My Perfect Macarons

perfect macarons

I’ve mentioned that I was never a huge fan of macarons. However I’ve been making a lot for my clients lately, and I’ve started to figure out what makes these delicate cookies so special – each bite is a perfect combination of texture and taste. Crispy, chewy and creamy. All come in one bite. Also I’ve come to realize some tricks on how to make perfect macarons. 

perfect macarons

So perfect macarons! Perfect macarons!!! I know only the sound of it might already be quite scary. I’ve heard stories about macarons failure that the whole batch came to a waste. The shells are cracked, have no “feet”, not smooth, dull colored… It seems like so much can go wrong. My experience in making a successful batch is nothing bible. In my opinion, making perfect macarons is not extremely intimidating, it’s about a bit of special care and attention. And I would like to share some of my tips on how to achieve perfect macarons.

Weather/Humidity – Try to pick a sunny day with low humidity to make your macarons. Otherwise, let your macrons to dry at least an hour longer before baking, especially on a rainy or very humid day.

Master Circle Template – I don’t enjoy drawing tons of circles each time when I make my macarons. So I traced circles on a parchment paper and use it as a master template, place it under each parchment paper that I am going to pipe the shells on, and pipe to the outline. Just bake your macarons with that master paper, you don’t have to take it away. It may ruin your still runny shells.

Silicon Mat V.S. Parchment Paper – I use parchment paper because personally I find that silicon mat seems to stick to the macaron shells more easily. Plus I can always re-use the same parchment paper.

Egg Whites – I don’t bring the egg whites to room temperature. Meaning they go straight from the refrigerator to the mixer, and the batter turns out fine.

Almond Flour – My almond flour is kept in the freezer. Same as the egg whites, it goes straight from the freezer to the food processor. As long as you grind your almond flour with enough powdered sugar, it will never turn into paste. It is important to sift the almond flour mixture after you grind it. And make sure the leftover in the sieve is no more than 2 tablespoons.

Granulated Sugar – You could use extra fine sugar to make the meringue, or grind the regular granulated sugar in a food processor to make it finer. However, I don’t find a huge difference compared to simply using regular granulated sugar. If you happen to have a jar of vanilla-scented sugar (put a used vanilla bean into the sugar), don’t use that. The oil from the vanilla  bean will deflat the egg whites.

Flavor – I don’t normally flavor the shells. Unless the flavor of the shell matches the flavor of the filling, otherwise one flavor tends to overpower the other. I bake my basic macaron shells and go crazy with the endless choice of fillings. Buttercream, ganache, caramel, lemon curd, marmalade……Now because there is so much sugar in the cookies, and the sugar is necessary to create the right texture to macaron, I tend to lower the sweetness of the filling to balance the flavor. For buttercream, I normally put a little more salt too.

Colour – I use colouring paste to add colour to the shells. Only a drop or two will do the work, and it won’t loosen the batter. I add colour when everything is mixed, not at the meringue level. The advantage of this step is you can divide the batter into 2 or 3 batches and create different colours for each batch.

Pointy Shell – When piping the macarons, if they end up with a point, you can use a wet finger to smooth them down.

Resting – The shell must rest enough to a point where they are dry to touch before baking. The best way to test it is to touch the surface of the shell with your finger. If it’s not sticky, and you are able to glide your finger on it, it’s good to go.

Sandwich the Filling – Because the shells are very delicate and crispy, it’s easy to crush them while sandwiching the filling. I don’t press the two shells together. Instead I hold the edge of the shells and “mush” them closer.

perfect macarons

Ingredients (around 30 sandwich cookies):
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a drop or two food colouring paste of your choice
1/2 cup filling of your choice

Directions:
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Put a master template under the parchment paper or draw about 12 1 1/2-inch circles in rows on the paper, about an inch apart.
Process powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until finely ground. Sift the mixture through a sieve. If there are more than 2 tablespoons of large chunks left in the sieve, grind them and sift again. Set the mixture aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until very stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Sift the almond flour mixture over the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the almond flour mixture into the egg whites until the ingredients are just combined. Add a drop or two of food colouring to tint the batter. Continue to fold the mixture until it has loosened and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.
Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill the bag with the batter. Using the template as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment papers.
Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface to release trapped air bubbles. Let the cookies stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This allows the cookies to develop their crusts.
Preheat oven to 325F. Bake the macarons for 10 to 12 minutes, until set but not browned.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the macarons to cool completely on the pans. Once cooled, gently lift half of the cookies from the parchment paper and turn them upside down.
Spoon or pipe a teaspoon of filling onto each of the upside-down cookies. Top with the remaining cookies.

