Macaroon, in detail

Macaroon, in detail

By Cat, August & October 2007. updated April 2017 for toppings (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Macaroons are a type of cookie basically made from meringue (beaten egg/egg white and sugar) and shaved coconut flakes. They do not flatten out like other cookies, but rather stay as little balls.  If you like a flatter cookie, flatten each ball a bit before cooking.

My Mom’s recipe for macaroons uses sweetened coconut (which today is sweetened with white sugar at best, HFCS at worst), so that the dominant flavor is sugar rather than coconut. I wanted a recipe that would use desiccated, unsweetened coconut, so that I could sweeten the cookie with stevia; I found two recipes that appealed to me:

  • Whole Egg Macaroons (uses whole egg);
  • Egg White Macaroons (uses only the whites, which is a good way to use up left over egg whites).

Another advantage to using desiccated, unsweetened coconut flakes is that it is about 70% coconut oil, a good healthful oil for a ketogenic diet: low carb, high fat to reset my metabolism.

  • See also: 1. Cookie Menu; 2. Coconut (About); 3. Ketogenic Diet (links to my old site)
  • Includes: 1. Whole Egg Macaroons); 2. Egg White Macaroons; 3. Toppings:  Salted Caramel or Chocolate-Nut

Coconut information

Coconut isn’t really a nut, but rather the fruit of the coconut palm. However, the white meat of the fruit is very rich in good, healthful saturated fats and carbs so that nutritionally it more resembles nuts than fruit. See Coconut (About) for more.

Sweetened vs desiccated unsweetened coconut flakes 

These macaroon recipes call for desiccated flakes, which come in sweetened and unsweetened versions. While these recipes use unsweetened flakes, if you use sweetened flakes, omit the sugar/honey/maple syrup/stevia in my recipes.

Bakers Sweetened Coconut Flakes (4) [NOTE: the label indicates a serving size of 2 tsp, but to be realistic in a recipe, and to compare with Bob’s Red Mill serving size of ¼ cup, I also provide nutritional information for ¼ cup]

  • Nutritional label: In 2 tsp of flakes: 5 g total fat; 6 g total carbs of which 5 g are sugars; OR in ¼ cup flakes: 30 g total fat, 36 g total carbs of which 30 g are sugars
  • Ingredients: Coconut, Sugar, Water, Propylene Glycol to Preserve Freshness, Salt, Sodium Metabisulfite (preservative)

Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (5) are what I use – they are not desiccated. [NOTE: Desiccated flakes have been steamed and dried at temperatures above 145°F for preservation, and are not the same as raw or simply dried.]

  • Nutritional label: In ¼ cup flakes: 10 g total fat; 4 g total carbs of which 1 g is sugars;
  • Ingredients: Unsulfured Coconut

Making your own coconut flakes

See WikiHow (6) for two methods: Drying in 350°F oven; or dehydrating at 135°F

Whole Egg Macaroons

This recipe is from the Coconut Diet website (1), and makes 12 – 15 cookies. It uses whole egg and lightly sweetens with honey.

About coconut oil equivalence; if you make:

  • 12 cookies, each contains about 1.33 Tbsp coconut flakes, or the equivalent of 1 Tbsp coconut oil.
  • 15 cookies, each contains about 1 Tbsp coconut flakes, or the equivalent of 3/4 Tbsp coconut oil.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 cup raw or desiccated, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp warm filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (for greasing cookie sheet if not using bakers’ parchment)
  • Equipment
  • cookie sheet
  • bakers’ parchment (optional); or use butter or coconut oil to grease the cookie sheet
  • wire cooling rack


  1. Mix warm water and honey together.  Add coconut flakes.  Beat in the egg.  Mix thoroughly.
  2. Form a spoonful into a ball and drop onto well-greased cookie sheet, or sheet lined with bakers’ parchment.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Cool on rack.

Egg White Macaroons

This recipe is from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. (2), and makes 24 cookies.  Each cookie contains about 1.33 Tbsp coconut flakes, or the equivalent of 1 Tbsp coconut oil.

