Aren’t macarons one of the cutest cookies ever? Their cheerful colors and pretty ruffled edges, called “feet,” are so elegant and dainty. Each macaron is a masterpiece of precision, patience, and practice!
With only five basic ingredients, macarons are deceptively simple to make. These classic meringue cookies take a lot of practice to make perfectly, but are well worth the time and effort required to make them.
I encourage you to weigh your ingredients instead of using measuring cups for a much more accurate measurement. Follow the tips and instructions below to ensure your macarons turn out great! If you’d like more information on macarons or need some troubleshooting, check out this awesome article from Marie at Food Noveau.Print
Learn how to make French macarons with these step by step instructions. This recipe will teach you how to make mini strawberry macarons with just a few ingredients!
For the Macaron Shells
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (200g)
- 1 1/3 cups almond flour (110g)
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (50g)
- Gel food coloring (optional)
For the Strawberry Buttercream Filling
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (115g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted (200g)
- 1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
Making the Macaron Batter (35 minutes)
- Ensure that the egg whites are at room temperature. This step is very important, as it helps the meringue be more voluminous. See the recipe notes for a tip on speeding up this process.
- Sift the icing sugar and almond flour together into a broad bowl, discarding any large pieces of almond flour left in the sieve. Repeat this process one or two more times until the mixture is lump-free and very well combined. Set aside.
- Place the room-temperature egg whites in a large, grease-free stainless steel mixing bowl. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until foamy, then add in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating between each addition.
- Once all the sugar is added, keep whisking on medium-high speed until the mixture just holds stiff peaks. Check this by lifting the beaters from the meringue and holding them upside down. The meringue on the beaters should hold its shape in a stiff peak, with a slightly curled tip standing up tall and proud. You also should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out of it. Be careful not to under or overmix!
- Carefully fold in the gel food coloring with a silicone spatula. Use a little more than you would like, as the color will lighten once the almond-sugar mixture is added.
- Gently pour in the sifted almond flour and icing sugar mixture and carefully fold it in with the spatula. The mixture will deflate some, which is what we want, but be gentle. Keep folding until the mixture is smooth and perfectly well mixed. Most importantly, the mixture should fall in a smooth ribbon without breaking when the spatula is lifted from the mixture. You should also be able to make a complete figure 8 with the batter; if not, keep folding a little longer and test again. This process is called macaronage. Stop as soon as the batter is ready; under or over mixing here is potentially fatal! It’s better to be a little undermixed than overmixed.
- Gently spoon the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch or 1 centimeter round tip, twisting the top of the bag to seal.
Piping & Resting the Macarons (15 minutes + 20-40 minutes resting)
- Line three large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pipe 1-inch circles of macaron batter in rows onto 2 of the prepared trays. Hold the piping bag at a 90-degree angle to the tray and lift it straight up when you finish piping each macaron. Space the macarons about 1 1/2 inches apart. If there are little tips on the top of the macarons from piping, just smooth them with a lightly damp finger.
- Hold the cookie sheet about 10 inches above the countertop and drop the tray onto the counter. Repeat this 3-5 more times. This knocks out large air bubbles from the macarons, improving the chances of a better bake.
- Let the macarons rest uncovered at room temperature for about 20-40 minutes. Test them by lightly touching their tops with your finger. The macaron batter shouldn’t stick to your finger. If it does, let them rest a little longer. Depending upon the humidity in the room, the resting time could take an hour or longer. Don’t skip this step, though, or the macarons won’t have the delightful ruffled edge, called a “foot,” when they are baked.
- About 5 minutes before the macarons are done resting, preheat the oven to 275 F.
Baking the Macarons (about 16 minutes baking + 5 minutes cooling per tray)
- Bake the macarons at 275 F in the middle of the oven for about 16 minutes. Only put one tray in at a time, and check them periodically during the bake to see if you need to rotate the tray. If the macarons show any signs of browning, turn down the oven temperature by 10 degrees. (While the first tray is baking, pipe the third tray of macarons. It can rest while the second tray is baking.)
- Test the baked macarons by lightly tapping on the ruffled edge, or “foot,” of the macarons. It should be perfectly crisp and not even a little bendy or soft. The tops of each macaron should also be crisp.
- Let the baked macarons cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then carefully peel them off the parchment and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Making the Strawberry Buttercream (10 minutes)
- Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the strawberry jam, then taste. Adjust the amount of icing sugar and strawberry jam to suit your tastes, making sure that the icing is a light pink and has a good strawberry flavor.
- Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and twist the top of the bag to seal.
Filling & Chilling the Macarons (25 minutes + recommended 24 hours refrigeration)
- Pair similar-sized macaron shells together.
- Pipe a small blob of icing onto the center of a macaron shell, then gently press on the top shell until the filling almost reaches the edges of the macaron.
- The macarons can be eaten immediately, but their flavor improves after 24 hours of refrigeration. Store the macarons in an airtight plastic tub in the fridge for up to a few days. Bring the macarons to room temperature before serving.
- For best results, ensure that the egg whites are least a day or two old. To get the most volume out of your meringue, the whites should be thick (not runny!) and must be at room temperature.
- In a hurry? Warm up your egg whites faster by putting them in a large spotless, grease-free stainless steel mixing bowl. Set the bowl of egg whites in a broad bowl filled with hot tap water. Let the whites sit like this until they’ve warmed up to room temperature.
- Every oven behaves differently. My oven works well at 275 F for these mini macarons, but experiment with temperatures from 285-315 F to see what’s best for you. It’s better to bake the macarons at a lower temperature for a longer time, as a higher temperature bake them too quickly.