Cocadas: Coconut-lime Macaroons with Dulce de Leche

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Cocadas: Coconut-lime Macaroons with Dulce de Leche

Cooking time:

  • 45 minutes in total
  • 15 minutes of preparation
  • 30 minutes of cooking

Serves: 15-26 Cocadas (depending on size)


  • 400 g freshly shredded coconut (see author notes)
  • 250 ml dulce de leche (sweetened condensed milk) or condensed coconut milk (see author notes)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract or half of a Vera Mexicana Vanilla Bean
  • 2 large egg whites or 3 small
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of half a lime, lemon or orange (see author notes)
  • 200 g dark chocolate 70% (optional, but recommended)


A Cocada is the Latin American version of a coconut macaroon – a sweet coconut cookie typically molded into dome or pyramid shapes. Moist and chewy on the inside while toasted and crispy on the outside. These chocolate-dipped cocadas get a rich, butterscotch-caramel flavor from the dulce de leche and will keep well for up to a week in an airtight container or up to a month in the freezer – perfect to bake ahead and give away to friends and family during the holidays. Great as a family activity as children will love shaping the dough into small domes!


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper depending on the size of the macaroons.
  2. Crack open the coconut and grate it finely.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut, condensed milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  5. Make golf ball size balls of the coconut mixture with 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop (or with the palms of your hands) and place them onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes depending on size, rotating the pans from front to back, until the tops and edges are golden. Let cool on the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy (alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.) Dip each cocada into the chocolate to coat the bottom of the cookie, then return it to the baking sheet. Chill until chocolate is set. 
  7. The cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or freeze them up to one month. Buen Provecho!

Author notes

Freshly grated coconut makes the cocadas extra chewy on the inside, but you could easily substitute or sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut. If you’d like some extra coconut flavor, use condensed coconut milk – it has the same amount of sweetness and creaminess as regular dulce de leche, but with delicious notes of coconut. You can add any type of flavor notes such as some citrus juice to round off the sweetness or even raspberry or pineapple puree for some tanginess – make sure you don’t add more than ¼ cup of extra fillings to keep it from getting too wet.