These easy vegan coconut macaroons are sweet and moist, chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Not only are they perfect for Passover, or as an alternative Easter treat, they're easy enough to make at any time of the year. They're gluten-free, too!
Coconut macaroons were one of my favourite weekend treats when I was a child. Every Saturday, while my grandfather pulled veggies from the garden, my grandmother and I would go to the shops to buy food for the weekend. As a treat, we'd call in at the local baker, and buy three cakes for elevenses when we got home. Gran always had a Sticky Willy (shush now!), Granddad a London Cheesecake, and I always chose to have a coconut macaroon.
What are macaroons?
Macaroons are airy, crispy cookies with a chewy centre, that are traditionally made with crushed almonds, sugar, and egg whites. Coconut macaroons, on the other hand, tend to be pyramid-shaped, dense, and moist, and made with condensed milk.
Although some claim that these delightful confections are French in origin, most historians agree that actually they are Italian, specifically, Venetian, and date from around the 7th century AD.
It didn't take long for macaroons - from the Italian, ammaccare, which means to crush - to make it to France. There are written accounts of them being made in a convent in Commercy as early as 791 AD. What is almost certainly true is that macaroons were improved by French pastry chefs in the 16th century, and then again in the 18th century, when they evolved to become the delicate, pastel-coloured macaron we all know and love today! The 19th century saw the addition of coconut and condensed milk, particularly in the US.
Macaroons for Passover
It's not certain when macaroons at Passover first became a thing but it's believed to have been started by Italian Jews. Naturally, the fact that macaroons aren't made with any leavening or flour, makes them an ideal Passover treat!
My coconut macaroons only contain four ingredients:
- unsweetened desiccated coconut
- vegan condensed milk
- a little salt That's it!
How to make vegan macaroons
Making coconut macaroons really couldn't be easier; simply mix the coconut and condensed milk together, then whip the aquafaba with a little salt until it forms soft peaks. Just like making meringues.
Then all you have to do is gently fold the meringue into the coconut mixture, and drop or pipe mounds onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes or so, until golden brown, then leave to cool. Easy peasy!
- When folding the whisked aquafaba into the condensed milk and coconut mixture, it's imperative to be gentle, and not over-mix. If you are too heavy-handed, the aquafaba will deflate, and the macaroons will flop and spread.
- If your kitchen is very warm, it might help to refrigerate the batter for 15 minutes, prior to baking.
- Don't use tinfoil - unless you want the macaroons to stick, that it!
- Do not heat the baking trays - they need to be cold, or else you'll get burned bottoms!
- If you don’t have an icing bag, simply drop a tablespoonful of batter onto the baking tray for each macaroon. Or use a cookie scoop.
- If you use sweetened desiccated coconut, use a couple of tablespoons less of condensed milk, otherwise the extra sugar (from the coconut) will make the batter runny.
- To make the macaroons more fancy, you could drizzle some melted dark chocolate over the top, and/or dip the bases in chocolate, too.
Why not check out some more vegan treats?!
You'll love these coconut macaroons
- sweet and moist
- chewy on the inside
- crispy on the outside
- great for Passover
- really delicious
I'm sure you're going to love these as much as I do - enjoy!
Vegan Coconut Macaroons
- 400 g desiccated coconut
- 300 g vegan condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon aquafaba
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F), and line a couple of cookie sheets with silicone baking parchment or a silicone baking mat. If you're using rice wafer paper, lay it over the parchment or mat.
- Mix the coconut with the condensed milk in a large bowl, making sure that everything is incorporated. Set aside.
- Whisk the aquafaba with the salt, until it forms into soft peaks.
- Carefully fold the aquafaba into the coconut mixture, being careful to knock out as little air as possible.
- Using a piping bag with a large star nozzle, pipe the macaroon batter onto the cookie sheets, leaving a couple of centimetres between each one.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the macaroons are golden brown on the ridgy bits.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the trays before serving. If you've used rice paper, trim the excess away from the base of the macaroons.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
When you say 400g of coconut and 300g of condensed vegan milk, can you please tell me what that converts into cups? I don't know how to convert the measurements. Thank you.
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. If you look below the ingredients / equipment list, you'll see that it says 'Metric' and 'US Customary'. Click on that second one, and the ingredients list will switch to US measurements. Enjoy! xx
Oh, thank you so much!
You're so welcome! Have a lovely weekend! xx
These were very tasty but I had trouble with them falling apart. Is there anything I can do to make them stick together better?
Glad you liked the macaroons but I'm sorry they fell apart. The most likely cause is that your coconut was on the dry side, and sucked out all the moisture. Next time, you could add an extra tablespoon or two of condensed milk. That should sort them out! Let me know how you get on! xx
Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook
I also have the same favorite coconut macaroons, but they are little naughty since the recipe includes butter and condensed milk. Of course, not vegan. 😀 These look so pretty and delicious!
