How to Make Macarons – French, Chocolate, Lemon Recipes

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macarons

I am so thrilled about the guest post that I will be sharing with you today. Not only does the author take amazingly beautiful photos, she also makes gorgeous Cakes, Cupcakes and Macarons. Her name is Linda Lomelino, she’s from Sweden and she writes on her blog Call me Cupcake.

I asked Linda if she would like to guest blog on CakeJournal and I am so happy that she accepted! Linda will be sharing her tips and recipe on how to make macarons and I hope that you will enjoy her post as much as I do. Thank you Linda for guest blogging on CakeJournal today.

Macarons
You might know that macarons are highly unreliable cookies, even if you have made them several times. The results can vary from time to time, and sometimes you have no idea what went wrong. It takes some time to figure out what works for you, in your kitchen and oven. But don’t give up! They are definitely not impossible to make and once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to make them without even thinking.

But remember, macarons are highly addictive and once you’ve tried them, there’s no turning back! All your friends will probably want to taste them too. How could they not? They are both delicious and pretty to look at!

How to make macarons

Ok, let’s get started. Here’s what you’ll need:

How to make macarons

1. Strainer
2. Parchment paper
3. Almonds
4. Powdered sugar
5. Granulated sugar
6. Egg whites
7. Bowls
8. Round tip
9. Piping bag
10. Spatula
11. Stand or hand mixer

Basic recipe for French meringue macarons
Makes 35-40 whole macarons

Ingredients:
-100 gr (1 1/8 cup) ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams/1 1/8 cup)
-100-110 gr (3/8 cup) egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged 1 day at room temperature covered with clingfilm
-200 gr (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
-4 tablespoons (about 45 gr) granulated sugar

How to make macarons

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Sift to get rid of any large pieces or lumps.

How to make macarons

Mix the powdered sugar together with the ground almonds in a food processor.

In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out!

How to make macarons

Fold the dry mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Add food coloring if desired and fold until fully mixed. The mixture should flow like a ribbon when you hold up the spatula. Don’t overmix! If you want to test if the batter has good consistency, just dollop some batter on a piece of parchment paper. If the dollop slowly “flattens”, you’re good to go! If not, just keep folding.

I usually find that a slightly under-mixed batter is better than an over-mixed.
If you want to color your macarons, it’s generally better to use powdered food coloring, or pastes that are low in liquid.
If you, like me, find it difficult to fill a pastry bag with only two hands, put your piping bag in a tall glass or jar.

How to make macarons

Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets, I usually end up with two sheets. Remember that the shells will “flatten” once you’ve piped, so don’t make them too big. About 2,5-3 cm (1 inch) is enough.

Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.

How to make macarons

Heat the oven to 150° C (300 degrees F). Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven. Keep a close eye on them the last couple of minutes as they brown easily. You can test if they are done by touching the tip of a macaron, if it “wobbles” they are not done.

Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets. If you have trouble removing them from the paper, put them back in the oven for a couple of minutes. Pipe your filling of choice on a shell and sandwich together with another shell.

French Macarons

Flavors
There is an endless list of flavors you can use for macarons. The best way to flavor the shells is to use dry flavorings, such as dried, ground zest from lime, lemon or orange. You can replace half of the ground almonds with ground pistachios or any other type of nut. If you want to make chocolate shells, just replace 15 grams of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder (that means 185 gr powdered sugar + 15 gr cocoa powder).

Chocolate macarons usually need to be baked for a few minutes more, about 14-15 minutes. Don’t worry if the shells seem too hard and crunchy, after a day or two in the refrigerator (with filling) they will be perfect! Ground instant coffee is also a perfect way to add flavor to your shells, just add 1-2 tablespoons to the dry mixture depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor to be.

The shells can also be sprinkled with, for example, chopped pistachios or a pinch of sea salt to add even more flavor. Just remember to do this right after you’ve piped the shells on the baking sheet, before they form a dry skin.

Fillings
You can use any type of filling you like, my favorites are ganaches and buttercreams, but you can also use jams and curds if you want to. If the filling contains a lot of liquid I recommend eating them the same day. If not, keeping them a day or two (in a box with an air-tight lid of course) in the regrigerator will only make them taste better!

