These chocolate macaroons are packed with chocolate and coconut flavour, make the perfect dessert for any holiday or special occasion and are easy to make with just 6 healthy ingredients.
- amazing taste and texture: you will love the decadent chocolate coconut flavour and firm but tender texture
- easy: you’ll need just 6 simple ingredients
- dietary needs – vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
- holiday-friendly: perfect for Christmas and other special occasions
- make in advance: these store well in the fridge or freezer so can be made up to 3 months in advance
Ingredients and Substitutions
- dates – the dates sweeten and bind the recipe, I cannot recommend a suitable replacement for dates here
- cashews – use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt, can be substituted with blanched almonds
- coconut – use unsweetened fine or medium shredded (desiccated) coconut, no substitution available
- vanilla – optional but recommended!
- salt – optional but recommended!
- cocoa powder – regular baking cocoa powder or raw cacao powder both work well (try my coconut macaroons for a vanilla version)
- chocolate – any dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate works (or any chocolate if you’re not vegan or plant-based)
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Place the pitted dates in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Before draining them, reserve a few tablespoons of the soaking water and set aside.
Quick Note: It’s okay if the dates remain wet, just make sure any excess water has been drained off. I like to press them against the bowl when draining to help remove excess water.
Step 2. While the dates are soaking, add the cashews and coconut to a food processor. Blend until they reach a pasty, oily consistency. This make take a few minutes.
What should the consistency be like? It will still crumbly but have an oily sheen and almost a paste-like consistency. It’s important you allow it to get oily as this what creates the amazing texture once baked!
Start preheating the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Step 3. Add the soaked dates plus 1 tbsp of the soaking water, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla to the food processor. Blend into a crumbly and oily but sticky dough. You should be able to pinch it between your fingers.
Step 4. Use a cookie scoop to create about 20 approximately 1-1.5 inch macaroons, placing them on the prepared baking tray.
Quick Note: The dough can be a little fragile so you may have to do a bit of surgery with your fingers once you scoop each macaroon. They don’t have to be perfect!
Step 5. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes then let cool for at least 30 minutes. You can pop them in the fridge to help cool them down!
Quick Note: The macaroons will be fragile when them come out of the oven so resist the urge to handle them. Once they cool, they’ll firm right up.
Step 6. When you’re ready, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave then press each macaroon into the chocolate so it coats the bottom and about 1/4 inch up the sides. Place the coated macaroons back on the baking tray.
Once you’ve coated them all, drizzle any remaining chocolate over the top of each macaroon.
Place in the fridge until all of the chocolate has hardened, about 30 minutes. They’re now ready to enjoy!
Notes and Tips
- Sugar-Free Option: These can be made sugar-free by using sugar-free chocolate such as Lily’s sweetened chocolate chips.
- If you want to skip the chocolate coating, totally fine! The macaroons aren’t super sweet on their own but they’re still very delicious.
You can use either sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut for this recipe. I prefer and recommend unsweetened coconut. You’ll get a better texture and they won’t be overly sweet. However, if you prefer things on the sweeter side, go ahead and use sweetened coconut.
No problem. Just use your hands to create the best macaroon shapes you can. They should be about 1.5 inches across in the shape of a little dome. Like a haystack cookie!
Store macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days or freezer for up to 3 months. They can be kept at room temperature for some time, however, the chocolate will start to melt if gets too warm.
Sorry, this particular recipe really does require a food processor to achieve the right consistency for the cashews and coconut. If you don’t have a food processor, I’d suggest these no-bake chocolate macaroons.
Traditional macaroons are not vegan as they typically use ingredients like egg white, butter and milk. This recipe is dairy-free and egg-free, which makes it completely vegan. Just be sure to use dairy-free chocolate to keep it vegan.
More Holiday Desserts
- Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
- Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
- Easy Vegan Turtles
- Vegan Rum Balls
- No-Bake Vegan Nanaimo Bars
- Place the pitted dates in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 15 minutes. Before draining, reserve 2 tbsp of the soaking water and set aside. Drain the dates well. Squeezing off any excess water. It’s okay if they remain wet just make use any excess was has drained off.
- While the dates are soaking, add the cashews and coconut to a food processor. Blend until it has a pasty, oily consistency. This make take a few minutes. You should almost be able to pinch it between your fingers.
- Add the vanilla, soaked dates plus 1 tbsp of soaking water you reserved, salt and cocoa powder. Blend until you have a crumbly and oily but somewhat sticky dough. If needed, add up to another tbsp of the soaking water. You don’t want it overly wet but it should easily stick together.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scoop or your hands to create 20 haystack dome shapes about 1.5 inches wide, placing them on the baking tray. The dough can be a little fragile so you may have to do a bit of surgery with your fingers once you scoop each macaroon. They don’t have to be perfect!
- Bake for 12 minutes then let cool on the pan for at least 30 minutes. You can pop them in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. You want them almost completely cooled before dipping them in chocolate. Note that they’ll be quite fragile after coming out of the oven but will firm completely once they cool, so avoid handling them until they’ve cooled.
- When you’re ready, melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave until completely smooth and creamy. If using the microwave, melt in 15-seconds increments, stirring in between. Once most of the chocolate has melted, stir to melt in the rest. This will prevent burning.
- Press each macaroon into the melted chocolate so it coats the bottom and about 1/4 inch up the sides. Lightly scrape the bottom of the macaroon on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. You just want a thin layer there. Place the coated macaroons back on the baking tray. Once you’ve dipped them all, drizzle any remaining chocolate over the top of each macaroon. Sprinkle them with a little additional shredded coconut, if desired.
- Place the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes or as long as needed to completely harden the chocolate.
- Enjoy right away or store for later!
Storing: Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. They’re ok at room temperature for a while but the chocolate may start to melt if it’s too warm.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 125
- Sugar: 8 g
- Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 13 g
- Fiber: 2.5 g
- Protein: 2 g
Keywords: vegan chocolate macaroons, chocolate coconut macaroons