This French Macaron Recipe is easy, foolproof and the result of endless testing! In this post, I’ll give you all my tips and tricks, everything I know, to getting macarons that look like they’ve come out of a French patisserie. Chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside and filled with my white chocolate ganache recipe. A true melt in your mouth experience all in one cute little cookie!
If you’ve ever attempted to make these little French cookies, you know they can be finicky, but once you learn the tips and tricks in this blog post, you’ll be onto your way to making amazing macarons! I’ve included my tips and tricks, explanations of the ingredients used, the tools I used and a macaron troubleshooting section too so that you can be equipped for recipe success.
If you’re looking for my popular macaron recipe which has a couple more steps, give my Italian method French Macarons a go. People swear by it. The filling I used in this recipe is my White Chocolate Ganache, but these are great with Chocolate Ganache or even Buttercream!
Macarons vs Macaroons
First off, let me be that person. Yes, some people call this cookie recipe ‘macaroon’. It’s harmless to call it that, but it’s not a macaroon. Macaroons are a coconut cookie made of coconut and egg whites. Really delicious, but completely different from these cookies which are macarons.
Macarons are delicate little French sandwich cookies. That’s what we’ll be making today!
What do French Macarons Taste Like?
They’re soft and chewy cookies with a thin crisp outside shell. Depending on how you flavor them and fill them, they can pretty much taste however you like! The cookies themselves have a unique almond nougat like flavor with almonds.
Tools And Equipment You’ll Need.
- Kitchen scales – this recipe needs precise measuring and the only way to get that is by measuring your ingredients using digital kitchen scales.
- Mixing bowls – use glass or metal mixing bowls, not plastic. Especially for the meringue.
- Hand whisk – to mix up the egg whites and sugar.
- Electric hand mixer – or stand mixer fitted with balloon whisk attachment.
- Food processor – if you don’t have one of these you can use a fine mesh sieve
- Fine mesh sieve – for sifting almond meal and sugar.
- Spatula – preferably a stiff spatula.
Ingredients You Need To Make French Macarons
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
There are several different macaron making methods. Italian, French and Swiss. I’ll be using Swiss method in this recipe. It’s as stable as the Italian method, but in my experience in baking this and testing it 9 times, it’s smoother and shinier which looks nicer.
- White vinegar – this is used to clean the mixing bowl you’ll be using for the macarons.
- Almond flour – you want to use almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal has the skins left in it and almond flour doesn’t. Which results in a smoother, shinier and brightly colored macaron. And before you ask, for this recipe you cannot substitute with almond meal with another nut.
- Powdered sugar – you can use pure icing sugar or soft icing sugar which has corn starch added to it. If your sugar is clumpy, run it through a sieve before using.
- Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar is the best sugar to use as it dissolves quicker than granulated sugar.
- Cream of tartar – this is an acidic powder which helps stabilize the egg whites before being whipped. You can use 1/4 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice in it’s place.
- Good gel coloring – if you want to color your macaron shells the best thing to do is use food gel, not liquid food dye.
How to make French Macarons!
For an in depth, step-by-step of how to make macarons see the recipe card below and check out my video tutorial.
- Begin by measuring out all of your ingredients – macarons are a quick process and each step doesn’t wait around for you to measure out the ingredients to do the next step.
- Blitz the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a food processor.
- Run through a sift.
- Discard large pieces of almond meal.
- Whisk egg whites and sugar together
- Place on a double boiler
- Whisk until sugar is dissolved
- Use an electric hand mixer to whip to stiff peaks
- Add dry ingredients
- Mix with a spatula until no dry ingredients are showing
- Then begin mixing by scraping around the bowl
- And through the middle
- When you can get a figure 8, the batter is done
- Pipe macarons
- Tap on bench three times
- Pop air bubbles in macarons
- Allow to dry until tops aren’t sticky any more. Then bake in a conventional oven / setting (no-fan), one tray at a time for 10 minutes on 120C / 240F.
- Fill macarons
- Sandwich them together
My favorite fillings!
You can fill these with anything you like! Flavored frosting, crushed cookie frostings or ganache. Here are my favorite fillings!
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Clean your meringue mixing bowl using white vinegar.
- Measure your ingredients using kitchen scales and make sure you measure them to the gram! This recipe needs accurate measurements to work and for that reason cup measurements will not work. In fact, in baking all recipes should be measured using kitchen scales for best results.
- If you don’t own a food processor, you can sift the dry ingredients together three times.
- Use good quality almond meal – it’s usually finer. And don’t use almond meal. It has the skins in it.
- If using a food processor, don’t over pulse the ingredients as it can release the oil in the almonds and cause your macarons to crack.
- Take care not to get any egg yolks in the egg whites when separating the eggs.
- To color your macarons – use food gel coloring and not liquid food coloring.
- Use a toothpick to get rid of air bubbles in macarons after they’ve been piped.
- To bake macarons – Bake macarons in the middle rack of your oven, one tray at a time with the fan off.
