut you purchase is not packaged in a plant that also produces products that have gluten in them.

Coconut macaroons sit on a wire rack to cool.

Marly’s Tips

I have a few favorite tricks to making these gluten-free macaroons:

  • Be sure to allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven
  • If you notice that the cookies are still a little tender after sitting for a few minutes, you can return them to the oven to bake a few minutes longer
  • If you don’t have ground flaxseed on hand, simply use chia seeds
  • I like to buy my coconut in the bulk section at my local health food store. That’s because I prefer to purchase unsweetened coconut.
  • You can buy regular, inexpensive coconut flakes and process them in a food processor for smaller flakes at a lower price.
A hand holds a macaroon cookies with a bite taken out.

As you can tell, I like my macaroon cookies a little crunchy on the outside. The heat from the oven caramelizes the outer crust, giving it a nice golden hue. However, on the inside, you’ll see a soft, tender middle.

That’s what I call cookie perfection!

Coconut Recipe Favorites

If you love these gluten-free macaroons, here are more coconut sweets to enjoy!

That’s it for these gluten-free macaroons!

A closeup of coconut macaroon cookies.
Several gluten free macaroons sit on a wire rack, cooling after being baked.

Gluten-Free Macaroons

You'll love the chewy, tender cookie on the inside with the crunch of that crispy outer shell of these 4-ingredient gluten-free macaroons.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: European
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 109kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add the coconut flakes. Pour the coconut sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and ground flax seeds. Stir until combined.  
  • Use a cookie dough scoop and dispense 1.5" balls and place them on your baking sheet around 2" apart.
  • Place the baking sheet in the heated oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on your desired crispiness of the outer shell. 
  • When done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Optional: drizzle with melted chocolate.
  • Store these cookies in an airtight container. In the fridge, they will last up to two weeks.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 53mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

National Macaroons Day

Every time National Macaroons Day rolls around, I like sharing some of the best foodie friends’ recipes. We all pitched in together to share with you some awesome macaroon recipes. I mean, macaroons mean coconut and anything that involves coconuts is good with me.

Also, not all these recipes are vegan. If you have questions on how to veganize any of them, let me know.

More Macaroon Recipes

2 Responses to Gluten-Free Macaroons

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStacie Reply

    5 stars
    These look AMAZING! I can’t wait to try.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKara Reply

    5 stars
    Love the idea of adding a little flax or chia seeds for a boost of nutrients. And I love those toasted edges of the cookies. Looks so yummy!

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