Crème Brûlée Macarons are the perfect combination of two of the most delicious desserts: Crème Brûlèe and French Macarons.

Looking down on a group of Crème Brûlée Macarons

These macarons have a classic french macaron shell that has been brushed with sugar and nicely brûléed for a crunchy top. The filling is a vanilla bean American buttercream.

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!

A close up shot of one french macaron

Ingredients for Crème Brûlée Macarons:

Ingredients for french macaron shell:

  • Almond Flour. Be sure that you are using almond flour and not almond meal.
  • Powdered Sugar. This will aid in the flavor and structure of the finished macarons.
  • 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.
  • Water. This will help the sugar stick to the outside of the macaron shell.

Ingredients for vanilla bean American buttercream:

  • Unsalted Butter. I always make sure to use unsalted butter when baking because there is no “standard” for the amount of salt they can add to butter. So if you add salt to a recipe and then use salted butter you could end up with a very salty end product.
  • Powdered Sugar. See above note.
  • Heavy Cream or Milk. This will help bring the buttercream together and make it creamy. You can substitute for non-dairy milk.
  • Vanilla Bean. If you don’t have a vanilla bean you can just use vanilla extract.

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.
Crème Brûlée Macarons from the side

How to make 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 mixed together in a bowl

STEP 3: In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

The egg whites whipped 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 macaron mixture 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.

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.

Macarons piped onto a baking sheet

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 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.

Vanilla Bean American Buttercream

STEP 1: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is very soft and creamy.

STEP 2: Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.

STEP 3: Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes.

Step 4: Cut the vanilla bean in half long ways and scrape the seeds out of center. Add the vanilla bean seeds and the heavy cream and beat until full combined.

STEP 5: If the buttercream is too thick add the heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

The vanilla bean american buttercream in a bowl

How to assemble Crème Brûlée Macarons

Step 1: Use a small food-safe paintbrush or a clean finger to apply a small amount of water on the top of one macaron shell. Make sure you do this very lightly with a small amount of water or it will make your shells soggy.

Step 2: Dip the wet shell into granulated sugar. Shake off any excess.

Step 3: Use a kitchen torch to burn the sugar until golden brown. Allow to cool and repeat on remaining macarons. You only need to do this on half of your macaron shells.

STEP 4: Transfer the American buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip.

STEP 5: Pipe your desired amount of frosting on the inside of one macaron shell. Place the crème brûlée macaron shell on top.

A group of Crème Brûlée Macarons in a baking dish

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 Crème Brûlée Macarons are no exception!

More macaron recipes

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5 from 3 votes

Crème Brûlée Macarons

A classic french macaron shell topped with brûléed sugar and filled with vanilla bean buttercream
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: American Buttercream, creme brulee, creme brulee macaron, French Macaron, macaron, vanilla bean, vanilla bean buttercream
Servings: 30 macarons
Calories: 88kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen torch

Ingredients

For Shells:

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

For Buttercream:

  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Assembly:

  • water as needed
  • granulated sugar as needed

Instructions

For Shells:

  • Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat (my favorite baking sheet for macarons and favorite silicone mats for macarons). I highly recommend a silicone mat of some kind, but if you don’t have one then you can also use parchment paper.
  • 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.
  • In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. You can use a stand mixer for this, but I prefer a hand mixer 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 spread out too much.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip (this is my favorite for macarons). 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Peel each macaron shell off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.

For Buttercream:

  • In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is very soft and creamy. The butter needs to be really soft or your buttercream won’t be as fluffy as it should be.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.
  • Cut the vanilla bean in half long ways and scrape the seeds out of center. Add the vanilla bean seeds and the heavy cream and beat until full combined.
  • If the buttercream is too thick add the heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

For Assembly:

  • Use a small food safe paint brush or a clean finger to apply a small amount of water on the top of one macaron shell. Make sure you do this very lightly with a small amount of water or it will make your shells soggy.
  • Dip the wet shell into granulated sugar. Shake off any excess.
  • Use a kitchen torch to burn the sugar until golden brown. Allow to cool and repeat on remaining macarons. You only need to do this on half of your macaron shells.
  • Transfer the American buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. 
  • Pipe your desired amount of frosting on the inside of one macaron shell. Place the brûléed shell on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1macaron | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.2g | Protein: 1.2g | Fat: 3.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 12.2g | Calcium: 1mg
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