Homemade Scottish Macaroons

Scottish Macaroons, also known as Scottish Macaroon Bars, are a sweet treat that’s well known here, but possibly not elsewhere!

They look a bit like a truffle, with a soft white centre, covered in chocolate and then rolled in coconut. You’ll often find them shaped as a sort of flattened ball or a rectangle bar.

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - Piled on a plate with one cut in half

But there’s something a little different about this sweet…

Scottish Macaroons are made with potatoes! That’s right, the soft fluffy centre is a mixture of potato and icing (confectioners) sugar. Sounds weird, but tastes delicious. Not unlike some other Scottish dishes we know! (We’re looking at you Haggis, and Clootie Dumpling…).

Pin for later!

Scottish Macaroons Recipe Pin

What are Scottish Macaroons?

Not to be confused with the Macaron we associate with France (which actually originated in Italy, by the way) that is made of two small round meringue biscuits made of ground almonds, with a ganache sandwiched in between.

And also not to be confused with Coconut Macaroon that is made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and sugar, and sometimes dipped in chocolate just at the base.

Scottish Macaroons are made of a potato fondant, which is a mixture of mashed potato and copious amounts of icing sugar, coated in chocolate and rolled or sprinkled with coconut, which can be toasted or untoasted.

They are VERY sweet and have a delightful coconut flavour to them as well.

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - Cut in half to show potato fondant

Why are macaroons made of potatoes?

Potatoes are actually made mostly of water, which means they just form the base of the fondant and the amount of sugar used overpowers any “potato” sort of taste. Trust us on this one!

Who invented Scottish Macaroons?

John Justice Lees is said to have invented the Scottish Macaroon bar above his father’s shop in the 1930s, although we’re unsure who came up with the idea to use potato and sugar for the inside.

Lees Macaroon Bars are probably the most famous in Scotland, but now you can make your own!

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - Piled on a plate

What shape are Scottish Macaroons?

We decided to go with a flattened ball shape for our Macaroons as we found them easier to make and coat in chocolate. It was a more forgiving way to make them than to try and cut evenly sized bars.

Of course, you’re welcome to try either way yourself. Let us know how you go!

Things you’ll need to make Scottish Macaroons

  • Baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
  • Frying pan (if toasting the coconut)
  • Microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate and dip the macaroons

Ingredients for Scottish Macaroons

Servings: 18-22 macaroons
Prep time: 40 minutes
Baking time: Chilling time: 55 minutes

  • 120g cooled mashed potato (1/2 cup)
  • 450-500g icing sugar (3 ½-4 cups)
  • 300g dark chocolate (1 ¾ cups)
  • 140g desiccated coconut (1 1/3 cups)

Mashed Potato

You’ll only need a small potato for this recipe and a floury potato like Maris Piper works well. Mash until it is completely smooth with no lumps whatsoever.

Note, this is NOT a recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes. Because who wants butter, milk, salt and pepper in their macaroons…

Icing Sugar

How much sugar you use depends on the water content of the potato, and one will very to the next. You’ll likely need about 3 or 4 times as much sugar as potato, just start with the smaller amount and continue to add as necessary.

Icing sugar is also called powdered sugar or confectioners sugar. Make sure you use this NOT granulated or caster sugar.

Dark Chocolate

This recipe can be made with milk or dark chocolate, but we find the dark chocolate counters the sweetness of the fondant better. It also tends to not melt as quickly when handled for eating.

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - Ingredients in bowls

How to make Scottish Macaroons – Step by Step Method

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Add about half of the desiccated coconut to a large frying pan and toast over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Then return it to the bowl with the remaining untoasted coconut and mix them together. Set this aside.

Add the mashed potato to a large mixing bowl. Add a little of the icing sugar at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture will first become runny and then slowly thicken up again as you continue to add the icing sugar. Keep adding and mixing until you have a thick mixture that holds its shape.

Take a small handful of the mixture (approx. 30-35g) and roll it into a ball with your hands. Then place it on the lined baking tray and squash it down slightly into a flattened disk shape. Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should end up with around 18-22 macaroons.

Place the baking tray in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second bursts.

Dip each chilled potato disk first into the melted chocolate and then into the desiccated coconut. I like to rest the disk on a fork, submerge it in the chocolate and let the excess drip off a little. Then I place it into the coconut bowl and sprinkle coconut all over the top and sides to ensure it’s completely covered. Then carefully push the macaroon off the fork and back onto the baking tray.

Once all the macaroons are coated in chocolate and coconut, place them back into the freezer for 10 minutes so the chocolate can set completely.

Store the macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 7-10 days.

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - Piled in a plate with one cut in half

Toasted or Untoasted Coconut?

We tried a mix of both since we couldn’t agree on one or the other and actually think it turned out perfectly! So we suggest you try and see for yourself which you prefer, or mix together like we did.

Toasting the coconut adds a little extra flavour of coconut, but some prefer the more subtle plain coconut taste.

Scottish Macaroons Recipe - close up showing toasted and untoasted coconit
Yield: 18-22

Homemade Scottish Macaroons Recipe

Scottish Macaroons Recipe

Scottish Macaroons, also known as Scottish Macaroon Bars, are a sweet treat that’s well known here, but possibly not elsewhere!

Scottish Macaroons are made of a potato fondant, which is a mixture of mashed potato and copious amounts of icing sugar, coated in chocolate and rolled or sprinkled with coconut, which can be toasted or untoasted.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Chilling Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 120g cooled mashed potato (1/2 cup)
  • 450-500g icing sugar (3 ½-4 cups)
  • 300g dark chocolate (1 ¾ cups)
  • 140g desiccated coconut (1 1/3 cups)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Add about half of the desiccated coconut to a large frying pan and toast over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Then return it to the bowl with the remaining untoasted coconut and mix them together. Set this aside.
  3. Add the mashed potato to a large mixing bowl. Add a little of the icing sugar at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture will first become runny and then slowly thicken up again as you continue to add the icing sugar. Keep adding and mixing until you have a thick mixture that holds its shape.
  4. Take a small handful of the mixture (approx. 30-35g) and roll it into a ball with your hands. Then place it on the lined baking tray and squash it down slightly into a flattened disk shape. Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should end up with around 18-22 macaroons.
  5. Place the baking tray in the freezer for 45 minutes.
  6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts.
  7. Dip each chilled potato disk first into the melted chocolate and then into the desiccated coconut. I like to rest the disk on a fork, submerge it in the chocolate and let the excess drip off a little. Then I place it into the coconut bowl and sprinkle coconut all over the top and sides to ensure it’s completely covered. Then carefully push the macaroon off the fork and back onto the baking tray.
  8. Once all the macaroons are coated in chocolate and coconut, place them back into the freezer for 10 minutes so the chocolate can set completely.
  9. Store the macaroons in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

You can use toasted or untoasted coconut, or a mixture of both. It's up to you!

How much sugar you use depends on the water content of the potato, and one will very to the next. You’ll likely need about 3 or 4 times as much sugar as potato, just start with the smaller amount and continue to add as necessary.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 1g

These values are an estimate only

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe
Send this to a friend