2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons

By Ann Fulton

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Based on how incredibly easy these cookies are, you won’t believe how incredibly delicious they are. Naturally gluten-free too! 


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
Yield: 22, give or take depending on precise size
Based on how incredibly easy these cookies are, you won't believe how incredibly delicious they are!
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag sweetened shredded coconut (see comments and photos regarding type of coconut)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  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.
  • For an even faster preparation, you may spread the batter among two greased, parchment-lined 9×5 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.
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Based on how incredibly easy these cookies are, you won't believe how incredibly delicious they are. Naturally gluten-free too! 

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.

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  1. Shannon

    I just finished baking the coconut macaroons. The last time they did spread a little. So this time I added two table spoons of coconut curd. They turned out beautifully. I did get thirty macaroons. All I have to do is dip them in chocolate. My friends will eat them in a New York minute. Thank you for helping me to spoil my friends.

    1. Ann Post author

      Shannon, I’m so happy you like these and love your adjustment…and you are so good to shower your friends with such deliciousness!

  2. Pinelopi

    I just made them….they came out really good …in shape,color and taste….
    Thank so much for your recipe!

    1. Ann Post author

      I have always used sweetened for this recipe, Lisa, although some commenters have mentioned using unsweetened coconut with good results.

  3. Sarah

    I have made these for years. Sometimes I add mini chocolate chips to the mix, or a Hershey’s kiss on top after baking. They are a favorite with all my coconut lovers.

  4. Betty Roark

    I love simple recipes, but sometimes simple is deceptive. Also, I tried a recipe where I put the coconut dough in cupcake papers ( to contain the spread ). Major fail. Tasted great, but did not release from the paper holders. But, upside, I can take these “fails” when I am alone and pry them off the paper and eat the coconut macaroon pieces all by my lonesome.

  5. SomethingSouthern70

    I came across your website in seach of the Cheese Crisps and found this recipe. I make a similar coconut macaroon. If you add a second bag of coconut to the one can of sweetened condensed milk, you can mound the cookies by packing the uncooked mixture into an ice cream/cookie scoop. They are definately divine.

  6. Aja

    I made a batch this evening adding beaten egg whites to the coconut and condensed milk mixture. I typically open the can of sweetened condensed milk with a can opener and pour into a measuring cup. This time, I removed the top of the can and was surprised to find a half inch of very thick milk stuck on the bottom of the can. Before opening the can, I had set it upside down on the counter for a few hours then gave it a good shake. Had I poured the milk from the can as I usually do, I would have used the thinner, less sugary milk. Doing so, the cookies may not have turned out so, firm, crispy and yummy.

    1. Ann Post author

      It’s funny that I’m reading this comment, because I just opened a can two days ago with the same result. I’m guessing that the longer the can sits–whether on the store shelf or at home–the more the solids settle. Thanks for pointing this out, Aja, and glad you enjoyed the macaroons!

  7. Laura

    I have made these before and lost my recipe. Thankful to find them again. Also, I have made them with a little variation and they are even more amazing. I use Caramel flavored sweetened condensed milk. It can only be found around the holidays but if you like caramel it is a great added bonus. If you then dip them in chocolate, it makes them taste like the Samoa Girl Scout cookies.

    1. Ann Post author

      I’ve heard about the caramel condensed milk but have yet to see it. I’ll have to keep my eye out now that we’re in the holiday season. A Samoa version sounds wonderful!

  8. 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

    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!

  9. 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!

    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!

  10. 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.

    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!

  11. 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!

    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!

  12. 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!