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How to Make Macarons (French Macarons)

Learn how to make French Macarons with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. This baking tutorial is for basic Vanilla Macarons.

overhead shot of white and blue macarons on a wire rack and in a small white bowl

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French Macarons bring a bit of sweet sophistication to the table. Not to be confused with macaroons (made of coconut and sugar), French (MAC-A-RONS) are delicately baked “cookies” that sandwich a sweet filling.

They’re simpler to make than the reputation that precedes them would have you believe.

I can promise you that once you perfect the process of making macarons, you’ll be obsessed with creating various color and flavor combinations. You can always make your macarons match the event (and your outfit if you wanted). The sky is the limit when it comes to exercising your creative side with French Macarons.

If you’re anything like me, you’re eager to travel again and gain a sense of normalcy. Go ahead and grab an apron, turn on some cafe’ music, and let’s take a step into a Parisian bakery.

overhead shot of white and blue French Macarons on a small wire rack


Are Macarons Gluten Free?

French Macarons are made with almond flour and are naturally gluten free. However, if you guy macarons at a bakery, chances are they’ve been contaminated with regular flour and would not be safe for those with Celiac Disease.

Your best bet for making sure your macrons are gluten free, go with homemade macarons.


Dairy Free Macarons

Macaron Shells are naturally dairy free. To keep them fully gluten free, use a dairy free filling.

For a dairy free vanilla bean filling, use dairy free cream cheese.

How to Make Macarons (French Macarons) stacked on a small wire rack

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Coloring French Macarons

Today I made blue macarons and white macarons but you can make them any color you’d like. Generally, if you’re flavoring them, go with a color that represents that flavor. 

Since these are Vanilla Macarons (aka a basic Macaron recipe), you can really play with the colors. I recommend using Gel Food Coloring. Do not liquid food coloring for French Macarons.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.


Trouble Shooting Macarons

Hollow Macarons – this can happen when the mixing process is rushed. Mixing on low speed for longer is the best way to avoid hollow macarons. You should also keep an eye on your oven temperature because both over baking and under baking can result in a hollow center.

Over-mixing batter – the batter is too thin to pipe properly, too thin to support itself, and doesn’t rise properly, feet don’t form.

Hold the piping bag straight up and down for perfectly round macarons. Piping the macarons on an angle may make them lopsided.

Taking them out of the oven too soon – shells sink and crack.

Making French macarons is not like riding a bike. If it’s been a long time since you’ve made them, you might want to take the extra steps in making sure you’re setting yourself up for success. My first batch after taking over a year off from making macarons was a hot mess.

I overmixed the batter so my batter was too thin and didn’t rise properly. Then, my oven wasn’t baking evenly and I took one tray out too soon so they started to sink and crack almost immediately. 

white and blue French Macarons on a wire rack filled and ready to be sandwiched


Vanilla Macaron Ingredients

  • Egg whites 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Powdered sugar 
  • Almond flour
  • Sprinkles and/or Gel Food Coloring, optional 
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla bean paste (or the caviar from half a vanilla bean) 

Macaron ingredients in individual bowls


Equipment Needed to Make French Macarons

  • small mixing bowls
  • 2 large baking sheets, with Silpat lined baking sheet or parchment paper
  • piping bag with a small, round tip (I like a Wilton #10 or 12)
  • small pot
  • heatproof bowl 
  • stand mixer with a whisk attachment
  • fine mesh sieve 

whipped meringue holding a stiff peak on a wire whisk


How to Make Vanilla Bean Macarons

For the Shells 

Step 1. Age the egg whites.

Step 2. Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor until fine, being careful not to over-pulse. 

Step 3. Beat the cream of tartar and egg whites together. Slowly beat in the sugar and until incorporated and the egg whites hold a very stiff peak.

Step 4. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour through a fine-mesh sieve into the egg whites. Fold in the powdered sugar and almond flour gently, making sure not to deflate the egg whites yet. Make sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl while you fold.

Step 5. (Optional) Color the batter with gel food coloring if desired.

Step 6.  Transfer the meringue to the piping bag fitted with the round tip. Pipe 1” macarons about 2” apart on the Silpat-lined baking sheet. 

Step 7. Once all the rounds are piped, gently lift and drop the baking sheets onto the counter to help pop any air bubbles.