Filling suggestions:

Dark chocolate ganache

-150 gr (1 3/8 cup) chopped dark chocolate
-150 ml (5/8 cup) heavy cream
Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir until combined. Let cool until firm enough to pipe.

Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

-2 large egg whites
-90 gr (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
-110 gr (1/2 cup) softened butter (cut in pieces)
-1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl. Put the bowl in a double-boiler with simmering water. Keep whisking until the mixture reaches 65 degrees C (150 degrees F). Remove from heat. Start whipping the mixture with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until it is white and fluffy, like meringue.

Whip until cool, this can take up to 10 minutes. Add the butter slowly, piece by piece and keep whipping for another 3 minutes. If the mixture looks soupy and grainy, don’t give up! Just keep whipping and it’ll come together. Add the vanilla or any other type of flavoring and whip until fully combined.

Italian meringue buttercream

See my tutorial How to make Italian meringue buttercream to make this delicious filling for your macarons.

Store filled macarons in an air tight box in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. It is also possible to freeze them once they’re filled.

Happy Caking!

Louise

159 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. Love the recipe! Will try it soon.
    I’ve been making macarons for over 4 months now and I’ve been baking them everyday, yes everyday. I make notes in my diary as to what I I think went wrong or well and then make my next batch accordingly. This really helps. Some turn out beautifully and some don’t. They are very tricky to work with. I’ve made a few batches where I’ve over mixed just so that I can see the end results and some under mixed. I always use gel colours as it won’t change the consistency. I don’t recommend using liquid. It will change the consistency. I can now tell if the batter is right by how it fills my piping bag. If the mixture is too much for my piping bag then I know I’ve over mixed and it’s become very liquid like. If the mixture fills it up and I don’t have any batter left over then I know the batter is a the right consistency. I can also tell as the way it covers the spatula while im folding it. If it doesn’t cover the spatula any more then its over mixed. I always bake my macs at a low temp for a long time, that way they will keep their colour and not go brown. Im still working on mine! I definitely won’t give up and neither should anyone else. I always use the Italian method as it’s more forgiving than the French. I failed more with the French than Italian.

  2. I know it’s a long shot & a weird question but do you by chance know how I would add like hot cheeto flavor? Thanks in advance!

  3. I just made these minutes ago, and don’t usually comment on recipes. But DAMN I was impressed. I had little confidence in making macarons, as everybody talks about how hard it is. But this was easy and the result is beautiful and as delicious as store-bought macarons. Thanks!

    • Sorry – the entire macaroon comes from a meringue base – which means stiffened egg whites. As far as I know there dis no sort of substitute for egg whites – a very strange natural ingredient protein – sorry these are not veg friendly.

  4. Hi Louise, I’ve searched so many macaron recipes, but still get confuses, do you have to equal the amount of icing sugar and almond powder? some of the recipes only use 1/2 the amount of almond , some uses equally ? please help. chloe

    • Chloe,

      I came across your question while searching for new ideas for macaron fillings.

      An authentic macaron recipe has a very unique texture that can only be created when the recipe includes equal parts (by weight) of powdered sugar and almond flour (powder). (The equal ratio is known by the French as “tant pour tant”).

      Since macarons can be very tempermental, people often double the amount of powdered sugar to create a thicker batter. It will produce something that looks mostly like a macaron but has a completely different texture. Since the magic of macarons is all in the texture…. well…. how would other baked goods change if you doubled the amount of sugar in them? They’d be not at all like the original.

      I use the Italian meringue method and they work perfectly every time. I did very detailed two posts about making macaroons.

  5. Hello! I’ve been having trouble cooking them thoroughly without them browning. I start to see browning start. But they arent fully cooked yet. Suggestions?

    Been thinking about lowering it a rack to get it away from the heat source, but i dont wanna risk a failing batch 🙁

  6. i love how the desription is spilled out!! it’t perfect. Where can i get the food coloring?? And what other flavors are there? i want to make them for the holidays and decorate them too. (if that’s even possible). However, I’m just so excited to make them with my auntie.

