Brown Butter Macarons have a classic french macaron shell and a delicious brown butter American buttercream filling.

a close up of two brown butter macarons on a small plate

Macarons are one of my favorite things to make, but they are definitely tricky. They have a mind of their own and one wrong step in the recipe can totally change the end result. BUT they are also so fun to make, a major win when you get them right, and delicious no matter how they end up looking.

That being said, it is so possible to master macarons. I compiled a Step-by-Step Macaron post with all of my best tips and tricks for making the best macarons possible. It has all of the steps and tools that I use every time I make macarons and I can promise you it will get you closer to being a macaron master!

looking down on several small plates of french macarons

What is macaronage?

In order to make french macarons, you have to do a process called macaronage. This is where you fold the wet and dry ingredients together in order to achieve a smooth, shiny, and flowing mixture. A good way to tell if you have done the macaronage stage correctly is if you can hold up the spatula and draw a figure 8 with the mixture without it breaking off.

a stack of three macarons, one has a bite out of it

Ingredients for Brown Butter Macarons

INGREDIENTS FOR FRENCH MACARONS:

  • Powdered sugar. This will aid in the flavor and structure of the finished macarons.
  • Almond flour. Be sure that you are using almond flour and not almond meal.
  • Egg whites. Having your egg whites at room temperature will make it easier to whip them.
  • Granulated Sugar. Sugar will give structure to the beaten egg whites.

INGREDIENTS FOR BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM:

  • Powdered Sugar. This will sweeten and firm up the icing.
  • Unsalted Butter. We will brown the butter before making the buttercream.
  • Heavy Cream. This will bring the buttercream together and make it creamy.
all of the ingredients needed for this recipe

Macaron Tips

  • If possible, make your macarons on a less humid day. You will need to rest the macarons for longer and they might not turn out as well on a humid day.
  • Don’t over mix the batter. You only need to macaronage until you can make a figure 8 with the batter. If you over mix the macarons will spread too much.
  • Wipe the bowl down with vinegar before adding the egg whites to whip. Even a speck of leftover dish soap or fat (egg yolk, butter, etc.) will inhibit the egg whites from whipping up properly.
  • Let the macarons rest before eating. Macarons are best when they have matured for 12 or so hours. So after you fill the macarons, let them rest overnight for the best flavor.
two brown butter macarons on a small plate

How to make Brown Butter Macarons

FRENCH MACARONS

STEP 1: Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

STEP 2: In a food processor add the powdered sugar and almond flour and pulse until fully combined and rid of lumps. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor you can just sift the ingredients together.

the dry ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP 3: In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. Add one or two drops of food coloring at this point, if desired. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

the french meringue beat to stiff peaks

STEP 4: Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold with a silicone spatula. This process is called macaronage. You will know the batter is ready when the ingredients are fully combined and not streaky. You should be able to hold the spatula above the bowl and draw a figure 8 smoothly without the batter breaking off. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks onto the prepared cookie sheet.

the wet and dry ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP 5: Firmly tap the cookie sheet onto the counter 3 or 4 times to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles. Dust the tops with your desired amount of sanding sugar.

STEP 6: Let the macarons rest for an hour. There needs to be a dry layer on the top. You should be able to run your finger over the top without any transferring to your finger.

the macarons a silicone mat before being baked

STEP 7: Preheat the oven to 280 degrees (F). This is the temperature that I have found works well for my oven, but you may need to play around with the temperature.

STEP 8: Place the french macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, bake for another 5 minutes, and rotate the cookie sheet again, bake for 5 minutes. 15 minutes in total.

STEP 9: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. They should peel off the mat easily.

STEP 10: When the macarons are cooled peel them off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.

a stack of three brown butter macarons

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is unsalted butter that has been cooked down so the water in the butter evaporates and the milk solids in the butter turn brown. It gives the butter a nutty taste and smell. Adding brown butter to dishes in place of regular butter will amp up the flavor.

Brown butter sounds fancy, but it is very simple to make. You will learn how to make brown butter below!

Brown Butter Buttercream

STEP 1: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

STEP 2: After the butter has melted it will start to get foamy and make crackly noises, this is normal. You can stir the butter occasionally, but you don’t need to do it constantly.

STEP 3: Little brown bits will start to form at the bottom of the pan and the butter will take on a more orange color. It will start smelling nutty.

