2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons

After making a couple of batches of these yummy macaroons, my husband and I took advantage of the sunny December afternoon and went for a walk.  While the first batch was cooking, I was sure I’d have enough time to fold a load of laundry.  I didn’t.

As we finished our walk, we passed my dad raking leaves (my parents live next door), and I mentioned that I had a batch of these coconut cookies with very brown bottoms.  My dad is one of those guys who likes a slightly burned cookie, so I said I would bring them over.

No sooner had I walked through my back door, I heard a knock.  Dad is a major macaroon fan and didn’t want to wait for these treats!  When I put a few on a plate and asked if that was too many — I mean, I didn’t want to unload all the bad ones on him — he said he fully expected to relieve me of all the subpar cookies.  In his mind, a little extra brown and crispy makes these macaroons even better!

I truly like these cookies when they are slightly browned, albeit not burned.  That way, you get a crispy outside and a moist, chewy inside.  I have contemplated drizzling chocolate over these or maybe dipping on half in chocolate.  But they are so incredibly delicious, not to mention easy, as is.  Maybe one of these days…

NOTE:  I have included additional details and photos below based on helpful feedback from several people whose macaroons flattened.  This led me to do some investigative work, as I do not want to publish a recipe that is not uniformly successful.  I hope it is helpful!

2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons
Based on how incredibly easy these cookies are, you won't believe how incredibly delicious they are!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 (14-ounce) bag sweetened shredded coconut (see comments and photos regarding type of coconut)
  2. 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the coconut and the condensed milk until the coconut is evenly coated.
  3. Place mounds of the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For uniformly round macaroons, I like to press the mixture firmly into my round tablespoon measuring spoon and slightly overfill it. You want the mixture to be pressed firmly together so that it doesn't spread while cooking. The mixture will be sticky so you will have to work it out with your fingers and pat it gently into an evenly-shaped mound. (You may coat the spoon with oil or butter, but it eventually wears off. So, either re-coat or resort to your clean fingers! For a quicker method, see notes.)
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until flecked with brown spots and crisp around the edges. As all ovens vary a bit, peek a little early and watch closely for the last few minutes until you learn how long this takes in your oven.
  5. Remove from the oven, cool, and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain optimal freshness.
Notes
  1. For an even faster preparation, you may spread the batter among two greased, parchment-lined 9x5 loaf pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden across the top and crispy around the edges. These can be cut into long bar cookies once cool and each piece will still have some of the crispy edge. As the macaroons cool, they tend to stick to the sides of the baking dish, so the parchment will make for easy removal.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

Following are some details of my quest to determine why some people’s cookies are spreading. This is a batch using Baker’s sweetened coconut which does not contain cornstarch. After trouble-shooting every other possible reason some people have this problem, I looked at the ingredients in different brands of coconut and noticed that cornstarch is not always present. Since cornstarch is a thickener, it seemed likely that this could be the culprit. The edges spread a bit although they were not completely flat for me. However, I did press the uncooked mixture firmly together.

This is a second batch using the coconut with no cornstarch. In general, I like the method of cooking in two loaf pans because it is very quick, no sticky hands, and all the pieces still get some of the crispy edges. (Although I do end up making bigger pieces–14 to 16 total yield–with this option. You could cut each bar in half, however.) With the cornstarch-free coconut, I had to cook on the longer end of the time range provided and the bottoms were a bit stickier. The taste was every bit as good, as judged by four independent taste testers: )

So, my assessment based on my experiences using different types of coconut is that a brand containing cornstarch is helpful but not imperative.  When no cornstarch is present, the macaroons will be a bit runnier although this is mitigated if the mounds are pressed firmly together.  Baking in a pan like a loaf pan where the edge area is maximized is another good option.  Finally, two egg whites, whipped until frothy, can be added if desired.  One baker raved about his experience with the 2-ingredient recipe using Bob’s Red Mill sweetened coconut. (See his interesting comment below.)

I appreciate all comments and feedback and welcome any other tales of experimentation with this recipe.  It’s good to have you all on my team!

