desserts

Easy French Macaron Recipe (With Troubleshooting Guide)

French macaron is a delicate and delicious cookie that is sure to WOW all your loved ones! This easy French macaron recipe will help you make a perfect batch of these dainty almond cookies!


These cookies can definitely seem finicky at first but once you get a hold of the technique, you are going to love making them every single time. The trick to making perfect macarons is patience and following the recipe EXACTLY!

It might take a few tries before you get a batch of perfect looking macarons, with feet and without any hollows or cracks. But even during all your tries, worry not if your cookies don’t look as they’re supposed to, they will still taste totally delicious!


P.S. – Sorry for the long article ahead, but I just feel that every recipe is unique and I want to share as much information as I can from my experience.

TL;DR – Jump to Recipe (however I recommend going through the tips and troubleshooting guide first.)


WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE


TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECT MACARONS



1. Sift Almond Flour Multiple Times



Even though most brands call it “super-fine”, you still need to pass it through a sieve at least 2 times to make it even finer. While you pass it through a sieve, you’ll see some particles that do not pass through on their own, do not force them down by pressing or trying to break them. Just discard those particles! NOTE: This step is very important and should not be skipped if you want your macarons to have a smooth top with no cracks.

2. Sift Almond Flour And Icing Sugar Mixture Together As Well


Most times, confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar has lumps and we need to get rid of that. We want almond flour and icing sugar to be superfine and completely mixed with each other, so it is imperative you sieve them at least 2 times as well.

3. Use Aged Egg Whites

This step is not a must do but I have tried making macarons both with and without aging egg whites and I could tell the difference.

To age egg whites, place egg whites in a clean glass bowl, cover it with a plastic wrap, prick some holes on top and let it hang in the fridge for at least 24 hours. This process dehydrates the egg whites which, as a result, creates a very stable meringue, perfect for macarons!

4. Use Egg Whites At Room Temperature

You shouldn’t use cold egg whites for making macarons, it will just not result in a very stable meringue. So, about 1 hour before making macarons, take out your egg whites from the refrigerator and place them on the counter to let them come to room temperature.

To speed up the process, soak the vessel holding the egg whites in warm water. Be very careful not to let any water get into the egg whites.

5. [IMP] Beat Egg Whites Till Very Stiff Peaks


Having a strong meringue is one of the most important steps to making macarons. So just get this – YOUR MERINGUE NEEDS TO HAVE VERY STIFF PEAKS. It should have a consistency like marshmallow fluff. Your peaks shouldn’t bend from the top, they should stand completely upright. Yeah, they should be happy – OK, let’s call them happy peaks!

6. Add Food Coloring After Soft Peaks Are Achieved


The reason for this step is that you want your food coloring to be fully incorporated in the meringue. So, if you add your food coloring after you’ve achieved stiff peaks, mixing the egg whites any further will only cause them to split and be ruined. Hence, add your food coloring once soft peaks are achieved and then continue to beat your meringue till stiff peaks.

7. Use Gel Food Coloring To Add Color To Your Macarons


Liquid food coloring can increase the amount of moisture in your batter, thereby disrupting the wet to dry ratio. Hence, it is always recommended to use gel food coloring for adding color to your macarons.


8. [IMP] Macaronage – Get The Right Consistency Of The Batter


Macaronage is a step when we mix the dry ingredients with meringue and fold the batter until perfect lava-like consistency is achieved. This step can make or break your macarons! And trust me, it will take a few tries before you fully understand what this “lava-like” consistency should be, but I’ll try my best to explain this process in depth here.

9. Dry Your Macarons Before Baking


After you’ve piped your macarons, don’t put them in the oven to bake right away! First, you need to let them sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes so more so that a dry skin forms on top of them and if you gently touch their tops, your finger remains clean. If they’re still wet after 45 minutes, then let them dry a little longer.

10. Understand Your Oven’s Actual Temperature

So you might have followed all the above mentioned tips – you beat your egg whites till “happy peaks” stage, you folded the dry ingredients into your meringue and got a batter with lava-like consistency, you even let them dry till a skin formed on top of them, but they still cracked or became hollow or didn’t develop any feet!! Well, that’s because your oven temperature wasn’t really what it was showing. It was either too high or too low. Therefore, as I always say, having an oven thermometer always makes the things more foolproof.

