These gluten-free Cranberry White Chocolate Macaroons are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They're delicate pillowy mounds of lightly sweetened coconut cookies with hints of orange.
It's the season for cookie baking! These Cranberry White Chocolate Macaroons are a tradition in my home during the holidays. They're crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. They're pretty pillowy mounds with tiny morsels of festive cranberries and hints of orange. Best of all? These cookies are gluten-free.
These coconut cookies are delicately flavoured with either orange or lemon zest. Add some chopped dried cranberries for both colour and flavour. Festive!
When you're planning your holiday baking, it's good to remind yourself to consider the needs of your friends who are gluten-intolerant or avoiding wheat in their diet. These coconut cookies (and these Crispy Salted Coconut Cookies) provide the perfect solution.
Why? You can make them in about 25 minutes and have at least one sweet treat for those don't eat wheat.
Let't make a batch of coconut macaroons!
- egg whites: at room temperature. Egg whites will whip faster and with more volume at room temperature than straight from the fridge
- sugar: granulated sugar
- flavouring: pure vanilla or pure almond extract
- salt: just a pinch
- cranberries: dried, chopped. I made this recipe with dried cherries once, but I found it was much too sweet. I like the tart flavour of the cranberries.
- orange zest: adds amazing flavour. You can also use lemon zest instead.
- coconut: unsweetened, shredded coconut. While a traditional recipe for coconut macaroons uses sweetened long-shred coconut, I find it to be much too sweet. I used organic unsweetened medium-shred coconut successfully. Macaroons made with long-shred coconut sometimes fall apart. If long-shred is what you have on hand, pulse it in a food processor a few times to chop it a little.
How to Make this Easy Coconut Macaroon Recipe
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan.
- Beat egg whites with sugar and flavouring until frothy, then fold in chopped dried cranberries, orange or lemon zest and coconut.
- Use a cookie scoop, if you have one, to drop evenly sized mounds on to a baking sheet. Press the coconut mixture firmly into the cookie scoop so the macaroons keep their shape. Alternatively, you can roll them into balls with your hands, flattening the bottom slightly when you place it on a baking sheet.
- Bake, cool, and drizzle with tempered white chocolate.
- Store in a tightly covered container.
- These white chocolate macaroons freeze well, so you can make them well ahead of time.
How to Temper Chocolate
Melt squares of chocolate over, not in, boiling water. Add water to a depth of about ¾ to 1 inch to a saucepan. Place a glass bowl over the saucepan so the lip of the bowl fits over the rim of the saucepan and the bowl is suspended. Melt ¾ of your squares of chocolate over, not in, boiling water. Once they are almost melted, remove from the heat and add the remaining ¼ of the squares. These squares will melt in the existing heat of the chocolate.
I use a decorating bag fitted with a standard #10 round tip to drizzle white chocolate on these macaroons.
Cranberry White Chocolate Macaroons
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla or almond extract
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1 tbsp orange zest or lemon zest, finely grated
- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 4 oz pure white chocolate melted, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar, extract and salt until frothy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Gently fold in cranberries, orange or lemon zest and coconut.
- Using a cookie scoop, press firmly into scoop and carefully drop on to baking sheets about 2 inches apart, making sure you have them nicely mounded.
- Bake at 325°F for 12- 15 minutes until golden, watching carefully as they brown quickly.
- Let them cool completely.
- Melt 3 oz of the white chocolate over, not in, boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 oz of chocolate.
- Drizzle over cooled macaroons, using a decorating piping bag or a spoon.
More holiday cookie ideas:
- Zebra Cookies and Holiday Cookie Roundup
- Traditional and Reliable Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
- Gluten-Free Almond Shortbread Cookie Balls
- Roasted Almond Chocolate Truffles (Paleo, Vegan)
- Gluten-Free Crispy Salted Coconut Cookies
I have updated this recipe new information and photos.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on any of the affiliate links and make a purchase within a certain time frame, I’ll receive a small commission. The third party pays the commission, not you. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.