I’m going to shoe-horn this post in here by labelling it “culinary art” … although that may be tenuous at best.  In fairness it is ‘Stuff’ and it has been ‘made’!


For those that don’t know, macaroon is a traditional Scottish sweet incorporating those well known native scottish ingredients chocolate, coconut, sugar?!  It’s final ingredient is potato … don’t let this put you off though it’s super sweet and super tasty!

What you’ll need:

  • c. 4 oz cooled mashed-up potato
  • c. 16 oz icing sugar (have extra on hand)
  • c. 8 oz plain chocolate (have extra on hand)
  • c. 4 oz desiccated coconut. (have extra on hand)
  • some grease proof paper
  • a large baking tray
  • a freezer

Optional and recommended additional ingredients:

  • a pinch of patience
  • an iron will
  • a blase attitude to getting covered in chocolate and coconut
  • little concern for exact measurements


What you’ll need to do:

  1. boil your potatoes until they’re soft.
  2. mash up your potatoes and leave to cool a bit in a large bowl.
  3. start adding your icing sugar and mixing it in, it’ll all go a bit sloppy sticky and just a little bit icky.
  4. continue adding the icing sugar until it forms a vaguely dough like substance that’s only a little sticky, or if you’re lucky, not sticky at all.
  5. tear off a sheet of grease proof paper and line your tray with it.
  6. roll some of your dough-ish tattie and icing sugar stuff into short fat sausages, placing these on your baking tray.  Try not to over work the dough, warmth with make it go icky and sticky again!
  7. find some room in your freezer and stick the tray in there … you may need to shift your frozen veg/meat/highly indulgent ice cream that you’ve been hiding from th kids to another shelf.
  8. leave in the freezer for 20-30 minutes … exercise some patience.  If you can’t exercise anymore patience eat the ice cream, that should take a wee while (and free up some valuable freezer space) ;)
  9. meanwhile gently toast about a quarter of your coconut in the oven, a low temperature for about 5 mins should do … take care not to burn it.
  10. mix all your coconut together, toasted and un-toasted.
  11. just before removing ‘sausages’ from the freezer melt your chocolate.
  12. line up your ‘sausages’, chocolate, coconut and another sheet of grease-proof paper on your worktop.
  13. use one hand to coat your sausage in the chocolate, drop it in the coconut and use the other hand to cover it in coconut and place on grease proof paper … don’t do as I do and get your hand mixed up, it makes things unnecessarily difficult and messy!!
  14. you’ll need to work fast as the warmth of the chocolate makes the ‘sausages’ revert to their icky, sticky state.
  15. now leave your macaroons to set, I generally stick them in the fridge while I clean up.
  16. enjoy with friends … you deserve it!

recipe based on: Lees Macaroon recipe @ Recipe Zaar

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48 Comments on Traditional Scottish Macaroon

  1. Jolene says:

    If you’re lazy like me and have no time for cooking you can cheat and use something like Smash instead of faffing around with peeling and boiling potatoes.

  2. Karen says:

    This looks lovely and I will certainly try this out

  3. Angel says:

    Not, tesco basic mash powder though…i still shudder at the memory.

  4. alex says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm i love this macaroon and my familly do allso camon you ladys i want some of your skills put to good use am a great taster of this particualar sweat just the thought of its making my mouth water,and thankyou to my old school friend debbie.

  5. Megan says:

    Your recipe made me laugh. Lovely simple treat. Thanks very much!

  6. Gwen McGill says:

    How far in advance can I make these to give as gifts at Xmas please

  7. Alasdair says:

    Hi Gwen, It’s hard to say. If you were making it now I’d expect it to keep through to at least the middle of January … although I’d expect it to be eaten before that ;)

  8. Liz flaherty says:

    I have made macaroon for years, I often get as to make them as wedding favours, insted of making bars, I use a loveheart cutter, just thought I would share this idea with you. :-)

  9. Jolene says:

    Excellent idea, thanks Liz

  10. Gill says:

    I remember mum making these when I was little, but instead of putting the potato/icing sugar mixture into the freezer, she left it as sausage shapes overnight. This seemed to improve the flavour. Does anyone know anything about this method?

  11. Alasdair says:

    It’s not a method I’ve used myself, I suppose the question is over how gooey it is and if leaving it out allows it to go off a bit then it would probably work … sounds like something I should definitely try. Any excuse for a batch of macaroon!!

  12. colin Rundell says:

    just made these excellent recipe. Me Mum gave me the tip of using a cocktail stick to dip the potato sugar mix in the chocolate and coconut..:-)

  13. Sara M says:

    Leaving it out overnight to “dry out” makes it even more delicious :)

  14. Waddo says:

    I make these often. I roll out the mix, and use a small cutter to get perfect shapes, pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes, them dip them in chocolate (sometimes chocolate orange), then cover in the coconut. When set,I put them in pretty boxes and give as gifts….they are alwasy a big hit. Last week I made a batch, but with half of the icing/potato mix, I added raspberry flavouring, a little red food colouring and some dessicated coconut (not roasted), mixed together, and cut out some rounds. Once they had set (again…10 mins. in freezer), I dipped them in dark chocloate and popped them back in the freezer for another 10 mins. to set…..I have to say… they were really lovely….like rasberry ruffles. I popped some in a pretty box with some macaroons, and gave them to my friend for her birthday…perfect(If I do say so myself). Enjoy. xx

  15. Kirsty says:

    hahahaaa I love random things that make me laugh and I am very glad I came across this recipe when looking for a macaroon recipe! I will DEFINATELY have a go at making this!

  16. Richy says:

    I have tried to make these but when I add the sugar it just goes all watery!! Any ideas where I might be going wrong?