MACARONAGE

So what is Macaronage, after all?
The process of folding stiff meringue into the almond flour mixture in order to form a thick and smooth batter is called Macaronage. When you begin the folding process, at first, the batter will look quite rough and dry but as you continue folding, it will start to become silkier, with a glossy shine and begin to flow off the spatula in a slow and steady drizzle.


The thing we need to keep in mind is that we need to deflate some of the air bubbles from the meringue. So the process I follow is gently folding in all of the flour mixture into the meringue first (in parts of course), and then I begin pressing the batter against the surface of the bowl to deflate some air bubbles. Continue this process of folding and deflating until you get the lava-like consistency we talked about.

Some people give the exact number of folds needed to reach that consistency, but I’ve experienced that temperature and humidity also play an important role here. If it’s humid outside or the temperature is warm then you will reach Macaronage faster than on a cold day. So, really, you only need to understand your batter – continue folding and deflating until it tells you to stop! You’ll see it become shinier and luscious with every fold.

The real trick to test if your dough has the right consistency is taking some batter on your spatula and letting it drop. If the batter falls in a ribbon-like flow and you can make the figure “8” without the ribbon breaking, then voila, your batter is ready!


Once the batter falls in a ribbon-like flow, count till 20 and the trail should start merging back with the rest of the batter.

MACARON TROUBLESHOOTING


1. Why Didn’t My Macaron Feet Develop?

Feet may not develop due to a couple of reasons. If your shells weren’t dried enough before they were baked, or if your batter was too wet, or if your oven temperature was too low, then your macarons won’t have that beautiful feet. Let’s see the fixes below:


FIX –
  • Before baking your macaron shells, always gently touch their tops to see if no batter sticks to your finger and your shells are dry enough. If little batter still sticks to your finger, then let them dry for longer.
  • A wet batter is usually a result of humidity and temperature of your surroundings. Try to have a fan or a dehumidifier near your work surface if it’s either too hot or too humid. Another reason for having wet batter is using liquid food coloring. This can totally affect the ratio of wet to dry ingredients in the batter. That’s why I always advise on using gel based food coloring.
  • If none of the above scenarios happened to you, then your oven temperature was too low. Increase the temperature to allow feet to develop properly.

2. Why Are My Macarons Hollow?

Hollow macarons are a result of poorly beaten or broken meringue, or not reaching the macaronage stage while folding. Let’s see the fixes below:

FIX –
  • Under whipping or over whipping the egg whites – If you under whip the egg whites then your meringue will just not be dry enough and will still have a lot of moisture. If you over whip the egg whites, then your meringue will break! Make sure you check from time to time while whipping your egg whites and stop the moment stiff peaks are achieved.
  • Improper Macaronage technique – Macaronage can take a while to master, so worry not and keep practicing. All you need to do is keep checking if your batter falls off the spatula in the form of a ribbon and if you’re able to form the figure “8” without breaking the ribbon. You’ll get there!

3. Why Did My Macaron Shells Crack?

Macaron shells crack if excess air is trapped inside them, if the oven temperature is too high, or if you have a weak meringue. Let’s see how to fix the cracked macaron shell problem:

FIX –
  • Rapping the tray against the counter multiple times after piping is very important. This is the very last step, don’t skip it. Look at all the hard work you’ve done- you followed the instructions precisely, even perfected the Macaronage technique, but forgot to release air bubbles by rapping your tray! And this tiny mistake can ruin all your hard work! So, just don’t skip it, okay? In fact, I’d say rotate your tray and rap it from each side.
  • There can be hot spots in your oven that you might not be aware of. That’s why I always recommend on using an oven thermometer while baking.
  • I can’t stress enough how important beating your meringue till very stiff peaks is. Having a weak meringue is the reason for a lot of problems.

4. Why Are The Tops Of My Macarons Too Brown?

The tops of your macarons can become too brown if your oven temperature is too high or your shells are too close to the heat source.

FIX – Turn down oven temperature and bake them for longer. I also prefer to keep my baking tray on the last rack to ensure that the shells are not too close to the heat source.

5. Why Do My Macarons Have Points or Nipples?

Macaron shells can have unattractive looking nipples or points due to an under-mixed batter.

FIX – Next time fold your batter a little longer and keep checking for lava-like consistency.