Thanks so much, Jhuls! xx
What a lovely weekend childhood tradition! I remember my mum going shopping and bringing back delicious treats from our local bake too and it's making me want to try some old favourites. I love how light your macaroons look and they also look lovely and crisp on the outside.
It's funny how much food figures in our childhood memories, isn't it? Whenever I think of my grandparents, food or drink is in there somewhere! xx
Lee Ann Nelson
Lee Ann Nelson
Can you share how many egg whites you would use instead of the AF. I follow the paleo diet and as such do not eat legumes. Luv the recipe for the condensed milk and love macaroons. Thank you for any insight you can provide.
Sure, Lee Ann - three tablespoons of AF = 1 egg white. Enjoy! xx
Kirsty Hijacked By Twins
I love anything coconut, these look so good! x
Me too - coconut totally rocks, doesn't it?! xx
Lovely to read about your memories of your Grandparents. Most of my memories of spending time with mine involve food as well. My Granny had a cupboard full of chocolates that we were allowed to help ourselves from and we had a regular Saturday morning trip to the bakers to get a cake or three. The macaroons sound good too x
That's such a granny thing, isn't it, Mandy? Mine had little bonbon dishes of toffees, Liquorice Allsorts, and other assorted sweeties dotted around the living room. The Allsorts were my granddad's though... but he would always share them with me! She also had several fruit bowls; one on the dining table, one on the coffee table, and one on the kitchen dresser - any sweets I wanted had to be counterbalanced with fruit. I never complained about that! xx
What lovely memories and those look awesome! I am super excited by your condensed milk. I've been looking for some to make banoffee pie. I've pinned it so I can try it. Now a bit of sharing for this sweet treat.
Y'know, I've never ever made banoffee pie. What kind of sheltered life have I been living?! xx
Wow they look lovely! and no egg - Yay! definitely going to have to make a batch of these!
I know what you mean - I always get excited when I find recipes I don't have to veganise! LOL! Don't forget to let me see pics of yours! Ooerr missus! 😉 xx
I love nostalgic posts like this, so lovely to read. And the bonus...I can eat these too!!!
Huzzah for friendly recipes, eh?! 😉 xx
I love your childhood stories and it's always nice to keep the family traditions going! Things aren't the same anymore in the UK, it's much harder to find the old school treats!
Aww, thanks so much, Pretty! I have such wonderful memories of my grandparents. One of the things I really loved about living in Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia is that there was baker on almost every corner. It was the same in Italy too. Bread is so important to people on the mainland, it seems, so there's always plenty of variety. I love that old traditions haven't been pushed aside in the name of 'progress'! xx
I've been reminiscing about my childhood lately too, occasions such as Easter and Christmas are usually the triggers... hence my recent borscht recipe. These macaroons look scrumptious! I have yet to use aquafaba in my baking, it looks so intriguing but somehow I never end up buying it.
I don't often reminisce about mine, Monika but when I do, it's usually triggered by food. I can't imagine why, LOL!
If you cook beans, you can use the water you cooked them in for aquafaba; if it's thin, thicken it up by reducing it. It keeps for quite a while in the 'fridge, and if you keep some beans in it, it will thicken even more, and is perfect for cakes and meringues! xx
Mel | avirtualvegan.com
A sticky willy!!!!!!!!!!! Ha ha! I am one of those sniggering at the back. We used to call them 'sticky fingers' and my sister would always choose one of those. I always chose an Elephant's Foot, probably because they were biggest if I am completely honest! I do love coconut macaroons though and yours looks so pretty. It's a great use for aquafaba too!
It's so nice to think back to happy childhood times too and like you, mine are mostly centred around food!
Oh gosh, I'd forgotten about those elephants' feet - the giant chocolate éclairs, filled with cream? Yummy! Hmmm... I feel another veganised recipe coming on!
Yep, it's funny how it's the food we remember, isn't it? Mostly the sweet things too! xx
Alix @A Hedgehog in the Kitchen
Hi Nico! What a beautiful story about the amazing bond you shared with yout grandparents. Family traditions are so meaningful and I am really happy to discover yours. I can understand why you always chose the coconut macaroon. I think I would have done the same. I asbolutely love them!
I adored my grandparents, Alix, and have so many happy memories of when I lived with them. And a lot of them are centred around food! xx
Ooh coconut macaroons were a childhood favourite of mine too! I used to make them all the time, always with a cherry on top 🙂 These look delicious. I must give them a try and your vegan condensed milk recipe (for this and other desserts!)
Aren't they wonderful, Natalie? If not for expandahips, I suspect I could eat them all day long! LOLOL!