As referred to in the comments, this is a picture of a page from my great-great grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, which I had shared on The Fountain Avenue Kitchen Facebook page. My recipe is a modern take on her version, but I love the history held in these pages…and I always marvel at her beautiful penmanship!

This recipe was shared with 365 Days of Baking’s Wicked Good Wednesdays , Sunflower Supper Club Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday, and Recipes for My Boys’ Thursday’s Treasures.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. Mary Lou Keller

    Those look great! Just might have to try them. Whenever I get back to kitchen. Still not there yet. 🙁

    Reply
  2. Beth

    When I saw just 2 ingredients on FB, I had to come check it out! So simple and they look so good. Can’t wait to try these macaroons out!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you, Lisa! It is hard to believe that a 2-ingredient cookie can be so good. I had to try hard not to eat them for breakfast this morning: )

      Reply
  3. Olivia

    Ohh my mouth is watering! I love a slightly burned cookie just like your Dad so I may have to accidently-on-purpose leave them in for a little longer…!! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Jen

    I’m not sure what I missed, but these did not work for me. They became flat, ran together and looked nothing like the picture. Any idea what went wrong?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am trying to think what could have gone wrong, Jen…did you by chance use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk? If that is not it, let me know!

      Reply
      1. Jen

        It was definitely sweetened condensed milk. Should I have molded the cookies more when I put them on the baking sheet? I’ve seen other recipes with egg whites- maybe I’ll try that next time. The good news is they still tasted good, even though they weren’t very fluffy.

        Reply
        1. Ann

          I press them into my tablespoon measure which sort of molds them. I wonder if it could be a variance in oven temperature. I am thinking!!! As I mention above, the other way I like to make these is in two loaf pans which might solve your problem. The only other thing I can think of is if there is something different with the coconut. I use a Hershey product called Mounds. Thanks for your feedback, Jen, and I hope we can get to the bottom of this: )

          Reply
    1. Ann

      I have yet to freeze these, Connie, as I have so many coconut fans that I share them with if they aren’t gobbled up here first! I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. I truly think they would be fine. If I try, I will report back. If you do, please let me know!

      Reply
  5. Mary

    Mine turned out flat the first time but second time I added a lot more coconut . I’m going to try with egg whites with it.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Mary,
      I am trying to think what could have caused them to be flat since I haven’t had that problem. Did you use sweetened coconut? For me, the small can of condensed milk is just enough to lightly coat the full bag of coconut. Let me know if you have any revelations!

      Reply
  6. Angel Hill

    Sounds delicious! I’m going to make them tonight when I get home from work. My husband loves coconut. Already have the ingredients.

    Reply
  7. Dianne Ledet

    I saw this recipe yesterday and made them last night … PERFECT and delicious!! Will definitely make them for my Christmas Open House. I followed the directions to the “T” – mine cooked for about 10 minutes. Thanks a million!!

    Reply
  8. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking & More

    What great cookies! I’m so glad you shared them with us at the party! LOVE a good macaroon that’s crispy outside and soft and chewy on the inside. MMMmmmmm….
    Great, it’s time for bed and now I WANT one!!! 😉
    Thanks for sharing them at Wicked Good Wednesdays, my dear!

    Reply
  9. June Lawson.

    Well, I followed these to the letter, just taken them out of the oven and so upset, they have spread everywhere. I used Golden Boy fancy sweetened shredded coconut 400g/14ozs. . and Eagle Brand condensed milk 300 mls. (this is the only size available here in Canada it being the standard size) Used to make these many years ago but added an egg white and they were always perfect. Don’t think I will be trying these again. .

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am so sorry to hear this, June. I am perplexed as to why this has happened to a few people. So many people I know have had success with this recipe and I am racking my brain as to what the cause could be. The only thing I can think of at this point would have something to do with variances in oven temperature. Again, I am sorry this one didn’t work out for you.

