Earl Grey Macarons have a french macaron shell that is flavored with earl grey tea and a honey-flavored American buttercream. These macarons taste just like you're eating a cup of tea!
What is Earl Grey Tea?
Earl Grey tea is a black tea that has been flavored with bergamot oil. Bergamot is a type of orange, so this tea has a slight citrus flavor. It's distinct and bright flavoring lends so well to any baked goods (like my Earl Grey Scones) but I think it pairs especially well with the sweet and delicate flavors of french macarons.
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!
Ingredients for Earl Grey 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.
- Earl Grey Tea Leaves. I buy Earl Grey Tea bags and cut them open, but you can also use loose leaf tea if that's what you prefer.
Ingredients for honey 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.
- Honey. You just need plain honey to flavor the American buttercream.
- 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.
- 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.
How to make Earl Grey Macarons:
STEP 2: Cut open the tea sachets and pour the tea leaves into a food processor. Pulse the food processor a few times until the larger tea leaves are broken up.
STEP 3: 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.
STEP 4: In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. If desired, Add one drop of food coloring at this point. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
STEP 5: 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.
STEP 6: 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 7: 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.
STEP 8: 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 9: 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 10: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. They should peel off the mat easily.
STEP 11: When the macarons are cooled peel them off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.
Honey American Buttercream
STEP 2: Add the honey and 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: If the buttercream is too thick add the heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
How to Assemble Earl Grey Macarons:
STEP 1: Transfer the American buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip.
STEP 2: Pipe your desired amount of frosting on the inside of one macaron shell. Place another macaron shell on top.
STEP 3: Repeat with remaining macarons.
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 french 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.
More Macaron Recipes
- Key Lime Pie Macarons- French macaron shells drizzled with white chocolate and filled with whipped lime curd.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Macarons- Macaron shells sprinkled with peanuts and filled with peanut butter buttercream and a dollop of jelly.
- Watermelon Macarons- These fun macarons are filled with watermelon buttercream or watermelon ganache.
- Blue Raspberry Macarons- Nostalgically flavored blue raspberry macarons.
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Recipe originally posted November, 2019 and updated May, 2021
Earl Grey Macarons
- 1 ⅔ cup (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour
- 4 Earl Grey tea satchets
- 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
- 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or you can use parchment paper if you don't have one.
- Cut open each of the tea sachets and pour the contents into the food processor. Pulse the food processor a few times to break up any of the bigger leaves.
- Add the powdered sugar and almond flour and pulse until fully combined and rid of lumps. Sift the combined dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you do not have a food processor you can just sift the ingredients together.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed with a hand mixer until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. If you want to add any food coloring, do it now, but use it sparingly or you will make the meringue too liquidy.
- Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold. The batter should be fully combined and not streaky. When you are able to make a figure 8 with the batter in one motion, the batter is ready (more information on this process in my French Macaron Recipe). If it is too runny it has been over-mixed.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks on to the silicone mat.
- Tap the cookie sheet on the countertop 3 or 4 times to get rid of any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
- Allow the macarons to rest for an hour or until the tops of the macarons have dried. You will be able to gently run your finger over them without anyting getting on your finger.
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees (F).
- Place the macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet and bake for another 5 minutes, rotate the pan one last time and bake for 5 minutes. 15 minutes in total.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- If the macarons were baked correctly they should easily peel off of the silicone mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until very soft and fluffy.
- Add the honey and half of the powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.
- Add the rest of the powdered sugar and the heavy cream and beat for 5-6 minutes or until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- If the buttercream is too thick you can add more heavy cream.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe the desired amount of buttercream onto the inside of a macaron shell. Sandwich another macaron shell on top.