I have Hollow Macarons
- Overmixed or undermixed batter
- Pop air bubbles using a toothpick for best results
- Oven was too hot – use an oven thermometer to make sure oven is accurate.
Macarons Have No Feet
- Meringue was overwhipped – whip until you reach stiff peaks, not beyond that.
- Meringues not dried properly – make sure you dry your macarons until the tops are not sticky to the touch.
- Overmixed batter
- Pop air bubbles using a toothpick for best results
- Meringue was overwhipped (see above)
Runny Batter, Macarons Spread Too Much – oh dear, start again!
- Batter overmixed and deflated too much
- Mix only until you can get a figure 8
Macarons are not perfect circles and have peaks
- Macaron batter undermixed – scrape off the
Frequently Asked Questions about French Macarons
How to store macarons?
Store macarons in an airtight container for up to three days. They’re even softer and chewier the next day!
How do I know my macarons are baked?
Great question! If they’ve browned, they’re overbaked, if the macarons have risen with nicely formed feet they’re most likely done. If they look done, the best way to test them is to touch them with a finger and if the feet aren’t wiggly and stay put, they’re done.
How do flavor my macarons?
The easiest and best way to flavor macarons is with the filling you choose to use. You can use a ganache or buttercream and fill the center with caramel, Nutella, anything you like! I would avoid adding any oils, extracts or essences to the macarons shells themselves. Disaster awaits if you do!
How do I make chocolate macarons?
Easy! Use the same exact method and ingredients but add 2 tbsp of a good quality cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.
Can macarons be frozen?
Yes! THey can can freeze unfilled macarons, thaw them completely and then fill them. Freeze in an airtight container.
If you loved this recipe, check these out!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
Serves 30 cookies
- 1 tsp white vinegar to clean bowl
- 120 g almond meal see notes
- 155 g powdered sugar
- 100 g egg whites room temperature (see notes)
- 120 g caster sugar superfine sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or couple drops of vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 drops food gel coloring
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
- Measure all ingredients before you begin the recipe. Line two half sheets with silicone baking mats.
- Almond mixture - Add your almond meal and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10 times to help combine the ingredients and get a finer almond meal. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the food processor bowl and pulse another 10 times. Pour into a sieve over a mixing bowl. Sift as much of the mixture as you can. You will have about 2 tbsp of large almond pieces. You can discard them.
- Meringue - Add the vinegar to the bowl you’ll be making your meringue in. Glass or metal, not plastic. And use a paper towel to wipe down. Add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar to the bowl and whisk to combine.
- Fill a medium sized pot 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top. Glass or metal, not plastic. Add the egg whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar and whisk until sugar has melted completely and the egg whites become frothy, about 60-90 seconds.
- Take off the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, you can use an electric hand mixer. If you’re coloring your macarons, add your food gel coloring at this point. Begin whipping on high speed, about 2-3 minutes. The meringue will become thick and glossy and you will reach stiff peaks.
- Mixing stage ‘Macaronage’ - pour the almond mixture into the meringue and use a spatula to fold until no dry ingredients are showing. Stop mixing and read the next step to learn how to get the right consistency.
- This is where you need to be careful and pay attention to your mixing and the consistency of the batter. Use a spatula to scrape around the bowl and then go through the middle of the batter. This does two things. It scrapes the bowl making sure everything is being mixed evenly and also slightly deflates the mixture to get it to the right consistency. You want to continue mixing this way until you reach what I call the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is when you’re able to do a figure 8 with your batter. That’s when you know the batter is ready to pipe. If the batter is too thick, keep mixing, if the batter looks and feels runnier than that, you’ve over mixed, start again, there’s no saving it. Don’t do this using a stand mixer. Do it by hand with a spatula. You need to be able to feel the consistency and go slowly. When you can see the batter is beginning to thin out, start testing if it its at the ribbon stage. If it’s not, mix another couple times and test again. That’s it, that’s the secret to making macarons.
- Piping Your Macarons And Drying - Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm / 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe rounds of batter on your baking trays measuring about 3cm / 1 1/4 inch wide and about 2cm / 3/4 inch apart. Gently tap the tray on your workbench three times to allow any air bubbles to rise to the top and escape. If you see little bubbles on top of your piped macarons, use a toothpick to gently deflate them.
- Allow to dry for 30-60 minutes out in the open. This will help them form a skin which will help give them those iconic little feet macarons have as they bake. If you can run your finger on the top of a macarons, it shouldn’t be sticky anymore.
- Baking your macarons - Ten minutes before the drying time is up, preheat a conventional oven (no fan) to 120C / 248F. Bake your macarons 1 tray at a time in the middle rack for 10-12 minutes. Once they’re baked, let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the tray.
- To finish your macarons, pipe buttercream frosting or ganache to half the macarons and sandwich with the other halves. For filling options see the ingredients list. - To finish your macarons, pipe buttercream frosting or ganache to half the macarons and sandwich with the other halves. For filling options see the ingredients list.