      Reply
  10. June

    Thank you Ann for your reply. It is strange because I see that so many have had a success with these. As for my oven, I have a temperature thing that you put in the oven to test it and it is exactly spot on. I have taken a picture of them but I don’t know how to get it to you!!! They taste good though even all spread out, have put them in the fridge and we shall see what happens if they break up in pieces we can eat them and not waste them. Again Ann, thank you for getting back to me.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      You are very welcome, June. I just had one more thought and checked the ingredients on the bag of coconut I use. If you still have the package, could you check to see if your brand of coconut lists cornstarch as an ingredient? Mine does and I am wondering if this, or perhaps another added ingredient, could be the key. One of these days, we might just figure out why this happened!

      Reply
  11. Tara

    Do you know how many cookies the recipe makes? I want to make this for a cookie swap tomorrow and just need to know how many cookies per recipe.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Tara,
      I forgot to count before the last batch was eaten! However, I have a current batch which I made in loaf pans as bar cookies and cut them into 16 bars total. They are big and two cookies could easily be made from each bar. So, I will say that you can safely get 32 individual macaroons. Let me know if this is close to what you get. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  12. June

    Hi again Ann, maybe my problem was that I made them to big which made them spread. I used an egg cup to mold them and it worked perfectly, looked so neat on my tray.However, I only made 24 and I see you make 32, just wonder if this was the problem.What do you think?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      My hunch is it has something more to do with the coconut. I think I will buy a brand without the cornstarch one of these days and try. When I make these, they really hold together well. I truly don’t think you made them too big. We will figure this out, June!!

      Reply
  13. June lawson

    Hi Ann, well my Golden Boy coconut contains coconut, sugar, water, propylene glycol, salt, sodium metabisulfite and best before date was 13/NO/26. The condensed milk was 300ml.and the coconut 400g. Thinking of making them agian and adding the white of an egg! When I do I will let you know the result. I have never ever found coconut that had cornstarch in it and I guess that is the secret of them turning out well. Thanks again Ann. June.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I asked another baker who made my recipe to check her coconut ingredients and get back to me. I don’t want the recipe to be a flop for anyone…am determined to sleuth this one out: ) Thanks for your help with the detective work, June, and have a great day!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Nettie!

      I just baked a batch myself with Baker’s coconut which does not have cornstarch. I am going to add photos soon. They were a little runnier but not totally flat. I tried them with both methods–loaf pan and as individual cookies. The loaf pan took a few more minutes than with the Mounds coconut and are a little stickier on the bottom, but worked basically the same. The drop cookies spread a little although the ones I pressed firmly together held better. This has definitely been a good science experiment! Interesting that yours were a little runny with the egg white…at least they all taste great!

      Thank you very much for the feedback. I think I need to talk to my friend at the Hershey Company to get Mounds brand to more stores: )

      Reply
  14. Ed Armour

    After being dismayed how many chemical additives I found in the shredded coconut products, I came across a product made by Bob’s Red Mill brand. I’ve used many of their other products, but this “flaked” coconut appealed to me with only one additive and nice big flakes of coconut meat. This made the two ingredients mix sit up nice and high despite being crammed into a cookie scoop for consistent size. I’ve never made coconut macaroons before (I work construction lol), but these came out amazingly good! High light centers and sweet crunchy caramelized edges with nice “toasting” over the entire surface of the macaroon. I’ve had so many requests from the guys, I’ll need to make at least three more batches. A man’s work is never done? Thanks for the heads up on these treats!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I love it, Ed! Thank you for the great suggestion. I, too, dislike the additives and small amounts of this type of thing are ultimately justified under my “everything in moderation” approach. But when a healthier option is available, I am thrilled to hear about it. I am sure many others will be grateful for this tip as well. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Now get back to your baking…those men are waiting and they are going to be hungry!!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you very much, Eva! It was bothering me that these weren’t turning out consistently and when the initial trouble-shooting didn’t reveal anything, I had to dig deeper: ) Hopefully, this will prove helpful!

      Reply
  15. Lynda

    I am going to make these tomorrow. All of your recipes are just delicious! You don’t happen to have a cookbook do ya? Merry Christmas

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I hope you enjoy, Lynda! Check the comments and look at the ingredients in your coconut before you proceed. Feel free to report back as to how they turn out! As of yet, no cookbook…perhaps some day! Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      My pleasure, Carrie! For the record, I just ate another one of the no-cornstarch batch and they are truly every bit as tasty, just a little moister, which isn’t a bad thing: )

      Reply
  16. Mandy C.

