You'll Love These Spins On The Original Coconut Macaroon Recipe
Image Credit: Classic coconut macaroons. iStock

Macaroons have a rich history that dates back to the 9th Century. Originating in Italy, these sweet treats were made from almond paste, sugar, and egg whites. The word 'macaroon' is derived from the Italian word 'maccarone', which means 'paste'. Over time, the recipe evolved, and coconut replaced almonds as the primary ingredient, giving us the delicious coconut macaroons we know and love today.

Given the abundance of coconut in India, it was perhaps inevitable that macaroons would become popular here. The Indian version of these treats often includes additional flavours like cardamom, saffron, and nuts, making them a delightful fusion of traditional and local tastes.

This is what the original recipe for classic coconut macaroons entails:


200g desiccated coconut

200g sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

A pinch of salt


Preheat your oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the desiccated coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden brown.

Allow the macaroons to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The classic recipe serves as the base for myriad variations. For instance:

Pistachio Coconut Macaroons: Add 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, ground to a coarse powder, to the coconut mixture. Garnish the macaroons with chopped pistachios for extra nutty flavour. 

Cinnamon Spice Coconut Macaroons: Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves to the coconut mixture. The warm spices give these macaroons a delicious kick.

Mocha Coconut Macaroons: Add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 shot of espresso or strong coffee to the coconut mixture. Dip the macaroons in melted chocolate for a mocha-licious treat.

Rum and Raisin Coconut Macaroons: Add 2 tbsp dark rum and 1/2 cup raisins to the coconut mixture. The rum gives these macaroons a robust, spirited kick while the raisins provide little bursts of fruity sweetness.

Peanut Butter Coconut Macaroons: Add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter to the coconut mixture. Top the macaroons with melted peanut butter or chopped peanuts for extra nutty decadence. 

Chai Coconut Macaroons: Steep 2 tea bags in 1/2 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and add the chai-infused water to the coconut mixture. The warming spices of chai pair perfectly with the tropical flavours of coconut.

Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons: Make salted caramel by heating 1 cup sugar in a saucepan until it melts into an amber-coloured caramel. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp sea salt. Add 1/2 cup of the salted caramel to the coconut mixture. Swirl or drizzle the remaining salted caramel over the macaroons for a gourmet touch.