French Macaron Recipe

French Macarons

Yes, I finally did it.

Dare I say I have mastered the French Macaron recipe?

I have to be careful because if I get too cocky I’ll have an oven full of flopped meringues!

French Macarons

You know it’s funny because I’d never even heard of a french macaron way back when I was in culinary school.

These bad boys didn’t hit the scene and get really popular until about 6 or 7 years ago?

I never made them to sell in my bakery because #1~ it was just always so darned hot in that kitchen!

They would never dry! And as you’ll see the drying is a very important step in the success of the meringue cookie.

So needless to say,  I have very little experience making them professionally, but as I delved into the experimental kitchen in my off time to figure out these little mysteries,  I have certainly had my share of flops let me tell you!

But I think having one or two (or 10) flops is necessary to understand the nature of this finicky little gem of a recipe.

It’s all in the mixing of the macaronage~ the folding of the meringue into the fine ground almonds and sugar

Well, I hope in this video I am able to touch on the trouble spots you may encounter, and shed some light on the true essence of what makes a successful French Macaron.

(PS- my recipe is adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe, I have found her recipe to give the best results while not being too sweet)

I decided to make mine coffee flavor with a filling of rich chocolate ganache!

Let me just say : MOCHACCINO EXPLOSION!

These are amazing!

You can make them whatever flavor you like, and if coffee is not your style, simply omit the coffee flavor and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead!

Food coloring is optional and of course the filling is whatever your heart desires!


5.0 from 3 reviews
French Macaron Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You can use any flavoring extracts, pastes or emulsion you wish here but typically french macarons are colored to represent the flavor of the filling, not so much the flavor of the macaron itself, which is so simply ~ almond.
For example a raspberry filled macaron will be colored red and filled with raspberry buttercream
Author:
Serves: 24 Macarons
Ingredients
  • Sliced Almonds (not toasted) ⅔ cup (72g)
  • Confectioner's Sugar 1 cup (117g)
  • Egg Whites fresh- large 2 (60g)
  • Granulated Sugar¼ cup (50g)
  • Cream of Tartar ⅛ teaspoon
  • Instant Coffee Granules 1 Tablespoon
  • Water 2 teaspoons
  • ¼ Recipe Ganache
Instructions
  1. In a food processor grind the almonds finely for about 1 minute
  2. Add the confectioners sugar and continue to grind for another 30 seconds to 1 minute
  3. Press the almond mixture through a fine sieve and help it along with a spoon
  4. Return the mixture to the food processor and grind again
  5. Repeat the sifting and grinding until you are left with no more than 2 Tablespoons of course nut particles in the sifter, discard those particles.
  6. Place the room temperature egg white in the mixer bowl and whip on high speed until frothy, then add the cream of tartar
  7. Whip until the meringue starts to get white and frothy and gains strength and volume, then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whipping on high speed until a thick, glossy firm peaked meringue is achieved.
  8. Add the flavoring
  9. Add the almond flour/sugar mixture all at once and fold into the meringue as per the video instruction~ this is the macaronage.
  10. The batter should flow like lava after approximately 30-40 strokes.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a coupler and no tip and pipe 1" diameter circles spaced 2" apart.
  12. Let dry in a cool spot from 15 - 60 minutes depending on the conditions in your room.
  13. They should be dry to the touch
  14. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 13 minutes
  15. Cool completely and fill with ganache
  16. I sprinkled cocoa powder on top of mine.
  17. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days
For chocolate variation:
Take out ¼ cup confectioners sugar and replace it with ¼ cup unsweetened coco powder, proceed as normal as stated in the recipe and the video

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86 Comments

  1. wow, they look so good. I have never made these before, I am not new to baking but very new to these, I am very intimidated by these lol. But your video is very good at showing each step and how it should look all along the way.
    Thank you Gretchen and I will give them a try

  2. Hi Gretchen! Huge fan of yours I must say:) One quick question about this recipe, I have store bought almond flour. Can I use this? And if so, would it be the same measurement as the almonds as in 2/3 cups of almond flour? Looking forward to your reply as I am eager to try this out:)

  3. I have tried and tried to make these! I attempted your recipe from the other site a few times. Nothing! I will be back at it now. I have eaten all the duds they did not go to waste. Lol. I look forward to starting my quest again for the perfect macaron.

