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How to Make Perfect Homemade Macarons

How to Make Perfect Homemade Macarons

What’s not to love about macarons? They’re sweet, colorful and artistic. I took on the challenge of learning how to make perfect French macarons at home. With a little practice, I discovered it’s possible to make them in practically any flavor! But first I had to get the basics down to a science. Once you know how, these trendy picture-perfect cookies are very satisfying to make. I’m happy to share my tips I’ve learned for making homemade macarons!

How to make perfect homemade macarons

Rainforest Sensory Kit creative kids activity

Supplies you need to make macarons

Macaron Baking Supplies

First, you need some supplies for making homemade macarons. I had to go out and buy a food scale, flour sifter and silicon baking mats. The following baking supplies are essential for getting your batches of homemade macarons to turn out perfectly every time. I explain why each of these items is important below.

  • oven thermometer
  • food scale
  • four sifter
  • mixer (I use a hand mixer)
  • glass mixing bowls
  • baking sheets
  • icing bag and large round piping tip
  • silicone baking mats (or parchment paper)

Perfect Homemade Macarons food scale and almond flour

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Oven thermometer – Make sure your oven is set to exactly 300 degrees. Too hot will burn the macarons and too cool won’t cook them thoroughly.

Food scale – You must measure out the ingredients for homemade macarons very precisely in grams for each batch to turn out successfully. Macarons are very temperamental and can be messed up by too much liquid or moisture in the batter.

Four sifter – The almond four and powdered sugar must be sifted together twice in order to achieve the perfectly smooth macaron tops on your finished cookies.

Mixer – You will need a mixer to whip the egg whites to a perfectly fluffy consistency, which takes about 10 minutes. I use a hand mixer which works well. I would love to try this recipe with an automatic stand mixer.

Glass mixing bowls – It’s easier to clean glass more thoroughly than plastic bowls. Use a clean glass mixing bowl especially for whipping the egg whites. A plastic mixing bowl may have absorbed some oil residue, which will destabilize the whipped egg whites and cause your macaron recipe to fail.

Icing bag and large round piping tip – When the batter is ready, use an icing bag and large tip to pipe out evenly sized macarons onto a baking sheet. Apply even pressure and count to 3 (to make medium macarons) or 4 (to make large macarons).

Baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat – This setup helps macarons to set and bake evenly to achieve the perfectly round tops and lacy feet.

Homemade macarons mint and peach colors

Macaron Ingredients

  • 100 grams almond flour
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 70 grams egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tarter
  • 50 grams sugar
  • gel food coloring
  • flavoring
  • (full recipe below)

Sweet Cream Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • gel food coloring
  • flavoring

Sift the Dry Ingredients

To make homemade macarons, first measure out and sift the dry ingredients.

Using the food scale, measure out the 100 grams* almond flour and 100 grams powdered sugar. Sift these ingredients together into a bowl using the flour sifter. Each time you sift, you will end up with about 1 tbsp. of large almond flour grains which you can discard.

*I usually add 115 grams of almond flour, to make up for the discarded almond flour grains. The extra grams brings my total almond flour weight back up to 100 grams.

Perfect Homemade Macarons sift the dry ingredients

Whip the Egg Whites

Next, it’s time to whip the egg whites. Make sure you are using a perfectly clean glass bowl. Wash the bowl with dish soap and water if you are uncertain it is clean and wipe it out with a paper towel. Any grease residue left in the bowl will interfere with the stability of the egg white meringue.

Measure out 70 grams of egg whites, which will be just under 3 eggs. Carefully remove each yolk as you crack each egg. Don’t use the full 3 eggs worth of egg whites because too much liquid will throw off your homemade macaron recipe.

Measure out 50 grams of sugar.

Use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) set to medium speed to mix the egg whites into a froth. Add a pinch of cream of tarter and continue mixing. One teaspoon at a time, slowly add the 50 grams of sugar. I generally hold the hand mixer with one hand and add the sugar with the other. Take your time; adding the sugar too quickly will cause the egg whites to fall.

Once you’ve added the full 50 grams of sugar, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue mixing until the egg whites reach stiff peaks, another 4 to 5 minutes. When you’re getting close to creating stiff peaks, check often by turning off the mixer and lifting out the beaters to see if stiff peaks form.

Related Post: How to Make Freeze Dried Raspberry Macarons »

Perfect Homemade Macarons whip the egg whites

Add Gel Food Coloring & Flavoring

Once the egg whites are whipped into stiff peaks, turn down the mixer speed to medium for a few seconds and then off. If desired, add a few drops of gel food coloring* and a few drops of a concentrated flavoring or extract. Turn the mixer on medium speed and mix until the color is fully incorporated.

*using regular food coloring will add extra unwanted liquid to your macaron batter, which may cause the macarons to not rise properly or to crack on top.