    Ive never seen a 9×13 loaf pan. I have a 9×13 cake pan or a 9×5 loaf pan. I use the loaf pan for banana bread. Is that the one I would use to make the bars? Want to make these for Christmas but want to make sure I do it right.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Woops! I don’t know how I missed that, Mandy! You are absolutely right…it is a 9×5 loaf pan and I will make the correction. Thank you and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

      Reply
  17. Lorelei

    Am baking these today. Ohhh myyy they smell heavenly. I couldn’t find coconut with cornstarch so I added cornstarch to the sc milk plus clear almond extract & vanilla. Cant wait to try them!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Wish you could, too, Lorelei! For me, the trick to keeping them in tact is to mound together well. Baking in the loaf pans works quite well, too. Hope you thought the taste was good enough to make again!

      Reply
  18. Carmel

    I made a batch of these and was wondering if they’re supposed to be crispy all the way through like a cookie. The bottoms are brown and the coconut is toasted but the inside is soft.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      That sounds just right, Carmel. The browned parts get a bit crispy and the insides stay soft. I love the combination and hope you do, too. It sounds like they turned out perfectly!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Yay, Carmel! I thought they sounded perfect! The bars are just the same. They require the extra cooking time because of the larger size but the preparation is a breeze. So glad you enjoy and thank you for letting me know!

      Reply
  19. Danielle Couffon

    If you don’t have cornstarch to add, a baking substitute is 2 teaspoons of flour to it and mix well. Just remember that no matter what the additive, if you add something like that because of your cornstarch free coconut, 3-4 minutes has to be added to the baking time.
    My mother bakes up a storm every holiday & no matter what she runs out if or has forgotten, there is always an equivalent that can be found. She is the one that told me about the flour & extra baking time. I think I saw a post on Pinterest about baking substitutes too. I just didn’t get the link before commenting, sorry :S
    I’m making my first batch tonight and yup, same issue, no cornstarch in my coconut.
    Ill comment back when I’m done to let you know whether or not I still think my mother is an awesome baker, but I’m confident haha

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks for the great tips, Danielle, and look forward to the update. I love the comments about your mom…I’m sure she wouldn’t steer you wrong: )

      Reply
  20. Danielle Couffon

    Well, I fooled with the amounts because our (here in Canada/Ontario-it may be different with each province depending on what grocery store you go to and how close you are to the border to US) regular sized bags of coconut are 200g so I used 1 & 2/3 bags of coconut.
    Our cans of sweetened condensed milk are 300ml. I used Eagle’s Brand. Not sure if there are bigger ones or not because the 14oz can that the original recipe calls for is approx. 400ml. I used one can of the 300ml Eagle’s Brand.
    I also added 2tblsp of flour like good ole Mom said lol.
    I tried just one macaroon on a cookie sheet to see what the results would be & yup. It went blaaaaahh lol. It oozed out to the size if a big cookie and went way too thin & dark on the edges. The inside was too sticky & needed to be cooked more but it would have burnt the edges completely.
    SO! I proceeded to get my cupcake tins out and cut circles of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the cups. Doesn’t have to be up the sides.
    I added one more tblsp of flour to the mixture and started to drop the mixture into the center of the cups. A bit smaller than a tsp. maybe a bit bigger than a big gumball I’d say.
    I baked them at 350 degrees for anywhere between 15-18 minutes but a bit brown on the edges is probably best since they will stick much less to the plate or container they get put into.
    They stick to the sides just a bit after spreading out & puffing a bit so since I didn’t want to damage my non stick pan, I used a plastic camping knife to tap all around & release it from the pan. Tip though, don’t actually take them out of the cupcake tin until they’ve cooled quite a bit. They hold their shape lots better & don’t crumble apart.
    The circle of parchment paper almost just fell off on its own or stayed in the pan. I had never used the stuff, but Mom suggested it. A believer now lol.
    I melted a bit of chocolate in the microwave & used a spoon to drizzle them with chocolate afterwards & it adds a nice finishing touch. Otherwise, just eat!
    They really did turn out perfectly after tweaking the ingredients, pan & baking time. They turned out great & taste amazing! Ill be making them again in the future being so easy lol
    I did take pictures as I went of the exact ingredients, and paper in the cups etc. just let me know where to email them if you want a look.
    I hope the tweaks help the other ppl who were having issues with consistency. They’re worth making!!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you so much for your comments, Danielle! Wouldn’t it be nice if the cans and bags were all standard sizes?! For me, baking in the loaf pans is the fast and easy way–and sort of like in your cupcake tins, it holds them together well. I do find that pressing the mounds together, when baking as cookies, helps to reduce any spreading. Who knew this recipe would be turn into such a science experiment?? I love all the feedback and am always happy to have reason to experiment another time with this recipe. Whatever the form, they taste great! If you would like to send photos, you can post on my Facebook page or email through the contact page of this website. Thank you again!!