STEP 4: Let the butter continue to brown for about a minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. This whole process should take about 5 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to a bowl and place it in the fridge until soft.

a pot of brown butter

STEP 5: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is very soft and creamy.

STEP 6: Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.

STEP 7: Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.

STEP 8: If the buttercream is too thick heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

How to Assemble Brown Butter Macarons

STEP 1: Transfer the brown butter buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. I use this bag and this tip

STEP 2: Pipe your desired amount of icing onto the inside of one macaron shell.

STEP 3: Sandwich another macaron shell on top.

two macarons on a small plate

Can I make macarons ahead of time?

For sure! I make macarons ahead of time pretty often and they always still taste amazing. If I am making macarons more than a day before I want to serve them I freeze them. They will freeze well for about two weeks. Just pull them out of the freezer about an hour before you are ready to serve them and they will thaw out perfectly. These Brown Butter Macarons are no exception!

a close up of a french macaron

More Macaron Recipes

looking down on two macarons

More Macaron Recipes From Kitchen 335

  • Snickerdoodle Macarons– a classic french macaron shell sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and filled with vanilla buttercream.
  • Matcha Macarons– a classic french macaron shell flavored with matcha tea and filled with a matcha American buttercream.
  • Champagne Macarons– a classic macaron shell topped with sanding sugar and filled with champagne buttercream.
  • Red Velvet Macarons– a classic french macaron shell that is flavored with cocoa powder and dyed red then filled with a rich cream cheese buttercream.
macarons on a plate

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5 from 1 vote

Brown Butter Macarons

Brown Butter Macarons have a classic french macaron shell and a delicious brown butter American buttercream filling.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: American Buttercream, brown butter, brown butter macarons, French Macaron, Macarons
Servings: 25 macarons
Calories: 109kcal

Ingredients

For French Macarons:

  • 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups (200 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour

For Brown Butter Buttercream:

  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk

Instructions

For Macarons:

  • Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat. I highly recommend a silicone mat of some kind, but if you don’t have one then you can also use parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour, and matcha until fully combined and rid of lumps. Don’t do this for too long or you will make almond butter. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor you can sift the ingredients together.
  • In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. You can use a stand mixer for this, but I prefer a hand mixer or an immersion blender with a whisk attachment for a batch this small. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. If you add the sugar too fast you will deflate the meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form. This is when you pull the beater out and the meringue stands up with a slight curve. It should not fall or jiggle too much if you move the beater. If you want to add food coloring, do it now, but add it sparingly or you will make the meringue too liquidy.
  • Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold with a silicone spatula. This process is called macaronage. You will know the batter is ready when the ingredients are fully combined and not streaky. You should be able to hold the spatula above the bowl and draw a figure 8 smoothly without the batter breaking off. A good way to test if the batter is ready is to place a very small amount in your piping bag and pipe it onto your mat. If the batter is stiff and does not spread at all, then it is not ready. If the batter immediately runs out, then you have over folded. The batter should spread slightly and the tops should even out (there shouldn’t be any little tips sticking out), but it should not be runny.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Firmly tap the cookie sheet onto the counter 3 or 4 times to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
  • Let the french macarons rest for an hour. There needs to be a dry layer on the top. You should be able to run your finger over the top without any transferring to your finger. If it is really humid outside this process will likely take longer.
  • Preheat the oven to 280 degrees (F). This is the temperature that I have found works well for my oven, but you may need to play around with the temperature to find what works best for your oven.
  • Place the macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, bake for another 5 minutes and rotate the cookie sheet again, bake for 5 minutes. 15 minutes in total. The macarons should not have any color to them, and they should peel off of the mat easily.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • If the macarons were baked correctly they should easily peel off of the silicone mat.

For Brown Butter Buttercream:

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
  • After the butter has melted it will start to get foamy and make crackly noises, this is normal. You can stir the butter occasionally, but you don’t need to do it constantly.
  • Little brown bits will start to form at the bottom of the pan and the butter will take on a more orange color. It will start smelling nutty.
  • Let the butter continue to brown for about a minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. This whole process should take about 5 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to a bowl and place it in the fridge until soft.
  •  In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is very soft and creamy.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.
  • Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
  • If the buttercream is too thick heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Brown Butter Macaron Assembly:

  • Transfer the brown butter buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. I use this bag and this tip
  • Pipe your desired amount of icing onto the inside of one macaron shell.
  • Sandwich another macaron shell on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1macaron | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 1.4g | Fat: 4.7g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 14.6g | Calcium: 1mg
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