Paleo Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons are traditional french “cookies”– sometimes called meringue cookies or cloud cookies. They’re extremely inexpensive, great with coffee, a resourceful way to use up egg whites (I always save them when I make something that requires only using yolks) and it’s likely you have the necessary ingredients already on hand. I used 1/4 cup of sugar, but with all of these recipes, subsitute and omit as you please. Something to remember, 1/4 cup is 4 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon of sugar is 4 grams of carbohydrates. With a total yield of around 30 cookies and 16 grams of carbs (in sugar), that’s not too bad for a treat. Nevertheless, a possible alternative to sugar, would be to dip the baked macaroons into a combination of 1/4 c dark chocolate and 2 T coconut milk, melted in the microwave.

Yield: about 30


  • 1/2 c egg whites (about 4-5 eggs)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c dessicated (finely shredded) coconut, toasted (takes about 5 minutes) and cooled


Preheat your oven to 200ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whip the egg whites, salt and sugar in a mixer, with the whisk attachment on high speed, until stiff peaks have formed–this took almost exactly 5 minutes in my kitchen aid mixer.

When you lift the whisk attachment up, the egg whites shouldn’t be runny, but remain stiff and peaked, like in the picture.

Add the shredded coconut and whip for another 30 seconds, to make sure it’s combined.

Here, you have two options. Option A, fancy pants or Option B, get-r-done.

Option A

Fill a gallon size zip top bag with the macaroon ‘dough’, squeeze out all the air in the bag and zip tight. Cut the tip off of one of the sides. Hold the bag in your dominate hand and steady it with the other. Squeeze the bag, trying to form circles about the size of a quarter, onto the parchment lined baking sheet. These don’t expand in the oven, so you can pipe them about a 1/2 inch apart.

Option B

Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to get the macaroon ‘dough’ onto the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You’re looking for an exterior that is firm to the touch, but gives slightly when you press on them–that way you know the interior will be soft and chewy. Don’t brown them!

Let them cool and they’ll be infinitely easier to remove from the pan. Store in the fridge.


27 responses to “Paleo Coconut Macaroons”

  1. How is this “paleo” when it contains a 1/4 cup sugar? Just curious. 🙂

  2. we want to keep our carbs down and refined sugar to an absolute minimum. if honey is “paleo” and ok to use just a little then we think you might as well use plain ‘ol sugar. sugar is sugar, honey just has a little bee spit in it.

    Meg wrote about this here:

    we try to use the absolute bare minimum and be up front about it. “paleo treats” and “steve’s paleo krunch” for example, use honey…and a good bit of it.

    is that to say it’s right to call it this, i dunno. but for one cookie with less than a gram of added sugar…when sugar is sugar, we feel pretty good about it. that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

  3. Even with sugar, 16 grams for 30 cookies (about 1.5 g per cookie)is really really low. 1 cookie would be about the same as a tbsp of peanut butter. For me, desserts are always the tough part of eating paleo and recipes like these help make it easier.

    1. thanks shawn. we try to develop recipes that have no more than 1/4 cup of added sugar. paleo kits and paleo treats are so deceiving. honey, apples (sauce), dried fruits, white sugar….it’s all the same.

  4. Yeah I wouldn’t get too worked up about a quarter cup of sugar for 30 of these little treats. I mean, they are treats after all. Think of them as a reward for your hard work in the gym and you’ll be fine. Sounds great, Megan!

  5. Clement Florence

    I think you will find one teaspoon contains 4 gms of sugar not one tablespoon, but I stand to be corrected

    1. you are absolutely correct. what a blunder on my part. i have corrected the recipe to 48g of carbs from added sugar. thank you for your diligence!

      1. that makes more sense… 1.6 grams added sugar per cookie…and as meg said at the top…you could use less…i think that even half as much would still make a very tasty macaroon, after having sampled a few (dozen).

  6. Have you tried these with honey? I want to make them, but just don’t keep sugar in the house and want to give it a go with honey…

    1. i have not. table sugar helps keep the egg whites stable (so they won’t become weepy or expel water). since the ingredients are so cheap, it may be worth trying…but honey is sugar– and sugar is sugar is sugar….

  7. Y’know, if you just go ahead and round it out to 6 egg whites, then you can go ahead and use the yolks right away with your Paleo Chocolate Pudding. 😉

    1. nice… thanks andrea!

