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This is an in-depth beginner’s guide to homemade French macarons. This post includes a kitchen-tested recipe, plus plenty of success tips, descriptions, overview of techniques, list of tools, and links to my favorite macaron resources and other recipes on the web.

pink, purple, and aqua blue French macarons

Let me start today’s tutorial with the following:

  • Is this the one and only way to make French macarons? No.
  • Is this the most complete, perfect French macaron tutorial out there? No. 
  • Is this a great place for macaron beginners? Yes.

Like many home bakers, I was a French macaron beginner a few years ago. I started baking them after tasting the world famous Ladurée bakery macarons– talk about perfection! We originally published a French macaron recipe on my website in 2015. My homemade macarons weren’t nearly as flawless as the professional ones, but they worked for me at the time! However, the results weren’t always consistent. With 6 additional years of practice, I found a few small but very helpful improvements. Today’s recipe includes those updates.

Macaroons Are Not Macarons

Macarons and macaroons are two completely different cookies. Macaroons have an extra O in the name and are coconut cookies. Macarons are delicate sandwich cookies. Here are my coconut macaroons. See the difference? Though they are both cookies made with egg whites, they are much different.

stack of 3 pink macarons

What Do These French Macarons Taste Like?

French macarons are delicate sandwich cookies with a crisp exterior. Each individual cookie is known as a macaron shell. The shells are made without any chemical leaveners and get all of their lift from properly beaten egg whites. If you follow the recipe carefully, the cookies have a unique nougat-like, chewy texture. They should not be hollow. You can flavor macarons many ways, but this recipe is for plain macarons. They taste like sweet almond– and they’re delicious! You can always have fun with different flavorful fillings such as vanilla buttercream, lemon buttercream, salted caramel, or chocolate ganache.

If there’s one thing to know before baking French macarons at home, it’s this: these cookies require precision, patience, and practice. I’m going to do my best to prepare any French macaron beginner. You can do this!


There are a few methods for making macarons including Italian, French, and Swiss. Swiss isn’t as common (I’ve never made them that way), but Italian macarons are pretty popular. The process is a little more involved than the French method, but the results are considered more reliable. If you’re looking for a recommendation, I really like these Italian macarons found on Chelsweets.

Today’s recipe uses the French method. You need 5 ingredients.

ingredients and tools including almond flour, eggs, food scale, and sugar

Overview of Ingredients in French Macarons

EGG WHITES: The bulk of French macaron batter is meringue made from properly beaten egg whites. For best and most consistent results, I strongly recommend using fresh egg whites instead of liquid egg whites from a carton. It’s imperative that NO egg yolks make it into the recipe. Like I taught you in our Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, any fat (yolk) in the egg whites will prevent them from reaching stiff peaks, a crucial step for the successful outcome in any French macaron recipe.

  • Age The Egg Whites: It’s helpful to “age” the egg whites in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours prior to starting this recipe. Why? Egg whites that have been separated and set aside in advance have a chance to relax, which improves their elasticity during the whipping process. Elasticity is certainly beneficial when you’re trying to whip egg whites into a lofty volume. Some bakers skip this step, saying that it’s a waste of time but I’ll tell you this: most of my failed macaron batches did not include aged egg whites. I recommend taking the 5-10 minutes to separate your egg whites, cover, and refrigerate them 1 day in advance. It doesn’t hurt. Bring them to room temperature before you begin the recipe.

CREAM OF TARTAR: My old recipe doesn’t include this ingredient, but I started adding it after I began making successful batches of marshmallow meringue and chocolate swirled meringue cookies. It just provides a little extra insurance. Let me explain– the acidity in cream of tartar helps the egg whites hold onto air and, like the sugar (explained next), helps prevent the egg whites from collapsing. If you’re making snickerdoodles or angel food cake, you already have this ingredient on hand. It’s sold with the spices.

SUPERFINE SUGAR: In 3 additions, beat superfine sugar into the egg whites + cream of tartar. Without sugar, the protein molecules in egg whites will collapse. What is superfine sugar? Well, it’s regular granulated sugar that’s ground much finer, but not quite as fine as confectioners’ sugar. It’s also known as caster sugar. Superfine sugar’s granules are the best size to provide optimal structure for French macarons. Granulated sugar is simply too coarse, while confectioners’ sugar dissolves too quickly in the egg whites.

  • I have a hard time finding superfine sugar in my local grocery store, so I make my own by pulsing regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender. It takes about 10 seconds– very easy.

FINE ALMOND FLOUR: Almond flour is the ONLY flour that works in this French macaron recipe, however if you have an almond allergy– you could try these nut free macarons by Stella Parks. (I have not personally tried them.) Make sure you use almond flour, not almond meal. Almond flour is much finer and made from blanched, skinless almonds. Almond meal is coarser and contains almond skin.

