Lemon Poppy Seed Macarons might just be my go-to french macaron recipe for the summer. The shells are poppy seed french macarons and the filling is a light and bright whipped lemon curd.

A side view of lemon poppy seed macarons with cut lemons next to them

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 into a tray of macarons

Ingredients for Lemon Poppy Seed 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.
  • Poppy Seeds.

Ingredients for whipped lemon curd:

  • Granulated sugar.
  • Lemon Juice.
  • Egg.
  • Egg Yolk.
  • Unsalted Butter.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream.
All of the ingredients for french macarons

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.
A close up of a lemon poppy seed macaron

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.

STEP 3: Add the poppy seeds to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

The dry ingredients mixed together in a bowl

STEP 4: In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. Add one drop of food coloring at this point, if desired. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

The french meringue in a bowl

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.

The wet and dry ingredients mixed together

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 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.

The poppy seed macarons piped onto a tray

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.

Whipped Lemon Curd

STEP 1: In a medium heat-proof bowl whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, egg, and egg yolk. The mixture should be slightly thick.

STEP 2: Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and add the butter.

STEP 3: Let the mixture cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Whisking occasionally.

STEP 4: You will know the curd is ready when a thermometer reads 180 degrees (F) or when it is the consistency of mayonnaise.

STEP 5: Remove the curd from the heat and cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap. Place the curd in the fridge until fully cooled.

A bowl of homemade lemon curd

STEP 6: In a medium bowl use a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Be sure not to overwhip.

A bowl of whipped cream

STEP 7: When the curd is cooled gently fold the curd into the whipped cream until fully combined.

The whipped cream and lemon curd folded together

STEP 8: Transfer the whipped lemon curd to a piping bag and pipe your desired amount onto the inside of a macaron shell. Sandwich another macaron shell on top.

A side view of a tray of macarons

Can I make french 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 these lemon poppy seed macarons will thaw out perfectly.

Looking down at a tray full of french macarons and cut lemons

More macaron recipes:

  • Churro Macarons– A classic french macaron shell rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with dulce de leche.
  • Cinnamon Roll Macarons– French macaron shells flavored with cinnamon and filled with swirled cream cheese and brown sugar cinnamon buttercream.
  • Mango Macarons– Beautiful french macaron filled with a creamy mango filling.
  • Sweet Tart Macarons– These macarons are filled with sweet tart buttercream and truly a dream come true!

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5 from 5 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Macarons

The shells are poppy seed french macarons and the filling is a light and bright whipped lemon curd.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: almond joy macarons, French Macaron, Lemon, lemon curd, lemon poppy seed, lemon poppy seed macarons, Poppy Seed, whipped lemon curd
Servings: 30 macarons
Calories: 92kcal

Ingredients

For Macaron 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
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

For Filling:

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (48 grams) lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 large (50 grams) egg
  • 1 large (15 grams) egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter cubed and softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream cold

Instructions

For 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.
  • 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.
  • Whisk the poppy seeds into the dry ingredients.
  • 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 Filling:

  • In a medium heat-proof bowl whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, egg, and egg yolk.
  • Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and add the butter.
  • Let the mixture cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  • You will know the curd is ready when a thermometer reads 180 degrees (F) or when it is the consistency of mayonnaise.
  • Remove the curd from the heat and cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap. Place the curd in the fridge until fully cooled.
  • In a medium bowl use a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Be sure not to overwhip.
  • When the curd is cooled gently fold the curd into the whipped cream until fully combined.
  • Transfer the whipped lemon curd to a piping bag and pipe your desired amount onto the inside of a macaron shell. Sandwich another macaron shell on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1macaron | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.9g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 4.9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Calcium: 6mg
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