Coconut Macaroons with Pineapple Jam

from 1 votes

These 3-ingredient Coconut Macaroons are naturally gluten-free and topped with a quick-fix homemade pineapple jam. They’re an easy-to-make dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.

Coconut macaroons filled with pineapple jam are arranged in rows on a cooling rack.

Coconut and pineapple — a match made in heaven! The classic combination of these two tropical flavors inspired my recipe for chewy and rich coconut macaroons topped with a quick homemade pineapple jam. The base of this recipe is very similar to my original coconut macaroons recipe, but I’ve upped the vanilla extract here for a more pronounced flavor.

These golden nests of chewy coconut are easy to assemble, and the fresh fruit jam is also quick and easy to make. Plus, the leftover jam is so good spread on toast or dolloped onto yogurt. Make these sunny treats any time you need a trip to the tropics … even if it’s just through your taste buds!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Only six ingredients. The cookies have just three ingredients, and the jam has three more.
  • No special equipment needed. The cookies are stirred by hand in a mixing bowl.
  • Chewy, delicious texture.
  • Sweet and tangy DIY pineapple jam.

The Difference Between Macaroons and Macarons

Even though the difference between their names is a solitary extra “O”, macaroons and macarons are quite different. Macaroons are chewy drop cookies made from coconut flakes, sweetener and usually egg whites. They have a mounded shape and a crisped exterior with a chewy, moist interior. My simplified recipe uses sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar and egg white to bind everything together.

Macarons, a fancy French cookie, are made with almond flour, beaten egg white and sugar, and are piped into little domes that are then sandwiched together with a jam or buttercream filling.

Ingredients

For the pineapple jam you’ll need:

  • Fresh pineapple: To choose the best fresh pineapple, look for one that feels heavy for its size, is bright yellow rather than green, and has just a little bit of give when squeezed. Swap: You can use canned crushed pineapple (drained) or frozen pineapple chunks (thawed and chopped). Whether fresh, frozen or canned, the taste of your jam depends on the fruit’s ripeness and quality.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the jam and also thickens the mixture. It also helps to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria in the finished jam.
  • Lime juice: Fresh squeezed lime juice balances the sweetness and brings out the tangy flavor of the pineapple.

For the macaroons you’ll need:

  • Shredded sweetened coconut: Choose sweetened coconut flakes, which are softer and moister than the unsweetened version. They’ll yield a better texture in the finished cookies.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This canned product is milk that’s been heated until more than half of its water content has evaporated away, then mixed with sugar to make a sweet, syrupy substance often used in candies and desserts, such as key lime pie and fudge.
  • Vanilla extract: I like to use my homemade vanilla extract in this recipe.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make This Recipe

These jam-filled coconut macaroons come together in just a few steps.

  1. Grate the pineapple. Use a box grater set over a baking dish or other shallow pan to catch all the juices. Grate the pineapple on the side with the largest holes so you’ll get a chunky texture.
Fresh pineapple is being grated with a box grater into a metal baking dish.
  1. Cook the pineapple. Use a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan that can retain heat for steady cooking.
  2. Add the sugar and citrus. Stir in the sugar and lime juice and continue to simmer. You’ll know the mixture is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
A saucepan with a spout is filled with pineapple jam.
  1. Cool the jam. Transfer the jam to a large, shallow bowl. The more spread out the jam is in the bowl, the faster it will cool.
  2. Combine the macaroon ingredients. Use a silicone spatula to thoroughly mix the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract into the coconut flakes. Make sure that the flakes are thoroughly moistened so the cookies won’t fall apart.
Sweetened condensed milk is drizzled over coconut in a glass bowl.
  1. Form the cookies. A large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop works great to portion out the cookies, which should be about 3 tablespoons of the mixture. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, form it into a loose ball, then use the back of a spoon or your thumb to make an indent in the center for the jam. 
  2. Bake the cookies. The cookies will be golden brown on the undersides and the edges when they’re done. Don’t try to remove them immediately from the baking sheet because they’re likely to fall apart. Instead, let them set for about 10  minutes on the baking sheet then carefully transfer them to a wire rack. 
  1. Fill the cookies. Wait until the jam is cool before spooning it into the cookies, so that it’s fully thickened.

Pro Tip: If your kitchen is very warm, chill the mixture for 30 minutes or longer before forming the macaroons. This will help them keep their shape while baking without spreading too much.

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

  • Use a cheese grater to turn the pineapple into pulp — it’s easier than hauling out the food processor. Set the grater over a shallow baking dish while you work to catch all the juices. 
  • Don’t overbake! Remove the macaroons from the oven just as they’re starting to brown. Overbaking can dry them out. They will firm up as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • To remove the tough, spiny rind from the pineapple, cut off the bottom of the pineapple and set it on a stable work surface, cut side down. Use a chef’s knife or utility knife to slice pieces of the rind off lengthwise, from the crown to the base, following the curve of the fruit and being careful to slice away as little of the flesh as possible. 

Storage Tips

  • Store: These homemade coconut macaroons will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cool them completely and store in an airtight container. They also keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Freeze: To freeze the coconut macaroons, wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Extra jam can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It’s great on toast, yogurt or spooned over vanilla ice cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent coconut macaroons from spreading too much during baking?

If the ingredients are too warm, these cookies will spread too much as they bake. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes or longer before baking, ensure that your oven is properly preheated, and don’t use a baking sheet that is warm or hot. 

Can I use different types of fruit jam?