  • You can make your own almond flour, but be very careful because almonds can quickly release their oils, clump up, and turn into almond butter. It might be easier to just pick up a bag of fine almond flour. It’s very common in mostly all grocery stores these days– I use and love Bob’s Red Mill brand.

CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR: Confectioners’ sugar adds bulk and sweetness to macaron batter. In this new recipe, I use equal parts confectioners’ sugar and almond flour to produce sturdy, more reliably successful macarons.

GEL FOOD COLORING (optional): Tinting macaron batter is completely optional. If you don’t tint it, the macarons will be a natural beige color. (And you can have fun with a colorful filling.) Avoid using liquid food coloring because it will change the consistency of your macaron batter. Instead, use 1-2 drops of gel food coloring.

  • In the pictured macarons, I made 3 separate batches and used dusty rose, aqua, and fuchsia.
  • Powder food coloring should be fine, but I haven’t tested it. Use a very small amount.

Crucial Tools

This list contains affiliate links to the products we personally use and love.

  1. Glass or Metal Bowls: Plastic bowls are porous and can hold onto grease and residue, which will prevent your egg whites from whipping properly. Set yourself up for success by using glass bowls or metal bowls in this recipe.
  2. Egg Separator: Not crucial, but certainly helpful. Here is the egg separator I really like.
  3. Food Scale: The recipe below is written in grams, so a food scale is imperative. Anytime I make macarons using cup measurements, they fail. You can certainly find French macaron recipes online given in cup measurements, but for true accuracy (and so you don’t waste your time, effort, ingredients, or money), I strongly recommend using a food scale. Here is the one I own and love.
  4. Electric Mixer: An electric mixer is helpful for whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks. You can use a handheld or stand mixer (whisk attachment). I do not recommend whipping egg whites by hand. It requires a lot of arm muscle and at least 30+ minutes of mixing.
  5. Fine Mesh Sieve: To obtain a shiny and smooth macaron shell, you must run the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar through a fine mesh sieve. You can use a hand crank sifter if you have one, but I prefer using a mesh one.
  6. Piping Tip & Bag: You need a piping bag and tip to pipe the batter. You can use a disposable piping bag or reusable piping bag. (I use and love this reusable piping bag.) For the piping tip, use a round tip such as Wilton 12, Wilton 1A, or even Ateco 806. I use the same piping tip to pipe the filling, too.
  7. Baking Sheet & Liner: I own, love, and swear by these half sheet pans for baking all my cookies: Calphalon rimmed baking sheets and USA Pan half sheet pan. See more of my recommended baking pans on my Favorite Baking Pans page. It’s important to line your pan. You can use a silicone baking mat, parchment paper, or even a fancy macaron-specific silicone baking mat. I usually use sheets of parchment paper.

Video Tutorial:

Step-By-Step Photos: How to Make French Macarons

Do your prep work. This includes (1) making superfine sugar with a food processor if you can’t find it at the store. I always make my own– see recipe note. Prep work also includes (2) wiping down the bowl you’ll whip the egg whites in with vinegar or lemon juice. Grease or fat prevents your meringue from setting up. And finally, (3) age your egg whites as described above and in the printable recipe below.

Making superfine sugar:

making superfine sugar with food processor

Zero out your scale, weigh your egg whites, cover, and refrigerate them for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before using.

using a food scale

Now it’s time to start the macaron batter.

Add cream of tartar to your aged room temperature egg whites (below left) and beat until very soft peaks form. This takes a few minutes of beating. At first the egg white and cream of tartar mixture will be foamy, then the bubbles will begin to tighten and the beaters will leave tracks (below right) as the egg whites build volume:

beating egg whites and cream of tartar together in a glass bowl

Now add your superfine sugar in 3 additions and beat until stiff glossy peaks form (below photos). What are stiff peaks? After several minutes of mixing in all the sugar, the egg whites will form stiff glossy peaks. This means the whites have stiff, smooth, and sharp points in the bowl or on the lifted whisk attachment/beaters. Stiff peaks do not droop down. You can literally turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites will not move or spill out. (You can watch me do that in the video tutorial.)

two photos showing egg whites beaten into stiff peaks

Now you can add your optional gel food coloring. It’s important to add gel food coloring to the egg whites directly, instead of the finished macaron batter. (Finished macaron batter more easily deflates.) Fold the coloring in very slowly. You can also beat in the food coloring with your mixer on a low speed.

whipped egg whites tinted with pink food coloring

Set your stiff egg whites aside.

Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl. The bigger the bowl, the more room you have for the macaron batter, and the easier it will be to manage. Use a spoon to help work any larger pieces through the sieve. You don’t want to discard a lot of that because then you won’t have enough dry ingredients in the batter.

sifting confectioners' sugar and almond flour together with a fine mesh sieve

Sifting guarantees a nice light texture.

sifted almond flour and confectioners' sugar

In 3 separate additions, begin slowly folding in the beaten egg whites in a circular motion. I always eyeball the amount. (Tip: The amount of egg whites you add at a time doesn’t have to be perfect because what you’re really looking for is the consistency of batter after the 3rd addition, known as macaronage and explained below.)

the stages of folding pink macaron batter in a glass bowl

After only 1 addition, the batter will be very thick and dry:

folding pink tinted beaten egg whites into almond flour and confectioners' sugar

The batter will begin to loosen up after you add the 2nd and 3rd addition:

the stages of folding pink macaron batter in a glass bowl

After that 3rd addition of egg whites, you’re at the macaronage stage. You need to keep folding and deflating air until you reach the perfect consistency.

What is Macaronage?

Macaronage is the process of working macaron batter into a shiny and flowy consistency that easily pipes into smooth macaron shells. You may have heard this term before and rightfully so– it’s a crucial step in this macaron recipe. During this stage, you want to be sure not to overmix or undermix the batter. Undermixed and thick batter can produce lumpy or hollow macarons. Overmixed and thin batter can produce cracked macarons or macarons without feet.

Balanced macaron batter after achieving that perfect macaronage is best understood through visuals. Use my video above as a guide starting at the 3:10 minute mark. The photo below should be helpful as well. Drop the macaron batter off of your spatula in the form of a figure 8. The batter will stream off of your spatula like honey and the figure 8 should take no more than 10 seconds to sink back into itself. If it takes less, your batter was overmixed and is too thin. If it takes longer, continue slowly folding the batter to deflate more air.

It’s best to go very slow so you don’t accidentally overmix.

finished macaron batter after the macaronage stage

Spoon the macaron batter into your piping bag fitted with your piping tip.

How to Fill a Piping Bag with Macaron Batter

It can be pretty difficult to fill a piping bag with macaron batter since the batter is so drippy. My trick is to use a big cup and you can watch me do this in the video above. Fit the piping bag with a piping tip, then place it in a large cup, folding the top of the piping bag around the rim of the cup. Spoon batter inside, then lift the piping bag out of the cup and twist the end to seal in the batter.

macaron batter in piping bag

Pipe the batter in 1.5 inch or 2 inch circles at a 90 degree angle on the lined baking sheet. To guarantee your macarons are all the same size (helpful for sandwiching), it helps to have a template or drawn circles on your parchment. You can find free templates online– do a quick “macaron template” internet search– or purchase a macaron-specific silicone baking mat. I usually just trace something about 1.5 inches in diameter (like a medicine bottle cap or small round cookie cutter) with a pen on parchment paper then flip the parchment over. You can see the traced circle through the parchment, which makes an easy template for uniform circles.

Or just eyeball it! I promise no one will be offended by uneven macaron circles.

piped macaron shells on lined baking sheet before baking

Bang your pan on the counter a couple times to pop any air bubbles. (You can see plenty of air bubbles before I popped them in the photo above.) Use a toothpick to pop any smaller air bubbles. Why is this necessary? Air bubbles will create cracks in your macaron shells. Pop any that you see.

Dry The Shells

There’s one more crucial step before you bake the shells. Let the piped circles sit out until they are dry and no longer tacky on top, usually 30-60 minutes. This time allows the top to firm up and form a skin, which helps the macarons rise UP and form their trademark ruffly “feet.” Your macarons will over-spread and will not have their signature feet if you skip this step. 

Do not let them sit out for longer than they need to because they could begin to deflate.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but these circles are no longer tacky on top and are ready to bake:

piped macaron batter

Bake at 325°F (163°C) for 13 minutes. All ovens are different and the actual temperature inside your oven may not match what the display reads. I highly recommend an oven thermometer.

Macarons Are Done Baking When…

As the macaron shells bake, they should form feet. To test for doneness, lightly touch the top of a macaron with a spoon or your finger (careful, it’s hot). If the macaron seems wobbly, it’s not done and needs another 1-2 minutes. If it seems set, it’s done. Basically, bake until the macarons don’t move around when touched.