Step 8. (Optional) Make sure to decorate the macarons with sprinkles before they dry. 

Step 9. Allow the macarons to sit at room temperature until they have formed a skin– about 30 minutes. If it’s a humid day, it may take up to one hour. While the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 325F (see notes).

Step 10. Bake the shells for 10-12 minutes. Allow the macarons to cool fully before removing them from the tray.

French Macaron batter in a silver mixing bowl with a wood handled spatula

For the Icing

Step 1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk vigorously until no lumps of powdered sugar remain. Transfer the icing to a piping bag and store in the fridge until ready to use. 

Assembly and Aging

Step 1. Place the macarons in similar-sized pairs. Pipe a small dollop of icing onto the flat side of one of the macarons.

Step 2. Gently press another macaron on top, just until the icing reaches the edges. Transfer the macarons to an airtight container and place them in the fridge to age overnight.

Step 3. Bring to room temperature before serving.

white and blue French Macarons in a small pottery bowl


Tips for Making French Macarons 

  • You don’t need to bring the egg whites to room temperature before using them in this French Macaron recipe. 
  • To age the egg whites before making the macarons, separate the egg whites from the yolks at least 24 hours in advance. Keep the egg whites in a glass bowl (instead of metal or plastic).
  • Make sure to only use gel food coloring in macarons– not liquid! 
  • When the meringue is ready to pipe, you should be able to draw a figure 8 without the stream breaking. If the batter falls off in clumps or breaks during your figure 8, continue smushing and folding a few more times before testing again.
  • To ensure perfectly round macarons, hold the piping bag straight up and down. Piping the macarons at an angle may make them lopsided.
  • Make sure to decorate the macarons with sprinkles before they dry.  
  • Aging the macarons helps soften the shells slightly. If you have time, it’s worth it!

a blue French Macaron on a white surface


Other French Macaron Recipes To Try

a white macaron on a small wire rack with a bite taken out of it


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overhead shot of white and blue macarons on a wire rack and in a small white bowl

How to Make Macarons (French Macarons)

Yield: 48 shells
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

Learn how to make French Macarons with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. This baking tutorial is for basic Vanilla Macarons.

Ingredients

For the Macarons

  • 4 large egg whites, aged and room temperature (about 130 grams)*
  • 170 grams almond meal or almond flour (finely ground)
  • 200 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 70 grams granulated sugar

For the Vanilla Filling

  • 60 grams cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 80 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 grams vanilla bean paste (or the caviar from 1 vanilla bean)

Instructions

To Make the Macarons:

  1. Add the egg whites to a large glass or metal bowl and bring to room temperature.
  2. Add the almond meal, powdered sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse until it is a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and use a whisk attachment on a hand mixer (or stand mixer) and whisk until soft peaks form. While the mixer is running, slowly add the granulated sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Continue mixing as you add all of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Use a spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Fold until completely incorporated and the batter runs off the spatula in long ribbons.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment paper. Add the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip (about 1/2 inch in diameter) and pipe the batter into 1 1/2 inch circles.
  6. Once all the rounds are piped, gently lift and drop the baking sheets onto the counter to help pop any air bubbles. Let the macaron shells sit uncovered at room temperature for 45-60 minutes to help form a dry shell on the outside.
  7. When the shells have dried, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the shells for 10-12 minutes. When done, carefully slide the silicon mats or parchment paper onto wire racks so the macarons don't over-bake by cooling on the hot pans. Cool completely before carefully removing from the parchment paper or silicon mat. Make the ganache while the macaron shells are cooling.

To make the Vanilla Bean Filling:

    1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk vigorously until no lumps of powdered sugar remain.
    2. Transfer the icing to a piping bag and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Assembly and Aging :

    1. Place the macarons in similar-sized pairs. Pipe a small dollop of icing onto the flat side of one of the macarons. Gently press another macaron on top, just until the icing reaches the edges. Transfer the macarons to an airtight container and place them in the fridge to age overnight.
    2. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

*See post for notes on aging egg whites.

Don't over-bake the shells, you do not want them to brown.

Do not use pasteurized egg whites from a carton.

This recipe makes about 48 shells which yields 2 dozen sandwich cookies. Yield will depend on how big or small you pipe your shells.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 137

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

 

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

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