An unsweetened version, from Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig Ph.D. and Sally Fallon is basically the same except the following ingredients are omitted: arrowroot/coconut flour, vanilla, and maple syrup/stevia.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch unrefined sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder or 1 – 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp Grade-B maple syrup (For a sweet cookie, use as much as ½ cup maple syrup, or up to ¼ tsp stevia extract powder)
  • ½ Tbsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups (about) raw or desiccated, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil (for greasing cookie sheet) or bakers’ parchment
  • Equipment
  • Medium glass or stainless steel bowl
  • electric mixer
  • parchment paper (optional) or use butter or coconut oil to grease the cookie sheet
  • cookie sheet
  • wire cooling rack


  • Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, or grease baking sheet well with butter or coconut oil (or you can use a lightly greased non-stick cookie sheet, if you don’t mind the exposure to teflon).
  • Beat egg whites and salt together in clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.
  • If using stevia, mix it well with the arrowroot/coconut flour.
  • Beat in arrowroot/coconut flour), then slowly beat in maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Fold in 2 cups of coconut.  The mixture should be sticky enough to form balls, and not so dry as to be crumbly. Add more coconut if necessary.  The amount is dependent on quantity of egg white from the 4 eggs, and the amount of maple syrup you use.
  • Shape into balls and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • If you like a harder, crisper cookie, reduce heat to 200°F and bake another hour or more until macaroons are dry and crisp.  Do NOT do this is you have dentures or loose teeth.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on rack completely before removing from parchment paper.  If using non-stock baking sheet, remove immediately.
  • Store in an airtight container

Optional toppings for Macaroons

These recipes are adapted from an article in the Daily Inter Lake, 4/12/17, originally by Daniel Neman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (7), originally from his book, “The Macaroon Bible.”

For both recipes, ingredient amount in parenthesis is a half-recipe (for the whole egg macaroons, above); those not in parenthesis are a full recipe (for egg-white macaroons, above).

Salted Caramel topping

Note: you cannot substitute stevia or sugar-alcohols (such as sorbitol or xylitol) for the topping because they will not caramelize.

  1. Cookies: Prepare as for desired recipe, above; then set them to cool on a wire rack.
  2. Topping: While macaroons are cooling on the rack, measure out each of the ingredients separately – once the sugar has melted, you need to act quickly and won’t have time to measure.
  3. Place sugar in saucepan/skillet over medium heat. Do not disturb sugar until it has nearly all melted.
  4. Then, stir rapidly to dissolve all sugar and any lumps. Don’t let it scorch or burn.
  5. Remove from heat; add butter and stir rapidly to combine.
  6. Add salt and continue to stir rapidly over low heat until the butter is fully incorporated into the caramel.
  7. Before it sets, drizzle caramel over macaroons. You may have caramel left over.
  8. Storage: Macaroons will keep at room temperature for 3 – 5 days; OR about 3 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container; OR a few months in an airtight container in the freezer.

Chocolate-Nut topping

  • Ingredients:
  • (1) 1 macaroon recipe
  • (2 oz) 4 oz dark chocolate (or your chocolate preference)
  • (¼ cup) ½ cup walnut or pecan pieces, pre-soaked (optional) and/or toasted
  • Equipment:
  • medium bowl for pre-soaking nuts (optional)
  • baking pan for toasting nuts
  • wire cooling rack (for the macaroons)
  • double boiler or small microwavable glass bowl (I don’t really recommend using a microwave)
  1. Prep nuts: Chop nuts coarsely. If you presoak them, start at least one day before you plan to make the macaroons. Toast them before making the macaroons. See instructions for soaking and toasting nuts.
  2. Cookies: Prepare as for desired recipe, above; then set them to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Topping: While macaroons are cooling on the rack, melt chocolate in a double boiler over boiling water; or for 30 seconds in a glass bowl in your microwave .
  4. When macaroons are cool, dip the top of bottom in the milted chocolate, or use a spoon to drizzle over the top.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted nut pieces.
  6. Storage: Macaroons will keep at room temperature for 3 – 5 days; OR about 3 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container; OR a few months in an airtight container in the freezer,


Egg-white only recipe:

11/20/07:  Original recipe is too sweet; I reduced the maple syrup from 8 to 3 Tbsp, and the vanilla from 1 to ½ Tbsp, with good result (previously tried eliminating the maple syrup, and determined they needed some sweetener).  I used 1 Tbsp coconut flour instead of 2 Tbsp arrowroot with good effect, but next time will try 2 Tbsp coconut flour to see if they hold together better.  I baked at 300°F on an ungreased, non-stick baking sheet for 30 minutes, then removed from oven.  They stuck to the sheet a little bit; I’ve updated the recipe to include lightly greasing the sheet or using bakers’ parchment.


  1. Coconut Diet website (
  2. Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. See Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book
  3. Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig Ph.D. and Sally Fallon
  4. FoodFacts for Bakers sweetened coconut:–oz/14213
  5. Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened coconut flakes (unsulfured): (link removed at their request)
  6. WikiHow: drying coconut:
  7. St. Louis Dispatch article:

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