French Macarons are beautiful little cookies that have a crispy exterior, a chewy interior, and a delicious filling. They come in a variety of colors, flavors, and fillings so they can appeal to anyone! In this post, I'll be going over the process I use step-by-step, as well as my favorite tools and all my best troubleshooting tips!
I think that people assume French Macarons are hard to make. I wouldn't say that they are hard so much as tricky. Macarons are tricky because the weather can have a big effect on them and every little thing you do has to be done in a very specific way.
If you love this macaron recipe be sure to check out some of my other favorite recipes like Strawberry Macarons, Chocolate Ganache Macarons, or Lemon Poppy Seed Macarons.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Macarons are so beautiful!
- They are versatile. They are a blank canvas so you can easily add different colors, flavors, and fillings.
- The textural difference between the crunchy exterior and the soft, chewy interior makes for a perfect bite.
- They provide a baking challenge. They require more work than your normal cookie, so they will test your baking skills.
- Macarons will impress anyone! They are my favorite dessert to break out when I want to impress a crowd.
- Powdered sugar will aid in the flavor and structure of the finished macarons.
- Be sure that you are using almond flour and not almond meal.
- Having your egg whites at room temperature will make it easier to whip them.
- Granulated Sugar will give structure to the beaten egg whites.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- The egg white can be replaced with aquafaba to make these macarons vegan. The proportions will not be the same.
- There are endless variations for macarons and you can find a lot of them in my macaron recipes!
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
STEP 1: Combine the powdered sugar and almond flour in the bowl of a food processor.
STEP 2: Pulse the powdered sugar and almond flour until fully combined and rid of lumps. Don't do this for too long or you will make almond butter.
STEP 3: Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
If you don't have a food processor you can sift the ingredients together.
STEP 4: 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.
STEP 5: 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.
STEP 6: 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.
STEP 7: Add the french meringue to 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 overfolded. 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.
STEP 8: 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.
STEP 9: Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks onto the prepared cookie sheet.
STEP 10: 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.
STEP 11: 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.
STEP 12: 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, baking 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.
STEP 13: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
STEP 14: Peel off of the mat and fill with your desired filling.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use an oven thermometer. Most ovens run either hot or cold. Using an oven thermometer ensures that you are baking your cake at the perfect temperature.
- Weigh your ingredients. One of the most common baking mistakes that I see is measuring incorrectly. The best way to get accurate measurements every time is to weigh them with a kitchen scale.
- Bake on a day that isn't humid. Humidity can really affect french macarons, so baking on a day that isn't humid will give you the best chance at your end product coming our perfectly.
Recipe FAQs and Troubleshooting
This means the batter was not folded enough. You need to press more of the air out of it next time.
This means that the batter was folded too much. Try using a few less folds on it next time.
This means the temperature was not evenly distributed around your cookie sheet. Try using a thicker cookie sheet or stack 2 cookie sheets.
This means your oven was too hot. Play with the temperature of your oven and try an oven thermometer to get your temperature just right.
This means they were not cooked long enough. Add 2-5 minutes to the baking time next time.
This could mean a couple of things. There might have been large air bubbles that you didn't pop. They also might not have rested the shells for long enough. Add 30 minutes to the resting time next time. They also may have been mixed too much.
The shells were probably over mixed. They also might not have rested for long enough.
This means the oven was too hot.
The tools you use are such an important part of french macaron success. These are my tried and true products for making macarons.
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer or Kitchenaid Hand Mixer. A mixer is an absolute must for making macarons. You have to make a meringue and a mixer is the best way. Which mixer I use depends on the size of the recipe. If I am making the recipe above, I use a hand mixer. If I am doubling or tripling this recipe, I use a stand mixer.
- Oven Thermometer. Oven temperatures are usually off and having the correct temperature is crucial for macarons. I use this oven thermometer all the time and it has helped my macaron baking a ton!
- Food Scale. I use a food scale every time I bake, but I think it's even more important to use with macarons. With how finicky they can be it is so important to get the ingredient amounts exactly right each time.
- Food Processor. A food processor isn't an absolute need for macarons, you can just sift the dry ingredients together, but I like to make sure dry ingredients are as combined and smooth as possible. Processing and then sifting ensure I won't have any problems with unwanted lumps.
- Silicone Spatula. Folding is the most important part of macarons. It can make or break your final product. I use a silicone spatula that is curved, to get every little bit in the bowl, and stiff, so I can apply the exact amount of pressure I want.
- Piping Bag. You can definitely use a plastic bag if you don't have a piping bag, but I highly recommend using one. I prefer a reusable piping bag like the one linked, but Wilton also makes disposable bags.
- Piping Tip. I use a piping tip every time I pipe macarons. It makes the final product much more consistent than just cutting the end off of the bag. This tip is the perfect size for macarons and is always my go-to.
- Macaron Silicone Baking Mat. I have talked about silicone baking mats before, but I cannot recommend them enough for making macarons. If you're serious about making great macarons you need these stenciled mats. For the life of me, I cannot pipe even macarons (I got called out by my head chef in pastry school for this). Before I had these stenciled mats I would have macarons of all different sizes. This would drive me nuts and was totally unacceptable for the french macarons that I was selling. These mats changed the game. They have stencils of different sizes, so you can pipe different sizes as needed.
- Cookie Sheet. For a while, all of my macarons came out lopsided. It took me forever to realize that it was because of the cookie sheets I was using. They were thin and didn't circulate the heat evenly. Cookie sheets like this work fine for other things, but they are detrimental to great macarons! I bought the ones linked above and haven't had that problem since!
Macaron shells can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. I wouldn't recommend this, though, because they can become stale quickly.
If stored correctly in an airtight container french macarons will last up to 1 week in the fridge.
Macarons freeze and thaw extremely well and can be frozen in an air-tight container for up to two months.
More Recipes You'll Love
- 1 ⅔ cup (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour
- 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or you can use parchment paper if you don't have one.
- Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and almond flour 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.
- 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. 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 anything 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 3-5 minutes. 13-15 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.
- The provided nutrition information is an estimate. The calorie accuracy is not guaranteed.
- Bake on a day that isn't humid. Humidity can affect your macarons negatively.
Megan Palmer says
After trying another recipe and totally blowing it, this French macaron recipe was amazing!! Easy enough for me to follow and looked perfect! The taste was incredible
My first time making macarons And they turned out just like the photo! The troubleshooting tips are awesome because the first batch came out a little undercooked (couldn’t remove smoothly from mat) and I put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes and it saved it! Can’t wait to try other receipes.
ive had my fair share of mac fails but i love this macaron recipe because ellie makes it so much easier with all the process photos and tips! will DEFINITELY be making again!
Carrie Harrison says
I tried macarons at least 6 times unsuccessfully before finding this website. Now my macarons turn out every time. I am so grateful To ellie for saving me from more disappointment.
Ellie Haley says
My heart!!! This made me so happy I don’t even have the words to tell you!
Ellie's macarons turn out every time! she was so helpful when i was trying to figure out this french treat! A true baking gem! Thank you!
Ellie Haley says
I’m blushing! Thank you!
So ive tried so many macAron recipEs and they have all failed me until this reCipe and i get same results EVERY TIME!!! They look picture perfect always but sometimes i will get batches of Hallow Macs and i haven’t been abLe to fix the issue, do you know what I could be doing wrong? Thank You so Much for this amazing recipe!