  4. Look forward to all UR email recipes, videos, and blog….I’m 75 and these recipes are all new to me. I love making them and my husband loves eating them Thank you so much for taking time to send them
    Gloria

  5. Hi Gretchen, Thanks for all that you continue to do for the home baker. The macaroons look
    beautiful just like you. Did you sprinkle ground coffee on top of the macaroons?
    How much fresh culinary lavender would you suggest using instead of the coffee?
    Keep up the good work. A fan Anna from Southern California where it is also humid

    1. thankyou! I used cocoa powder!
      Hmm, lavender has to be used sparingly to avoid it tasting like soap- so I will say try 1 Tablespoon and a drop of violet- ohhh they will be so pretty!

  6. Hi Gretchen
    Boy I can attest to what you have said about these little gems. I have had my share many many times of the big old floperroo. And even have almost gave up on them at times. But persistence (or is it stubbornness) kept me at it and the rewards were well worth all the flops. My friends and customers love them. This is a great cookie to test your creative side not to mention your stamina. Keep up the good tips and recipes. Have learned a lot from you. Leonard at Lenny J’s Desserts & Cookies

  7. Gretchen on step eight, add the flavoring, I stopped for a moment to re-read the recipe and watch your video. I realized you mixed the water in the recipe with the instant coffee granules and used that as the flavoring. Without the video I was confused about when the water was to be used. Thank you for this great recipe. I can’t wait to make these. Love everything I have made with your recipes. The éclairs recipe filled with your awesome pastry cream and dipped into Ganache were a big hit! Thank you, thank you and did I say thank you. 🙂

  8. Gretchen, Thank you for another very informational video. I have been wanting to try making Macarons, and now I have been inspired to give it a whirl.

    I also want to thank you for all of the recipes your share. I have made several and always get great compliments from all who are lucky enough to get a taste.

  9. Hi Gretchen

    Thank you for sharing your recipe for French macarons. Like you I wouldn’t go there with these bites but eventually developed my own recipe which works for me. I find my home kitchen in the very best place to keep them while forming the skin before baking. It speeds up the process so you can get them into the oven more quickly. I appreiciate you have an industrial kitchen so may be it would not be the right conditions for them. I’m gonna try your recipe, thanks again!

  10. Hi Gretchen. I live in Colorado. Do you think your French Macaron Recipe would work at High Altitude? I have been trying to make macarons many times, but they’re always hollow. Thank you

  11. Gretchen,
    Like many others I have tried various recipes for these. After numerous flops I gave up; as I really am someone who hates to waste product. Then I noticed a class on French Baking at one of our local schools. I inquired as to whether macarons were in the curriculum and they were only to happy to add it. The class is in tomorrow. I will let you know how I make out, hopefully I will get enough hands on experience and confidence to try again. I know my friends, family and customers will really appreciate these beauties. Thanks again for your generous sharing of time and knowledge.
    eileen
    ps: If it doesn’t work out will Crystal Moore tell me where her cookie exchange is taking place??? lol

  12. Hi Gretchen-

    I made your delicious macarons today. I know they are tricky and I didn’t expect them to be perfect but do you have any idea why I didn’t get that foot on bottom that macarons are known for? I sifted twice, tapped pan a few times and dried for an hour. Also, with just a few minutes into baking first pan, it smelled like they were burning so I turned the oven down to 325 (my oven is gas only, no convection option). Thanks for your help.

    1. well the foot is the signature of a perfect macaron. I noted 2 incorrect looks in the video – 1 overmixed and 1 undermixed so you can decide which one your was leaning more towards and then adjust for next time.
      As for the oven – I cannot say. Are you having trouble with anything else baking too fast too browned etc?

  13. Thank you Gretchen for sharing the video. I’ve always been afraid to make these. I could see myself flopping and wasting so much product. Huge fears!! Lol
    You have now relieved them. I’m excited to give this a try and I WILL perfect it the first time!! Fingers crossed! 😉
    You are one amazing lady (chef) :))

    1. good question! thanks! It depends on your filling actually. If you have to refrigerate whatever you put inside, then yes- these little cookies do very well inside fridge or outside, its the filling you have to worry about!

  14. I too was thinking of making these for a Christmas cookie exchange, they are so special. However I read that their shelf life is only 4 days. What do they do after the 4 days and are they still edible?

  15. I love your stuff. But if you don’t mind me saying that the old ones in your bakery were much better. I liked it that it was with no cuts, and I was able to do it with you now I’m messing up because it’s not (live) real!