Perfect Homemade Macarons mix the batter

Mix the Batter –  50 Cutting Strokes

Next, comes the tricky part of combining the whipped egg white meringue with the measured out dry ingredients. Gently scoop the whipped egg whites into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Once the egg whites and dry ingredients are all in the same bowl, take a spatula and scrape the sides of the bowl and then cut through the middle of the ingredients. Use this gentle cutting motion to fold the ingredients together for a total of 50 strokes. Maintain a gentle stirring rhythm. You will notice once the ingredients are combined, the batter will start out thick and will thin out the more you stir it.

When you reach 50 strokes of scraping the bowl and cutting through the middle of the batter, check the consistency. Dip the spatula into the batter and drizzle some into the bowl. The correct batter consistency should run like a ribbon with a lava-like consistency, and the batter edges should melt away within 10 seconds. If the edges of the drizzle don’t fully blend into the rest of the batter within 10 seconds, give the batter a few more sirs.

Perfect Homemade Macarons pipe the batter

Pipe the Macarons

Fit an icing bag with a large round tip and place the bag in a tall glass. Use the glass as support to fill the icing bag with the macaron batter. Once full, twist off the end of the icing bag and begin piping your macarons.

Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat. I discovered using a silicon baking mat easily enables me to create perfectly round and evenly baked macarons. This is harder to accomplish when I use parchment paper instead.

To make consistently sized macarons, apply even pressure to the icing bag and count to 3 to make medium macarons or 4 to make large macarons. Pipe smaller circles than the macaron size you intend to make. The macaron batter will spread out to create perfect circles on the silicon baking mat. Once you’ve piped the whole tray, gently tap the tray on the countertop a few times to release any air bubbles.

Perfect homemade macarons piped onto silicone baking mat

Dry the Macarons

Once piped, allow the macarons to dry undisturbed on the baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes. The macarons are ready to bake when they feel dry to a gentle touch.

Not drying the macaron shells before baking will cause the tops to crack.

Bake at 300 degrees

Finally comes the easy part, and the true test of your efforts! Bake your homemade macarons in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. The macarons are done when they are no longer sticky on top.

It’s so exciting to look through the oven window and see your homemade macarons perfectly rising with beautiful lacy feet!

After 15 minutes, remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet. Once cool and firm, gently peel each macaron off the silicon baking mat and transfer to a cooling rack.

Perfect Homemade Macarons baking at 300

Princess Sensory Kit creative kids activity

Fill With Sweet Cream

Sweet cream filling is my favorite filling for macarons. It’s much richer than buttercream and I think it tastes more authentic. My cooked cream filling is my own version of a recipe described by a french pastry chef. I experimented with her list of ingredients to make my own combination of sweet cream filling for macarons.

Cooked Sweet Cream Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • gel food coloring
  • flavoring
  • sauce pan
  • medium sieve
  • icing bag and large round piping tip

Heat the heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat until bubbly. Mix in the 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Add the flavoring and 1-2 drops gel coloring (optional). Briskly whisk in the cornstarch, continuing to stir for a few minutes over medium heat as the mixture thickens. Once syrupy, strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove any lumps. Chill the sweet cream in the refrigerator until fully cool and set. Scoop the sweet cream filling into a icing bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe the sweet cream filling onto each macaron shell, gently pressing a second shell on top.

Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for several weeks. You can easily defrost frozen macarons by moving them from the freezer to the refrigerator.

Oh no! What happened?

Although I have made more than 30 batches of homemade macarons, sometimes they don’t turn out! Macarons are very sensitive to moisture, overmixing, undermixing, not drying long enough, getting burned, etc. Early on in my macaron baking efforts, I experienced a variety of problems.

Problems making homemade macarons

Cracked tops – This has happened to me when I used a flavoring that had too much liquid in it. It’s important to analyze every extra ingredient you add to macarons to decide if they will throw off the delicate recipe.

Rippled tops – Sometimes macarons aren’t perfectly smooth on top due to humidity, undermixing or overmixing. The batter can be tricky to not mess up, especially when you’re trying to make multiple colors or flavors using the same batch of batter. It’s challenging to deal with dividing batter and wait times. I’ve had the most success with making single batches of macarons in a single color and flavor.

Imperfect shape – I had a hard time making perfect macarons using parchment paper. Once I switched to using a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, making round macarons was a breeze!

No lacy feet – Macarons won’t get their signature lacy feet if they are overmixed and the batter is too thin! This is just so sad, and you won’t even know about the problem until you bake them!

Reduce it to Science

I’ve had a lot of success making macarons by reducing each step of this recipe to a very precise action. It’s very important to master the following steps:

  1. Accurately measure out all the ingredients in grams.
  2. Carefully whip stable egg white meringue in a glass bowl.
  3. Gently combine the meringue into the dry ingredients to achieve the perfect lava-like batter consistency.

If you have these elements mastered, you can find a little bit of room to experiment with colors, flavors, sprinkles and accents, diving up batter into different batches, etc.

How to make perfect homemade macarons with sprinkles

Homemade macarons are delicious and beautiful! I think it’s so valuable to learn how to perfect the technique of making homemade macarons. You can make them for parties and holidays, or just to enjoy on an ordinary afternoon! Any tea party is instantly fancier when you serve macarons.

If you have a question or thoughts about your own experience making macarons, please leave a comment below.



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