6. Why Does My Batter Keep Getting Thicker While Folding?

This can happen due to incorrectly measured ingredients, over whipping the meringue or gel food color being corrupted or expired.

FIX – It is always recommended to use a kitchen scale for weighing out all the ingredients correctly. Macarons are finicky cookies and approximating the ingredients just won’t do it.

7. Why Is My Macaron Batter So Runny?

Macaron batter can be runny due to under whipped meringue or because of over-folding the batter during macaronage stage. Your batter should not fall off the spatula very fast, it should be a thick and slow flowing batter like honey.

FIX –
  • Beat your meringue till very stiff peaks.
  • Keep checking the consistency of your batter constantly during Macaronage stage. Check out this video to see How to Properly Fold Macaron Batter.

8. Why Are My Macaron Shells Sticking To The Pan?

Your macaron shells will stick to the pan if your batter was too wet or due to under-baking.

FIX – Check the consistency of your batter to make sure it’s not too wet or runny. If you under-baked your macarons, then bake them for longer next time.

9. Why Are My Macaron Shells Crunchy And Dry?

Macaron shells can be crunchy and dry to to over-baking.

FIX – You can brush the bottom of your shells with some milk. Then fill your macaron with your favorite filling and let them mature in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They will soften up! But for next time, make sure to decrease your baking time.

FAQS


1. What is the Difference Between a Macaron and a Macaroon?

The two might sound similar but are completely different cookies. Macaron is a light meringue based cookie, usually sandwiched between a buttercream or a ganache layer. Macaroon, on the other hand, is made from sweetened coconut flakes, egg whites, and sugar. It tastes more like a snowball cookie.

2. What is the Difference Between French and Italian Macarons?


Both are basically two different techniques of making macarons. In the French meringue method, sugar is gradually poured into egg whites as they are whisked and the egg whites are beaten till stiff peaks. On the other hand, in the Italian meringue method, sugar is first heated with water to make a sugar syrup, which is then added to the whipping egg whites. In this method, we don’t get stiff peaks.

Both methods yield the same delicious chewy cookie, but if you’re trying to bake macarons for the first time then this French meringue method is the easier one!

3. Can you Make them on Parchment Paper?

Yes absolutely! I love making my macarons on parchment paper. Silicone mat can be a bit sticky for macarons. They work, no doubt, but it might be a little difficult to take out your macarons from it. Don’t use wax paper or butter paper though.

4. Do we Need Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is a stabilizing agent which helps to stabilize egg whites. It’s not mandatory to add Cream of Tartar though. You can even use lemon juice or vinegar as a substitute. Replace every 1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar with 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar.

Step-By-Step Video Guide to Making Macarons

Make sure to check out this video for a step-by-step guide to successfully make macarons. From perfectly stiff meringue to the right Macaronage technique, you’ll see everything in action!

Easy French Macaron Recipe

  • Servings: 18 MACARONS
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients


Macaron Shells

  • 94 g Super-fine Almond Flour (1 cup)
  • 90 g Powdered Sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 66.66 g Egg whites, aged and at room temperature (around 2 eggs)
  • 56 g Sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1/16 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • White Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 5 oz White Chocolate Chips
  • 87 ml Heavy Whipping Cream (0.4 cup)
  • Directions