      Reply
  21. Tara

    I found these yesterday when I saw you shared your Great Great Grandmothers hand written recipe. I love the history behind it Ann. <3 And they look delicious! Can't wait to try them! <3

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you very much, Tara! There is a long history of coconut lovers in my family. This recipe has turned into the number one favorite!

      Reply
  22. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Cheese Crisps

  23. Michelle E

    WOW!! I made these cookies just now and they are amazing! I only had unsweetened coconut from the bulk barn and what i did was I added an extra cup of it they look just like yours they taste great I did not add egg whites but I did form them into firm mounds before baking.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks for the great feedback, Michelle! These are a definite favorite with my family, and I am so happy you enjoyed them, too!

      Reply
  24. Regina

    I wonder if using a small scoop would help keep them from spreading. In the interest of research, I will make them and test it out. I also wonder if chilling the mixture would aid in the finished product.
    At any rate, I’m anxious to make these cookies!!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Yes, that should help, Regina. I find that pressing them together in a mound works well. The other option is to use the loaf pans. If you try, I would love to know what you think!

      Reply
  25. Pingback: 3 Ingredient Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons -

  26. Ena

    I have been making these for at least 30 years – my grandmother gave me the recipe. I used to make regular coconut macaroons, but these are SO easy and delicious that for the past 15 years I always start my holiday baking with this recipe, to “prime the pump,” if you will. First thing in the freezer, and first cookie to disappear!

    Reply
  27. Jacqueline Mark

    Hello Ann;

    I just had to let you know that I have made these, from your recipe, since the first day I saw it.
    I have frozen them and found them to be just as tasty as fresh-baked.
    I prefer them made without the cornstarch coconut, but you do have to squeeze them together harder to prevent them spreading out. Or you can do what I did: I added a 1/4 tsp of cornstarch to the dry coconut (that didn’t have any previously added cornstarch) rather than an egg white, since I didn’t have any eggs, and it worked. My macaroons stayed puffy, browned nicely on the edges and stayed moist on the inside.
    I am taking a break right now from mixing up the next batch, too!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      This is such great feedback, Jacqueline. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m thrilled these are as much of a hit in your house as they are ours…they never last long!

      Reply
  28. Karen

    I tried these the first time and they did go flat but were still good. I bought a cookie scoop and placed them on parchment paper and they were perfect. My friend had chocolate bottoms and that was even better. Being a Celiac (no wheat flour) I thought my cookie days were over but not so. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am so glad, Karen, and you are right…packing the “dough” together is the key to making these hold their shape when making in cookie form. A cookie scoop is really helpful!

      Reply
  29. shanna

    Hi! These look incredible and I’d love to include them in a favor box for a baby shower. I just wanted to ask how long you think they’d stay good for? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Shanna, These would be a wonderful to give at a shower. I usually store them in the refrigerator to prolong freshness. Well wrapped, they’ll keep for at least a week or two. At room temp they should stay fresh for several days. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  30. Rosemary

    Husband made these while I baked something else!! He used a small ice cream scoop. Let me tell you, these are the very easiest, and the very best macaroons. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Happy Holidays

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      A small ice cream scoop is a great help with these. Thanks for mentioning, Rosemary, and so glad they’re a hit!

      Reply