  16. Hi Gretchen! I’ve been baking macarons for quite some time now and i just started in a commercial kitchen. We have commercial ovens by Blodgett and I’ve been baking at 250F for 30 minutes. I’ve tried higher temps but they brown way too quickly. Any suggestions? I also have some days where the tops are super thin and soft to where they crack easily and some days where they’re hollow. I’m lost!

  17. Hi Gretchen

    I just made these delicious macaroons and they turned out perfect. I used granulated almond flower (store bought) instead of making my own (I had some left from before). I realized that one of the most important steps is the “drying” time. If they are completely dry befor baking, they will turn out just awesome!
    Thanks for all your great recipes. I’ve been following you for 3 years now and I love your baking! Can’t wait to share them with my colleagues tomorrow:)

  18. Hi
    I may sound a bit strange but Gretchen your receipe are just great but being a vegetarian I want to try all your receipes which has egg
    So can I use meringue powder hear for the above receipe in place of eggs
    Kindly suggest

    1. Hi Thanks! I plan to do many more vegan recipes in 2016 for now here is the entire list of what I have so far CLICK HERE

      Also I have plans to master the art of aquafaba, if you have not yet tried this CLICK HERE

      But re: Meringue Powder- Meringue powder is a pasteurized egg product – “dried egg whites with stabilizers and anti-clumping agents such as cornstarch”.

  19. Hi Gretchen,
    When baking the macaron, should I bake one cookie sheet at a time or can I do two sheet pans at one baking? Top and bottom racks, and if two sheet pans, should I rotate the pans after so many minutes?
    Thanks again will be waiting to hear from you..
    Mahalo from Maui
    Bruce

    1. I bake both at once, but yes I had to rotate pans since I didnt use the convection setting which circulates heat and air so much better. Id say once you see the top pan start to bake faster than the bottom (which is typically the case in my oven) you can switch them (half way through?)

    1. any spice works great in macarons, also green tea infusions. It depends what you are using to omit or keep the water, as you see here it was needed to dissolve the coffee but not change the consistency of the macaron batter

  20. Hii gretchen
    I tried this recipe n m glad to say i nailed it at 1st alltempt itself just coz of u . U explained so well that i dont think it could hve fail nyways . U r simply fantastic . Xoxoxoxo

  21. Hi Gretchen,
    Is this recipe affected by altitude, I have been wanting to try this but I just recently moved to the mountains where the altitude is 5100 feet above sea level. I haven’t tried baking yet but I’m told altitude plays havoc on baking recipes. Thanks for any help!

  22. hi Gretchen.can i use pasteurized egg whites???i made your SMBC with pasteurized egg whites and it was deleicious!!!

  23. In your Macroon recipe Can we use aquafaba in place of egg whites and if yes please can you say how much quantity of aquafaba and also do we need to add cream of tartar if yes what will the quantity of cream of tartar

  24. Thanks for the absolutely awesome video on this one Gretchen. I just made a batch of these and they turned out really well.

    The only thing I noticed is that I must have taken them off the parchment paper too soon as some of them ended up with slight cracking on top. Should I have sprayed the paper before putting the batter on it?

    1. Hi dan! I saw them on FACEBOOK! they looked great and I love the “what’s in the pantry idea!”
      I thought (maybe not) I mentioned in the video or written? that I freeze the entire pan after baking and they remove like a dream

  25. Hi Gretchen! I love your recipe but when I omit the coffee and add gel paste color, baking them at 350 for 13 min seems to cause overbrowning. They dont stay true to color and brown too much. Any tips on making brightly colored macarons?

    1. Hey there, thats odd, since I wouldnt expect any drastic changes with what you named. Try to lower the oven temp as soon as you put them in (start 350 but them go immediately to 325) see if that helps, as far as bright? add more color (I think!)

  26. Gretchen can I make this Macraron recipe less sugar. I’m one of your follower since the Crumboss. I learn a lot from you. Thanks
    anhonhuynh

    1. Hi Thanks! it will change the result if you take out some sugar, recipes are balanced by the ratio of ingredients, so you cannot just take out a portion of the recipe and expect them to come out good, you may be surprised (if you have not yet made this recipe?) they are less sweet than typical macaron recipes

  27. Hi Gretchen, I’m allergic to almonds/nuts. Do you know of a macaron recipe that substitutes that?

    Thank you!

  28. Hi Gretchen, I have a customer who wants poppy seed macarons to fill with salmon. What do you suggest? Can I add poppy seeds to my macaron batter? I use the Italian meringue method for my shelves.

