Not to be confused with macarons (which are Italian in origin but were eventually adopted by the French), macaroons are a cookie consisting mostly of shredded coconut. Similar to the French macaron, coconut macaroons are a descendant of the Italian amaretti. Both the amaretti and the macaron were popular because they were unleavened, so it would make sense that their descendant would be as well. But, are macaroons gluten-free? Well, it's a question that takes some digging to find the answer to. 

History of Macaroons

sweet, pastry, cake, dairy product, chocolate, macaroon, cookie, candy
Gabby Phi

French macarons, sometimes referred to as Parisian macarons, are two almond-based meringue cookies that usually sandwich jam or another filling between them. It's well known that macarons are often gluten-free, except occasionally when an additional ingredient is included as a part of a special flavoring (e.g. cookies and cream). Unlike macarons that have many flavor variations, coconut macaroons are just what they say they are: mostly coconut.  

Although they differ entirely from Parisian macarons, coconut macaroons did originate from the almond-based cookie. In the 19th century, Americans became obsessed with coconut from India. Consequently, coconut macaroons quickly became a popular dessert amongst Jewish recipe books, due to their ingredients. This is because macaroons don't contain yeast or other leaveners, making them the perfect Passover treat.

Are Macaroons Gluten-Free?

meat, chicken, sauce, pork, vegetable
Rachel Neiman

Are macaroons gluten-free? Coconut macaroons don't traditionally contain gluten or wheat. However, some published recipes do call for flour, but it isn’t necessary or conventional. If you follow a traditional macaroon recipe, they're a delicious gluten-free treat that can be enjoyed during holidays like Passover (or anytime, really!).

However, in the case of gluten intolerances and allergies it's always important to note that if you aren’t the person who baked the macaroons, you should ask the person who did make them to ensure that they are gluten-free.

#SpoonTip: Other delicious gluten-free macaroons recipes include these two-ingredient macaroons and these blackberry coconut macaroons.

As a general PSA to all the gluten-free foodies out there: coconut macaroons are not off the table.