  17. Alasdair says:

    Hi Richy,

    There are a couple of things that might be going wrong.

    i) Your potatoes are too warm when you’re adding the sugar, try letting them cool a bit longer or leave them to cool completely.
    ii) Your potatoes might be too wet or holding too much water. You may need to dry them off properly, leaving them to dry out and cool in a sieve would probably be enough, although you may need to try a different variety of potato.

    Hope that helps!!

    I suppose if worse comes to worst you could just put all your ingredients in a big bowl and eat them with a spoon … nom nom nom!

  18. elizabeth says:

    Eather iv used to much potatos as iv used nearly full box icing sugar but iv speaded mine out flat like tablet in frezzer now and waiting 20mins looking good so far.

  19. Alasdair says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I think your potatoes were maybe too watery (either that or the tatties themselves were still a bit too warm), this would explain why you needed more icing sugar. I’ve had this happen myself, I suspect that using more waxy potatoes gets better results, it can definitely be a challenge if it goes the way it has for you . . . it’s happened to me more than once!!

    Hope the rest of the recipe works out better for you :)

  20. chris mcnair says:

    I often make these, but always end up with mis-shaped macaroons, I didn’t realise I had to put them is the freezer, yea ha I will try that next time. thank you

  21. I’ve just tried to make macaroons from another recipe – what a disaster. Had to use lots of icing sugar. Didn’t seem to get it dough like – not enough elbow grease on my part (my wrist was aching with all the mixing). Will try this recipe & see how it goes.

  22. Alasdair says:

    It can be a real pain to get right, try try try again though! It’s worth it!

  23. How long do you reckon it could take to get the consistency right? 10 – 15 mins of mixing?

  24. Fiona Laveau says:

    Is this british measurements?

  25. Alasdair says:

    Scottish Fiona ;^)

    . . . but yes, British measurements.

  26. Fiona Laveau says:

    First try and it was too watery also. Not sure if I did it right with the icing sugar since I added milk/vanilla to powdered sugar first, is this right? If so, maybe it was the potatoes. I haven’t given up yet though, I am anxious to make these childhood treats as you can’t buy them here in America.
    Fiona (aka McArthur) 1st generation

  27. Marie donnachie says:

    Hi Fiona – I’ve tried again with my macaroons & they turned out perfect. When you mash your tatties leave them plain ie don’t add milk or butter. It will eventually thicken up & go quite stiff if you keep adding icing sugar – keep at it. I’ve also added some strawberry flavouring & they are really delicious. My first attempt was a disaster & I’ve attempted it a few more times & am now confident to give out mine as wee gifts.

  28. [...] cursory research proved that potato is, indeed, one of the key ingredients, along with icing sugar (Made Stuff is helpful, as is London Eats). It was snowing too hard to venture out for more icing sugar, but [...]

  29. garywilson4 says:

    about how many does this make?

  30. Alasdair says:

    It’s been a while since I made it, but I think it does about 12 medium sized macaroons … any advance by someone who’s made it more recently?

  31. Marie donnachie says:

    That’s probably about right but I like to cut into smaller pieces. Also nice with some strawberry flavouring. Think I’ve eventually got it spot on now.

  32. David Eagle says:

    Should the mix go white? Otherwise how do you know when it’s ready ?

  33. Alasdair says:

    The mix should already be fairly white, thanks to the white potatoes and white icing sugar! You’ll know when it’s ready when it forms a reasonable dough ;)

  34. Christina says:

    I used to remember getting these out of my dad’s fish and chip shop! They look perfect!

  35. [...] so I turned to my good friend Google for some ideas and this is what he/she came up with…The Traditional Scottish Macaroon. Who knew? It looks interesting, though it has potato in it but I’m feeling adventurous after [...]

  36. jimmy says:

    Had a great laugh making this, you cant put too much icing sugar in so more icing less sticky

  37. Isabella says:

    Excellent Recipe Happy Days in Dubai ! Many Thanks Braw !!!

  38. Karen Vivers says:

    Love your style Alasdair!

  39. Mary says:

    This recipe is amazing, thank you…..I used some peppermint in the icing and made peppermint creams……yummy. Thanks again :-)

  40. Jacqui says:

    I am going to have a go at this to add to my Christmas hampers for friends and neighbours, sounds yummy!

  41. MarieG says:

    I made the mistake of not weighing the tatties, used a large box of icing and it’s still runny but I have put it in the freezer poured into a baking tin and hoping for the best, will be back soon with the verdict ;)

  42. MarieG says:

    Update… threw it out too much potato and made a new batch, much better and delish

  43. Jacqui says:

    Mine is runny! Think I have used too much potato – I have put in the fridge for a wee while and will add more icing sugar when it comes out – see how it goes!

  44. MarieG says:

    Jacqui I did the same but had to throw it out and start again but weighing the potato the second time, it turned out delish, even my son who doesn’t like macaroon from the shops, likes it, result…hope yours turns out ;-)

  45. janet says:

    Yeah its amazing how little potatoes u need they turn to water when u add the icing sugar. Follow the recipe and u will be fine. I made the same mistake and used touch potatoes I used 2 big boxes of icing sugar to get the dough. Ended up with enough Macaroon to feed tjr street but well worth it sooo yummmmmyx

  46. Emma says:

    How many do you get from 1batch and how many days do they keep for? Thanks

  47. Alasdair says:

    Hi Emma, It’s been a while since I made it, but I think it does about 12 medium sized macaroons. They should keep for a good while if you keep them in an airtight container, I would reckon on about 6 months before they start to ‘go over’ … I’ve never known them to go that long without being eaten though!!

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