These delicious German coconut macaroons called Kokosmakronen are made with just 4 simple ingredients! And an optional (but highly recommended) dip in melted chocolate makes these taste irresistible. Plus you don't have to whip eggs whites to soft peaks for this recipe, which means it's practically foolproof!
Kokosmakronen translates to English as “coconut macaroons”. They’re traditionally made with dried shredded coconut, egg whites, and sugar. And they’re often dipped in melted bittersweet or dark chocolate for "Kokosmakronen mit schokolade".
These delicious cookies are popular in Germany around Christmas time. For more German Christmas cookies, try butter cookies, Lebkuchen, or Pfeffernüsse. But trust me, Kokosmakronen taste amazing any time of the year!
I tested this recipe 3 times before perfecting it. German coconut macaroons differ from American macarons in a few ways. The most obvious differences are that the German version is less sweet and a little drier. Unsweetened shredded coconut is used instead of sweetened coconut, and there’s no sweetened condensed milk.
Growing up in Germany, I wasn’t a major fan of coconut. These seemed like "adult cookies", so I’d usually reach for iced gingerbread hearts instead. But after expanding my culinary horizons, I absolutely love these easy coconut macaroons!
Why This Recipe Works
Unsweetened coconut prevents these macaroons from tasting sickly sweet. And sweetened coconut contains more moisture than unsweetened coconut. I tried this recipe with sweetened coconut, and the macaroons melted and oozed from the bottom in the oven.
The eggs are only whipped with sugar for a minute to become smooth. Some recipes call for whipping the egg whites to soft peaks to create meringue. However, this can result in dry macaroons. Plus whipping egg whites to soft peaks takes longer, and it can be a finicky process.
- Egg whites - Binds the coconut together, and keeps the texture light and moist.
- Granulated sugar - Sweetens the macaroons and helps whip air into mixture with the egg whites.
- Vanilla extract - Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients; you could substitute other flavors like almond extract.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut - I usually use Bob's Red Mill. Don't use sweetened shredded coconut, which will add too much moisture.
- Bittersweet or dark chocolate - Optional to dip the baked macaroons into, for a rich flavor to compliment the sweet coconut flavor.
How to Make Coconut Macaroons
1. Beat the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed just until it forms a foamy mixture.
3. Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into a dome onto a prepared baking sheet, spread out about 2 inches apart.
5. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
7. Dip the bottom of each macaroon in the melted chocolate.
2. Add the unsweetened shredded coconut and mix it gently with a large spoon or spatula.
4. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until the macaroons are golden on the top and sides.
6. Melt the chocolate for 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring well after each time.
8. Allow the chocolate to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!!
- You don’t need to pre toast the shredded coconut before adding it to the mixture. It’ll turn golden and develop a toasted flavor while baking in the oven.
- The macaroons will be pretty soft when they first come out of the oven, but they’ll become firm as they cool. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to avoid smashing them.
- Kokosmakronen are done baking once they turn golden on top and on the sides. Avoid overbaking them, or else they’ll become dry and hard once they cool.
- You can leave these Kokosmakronen plain, without the melted chocolate, which is another popular way these cookies are enjoyed in Germany.
- Often small edible paper baking wafers called Oblaten are placed on the baking sheet. This helps prevent the macaroons from sticking, but they’re usually expensive and hard to find in the U.S. Parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet should prevent your macaroons from sticking just fine!
- Add the zest of half a lemon or lime to the macaroon mixture for an added zing of citrus flavor that tastes great with coconut.
- Room Temperature: Store cooled Kokosmakronen in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It’s important to keep them in an airtight container so they stay soft and moist.
- Fridge: Store cooled German chocolate macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freezer: To freeze, transfer the cooled cookies (without any chocolate topping) to an airtight container or freezer safe bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, then add the melted chocolate, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are macaroons gluten free?
Yes, coconut macaroons are naturally gluten free, since they don’t contain any flour.
What are coconut macaroons made of?
All you need to make these German coconut macaroons is unsweetened shredded coconut, egg whites, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Plus I highly recommend dipping them in melted chocolate.
Should coconut macaroons be refrigerated?
You can store your macaroons in the fridge, but I find the texture and flavor is best when they're stored at room temperature.
Kokosmakronen - Moist Coconut Macaroons
- Measuring Cups
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- Large Spoon or Spatula
- Electric Hand Whisk or Stand Mixer
- 2 Tablespoons or a Medium Cookie Scoop
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper or a Silicone Baking Mat
- Cooling Rack
- Microwave Safe Bowl
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¾ cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (about 4 ½ ounces) (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, use an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed. Beat just until it forms a foamy mixture and the sugar looks dissolved, after about 1 minute.
- Add the shredded coconut and mix it gently with a large spoon or spatula.
- Use a medium cookie scoop, or use two spoons to scoop about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into domes onto the prepared baking sheet, spread out about 2 inches apart. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need to bake the Kokosmakronen in one or two batches.
- Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack. Then rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, to ensure all the macaroons are evenly baked. The macaroons are done baking once they’re golden on top and on the sides.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then gently transfer them to a cooling rack. Shape and bake the remaining cookies.
- Once all the cookies have cooled for at least 30 minutes, you can dip them in chocolate. Melt the chocolate for 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring well after each time. Either dip the bottom of each macaroon in the melted chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate on top with a spoon.
- Allow the chocolate to harden for at least 1 hour, then enjoy!!
- The macaroons will be pretty soft when they first come out of the oven, but they’ll become more firm as they cool. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to avoid smashing them.
- The Kokosmakronen are done baking once they turn golden on top and on the sides. Avoid overbaking them, or else they’ll become too dry and hard once they cool.