Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons
How to take Coconut Macaroons up a notch: turn them into German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons! These bite-sized cookies are chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and packed with chocolate, coconut, and pecans… just like German Chocolate Cake!
And right when you thought these macaroons couldn’t get any better, I’ll have you know that they’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and low carb too!
Thanks to Truvia® for sponsoring this post, and thank YOU for supporting the brands that keep Desserts With Benefits going! All opinions are mine and mine alone!
What better way to celebrate National Macaroon Day than with these German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons??
These cocoa-infused coconutty treats are way better than regular Coconut Macaroons. But why is that? Oh, I’ll tell ya…
Typical Coconut Macaroons are very high in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. But not this recipe!
These German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons are made with healthier ingredients compared to store-bought and bakery-bought Coconut Macaroons, which are usually made with sweetened condensed milk, white sugar, corn syrup, bleached flour, and artificial flavorings.
Thankfully, we swap those ingredients with healthier options. In this recipe, we use:
- Unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened coconut flakes. This saves us from sugar and pesky preservatives too.
- Truvia® Natural Sweetener instead of sweetened condensed milk, white sugar, or corn syrup. Truvia is my all-time favorite zero-calorie, natural sweetener (it’s made from the stevia leaf)! It tastes great and works so well in baked goods. I think that means we’re allowed an extra cookie, yes? Yes. 😉
- Unsweetened dark cocoa powder. By using cocoa, we not only swap out the bleached white flour, but we add in a rich, chocolatey flavor, and a beautiful dark brown color!
- Chopped pecans, because it wouldn’t be “German Chocolate Cake” without some pecans for flavor and crunch!
- Vanilla extract to balance out the cocoa and bring all the flavors together to create a heavenly treat!
I love the chewy texture from the coconut, the rich chocolatey goodness from the cocoa powder, and of course, the perfect sweetness level thanks to Truvia Natural Sweetener.
These better-for-you German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons are the perfect dessert for any and EVERY occasion!
Made with only seven ingredients, these Macaroons are an easy gluten-free treat that take just twenty minutes and ONE BOWL to whip together.
The cherry on top? These Macaroons are not only low carb, but they’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo- and keto-friendly!
Is there a difference between a “Macaroon” and a “Macaron”?
YES! While they may sound and be spelled similarly, these are two very different desserts. I like to make the clarification clear by saying either “Coconut Macaroon” or “French Macaron.”
A Coconut Macaroon is a mound-shaped cookie made with shredded coconut and held together by whipped egg whites. When mixing the batter, it’s perfectly fine for the whipped egg whites to deflate.
On the other hand, French Macarons are a sandwich cookie made with finely ground and sifted almond flour, and whipped-until-firm egg whites. When mixing the batter, it’s crucial not to over mix otherwise you will beat the air out of the egg whites. Once mixed until perfection, you then pipe “buttons” onto baking sheets and let the batter rest for thirty minutes up to an hour. When baked correctly, French Macarons will have “feet.” After baking, you sandwich two “buttons” with frosting.
Macaroons and Macarons are both equally delicious, but I will say that Macaroons are much easier to make!
What is German Chocolate Cake?
German Chocolate Cake isn’t a German cake, it’s actually an American creation that was coined “German” after someone’s last name. It’s a chocolate layer cake that is filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting.
My first introduction to German Chocolate Cake was during my freshman year in college. My roommate asked her mom for one thing and one thing only: German Chocolate Cake. When her birthday finally came around, a cake was delivered to our dorm room — a dark and decadent triple-layer chocolate cake, six inches in diameter, paired with the classic caramel-coconut-pecan frosting on top AND between all three layers! It was the definition of indulgent!
How to Store Coconut Macaroons After Baking:
You can store Coconut Macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. You can also individually-wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, leave at room temperature for about three hours, or until the cookies are room temperature themselves.
These German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons are best served the day they are made, but they do store well in the freezer for your convenience!
These German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons are rich, sweet, and packed with chocolate flavor. Even though they’re made with less sugar, every bite will satisfy your sweet tooth!
Chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside, this naturally gluten-free dessert doesn’t taste like a healthier treat at all. One bite and you’d never suspect it’s low carb and dairy-free, and paleo- and keto-friendly too!
German Chocolate Cake Coconut Macaroons
- 135g (1⅔ cups) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- ½ cup Chopped Pecans (I toasted mine in the oven at 375°F for ~8 minutes)
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- 5 Large Egg Whites
- ⅔ cup Truvia Spoonable
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 20g (¼ cup) Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut, chopped pecans, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In an electric stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and Truvia Spoonable. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 2 more minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add the cocoa powder. Mix on medium speed until completely smooth. Turn the mixer off and fold in the coconut/pecan mixture until the batter is even. It's totally fine to mix the air out of the fluffed egg whites, in fact, that's WHAT YOU WANT!
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the mixture evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for ~14 minutes, or until the surface is no longer wet and doesn’t stick to your finger (do not overbake!). Let cool on the pan completely. Serve and enjoy!
- 4oz Chocolate of choice (I used 75% Cacao Chocolate, but if you wanted a sugar-free version, use No-Sugar-Added Dark Chocolate!)
- ¼ cup Chopped Pecans
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.
- Dip the macaroons halfway into the chocolate, shake off the excess, and place back on the cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle with the chopped pecans, then refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up the chocolate. Serve and enjoy!
I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty impressed that these have so few calories! They’re so decadent they taste like each one could have 1,000 calories. They’re even a bit larger than the Macaroons you’d buy at a bakery!
Celebrate National Macaroon Day with me and bake a batch for yourself. You (and your family/friends/neighbors) will be happy you did 😉
With love and good eats,