Sure! If you don’t have time to make the homemade jam, you can substitute any sort of store-bought jam or fruit preserve. Because the cookies are very sweet, a tart jam works best, such as cherry jam, orange marmalade, or lemon curd.

Can I freeze coconut macaroons with fruit jam for later use?

Coconut macaroons freeze very well. I recommend wrapping each cookie individually in plastic wrap and freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookies overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Coconut macaroons filled with pineapple jam are arranged in rows on a cooling rack.

More Coconut Desserts You’ll Love

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Dessert

Coconut Macaroons with Pineapple Jam

Up your classic cookie game with Easy Coconut Macaroons topped with a dollop of sweet and tangy homemade pineapple jam.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 1 vote
Coconut macaroons filled with pineapple jam are arranged in rows on a cooling rack.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24 macaroons; 2 cups jam

Ingredients 

For the pineapple jam:

  • 2 cups grated fresh pineapple, with juice (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

For the macaroons:

  • 6 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions 

Make the jam:

  • Combine the grated pineapple (and any juice) with the water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and cook it for 30 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in the sugar and lime juice and continue cooking the mixture for 45 to 60 minutes until it has thickened.
  • Transfer the jam to a bowl to cool while you prepare the macaroons.

Make the macaroons:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Combine the coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Use a small spoon to scoop out roughly 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Press it loosely into a ball, and then using your thumb (or the back side of a ¼ teaspoon), make an indent in the center to form a well, which the pineapple jam will later fill.
  • Place each of the small rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes until they are golden brown.
  • Remove the macaroons from the oven. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the sheet tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Scoop 2 teaspoons of the prepared jam into the centers of the macaroons and serve.

Kelly’s Notes

  • Grating the pineapple means the you won’t have to bust out the blender to end up with a thick but spreadable jam. But it’s important to grate the pineapple inside a baking dish or deep plate so you can catch all of the juices.
  •  Remove the macaroons from the oven just as they’re starting to brown. Overbaking can dry them out.
  • Storing & Freezing: Once completely cooled, store the macaroons in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze the coconut macaroons, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Any leftover pineapple jam can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 143mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 7.5mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 0.8mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for our holiday cookie exchange the last couple of years. They are so simple but taste amazing.

  2. Do you bake the Coconut Macaroons in a convection oven? I love this simple recipe. My sisters do as well. I send them a batch of them for their birthdays along with a batch of Brownies.

  3. Just made these delicious…my little change was in the jam I made million (passion fruit) pineapple jam for the center. I love the Sweet tart tropical taste. And I have lots of frozen Mililani juice to use up :-) thanks for the wonderful idea

  4. I remember having to explain the difference between a macaron and macaroon to my Nan :) priceless. These look incredible. Just like Nan makes!

  5. Kelly, these look amazing! Nothing gets me more in the mood for warmer weather than coconut and fresh fruit.

  6. Your filled macaroons sound scrumptious. You are so inspiring with your homemade jam. I think this recipe is worth making every month, switching up flavors of fillings! So many possibilities.

  7. mmm Kelly, coconut macaroons are one of my favorites. And my mom’s favorites too. It’s her birthday coming up – thank you for reminding me to make them for her! That jam? heavenly!!

  8. I LOVE macaroons and filling them with jam is just genuis! Great idea, Kelly!

  9. These look so yummy! I love macaroons…and that homemade pineapple jam looks amazing. Like eating a pina colada :)

  10. Kelly! These have to be the best-tasting tropical cookies ever devised by man! Cannot wait to make them to prove this point, ha! What a way to dress up macaroons…looove pineapple. (Been working with fresh chopped pineapple all week. Mmm. Some for me, some for recipe, LOL!) Looking forward to reading your culinary exploits in Dubai. Have a swell time on vaca! xo

  11. Dubai is on my list of places to travel. Have fun! I’ll be here in Seattle, pretending its warmer then 40 degrees while I eat these coconut macaroons.

  12. Have a great trip to Dubai! Sounds so fun already :)

    ps: Love this cute little macaroons for Easter!

  13. Sooo good and cute looking, Kelly! I love the crispiness of the bottoms. Happy Spring to you!! Hope you have fun on your trips!! Stillll sad I won’t see you next week!

  14. These are perfect for Passover! And I am soooo jealous you’re going to Dubai – have the best time ever!

  15. I love love coconut macaroons! Your idea of making them into little nests and filling with pineapple jam – genius!

  16. I hate to admit that I had nooo idea macaroons where this easy to make, particularly since I’m a coconut freak! these look delicious! a little chocolate glaze + the pineapple jam would really send me over the moon :)

  17. Maybe if I make these macaroons this draaaaagging Minnesota winter we’re having will magically be over! :) Have so much fun in Dubai — I’ve been there before and I’m pretty sure my jaw was on the floor in wonder the. entire. time. :)

  18. We have a whopping 20 degrees here for the first day of spring (eek!), here’s to hoping it warms up soon! Kelly, these look so awesome, coconut and pineapple!

  19. Yummy! I love macaroons. And I love pineapple flavored anything. I recently purchased your book, Food Blogging for Dummies. I am new to the food blogosphere (just started a little over a week ago). And the book is so insightful, guiding the reader through every step of the journey. I have so much to learn. And the book will be my reference guide for a long time. You are awesome!

  20. I want to just inhale that jam! Kelly it looks amazing! Congrats on all that balmy weather. It was 70F here in San Diego and I actually made pineapple bread. Next week’s recipe. I need to try your macs!

    1. I am so jealous of your amazing weather, and in my favorite city, nonetheless! And pineapple bread sounds fantastic!