    1. 24 hours before making macarons, separate egg whites and place them in a clean glass bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and prick a few holes on top. Let the egg whites hang in the refrigerator overnight.
    2. Next day, take out the egg whites from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before using.
    3. Pass the super-fine almond flour through a sieve 2 times. Don’t force the big particles through the sieve and simply discard them.
    4. Sieve icing sugar as well to get rid of all the lumps.
    5. Next, sieve the almond flour and icing sugar mixture together 2 times. This ensures that both almond flour and icing sugar are mixed together completely and are free from any lumps. It is important to sieve the dry ingredients multiple times as directed.
    6. Start beating egg whites. Once they’re a little frothy, add cream of tartar and continue beating until big bubbles start disappearing.
    7. At this point, start adding sugar, 1/3rd part at a time and continue beating.
    8. When soft peaks stage is reached, then add food coloring. NOTE: It is recommended to use gel based food coloring.
    9. Continue beating until very stiff peaks are achieved. The peaks should not bend from the top at all and should stand upright completely.
    10. Add 1/3rd of the dry ingredients into the meringue and fold until they are just combined.
    11. Repeat the previous step 2 more times, to incorporate all the dry ingredients. The batter will be dry and rough at this time.
    12. Continue folding the batter and press it against the surface of the bowl from time to time. The reason for doing this is that we want to deflate some air bubbles.
    13. When the batter starts becoming smoother and glossier, begin checking the consistency of your batter from time to time. We’re looking for a thick honey-like consistency and the batter should fall off the spatula steadily forming continuous ribbons.
    14. Once the consistency is achieved, check if you’re able to form figure “8” without breaking the flow. And the trail should start merging with the rest of the batter in 20 seconds. If yes, then your batter is ready!
    15. Have a prepared baking sheet ready with 1.25 inch diameter circles drawn. Pipe the macarons a little smaller than 1.25 inch.
    16. Rap the baking tray several times by rotating it on each side in order to release all the air bubbles.
    17. Let the macarons dry for 45-50 minutes. To check if they’re dry enough, gently touch the top of the shells and no batter should stick to your finger.
    18. Preheat oven at 315 F for 25 minutes.
    19. When ready to bake macarons, lower the temperature to 290 F and bake on lowest rack for 14 minutes. Do not open oven door during this time.
    20. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
    21. Prepare White Chocolate Ganache filling (or any other filling) – Heat cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Pour it over white chocolate chips and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then stir until the chocolate is fully melted and a silky smooth mixture is formed. You can also use an immersion blender to get an even smoother finish. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
    22. Assembly – Once the macaron shells are completely cool, pipe your filling onto the back of half the shells. Form a sandwich using the rest of the shells. Macarons should be aged in the fridge for 1-3 days for best results. This allows the filling to soften the shells inside.

    Notes

    • Sift! Sift! Sift the dry ingredients several times to ensure there are no bigger particles. We want the mixture to be as fine as possible.
    • I can’t stress enough, the MERINGUE NEEDS TO HAVE VERY STIFF PEAKS. When you’re about to reach this stage, you will see it have a thick marshmallowy consistency and the meringue will start to fill up the whisk.
    • The batter should have the right consistency during the Macaronage stage. It should have a thick honey-like flow.
    • Using a weighing scale is highly recommended.

    Nutrition


    Serving: 1 Macaron; 35 calories; 4 g fat; 1 g carbohydrates; 0.2 g protein;0 mg cholesterol; 1 mg sodium; 1 g sugar.

    Made this recipe?

    Email us your photos and we’ll share it on our blog and social media.
    Or tag us on instagram @itsasweetsweetworld and use hashtag #itsasweetsweetworld !

    Like the recipe? Pin it!

    46 replies »

    1. This a well written and detailed recipe. I love macaron and never had thought to make it. I will bookmark this, thanks for sharing. Cheers

      Like

      • When you let your egg whites chill in the refrigerator for a couple of days, itโ€™s called aging egg whites. And the reason it works is because this lets the egg whites dehydrate more, which is what we want in order to get a really stable meringue.

        Like

    2. I tried macaroons once and I failed. I am thrilled that I found this great recipe with the troubleshooting guide so that I can finally make them right!

      Like

    3. These macarons look really perfect. However, I prefer to color them with nature’s dyes like pistachio for green and raspberries for red etc. Albeit, yes, it takes more time ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

    4. Those are some amazing macaroons. I have made macaroons handful of times but never achieved that finish. I have saved the recipe. I will be making them soon.

      Like

    5. I really love these Macarons but haven’t ever had this….this recipe looks so delicious and tasty and sounds much easy to make…am truly going to try this as soon as possible…great work though…glad you shared this with us…

      Like

    6. This is one of my frustration when it comes to baking. I cannot perfect the shape, thanks for this I will try it.

      Like

    7. These macarons looks absolutely yummy – I also like how it’s presented, the color is just too cute! I tried making them – first time, it was kind of dry. Glad to find my answer to this post!

      Like

    8. I love baking but have never attempted making macarons. Your troubleshooting guide has answered every concern I’ve ever had so I will definitely be trying this over the summer.

      Like

    9. These look so good. I really love how you answered all the questions on how to get it right. I will try it out sometime.

      Like

    Leave a Reply to delhifundos2014 Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s