Coconut quenelles

These gluten-free coconut quenelles started out as casual-style clusters, but they’ve taken the shape of torpedo bites. Dipped in dark chocolate and specked with pistachio dust, they’re everything you’d expect from a good macaroon.

The quenelles have a crunchy exterior and a chewy centre, very similar to the famous French macaron, but nowhere near as stressful to make. Made with desiccated coconut and ground almonds, they’re gluten free with a subtle nutty taste.

The chocolate dipping is optional, unless of course you live in my household, where it’s mandatory. Gold-specked pistachio dust adds a touch of glam, but can be substituted with finely chopped almonds. I’d love to say that they’ll keep well for up to one week, but seriously, they were done in a day. The quenelles are best on the day they’re baked as the edges are crisp and tend to soften slightly the longer they’re left.

Coconut quenelles
Gluten-free coconut quenelles

Makes 16

2 egg whites
70g castor sugar
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
110g desiccated coconut
3 tablespoon ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To finish (Optional)

80g dark chocolate (50% or 70% Lindt), melted
1 tablespoon roasted pistachio nuts,
edible gold dust (from speciality baking stores)


Preheat the oven to 170º C. Place the egg whites in a small saucepan and whisk lightly, just enough to break up the whites. Add the castor sugar, honey, coconut and ground almonds. Place over a low heat and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring all the while. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and mix together. Set aside to cool.

Line and grease a baking sheet. Using two teaspoons, form the quenelles by pressing a generous amount of the mixture firmly together. Shaping into a quenelle. Place on the baking sheet and continue until you’ve used up all the mixture. Bake for about 20-22 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool completely.

Dip each quenelle into the chocolate, allow excess to drip off, then place on baking paper.

Grind the pistachio nuts in a coffee grinder or with a rolling pin. Mix in a generous pinch of gold dust. Scatter the pistachio dust lightly over the chocolate and leave to set.


More gluten free bakes:

Gluten free cashew nut brownies

Gluten free zucchini and basil pesto seed bread

Gluten-free black bean brownie S’mores




8 Comments. Leave new

  • Hah ha I love your blog Di. You have a wonderful way with words and describe everything so beautifully with a fabulous sense of humour and style.
    These look so good. Can’t wait to try them out.
    Thank you.
    Marie-Anne Duarte

  • Dianne Bibby
    12 June 2015 5:44 am

    Thank you Marie! If you love coconut, these could definitely be fatal.

  • Di, these were delish. Made them today as part of my dessert. I even tried to quenelle them! Your Moroccan lamb shanks were a hit too xx

  • Dianne Bibby
    18 June 2015 8:13 am

    Those lamb shanks just never fail, especially this time of year. Hope your wrists have recovered!

  • These look amazing !!?? i was wondering if I can substitute fructose with regular sugar

  • Dianne Bibby
    20 July 2016 7:18 am

    Thanks Norhan. Absolutely. Regular castor sugar is perfect.

  • Lovely!

  • Dianne Bibby
    1 October 2019 5:12 pm

    The girls and I are obsessed with these clusters. If you like coconut at all, these are the bees knees.

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