  7. I did my first batch and the taste and consistency was really good but the shell is a little hollow inside. What am I doing wrong? Overmixing? Bake time too long?

      • In response to Louise and Lisa:

        Actually, there is a recipe with flour, some even with coconut. You will have to Google “Macaroons with All Purpose Flour” the recipe will pop up. They look a little different from almond made Macaroons. They taste just about the same.

      • Tatiana: I know there is a macaron made with coconut, but it is not like a french macarons made with powdered sugar and almonds. 🙂

  8. When i visited this website it looked really professional and easy. I made these but they turned out disaster, but i’m sure with more practice and concentration they will turn out better.

    • Practice practice practice!! Macarons are is the most difficult sweet treat I think. But I am keen on trying again soon because I read about grinding the almonds in a (new/clean) coffee grinder. I would love to get that silky smooth surface.

  9. I was taken to this website after reading Hannah Tunnicliffe’s “The Colour of Tea”, which has pretty pictures of macarons on its cover. I’m rather obsessed with macarons but haven’t made them yet. I have made Japs when living in England, one can buy them there – they are most delicious – two meringues held together with whipped cream and rolled in ground almonds (as far as I can remember). Has anyone had them?
    Liz, Toronto

  10. Thanks for the recipe, i tried this morning, and i have two problems, i think the consistency wasn’t as thick as needed, how this can be fixed? more sugar? more almond flour?, and second, while baking, it crackled, almost all of them, it was because wasn’t thick enough or what other thing could be the problem? Thanks
    Maria

    • I have not made macarons for quite some times now. Because every batch failed badly. It is hard to say if it could be fixed with more sugar. I would not start to add or cut down. I think that you may have folded the mixture too much? Making and baking macarons is like chemistry…a lot of factors play in the game. The room temperature, the oven, the weather outside and more. There are so many recipes and how to’s on how to make macarons. I can really recomend you to try out different recipes, maybe you find the one that works out for you.

      I have tried many recipes and have still not found the right one that works for me.

  11. if the mixture with the salt and egg whites is not thickening, what should i do? i have been trying to whip it for 20 mins and its still milky

    • I would use new egg whites. I have tried this happen to me when making meringue buttercream. I used new egg whites and then they got thick and fluffy. I don’t know what happened but sometimes it wont go as you planned. I hope it works out next time.

  12. Hi, Thanks for the recipe! Can I ask which concetrated flavouring is best to use in macarons? where can i buy them in UK? thanks!!

  13. I have a quick question—
    Will the egg whites be ok if they stAnd at room temp?? I’m concerned about them.
    The faster you can get back to me the better- I’m making these either tonight or tomorrow morning

    • It is best to use granulated sugar for the meringue part. Most of the recipes for macarons uses this. I don’t know what will happen if you use powdered sugar instead for this part.

  14. Hello. Will the end result of the macaroons change if I add colouring to my desired shade? And, I watch from youtube that I have to bang the sheets to let the air bubbles out, is it necessary? Can I let the macaroons rest for 20 mins instead of 1 hour? Thank you.

    • You can add color if you like, I have not experienced that this will change. I often add the coloring to the meringue mixture. I never tap the baking tray to eliminate air bubbles. I don’t think that 20 mins is enough time to let the macaroons set before baking.

  15. UGGH! they turned out perfectly! i love this recipe! my only mistake was using whole almonds instead of slivered and they turned out more.. buckwheat-looking than just white. i used a buttercream to fill them.. and flavored them with orange, honey and chocolate.

    but THANK you for this recipe! clear and precise.
    https://p.twimg.com/AplH1ScCMAE_qhS.jpg

  16. detailed and simple. so easy to follow for those who are just starting to learn baking like me. thank you so much! :0

  17. It’s Arno See vs the Macaroon, and I’ve been beaten down and failed 7 times, my Macaroons don’t have feet and they crumble all the time, so I’m going to try Louise’s recipe, maybe this time I will WIN 🙂

  18. i tried this for a yr7 school project… it didn’t work out well because they never rose up and the second time they started deflating and harded and burnt onto the cooking paper and couldn’t come off. i cooked it longer like you said but it just made it more burnt.