137 comments

  1. How do I get a nice navy macaron, I used a whole bottle of navy, mixture is coming out to runny. Do navy need to be airbrushed to achieve a nice colour?

    1. Hi Judith, any buttercream, cream cheese icing, ganache, or even ice cream work. You can search something your prefer on my blog. :)

    2. I always end up with an off color when i try doing purple, and also, my macaron shells arent smooth on the top, i always have to smooth them down. TIPS??

      1. A drop or two more of the color paste/gel should be able to help.
        Make sure your batter is well-mixed. If it’s under-mixed, the batter becomes too stiff, and the macaron tops will not smooth out during piping.

  2. This recipe is fabulous! I have made macarons three times prior and they were far less than perfect, but this recipe produced very good results. I split the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture in two to make two different flavors. I made raspberry macarons and chocolate macarons. For the chocolate I substituted about a fourth of the powdered sugar for cocoa powder and for the raspberry I added half a tablespoon of raspberry puree at the end. I filled my raspberry one with chocolate ganache and the chocolate one with raspberry buttercream. Both were delicious, especially the chocolate macaron.

    Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  3. I had only tried to make French Macarons once before attempting this recipe and I failed miserably!
    This recipe lives up to its comments and reviews
    I was skeptical about using this recipe because all of the others I had seen gave measurements and weight, but the reviews were absolutely true! This recipe came out perfectly! I doubled the amounts and the only other thing I changed was that I did let my egg whites sit out at room temperature for about two hours, I figured it couldn’t hurt.

  4. Great reading! What do you do to keep your colors so vibrant? Mine were perfect color inside but outside was faded to almost dull in color. I used gel paste too!

    1. The batter will be very thick at first, even to the point of not being able to incorporate all the dry ingredients. You need to keep folding until it loosens and is ribbonlike. I made these and they were perfection!

  5. Wow. This recipe really works! I have been tippie-toeing around macatons because most recipes tell you how hard it is to make them. Not so with this recipe. I think I over-whipped the egg whites/sugar and only got 30 rounds (not 40) but I am thrilled over the moon! First try! So excited. ***Big Lesson Learned: Egg Beater Whites FOR NOT WORK. They are pasteurized. Who knew?? Give the yolks to the dogs. Cooked in micro.

  6. I came across this recipe at the weekend and my macarons came out PERFECTLY. I’ve tried 3/4 different recipes before and it’s always seemed pot luck whether they work – but these are great. Don’t normally comment but felt duty-bound! The tip about leaving them to dry for a decent amount of time is a gooden – I got the best feet I’ve ever had!

  7. omg . first time making macarons ! these were perfect, only two were kind of ugly but thats because im impatient and i poked them -hides face-
    Thank you thank you!

    1. Answered my own question – NO – do not use 3 egg whites! Made them w/3 & it was wayyyy too wet. So tried yours again using your recipe EXACTLY & made sure to follow & measure everything accurately & they came out PERFECT! Thanks!

  8. When i whipped my eggs with the sugar they never came to the stage of “stiff peaks” i decided to move on after 10 minutes, it seemed ok. It did develop a skin while waiting and aldo developed “feet”. It did taste good but stuck to the parchment paper. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Hi Abbi, it’s probably because the shells were undercooked. You could try to gently move/peel one of the shells, if it’s easily peeled away from the parchment paper without residue, it means they are ready. :)

  9. I just made these for the very first time! I’ve got to say I was very nervous to even attempt a macaron because everyone says how difficult they are. Mine turned out PERFECT! This recipe is amazing! Great instructions. They turned out so good i had to make a second batch immediately! Thank you so much! :)

  10. Hi! Sounds like a great recipe, and i’m planning on making them this week. If i wanted to make the macarons chocolate, how would i change the recipe? I’ve had them before with chocolate shells and chocolate ganache filling, and they tasted divine. Thank you for the recipe; i’m super excited to try it!

      1. Thank you so much! I was making these at 11 o’clock last night and they turned out absolutely perfect! I definitely didn’t expect that for my very first time making them! Great recipe, would definitely recommend to any beginner wanting to make macarons for the first time.