    1. Yes I saw the picture you attached in the facebook message. I answered you there, but yes your recipe will work just add the poppy on top (or to the batter whichever you prefer – but based on that picture it looks like they added it to the tops only)

  29. Hi Gretchen,

    This looks amazing. I would like to try it but only found ground almonds at the store. Should I use the same amount?

  30. Hi Gretchen. Thank you SOOOO much for this recipe! Your recipe and how you show and explain it in the video is by far the best I’ve seen! I looked at a few others to compare and after those few just knew there wasn’t going to be a better one. My first try came out pretty good except I overbaked mine a bit. My family loved them! 🙂 Half of them only made it to filling and only ’cause I hid them. Lol!

  31. I would love to try making the macarons but I don’t know what I’m to look for on the almond package. How do I know the almonds are not toasted or blanched or do I want blanched almonds?

    1. Blanched means no skins, so that would be fine. I have used skin on before and skin off it is purely preference
      The package will say what each one is, I typically buy nuts NOT TOASTED and they also sell almond flour which is also acceptable (and almost superior) here

  32. Thank you so much for this recipe! The taste is amazing but I just had one question, although they tasted good the tops were a little crunchy and cracked. Is that a sign of undermixing or baking to long?

  33. Hi Gretchen to make chocolate flavour, I shoud take out 1/4 cup confectioner sugar (29 gr) and how much cocoa powder should I add in grams? Thanks in advance

  34. Hi,
    I made your macaroons recipe today it taste amazing just like the ones we buy (maybe a bit sweeter) but it had so many cracks and when I piped it, it was a bit runny. Can you pls tell me what I did wrong?

  35. Hi Gretchen Thank you very much for sharing such good recipes with us . today I tried your Macaroons recipe but it didn’t go well . firstly it remained flat after baking and didn’t become thicker as yours after baking. Secondly it got stick with parchment paper and even after keeping in freezer for 10 min it didn’t come out . When I tried to take out from parchment paper macaroon cracked as it was so thin . What went wrong.? Can you suggest .

    1. HI there thanks and you are welcome too! I know this can be a tricky recipe, as I mentioned in the post as well as the video. Be sure to watch the video again as I try to explain with the best visual how to not OVERmix or UNDER mix the batter. Sounds to me like you overmixed if they were too flat and cracked, I did say you wil most likely have to try again (or even again and again! LOL) until you get it perfect! SO dont be discouraged and go for it again!

  36. Hi Gretchen
    I hope you’re well.

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial. A few questions before I attempt:

    -If using ground almonds, should I remove 2 Tablespoons from the amount in the recipe? Asking because you said to discard the coarse 2 tablespoons of almonds while grinding.

    -I’m planning a unicorn and dragon themed party for my twins’ first birthday. I have plenty of ideas for unicorn fillings. Any suggestions for dragon themed ones? Or even for unicorn ones.

    -Can I freeze the macarons after assembling them? And if so, for how long?

    I am also making your red velvet cake for a dragon cake. Not decided on the unicorn one yet.

    Since babies are allergic to dairy, I will also make some of your vegan recipes for them. The babies should eat their own birthday cake! 🙂

    Thank you so much. I will try this recipe out and post the results to your Facebook page (only if they’re good, haha!)

    1. Thanks! Not necessary to use less almond meal (its lighter and wont make a big difference)
      Yes to freezing the macarons airtight container for up to 1 month
      Im not a very avid decorator as recipes are more my thing, good luck on the dragon and unicorn cakes!

  37. Hi gretchen
    thanks for your amazing delicious recipes, i had a question what is confectioner sugar ? is it icing sugar ? the mixture of sugar and corn starch ?
    i asked this question because my English is poor , i don’t want to make mistake on the recipe .
    thank u soooo much , you have the best recipes thet i have ever seen in the Internet.

  38. Thanks for a great recipe it turned out perfect , if i want to make pistachio macrons how much pistachio meal should i add to this recipe ?

  39. Hi, Gretchen,
    i’ ve been following you since about 2 years and OMG any of your recipes are great.
    Well, i am planning now to start a small bakery in my city and yes, i will definitely use some of your recipes and all of your tips.
    Can, pls, tell me what should be the baking time of macarons in a professional convection oven?
    Thank you

    1. awesome congrats! Use a lower temperature (about 25°F lower) and do a test batch for sure when you get your new oven to determine the time – it may be slightly less or the same

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