  19. Hello there! I first tried to make macarons with Martha Stewart’s recipe but I found yours to be much better for my second try! 🙂 However, they are a bit too sweet for my family and so I was just wondering if it’s possible to reduce the amount of powdered sugar? Would that change any of its looks as a result and is there any advice you would suggest? Thank you in advance! 🙂

    • I would not recommend to reduce the amount of powdered sugar. The macaron shell is sweet on its own but you can take a little of the sweetness by using more fresh/tart fillings like lemon curd, different jams and so. This can help on the sweetness. Did you use the swiss meringue butter cream? and did you store the macarons in the refrigerator? Macarons is best to eat when they are cold as it makes them more chewy.

  20. Hi! I was wondering if I could use like a strawberry milk powder in place of the almonds to make my macaroons strawberry flavored? I was going to make these for a school bakery sale in two weeks so the sooner you reply the better! Thank you!!

    • You cannot replace the almonds with the milk powder. It would not be macarons then. If you want strawberry flavor you can fill the shells with a good strawberry jam or Italian meringue buttercream mixed with a little strawberry jam.

  21. The supermarket i buy my baking items from does not sell granulated sugar, only golden granulated sugar. Is it safe to use golden granulated sugar to make macarons?

  22. Omg my sister and I gave this a try. First time ever making French macaroons they turned out just as good as the ones from our local bakery! SO YUMMY AND PRETTY THANKS !!!

  23. I have a normal oven in my kitchen, nothing fancy.

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  24. What can I use to substitute the almonds? I want to make these for my mom. She is allergic to all nuts except peanuts. She likes the ones with coconut but these are prettier. =/ Is there any way to make these and substitute almonds? And or use coconut? I would appreciate any ideas! Thank you!

  25. Passing the grounded almonds through the strainer/sifter takes forever. If you can buy ground almonds then do that it’s a time saver.

  26. If they cracked the oven have been too hot. The first time I tried to make macarons they didn’t have feet either. If they are wet/soft they are not done. Try bake them at lower heat and a little longer. Last time I made them everything went wrong. I think it has a lot to do with the oven and the egg whites.

  27. I tried this recipe a couple of times and I have to admit it was the most stable recipe I’ve tried so far. I still have not managed to come up with a perfect batch, but I got some acceptable results using this, each time learning what I did wrong. I’m hoping to get a perfect batch on my next attempt. Thanks for the recipe and I have to say the pictures look gourgeous!

    • I’s been a while since I made macarons and I am still a novice on that area. My last batch failed badly. It could have been the egg whites, the mixing part, my oven???? Could it be the temperature? Maybe the oven was too hot? Or the “drying time” of the shells before baking. Maybe the shells were too dry in the surface?
      I wished that I could give you the right answer but with macarons I still have a lot to learn. I think that I will try again next week.

  28. Having a sleepover with my girlies tonight and we are using this recipe! I hope everything works out. Thanks for the easy, breezy instructions! 🙂

  29. I’m thinking of making these for a baby shower. I like how the ones you made into macaroon pops look–they’re so cute! Do you know if we can bake them using heart-shaped molds, though? All I can find online are piped shapes, and my hands are far from steady =(

  30. I’m thinking of making these for a baby shower. I like how the ones you made into macaroon pops look–they’re so cute! Do you know if we can bake them using heart-shaped molds, though? All I can find online are piped shapes, and my hands are far from steady =(

    • I dont think that it would be good with heart shaped molds. Try and see if you can find a heart template around 1 1/2″ in size trace the heart shape onto a piece of paper so that you will have lots of hearts. Remember that the mac’s will spread a bit after piping so don’t place them too close.

      When you are ready to pipe simply just place a baking sheet on top. Remember to remove the paper template before baking. Hope this makes sense? You can get the idea by looking at this link: http://marvwoodhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/zwcok-maccir1-3p8.pdf

      • thanks! I’m going to start prepping my almonds today, and hopefully I’ll be able to have something baked by the end of this week–fingers crossed =)

    • I dont think that it would be good with heart shaped molds. Try and see if you can find a heart template around 1 1/2″ in size trace the heart shape onto a piece of paper so that you will have lots of hearts. Remember that the mac’s will spread a bit after piping so don’t place them too close.

