Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons – Gluten-free + Dairy-free

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

I have no problem admitting my obsession with coconut. I absolutely adore it. If I see a macaroon at a high-end bakery and they can assure me it is gluten-free, I am on it! Sadly, most times I take a bite and it is sooo overly sweet that it actually ruins it for me, I can rarely finish one of those from a bakery due to the extreme sweetness. I don’t think coconut has to be so overly sweetened. It is so amazing on it’s own. Add some chocolate and forget about it, I lose all control. But you already knew that, didn’t you? I mean really, is my obsession really that obvious?

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

I decided the best thing to do instead of always being let down and not being able to finish the ones I buy at bakeries, is to create my own macaroon recipe at home that utilized an unrefined sweetener instead of loads of sugar or that gross canned sweetened condensed milk that many recipes call for. Some recipes actually call for sugar, the canned condensed milk which is usually sweetened AND sweetened coconut. UGH. Hurts my teeth just thinking about it.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

As much as I love macaroons dipped in melted chocolate, I can sometimes be lazy with melting chocolate. It can be annoying, I hate the mess and really the same flavor combo could be achieved by adding mini chocolate chips instead. Problem solved. If you want these cookies truly refined sugar-free, leave the chocolate chips out or make your own refined sugar free chips.

Most classic macaroon recipes are made with egg whites, I decided to keep that as part of the recipe, but I have seen many vegan recipes that utilize Ener-G egg replacer in place of the egg whites. I haven’t yet tried this myself, so please report back if you do.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons - Gluten-free + Dairy-free

[print_this]Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons – Gluten-free,  Dairy-free, Paleo

Makes 18-20 cookies

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded organic coconut
  • 1/4 cup local organic honey* or organic Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
  • 2 large local egg whites
  • pinch of salt

*If you want to use raw honey, just heat it up before hand over a very low heat, to liquify it.


Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl mix together everything except the egg whites and salt, making sure the coconut is evenly coated with the honey (or maple syrup). Get your hands in there, that’s what I do!

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a small pinch of salt. Beat for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form when you lift the mixer out.

Gently fold the coconut mixture into the eggs, being careful not to totally destroy the lovely beaten eggs. Let sit in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Drop batter onto the lined baking sheet, one rounded tablespoonful at a time. I like to really press the batter into the tablespoon, then carefully tap the cookie out of the spoon. It makes for the most perfect shape.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let chill for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling completely.

*To make vegan try using 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer with 4 tablespoons of water and be sure to choose maple syrup over honey. I haven’t tried these yet this way, but there are many recipes online that use the egg replacer instead. Just whisk the egg replacer with the water, add a pinch of salt and add the coconut mixture to it.[/print_this]


Head on over to the Free People Blog BLDG 25, where I am sharing this recipe as part of my Restricted Diets series. Please leave a comment there if you enjoy the post and feel free to comment here let me know if there are any other classic recipes that you would like recreated to be gluten-free, refined sugar-free, cleaner, etc.

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives?

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17 Responses

  1. Just love coconut macaroons, they are a family favorite, add in some chocolate chips and I bet even my kids would eat. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  2. OMG.. Those are looking super cute and tempting.. Very beautiful captures too.. thanks for the recipe 🙂

  3. Alissa N says:

    I have been so excited for these, I can’t wait to try them out!! I am so with you on the coconut+chocolate combo, I am in love!! I actually got a macaroon from a bakery recently, and it was sooooo sweet, I’m loving this version already!

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  5. Lorie Rowan says:

    your suggestions were perfect for the Mocha Mexican Balls. Thanks so much. I just ordered
    from Tropical Traditions. Many thanks again!
    The treats FYI were delicious!!!!

  6. noelle says:

    I made these macaroons last night and they are AMAZING. just perfect!

  7. Brittany says:

    I love coconut as well and these look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. I’ve never met a coconut macaroon I didn’t love, and I can’t wait to try your gluten- and dairy-free version!

  9. Tracy says:

    I made a different macaroon recipe the other day, almost the same, but 3 times the sugar. Way too sweet. Stoked to find yours with the lower sweetener amount. I, too, like my sweets to be not so sweet. Also, the meringued whites really make for a nice texture and the maple syrup gave them a fuller flavor. Thanks!

  10. I don’t think Ener-G would work to make them vegan because it is mainly an egg replacer for rise not binding, which is what these need. I’m not sure what is a good replacement though. I wouldn’t like the way flax or chia would change the flavour. A local bakery has a sweet potato macaroon that is gluten-free and vegan. Maybe it’s the sweet potato that holds theirs together.

  11. Checking my list of egg substitutes for binding they are: lecithin, arrowroot, tofu, agar, pureed fruit, flax. 1/4 cup per egg. I think I’m going to try lecithin, though I really think 2 tbsp might be enough.

  12. I a little surprised, but the powdered egg replacer works! I don’t have EnerG brand, but mine works well too. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and only a bit drier than the ones I get at the bakery that have eggs. Glad to have the option of vegan macaroons! I split the batch in half and used lecithin in half, but it is my first time using it, so I reserve judgement. I had granules and used a bit too much water with them, but it did work, just not as well as the egg replacer powder. If you are skilled at using lecithin then you might have better results.

  13. Tom Kelley says:

    These were fabulous — nice crispy shell and perfect soft deliciousness on the inside. The second time I made this recipe; instead of putting the chips in batter, I melted them added a bit of vanilla to the dairy free chocolate and drizzled it over the macaroons. They were beautiful and delicious.

  14. neonradar says:

    Just made two batches of the above with maple syrup. Couldn’t get them round, they are more of an oval or shell-shaped, but pretty. Also, they did not get golden on the outside though I baked them for 15 minutes. They taste great. I did one batch vegan (with the recipe for flax egg-replacer on the Bob’s Mill website – 2 1/2 eggs worth). The batter had a better feel than the egg-white recipe. Baked them for 14 minutes and then turned them over and baked them for another 4 minutes. They are not as tasty but – they are Vegan!

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