Filipino coconut macaroons are the easiest and the chewiest treats you’ll make this holiday season. Packed with chocolate chips, they’re chocolatey too! Definitely a delicious addition to your Christmas cookie tray.
(Looking for last-minute holiday treats? These meringue cornflake cookies with chocolate chips — inspired by a popular Icelandic holiday cookie called Marens-Kornflexkökur — are perfect to munch on by the fireplace on a cold winter day.)
Filipino macaroons are most often made around the holidays and other celebrations like Easter, but my mom would make them all year-round.
Simple ingredients, easy to make, always a hit with us kids and the adults too.
My mom’s Filipino macaroons recipe had butter in it but I left it out in my recipe because I find it a little too oily (sorry, mom!). I added chocolate chips though because, well, chocolate.
You can choose to make the more traditional Filipino macaroons (which is closer to butter macaroons or the ones you can buy from Goldilocks) instead of chocolate coconut macaroons simply by skipping the chocolate chips. I give more suggestions for delicious variations in the FAQs below.
For now, let’s get baking.
What makes Filipino style coconut macaroons different
Macaroons were such a big part of my childhood that I actually thought they were a uniquely Filipino treat. Only later did I realize a lot of countries have their own spin on the recipe.
The ingredients remain fairly similar — coconut, condensed milk, some recipes have flour and baking powder, and some are dipped in chocolate.
What makes Filipino coconut macaroons different is that they’re baked like cupcakes and not cookies. The batter is scooped into cupcake liners or paper cups instead of on a cookie sheet.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You’ll love this Pinoy macaroons recipe because:
- Easy to make. You don’t need a mixer or special ingredients and there’s no need to chill the batter. Just mix, scoop, bake and enjoy. Make macaroons with the kids!
- No-fail recipe. It’s also a very forgiving recipe. It’s not finicky and you don’t need to beat or fold the batter just right. It’s a no-fail coconut macaroons recipe.
- Many variations. It’s very easy to tailor to your tastes too. Not a fan of chocolate? You can leave it out. Love nuts? Add them in.
- Great for dessert and snacking. Because they’re sweet, you’d automatically think Filipino macaroons are eaten for dessert. And they are. However, they’re also usually enjoyed as a snack (merienda) and popular at picnics and in lunch boxes too.
- Tastes just like you remember them. Best of all, if you grew up eating them like I did, these pinoy coconut macaroons is a delicious trip down memory lane.
How to make Filipino coconut macaroons
This chewy coconut macaroons recipe couldn’t get any simpler. We start with very few, easy-to-find ingredients.
To make Filipino coconut macaroons, you’ll need:
- Shredded coconut — see FAQs for coconut options
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips — use dark chocolate as much as possible
- Egg whites
I don’t use a mixer when making macaroons; the batter gets really sticky and I find it easier to mix using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
I do use my muffin pan but if you don’t have one, you can use sturdier cupcake liners and place them on a baking sheet.
To transfer the dough, I use my cookie scoop but you can also use regular spoons.
In addition to these, I use staple baking tools like:
- Mixing bowls
- Whisks, mixing spoons and spatulas
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wire rack
I also always recommend using a kitchen scale and an oven thermometer for better and more consistent baking results.
This easy coconut macaroons recipe couldn’t be simpler. Just mix, scoop, bake and enjoy.
1 PREHEAT. Preheat your oven to 325F. Line muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners.
2 COCONUT MIXTURE. In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, condensed milk, vanilla extract and chocolate chips until well blended.
3 EGG WHITES. In another bowl, whisk egg whites and salt to medium peaks.
4 FOLD. Fold egg whites into the coconut mixture until combined.
5 TRANSFER. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake cup.
6 BAKE. Bake the coconut macaroons for 20-30 minutes or until the tops start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in a few of the macaroons come out with minimal dry crumbs.
7 COOL. Cool the macaroons in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lots of people mistake a macaroon for a macaron. Their names sound similar but they are two very different treats.
A macaroon is made of desiccated coconut or shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
A macaron, on the other hand, is a French confection made of two almond flour meringue cookies with a ganache, frosting or jam filling.
Most Filipino macaroons recipes use desiccated coconut but it’s not always available in our local supermarket so I use shredded coconut.
I also sometimes use flaked coconut if that’s what’s available. Any of the 3 will work.
I’ve also used both sweetened and unsweetened coconut in this macaroon Filipino recipe and personally, I don’t find one significantly sweeter than the other.
If you’re concerned about the sugar content, opt for unsweetened. Otherwise, grab what’s available.
Like I mentioned before, this recipe is very forgiving and can easily be customized according to your tastes.
– The traditional Filipino macaroon doesn’t have chocolate chips in it and you can certainly leave them out in the recipe.
– If you prefer, you can also simply dip the tops of the macaroons in chocolate, similar to how macaroons are prepared in North America. Drizzling them with chocolate is an option too.
– Not a fan of dark chocolate? Try white chocolate. Just watch that your macaroons don’t get too sweet.
– You want ube-flavoured macaroons? Add ube extract to your batter or if you can find it, use ube condensed milk.
– You can also add your favourite nuts or dried fruit for a chunkier bite.
I’ve used this recipe to make mini coconut macaroons, perfectly bite-sized. To make them, simply:
– Use mini cupcake cups in a mini cupcake pan
– Watch your baking time because mini macaroons will bake quicker
To store macaroons, allow them to cool completely and place them in an airtight container. They should last up to a week on your counter.
Macaroons are also freezer-friendly. Just place them in a freezer-safe container. Frozen macaroons should last at least a month.
To thaw, remove macaroons from container and allow to come down to room temperature.
Other Filipino desserts you can serve on Christmas
- Add a vibrant purple to your cookie tray this season by making soft and chewy ube cookies. Packed with real ube halaya and studded with white chocolate chips for the perfect ube treat.
- Want to keep it simple? Make a batch of lengua de gato — Filipino butter cookies that are thin, crispy and so buttery.
- Yema cake is everyone’s favourite soft and airy chiffon cake, filled with rich and thick yema spread, and covered in mouthwatering yema frosting.
- And it doesn’t get more festive than crema de fruta, made of delicious layers of soft fluffy cake, rich creamy custard, and fruit blanketed in gelatine.
Filipino Coconut Macaroons Recipe
- Preheat your oven to 325F. Line muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, condensed milk, vanilla extract and chocolate chips until well blended.
- In another bowl, whisk egg whites and salt to medium peaks.
- Fold egg whites into the coconut mixture until combined.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake cup.
- Bake the coconut macaroons for 20-30 minutes or until the tops start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in a few of the macaroons comes out with minimal dry crumbs.
- Cool the macaroons in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- You can also use desiccated or flaked coconut.
- See post for more baking tips, storage instructions and FAQs.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make coconut macaroons with condensed milk? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.