      When you are ready to pipe simply just place a baking sheet on top. Remember to remove the paper template before baking. Hope this makes sense? You can get the idea by looking at this link: http://marvwoodhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/zwcok-maccir1-3p8.pdf

  31. Hi Louise, can I ask what size of round tube that was used? (ie either measurements of diameter or tube number?) Many thanks.

  32. I just made this recipe, they were the wonkiest, lopsided macarons I’ve ever made. Why? I tried out different temperatures, opening the oven door, longer and short baking times….all with the same result. I followed the recipe to the tea. Any ideas?

    • Olivia, I made mac’s the other day. I needed to do some test and I must say that this time they were a disaster. Because they got a bit browned the first time I made them (where they were overall perfect) I wanted to see how it would go, if I baked them at lower temp. They did not brown, but they were so fragile and thin that I threw them out. Also first time I had over-mixed the batter and found it too runny, so I tried with under-mixed. The batter did not spread out as good as last time. I also used gel color added to the meringue and I think that I might have over whipped the meringue, to get the color even?

      So what caused the exact problems for you (or me) is hard to say. It can be the oven, the egg whites (maybe they were too fresh/too “old”), the mixing, the ???. I am planning a test batch soon, where I will correct any of the changes I did.

      How many sheets did you make?

    • This recipe calls for the same. I have seen other recipes just use the egg whites out of the refrigerator. In baking it have always been good to let your ingredients reach room temperature. Egg whites gets more volume if they are not cold.

  33. These look absolutely divine and just the push I need to get cracking in the kitchen. I’m an avid follower of your blog and always amazed by your generosity and creativity – thanks :-)!

  34. Just made my first batch ever and they turned out amazing!! I may need to bake them for a minute or 2 more next time. I think I was a little over excited that they were actually forming the “feet” and not cracking. Thanks so much for the helpful post!

  35. I can buy the almonds already ground into powder but it has brown flecks in it because the skins on the almonds had not been removed. Could you use this instead of grinding the almonds? If not how does one remove the skins from the almonds before grinding?

    • Place the almonds with skin in a small casserole with cold water about 1 cup. Bring the almonds + water to the boil and let them boil for 2-3 minutes. Pass through a strainer and cool them down with cold water. When they are cold to the touch you can “pinch” the almonds out of the skin. Let the almonds dry on a clean kitchen towel or paper for a couple of hours. I prepare my almonds the day before I grind them.

  36. Making macarons is on my culinary resolutions list for this year….this post looks like it will be really helpful when I finally get all the kitchen gear in order. And you are right, her pictures are gorgeous!

  37. Wow your macarons are so beautiful and must taste just as heavenly! Thanks for all the fabulous tips and such a detailed tutorial. I gotta try this as I had my first at Laduree in Paris and have been addicted since.

  38. This is really amazing. I’m bookmarking it for further reference. Any experience with the oven? Do you use a gas oven or an electric one? I have one that has no temperature setting and I’m thinking it might interfere with the macaroons cooking properly.

  39. Thank you for this tutorial! I have been asked by a friend ot make Macarons for their wedding in September, but I have never tried them, so I am nervous. But at least I have 7 months to practice!

  40. Now this is a great post about macarrons! I’ve benn trying to make them and have almost been successful last time, but that was before such a great tutorial
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  41. Thank you for sharing! Can someone please tell me what the measurement “dl” stands for in your dark choc ganache recipe? Just curious.

  42. Thank you so much! I was just reading about these in Elle magazine last night. I told myself to look for a recipe so I can learn how to make them. And you sent the tutorial right to my email! It’s like I manifested it! Haha! Thanks!

  43. I cannot wait to try these! I have been thinking of making them but was afraid they would not turn out but you make them look so easy! Thanks for inspiring me!

  44. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have a book about macarons and it is not even close to being as wonderful as your explanations. You have done an absolutely fabulous explanation.

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