  8. I don’t care how little sugar there is in it, it has added sugar, it isn’t paleo and shouldn’t be called such.

  9. there is the no sugar option for those who don’t add sugar…

  10. Jacks,

    we have written more about our perspective on this.

    we find statements like yours to be rather obtuse takes on Paleo semantics. your grass fed beef isn’t “Paleo” either. we are living within a Paleo framework, not a re-enactment, if you care.

  11. I made these with honey instead of sugar – bad idea. My egg whites immediately fell. Oh well. Coconut macaroon glop – but still delicious!

  12. Would liquid whites (egg whites from a carton) work in this recipe or do they not form peaks like a freshly cracked egg?

    Def going to try making these w/o the sugar, dipped in some super dark chocolate instead. You guys are amazing!

    1. they should work fine enough. they won’t peak quite as much, but it’s a totally okay sub.

  13. AustinGirl

    Made ’em! Love ’em! Y’all rock out loud!

  14. thank you so much AustinGirl! i’m working on another, quicker(!) version of this recipe…

  15. BetterLivingThruPaleo

    I would most emphatically rather use natural palm sugar combined with stevia (for whipping) or organic raw honey (which contains way more beneficial properties than just some lowly bee spit). Sugar is sugar, etc… But your bodies reaction to highly processed white sugar vs. the others is not identical. Your reaction to the flippant use of any sugar @ all will have the basis in the reaons why you’re Paleo.. I.E. if you’re just trying to live healthier. It’s not as likely to matter that much to you. But if Paleo is addressing chronic issues such as chronic pain due any diseases of inflammation, you don’t let a drop pass your lips. I suffer from arthritis especially in hands, neck, back (it wasn’t just a back strain after all), feet, legs and so on. Acne can even be the bodies response to inflammation. I have a little sugar, insulin levels hit the roof, and my body seizes with an inflammation bout that lasts from 3 to 6 weeks. Arthritis, worsened PCOS, Acne, debilitating pain… Where I have to detox with maddening diligence to remove the poison (yes, in my case, & the case of many, many others sugar is a poisoning. Please, Consider yourself very, very, very lucky if you’re not in this category). My body doesn’t like agave any better, but a tiny bit of honey & I’m instant sweetener sated rather than getting the white sugar compel to “consume”. I’m terribly sincere when saying, I hope all within reading distance of this are always well, & I hope you’re never in ths category… But if you are, sugar isn’t just sugar when Paleo is literally enabling you to get out of bed in the morninng & saving your life… Or at the very least keeping your hands workable so you don’t need help writing, typing, driving, sipping, eating, carrying, or yes, even at the very least wiping.

  16. BetterLivingThruPaleo

    P.S. “thanks for listening & considering the opinions of others”…that’s my impression of your site… A friendly place where love of food abounds, ideals are shared, and there is a marked shortage, a very rare, rare, rare shortage (for the internet) of A-Holes (as behavior is always dictated by the site developers). If you should ever need the info. (for yourself or another) on chronic pain conditions link to inflammation (I battle arthritis, but the same help from STRICT paleo across the board seems to be helping everything from the pain of Crohns disease to Celiacs & Diabetes ; Its doing Paleo while also following the food guidelines of the Alkaline Chart + Dr. Perricone. All three plans have some close similarities & too great differences and specialties. Amongst the most shocking things is how highly acidic to the body ALL artificial sweeteners are; I was 5 years low carb living on that stuff, & making my health worst without realizing it. I sincerely pray you & others youre blessed to share life with never need know a life in constant physical pain, but if you do, there are answers. “Let food be thy medicine & medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates – The Father of Medicine

    P.S.S. Happy 4th! I’m heading offline now to make these amazing 4th inspired bars (from a great site with very Paleo friendly recipes) for my friends & family (no its not my site. I’m not as talented a baker as her…but when I use her FOOLPROOF recipes I get to fool everyone into thinking I’m an amazing sweet treat baker without ever needing to cheat on Paleo!. LOL!:

  17. Pomoc Drogowa Roger Sosnowiec

    You have mentioned very interesting details ! ps decent site. “Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.” by Confucius.

  18. I made these (added chocolate chips and slivered almonds), for a Christmas treat. However, clear liquidy goo came out and they stuck to my silpat. Not sure what I did wrong.

  19. regrettably, these just dont come out as well without old fashioned sugar. Ive tried xylitol, stevia, and truvia. they all fell flat during baking. the truvia has a ‘baking mix’ which is just 50/50 with normal sugar, and those came out passable. just sharing my experience with trying to duck the sugar.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.