  11. I followed every step and it turned out good, however I found another recipe that calls out for adding 1 tbsp of cornstarch to almond and confectionery sugar, I used 1 1/2 confectionery and it turned out better according to my husband, Crispier on outside softer inside.I love all the tips though, it makes sense. Thank you.

    1. Hi Shellie, I think maybe your cookie shells were not cooked. Same thing has happened to me when my cookies were not cooked, and they were still sticking to the parchment paper.

  12. Hi dear!
    I have tried the recipe, the macarons turns out cracked shells, no feet and hollow inside. I don’t really get what’s gone wrong.. I whipped the egg whites to stiff, mixed them until ‘ribbon’ consistency and let them dried. I’m really blank but really want to try again although I failed 10 times already.hahaha. mind to help me??? Please.. :'(

    1. Hi Chun, per my experience, it could be because the batter was overmixed, and too much air bubbles was trapped inside. I fold the egg whites in until “ribbon” consistency, but maybe a bit on the thick side, more like “lava”. If the batter is too loose, it won’t have feet after baking. Hope it helps.

  13. HI Fanny! Your receipt sounds awesome! I’ll try it!
    I was wondering if you can help me with the filling. What can I use?
    Thanks :-)
    Cheers from Italy

    1. Hi Sara, hope you enjoy your holiday in Italy! :)
      For the filling, you can go with buttercream, cream cheese frosting, ganache, lemon curd, caramel, dulce de leche… You can find most of the filling recipes on my blog too. Hope you enjoy the recipe. :)

  14. Great tips!

    We have high humidity where I live and after suffering countless failed attempts, especially on rainy days, I tried leaving my macarons in an air-conditioned room after piping the shells. It worked great!!

  15. I am OVER THE MOON! I decided to try these again after a horrible first time following another recipe and when I say I screamed when I took them out I meant it! They. Looked. Awesome. This restored my confidence in SO MANY WAYS. aThanknyou from the bottom of my heart!

    1. Awwwwwww!!!! You’ve just made me scream too, Codi! And I meant it! :D I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! Enjoy your weekend!

  16. my mixture was a little runny. They are macaroons just not the right shape. Why do we add the castor sugar first to the egg white? I ground my almonds as in NZ we can’t buy the almond flour. So I may have got my measurements out. Thanks. I’m working on getting the perfect.
    Gina

  17. thanks for sharing! They turned out wonderfully! IF i did want to flavor the shells, how would i do it? And also how can i keep my shells from burning?

  18. You’re a darn wizard! I have watched countless videos with more complicated instructions and more ingredients and had a few fails trying to get them right. I was ending up with flat, sad macarons that didn’t look appealing at all…but your recipe and tips are great! I’ve been practicing them for a friend’s gender reveal party, and now I’m finally getting tall, beautiful shells :) thanks for writing this up!

  19. What a great recipe – worked first time (more than I can say for previous attempts with a different recipe!). Mine didn’t seem to form a crust before baking, but still came out ok. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Can I say that I am beyond impressed with my macarons right now!? They came out PERFECT! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! <3

  21. THANK YOU! I have tried other recipes that make it seem like such a difficult task to do these, like it’s some exclusive club that you can only join if you can pass this crazy task. I tried your recipe and got perfect macrons!!! I think i’m in shock of how easy it actually was!

    A few personal adjustments i needed to make based on where i live: i’m in BC Canada (Humidity is the name of the game here in the summer) so I left mine on the counter to “dry” for over an hour, I also only needed about 7 minutes in the oven before they started browning. This recipe is a beautiful thing and officially my new macaron recipe :)
    THank you again for sharing!! <3

    1. Hi Nicole, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! By the way, I live in Vancouver, BC! Great to get to know someone around the “neighbourhood”. :D Cheers! Happy summer!

  22. Hi Fanny! I’m going to attempt to make macarons for the first time using your recipe. Your macarons look absolutely perfect! With regard to the 1/4 granulated sugar -would it be okay to substitute it using 1/4 Splenda instead? Do you think it might/would have a negative effect on appearance or taste of the macarons? Just wonderin’. Thanks for the tips too :)

  23. My first time trying to make macaron’s and your recipe is fantastic! They came out perfect with the feet and everything! Finally found a reliable recipe I can count on! Thank you! :)

  24. I don’t mean to sounds silly, I’ve never made these before. but does the 1 cup powered sugar and 3/4 cup almond mean before or after sifting?

