Kaffir Lime Macaroons

by autumn on February 24, 2014

Kaffir Lime Macaroons // Autumn Makes & Does

Psst… Have you entered my giveaway for the AMAZING new gluten-free cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen? It ends soon!

My valentine got me citrus and I couldn’t have been happier. Thanks to an especially sweet friend, I had an influx of lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines come my way earlier this winter, so this time I’m working with fringe citrus: kumquats, kaffir limes, and bearss limes. Kaffir lime trees, whose leaves are widely used in Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisine, have small, bumpy, thick skinned fruits. The taste of kaffir limes is like an especially pungent, concentrated lime. They don’t have much juice, but the zest really packs a punch. I’ve been having fun playing around with them in salt, cocktails, ice cream, and some really puckery lime curd.

Kaffir Lime Macaroons // Autumn Makes & DoesThe full-flavored kaffir lime zest is the perfect thing to fold into these easy coconut macaroons. To utilize the whole fruit in this treat, I put the juice from the zested fruit to work in a quick, simple powdered sugar glaze. I love this super-finely shredded coconut and it’s what I used here. To give you an idea of how thin it is, it’s like the stuff on the outside of Hostess snowballs 🙂 To preempt the inevitable question, of course you can try using regular limes here, although I imagine the flavor would be less pronounced. I’d urge you to seek out organic fruit for this though, since you’re eating the peel. This would also be a great recipe to highlight another fancy citrus that you have just a little bit of. I image these would be unbelievable with something like bergamot.

Kaffir Lime Macaroons // Autumn Makes & Does

Kaffir Lime Macaroons
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: gluten-free
Author: Autumn Giles, adapted from the How to Cook Anything App
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A gluten-free coconut macaroon recipe with a kick of kaffir lime.
  • 2 1/2 cups very finely shredded unsweetened coconut (such as Let’s Do Organic)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kaffir lime zest, from about 2 kaffir limes
  • 4 egg whites, whipped until frothy
  • 1 tablespoon kaffir lime juice, from 4-5 kaffir limes
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, and lime zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy.
  4. Stir the egg whites into the coconut mixture until the coconut is evenly coated.
  5. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop or melon baller, scoop level tablespoons of the dough on to the cookie sheet. They won’t spread, so you can put them quite close to one another.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 or until they are golden brown around the edges.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cookies are completely cool, stir the lime juice and powdered sugar together until completely smooth then drop about 1/4 teaspoon glaze onto the top of each cookie.
  9. Allow the glaze to harden before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly @ Kelly Bakes February 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm

There’s that Bastille song Pompeii with the lyrics: Where do we begin, the rubble or our sins?

well, Bastille, I’d like to change the lyrics to: Where do we begin, the ice cream or the macaroons? Seriously genius idea. I need to scour the suburbs for some keffir limes!


2 Aimee @ Simple Bites February 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I could see myself making a plate of these for Easter. So pretty!


3 Erika February 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I LOVE these.. seriously just lovely..


4 autumn February 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

<3 <3 <3


5 Lena Barclay February 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

These look so good! I will have to try them and report back 🙂


6 autumn February 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I hope you do, Lena!


7 dina February 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

these look delish!


8 autumn February 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Thanks, Dina! They’re almost gone 🙂


9 Daneille @ TheCharmItSpot February 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Macaroons are delicious! And adding lime makes these sound so good! Yum! Thanks for sharing!


10 autumn February 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Thanks so much, Danielle!


11 meg February 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm

These look insanely delicious. I love the flavor of kaffir lime–I wonder if you could use the leaves instead? Maybe pulverize them with the sugar in a food processor? I’ve never been able to find kaffir limes reliably, but I can always get the leaves. Can’t wait to try this.


12 autumn February 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I would think so, Meg, but definitely let me know if you try! I have the opposite problem right now. Plenty of Kaffir Limes and no leaves 🙂


13 Alanna April 26, 2014 at 6:49 am

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made them tonight in order to use up some egg whites, and I am in love. I didn’t have kaffir limes, but I did have some lemongrass stalks, so I ground the tender bits with sugar and the zest of a couple of small regular limes and their juice. I only had regular unsweetened shredded coconut, so I used extra (3 1/2 cups) and let it go for a bit in the food processor. They turned out perfectly. They’re completely addictive, and I don’t usually even like macaroons. Both my macaroon-loving sweetie and I are in heaven. I can’t wait to get the proper ingredients and try the recipe as written. Thank you for saving me from bland, boring macaroons!


14 autumn May 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Alanna. I love your adaptation. I bet the lemongrass was so good!


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