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No-Bake Macaroons: A Thai Coconut Dessert

Om is an inquisitive foodie who likes to share recipes that everyone can enjoy.

Thai coconut macaroons (kanom pang jee).

Thai coconut macaroons (kanom pang jee).

Thai natives call these no-bake coconut macaroons kanom pang jee. As I recall growing up in Bangkok, these coconut goodies were not usually available in restaurants or regular bakeries, but sold on wheeled carts as a street food. Street vendors would cook them on the spot, then serve them in little paper bags. And I would always stick my nose inside the bag to smell the heavenly aroma of warm coconut before taking my first bite. Kanom pang jee, despite its humble origin and lackluster packaging, was definitely one of my favorite childhood cookies.

Macaroons, Not Pancakes

Some English cookbooks may refer to this dessert as "Thai coconut pancakes," probably due to the fact that they are fried on a flat skillet, not baked in an oven. I would have to disagree with this wording, though. Texture-wise, they're not quite light and fluffy the way regular pancakes should be, but soft and slightly chewy, very much like macaroons. Plus, they are not supposed to be served on a plate with butter and syrup, but to be enjoyed as a sweet snack or finger food.

Therefore, I think "macaroon" is probably a better term for this coconut goodness. Well, enough with the terminology. Now let me tell you a few awesome things about this Thai coconut dessert.

Plus Points of These No-Bake Macaroons

  • Dairy-free: The recipe calls for NO dairy products. There's no need for lactose-intolerant peeps to substitute any of the ingredients.
  • Gluten-free: Everything in these no-bake macaroons is inherently gluten-free, which makes them a safe dessert to offer your celiac friends.
  • Stress-free: It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare these sweet goodies. No baking is required. No electric mixer necessary. As long as you keep your eye on your macaroons and don't let them burn, it's all good!
  • Super coconutty: Kanom pang jee is not only made with coconut flakes but also coconut milk, so the coconut flavor in this dessert is luxuriously intense. Be warned: If you're a coconut lover, these macaroons might give you a food orgasm.
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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

3 min

10 min

13 min

About 12 macaroons


  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. In a large bowl, mix together glutinous rice flour, rice flour, sugar and sweetened coconut flakes.
  2. In another bowl, whisk egg and coconut milk together until well-blended.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture, and stir together until the batter is nicely combined. It should be moist and sticky like oatmeal, not all smooth and watery.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a hot skillet that has been greased with vegetable oil. (To make your coconut macaroons look nicer, you may want to form the batter into little balls with your hands.)
  5. Cook on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until both sides turn golden brown.

Photo Guide

The macaroon batter.

The macaroon batter.

Frying macaroons on a skillet.

Frying macaroons on a skillet.

And here are my no-bake macaroons, fresh and warm.

And here are my no-bake macaroons, fresh and warm.

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© 2013 Om Paramapoonya

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