    1. Hi Jessie, no silly questions at all!!!! :) And it’s always good to ask. At least that’s what I keep telling my kids. :P
      The quantity is before sifting. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  25. Hi, I make macarons before, sometimes perfect sometimes not. Let me know about oven, I have a conventional electric oven and I think that’s my problem. Other thing, coloring gel (ateco or Wilton) is what I use. It is fine? What about powder color? Thanks, I will try your recipe and tips next time.

  26. Thanks for this recipe. Excited to try it. What would be the best way to get the darkest purple possible with the color pastes?

  27. Hi! Thanks for the recommendations…I can not really make blue blue blue macarons, the color always is like Tiffany blue…almost turquoise…you have any secret?

    1. Hi Francis, you could try to put Navy Blue coloring paste, or mix same amount of sky blue with violet to darken the blue. :)

  28. Made these yesterday as a test for my daughters bridal shower. They were terrific! They actually were quite high. The cookies were almost too big to fit in your mouth! I’m going to try to make them a little smaller next time and see what happens. Thanks for your recipe!

  29. Is it necessary to use almond flour/can I use regular cake flour? And is it necessary to use a good coloring paste (can I use regular, liquid?)

    1. Hi Meesh, macarons are all about nuts, but no flour. You could replace almond with ground pistachio, but again, no flour! And yes, it is necessary to use coloring paste or simply omit it to make it plain. But liquid is a big no-no. You will have to put a lot of liquid to archive the bright color effect and the liquidy batter will not work for making macarons.

  30. Thank you for posting this recipe. This was the first time I ever tried to make macarons and they came out PERFECTLY. So excited!

  31. Thanks Fanny. I’m trying to convert grams into oz now. This could be tricky! Did you notice any stickyness after thawing?

    1. Hi Diane, I’ve tried to make them in advance and freeze them unfilled. Thaw them before adding buttercream. And you are right, icing sugar is the same as powdered sugar. Hope you enjoy the recipe. :)

  32. hi i was wondering if i have to make 4 dosen how much flower? one more thing what are some other rsipes? is the only one you no ro do you no more. thank you:)

  33. Hi Lea
    Have tried two different methods to make macaroons, but as I am in the uk, when you say almond flour, do you mean ground almonds or can you actually get almond flour? My macaroons are cracking, despite tapping the tray before resting. Not your recipe, I admit, but confused, nevertheless. Will give your recipe a go, but feel my failures are technical. They taste lovely, and the texture is good, but not glossy like yours!

    1. Hi Fiona, not sure if you are leaving comment to me, cause I am not Lea! But anyhow, I hope you find my recipe helpful. :)

  34. I mean…..I followed your directions step by step and this thing was a disaster. I didnt even put my whites in the freezer and apparently every other recipe asks for room temperature. The batter was runny and mixing in the food coloring after incorporating the flour was a disaster. The cookies were runny and would not even develop that hard shell in your “15” minutes. I mean….I’m just peeved

    1. Hi Lea, the best time to divide your batter before adding color is when the almond flour mixture is added into the egg whites and they just combine. Divide your batter, add coloring paste, and continue folding until the mixture is loosened and falls like a ribbon when it’s lifted up.

  35. Hi :) I’ll be making these on my sister’s birthday this Saturday. I hope it turn out great. I just wanna ask if how am I going to divide it so I can put diff colors? Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Lea, I divide the batter by weight and put it in different bowl before I mix in the coloring paste. Hope you find it helpful! Happy birthday to your sister! :)

    1. Hi Alyssa, so glad that you liked the recipe. Yes, I guess your batter was too runny. Maybe too much beating? That’s probably the reason why it spread out and the cookies were hollow. Just make sure when you are done mixing, the batter should be lifted up and dropped like lava. Hope it helps. :)

  36. This recipe is perfect! But I have a question: whenever I tap the baking sheets on the counter, my piped out circles end up spreading out too much. Could this be because my batter is too runny? I mean, even though they sometimes look deformed, they’re still really yummy. :)

  37. Fanny — further to your recent comment: it may help clarify things to explain that what are lately fashionable in the US as “macarons” are more accurately Gerbet or “Paris” macarons, and are not what most French-speaking people, even in the US, or people who know French cooking, understand as a “macaron.” That basic French word means _exactly_ the same as the basic English word “macaroon” — light cookies of almonds, sugar, eggwhite. That’s the meaning of both words in most US and French cookbooks. The coconut variation of “macaroons” is popular in the US, and also recently the Gerbet “macaron” sandwich, but those aren’t the basic meanings of either word.

