French Macarons are one of my favorite things to make. They are tricky, but so fun and so dang rewarding when you get them right. You can click here for my post with all of my best tips and tricks for making perfect French Macarons. These Earl Grey French Macarons are one of my favorite flavors to make, they taste just like you’re drinking a cup of tea!
The shells are flavored with Earl Grey tea leaves and they are filled with a light and fluffy honey-flavored Italian Buttercream. You can find my in-depth post about Italian Buttercream here.
If you’re not a fan of Earl Grey tea you could use any kind of tea leaves that you like or have on hand. I love the taste of Earl Grey and think it pairs perfectly with the sweetness of macaron shells, but the type of tea is easily changed!
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For in-depth “whys” and “howtos”, skip to the end of this post!
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Earl Grey French Macarons
- 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 2/3 cup (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour
- 4 Earl Grey tea satchets
- 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (38 grams) water
- 1 large (38 grams) egg white
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter softened and cubed
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
- 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 260 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 3 minutes. 13 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 a small saucepan, combine the 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the water.
- Place over high heat and cook to soft-ball stage (235-240 degrees F) Read more in-depth about this in my Italian Buttercream Recipe. Do not stir.
- While the sugar cooks, fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. Pour egg whites in the bowl and whip on medium until the eggs get frothy. Slowly add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites.
- Turn the mixer to high and whip until stiff peaks form. If the meringue is done before the sugar, turn it down to the lowest speed.
- When the sugar is ready keep the mixer on the lowest speed and very carefully and slowly pour the sugar down the side of the bowl into the meringue.
- When all of the sugar is added turn the mixer to high and mix until the outside of the bowl has cooled down and is just warm.
- Start to add the cubes of butter slowly, about 1 every ten seconds, while continuing to whip the buttercream.
- Continue to whip on high for about 10 minutes or until it is the desired consistency.
- Add the honey and whip until combined
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe the desired amount of buttercream onto the inside of a macaron shell. Sandwhich another macaron shell on top.
Earl Grey French Macarons
- 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.
- Cut open the tea sachets and pour the tea leaves into a food processor (I used this one). Pulse the food processor a few times until the larger leaves are broken up.
- Add the powdered sugar and almond flour and pulse 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 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 260 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 3 minutes. 13 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 off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.
Honey-Flavored Italian Meringue Buttercream
- In a small saucepan combine the 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the water. Place over high heat and do not stir. You need to get the sugar to soft-ball stage. Read more about this in my Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe.
- Using a stand mixer (I have this one) fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they start to get frothy. Slowly add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites.
- Turn the mixture to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. If the meringue is done before the sugar mixture, then turn the mixture down to the lowest speed until it is ready.
- When the sugar mixture is ready keep the mixer on the lowest speed and VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the meringue. If you pour the sugar too fast or onto the whisk in the center of the bowl it might fling the boiling sugar back at you.
- When all of the sugar mixture has been added (it’s okay if some is stuck to the side of the bowl) turn your mixer up to high. The bowl of the mixer will be hot. Beat the meringue until the bowl feels warm.
- Start to add the cubes of softened butter slowly, about 1 every 10 seconds, while continuing to whip the buttercream.
- Continue to beat the buttercream for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add the honey and whip until well combined.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe your desired amount of buttercream onto the inside of one of the Earl Grey French Macarons shells. Sandwich another macaron shell on top of it.
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