  38. Hi Fanny. I’ve seen your recipe before and adapted yours plus another’s. However, my feet are not as prominent as yours, nor does my finished macaron end up being chewy. Yes, at first they are when right out of the oven, but after a day they are all just soft and the chewieness is gone. What gives? I’ve made over 200 macarons so far and none ever turned out chewey.

    btw, my recipe is:
    90 grams powdered sugar
    70 grams almond meal
    20 grams granualted sugar
    50 grams aged (at least a day) egg whites at room temperature

    1. Hi Tony, it could be because:
      – egg whites not beaten stiff enough
      – batter too thin. batter was beaten too much that the air was taken out of it.
      – resting period is not enough
      Hope it helps. :)

    1. Hi Eric, as far as I understand, macaroons normally refer to coconut macaroons. They are often made of egg whites and shredded coconuts. You simply drop spoonfuls of the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. They can also be dipped in chocolate. In fact I just made a batch the other day, and will be posting it very soon, just in case you are still curious. :)

  39. Perfectly beautiful! My teen girls and friend made these this past weekend. They tasted good but were flat. The hints will be wonderful for them to perfect their macaroons.

  40. These cost $2.50 a piece at Whole Foods and you can get them at Trader Joe’s in the freezer for less. The color reflects the taste of the filling. It’s much better to make them yourself and choose your flavors. Thanks for all the “hints”. Kol Toov (all good tings).

  41. The tips you provided are the best! The drying tip is KEY.
    I found that the temp provided was a bit too high for me- my cookies started browning and cracking after 8 minutes at 325. I think you just need to find a temp that works best for your oven through trial and error. Next time Ill lower the temp to 310 and cook longer.
    thanks!

    1. Hi Alicia, I am so happy that you like the recipe. I did try a couple times too before I figured out the right temperature. I guess it’s always the best to stay at lower temperature instead of higher. :)

  42. Hi Vikki, glad to hear that! If the batter is overmixed or if it’s too wet (sometimes because the shells are not resting long enough before baking), the top will crack and the batter will spread. Make sure the shells are completely dry to touch before they go in the oven. :)

  43. Hi! Thank you so much for the tips, i had tried to make macarons before and it was a complete mess. This second time they came out perfect except for a few that came out cracked and spread after 10 min in the oven.. any thoughts?

    1. Hi Allison, my personal experience told me it could be because overbeaten egg whites. Try to cut down the beating time, but not compromise the stiffness of the egg whites. Hopes it helps. :)

  44. I tried this recipe and it came out absolutely amazing. I was scared throughout the making process because I had heard so many horror stories on making macarons. I still cannot believe how amazing it turned out. Thank you so much for the recipe and your tips. I can’t wait to make my next batch.

    1. Great to hear that, Anna! I know making macaroons can be intimidating, but the satisfaction after you see your perfect batch fresh from the oven, oh my god! It’s totally worth it. :)

  45. Just wondering is it absolutely no way around reducing the sugar in making the macaron shells in order to get the right texture? I found the shells to be a bit too sweet.

    1. I ask myself this question all the time too. My experience told me that it’s fine to cut a little bit sugar, but I won’t suggest to cut too much. Again. I usually lower the sweetness of the filling instead to balance the flavor.

  46. I just made these and my shells floated to one side and the “foot” flowed out. Got everything perfect to that point! I assume you bake yours in a convection oven? I think maybe that’s my problem. Dang!

    1. Hi Emily, sorry to hear that.
      A few reasons why the feet spread out:
      – the over is too hot. Turn down the temperature slightly to say 320F.
      – the batter is overmixed.
      – the piped batter is not completely dry before baking.
      Hope it helps. :)

  47. Just made these, after watching MasterChef. I thought surely I could do better than two clumsy guys. With the help of a 5 year old, these really are a test of patience and precision. Getting them all the same size is SO HARD, drawing out circles would have been pointless with my batter because it spread. Mine did not turn out so gorgeous, they are flat. I realized after tasting one with my strawberry buttercream filling (which is a delicious success) I don’t think I have ever had a macaroon, so I don’t really know what they are supposed to taste like. I was expecting more meringue and less almond I think.

  48. Thanks for these great tips. They’re practical and I like that they worked for you and would like to try your recipe and tips.
    You’re obviously pretty experienced with macs and I’m grateful for your advice.

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