Let the shells cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling. The macaron shells may stick to the parchment paper/baking sheet if you try to remove them too early. If this is happening, let them cool on the baking sheet a little longer before removing.

baked macaron shells before adding a filling

After cooling, the shells are ready to fill and sandwich together. I have plenty of filling suggestions in the recipe notes below. I usually halve my recipe for vanilla buttercream. You can spread the frosting on the underside of half of your macarons with a knife or you can use a piping bag/tip. Just use the same round tip you used for the macaron batter.

piping vanilla buttercream on a macaron shell

not hollow french macarons

Troubleshooting French Macarons

  • Hollow Macarons: It’s always so frustrating to bite into a macaron only to have it filled with… empty air. There are a few culprits leading to this disappointing outcome. If your macarons are hollow, the batter was likely undermixed or overmixed. Pay attention to the proper macaronage. Additionally, make sure you pop and air bubbles in the piped macaron batter as directed in the recipe. And finally, play around with your oven settings. The oven could be too hot or the macarons could be under-baked. All ovens are different and what some bakers find helpful is lowering the oven temperature down to 315°F (157°C) or 300°F (149°C) and extending the bake time by a few minutes.
  • Macarons Have No Feet: Avoid over-beating the egg whites and over-mixing the macaron batter. Make sure you let your piped macaron batter dry/sit out before baking. It should no longer be tacky. See “Dry the Shells” above.
  • Cracked on Top: If your macarons are cracked on top, they may have been over-baked, the batter may have been overmixed, air bubbles in the piped batter may not have been popped, and/or the egg whites may have been over-beaten.
  • Runny Batter: Your macaron batter will be runny if you overmixed it, deflating more air than intended. Macarons baked with runny batter will over-spread, aren’t likely to develop feet, nor will they have the intended chewy texture. This is why the macaronage step is crucial. Fold the batter together slowly and perform the figure 8 test a few times until you have the correct consistency.
  • Imperfect Piped Circles: Don’t get upset over this! My macaron batter is NEVER piped into perfect circles. You can even see in these photos that some are larger than others. Using a template helps, but so does practice.
hollow french macaron shells next to a perfect not hollow macaron

5 Final Success Tips:

  1. Wipe down your egg white bowl and beaters/whisk attachment with vinegar or lemon juice to rid any grease or fat residue.
  2. Use large metal or glass mixing bowls.
  3. Bake macarons on a dry day. If it’s particularly humid, the piped batter will take awhile to dry and the shells may not develop feet.
  4. Pay attention to proper macaronage, explained and shown above.
  5. Do not make any ingredient substitutions or deviate from the instructions.

So, Are These Worth the Effort?

Yes. But, of course, we all have different taste buds and levels of patience. Once you understand the process, they’re perfectly doable. And it’s a lot of fun to play around with different fillings. Have fun and don’t stress out. Even the ugly ones can be delicious. Just load them up with a filling and no one will care! 😉


Further Reading and Fun Flavors:

See Your French Macarons!

Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge! Feel free to email or share your recipe photos with us on social media. 🙂

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pink, purple, and aqua blue French macarons

French Macarons

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour (plus aging egg whites)
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 40 shells; 20 sandwiched macarons 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Description

Review this page, video, troubleshooting, and success tips and follow the recipe precisely for crisp, chewy, delicate French macaron cookies. Have fun with fillings! I provide some filling ideas in the recipe notes. We strongly recommend using gram measurements, but see recipe note if you do not have a kitchen scale.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 100 g egg whites (usually between 34 large egg whites)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract such as vanilla, almond, coconut, etc (optional)
  • 80g superfine sugar (aka caster sugar, see note)
  • 12 drops gel food coloring (optional)
  • 125g almond flour
  • 125g confectioners’ sugar 
  • desired macaron filling (some options listed in notes)

Instructions

  1. Wipe down a large glass or metal mixing bowl with lemon juice or vinegar. Add egg whites. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, then bring to room temperature.
  2. Line 3 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Add cream of tartar and extract (if using) to egg whites. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together on medium speed until very soft peaks form. This takes a few minutes of beating. At first the egg white and cream of tartar mixture will be foamy, then the bubbles will begin to tighten and the beaters will leave tracks as the egg whites build volume. Once they begin leaving tracks, you likely have soft peaks. Stop beating. Add about 1/3 of the superfine sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 seconds, then with the mixer continuing to run, add another 1/3 of the sugar. Beat for 5 seconds, then with the mixer continuing to run, add the remaining sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form. (This means the whites have stiff, smooth, and sharp points in the bowl or on the lifted whisk attachment/beaters. Stiff peaks do not droop down. You can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites will not move or spill out.) Using a rubber spatula, slowly and gently fold the food coloring (if using) into the egg whites.
  4. Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together in a large glass or metal mixing bowl. Use a spoon to help work any larger pieces through the sieve. You don’t want to discard a lot of that because then you won’t have enough dry ingredients in the batter.
  5. Slowly fold the beaten egg whites into the almond flour mixture in 3 separate additions, folding until combined before adding the next addition. After you add all of the egg whites, pay very close attention to the consistency of your macaron batter. Continue folding the batter (which deflates air) until it thins out into the consistency of honey. What’s a more helpful cue is the figure 8 test. Drop the macaron batter off of your spatula in the form of a figure 8. The figure 8 should take no more than 10 seconds to sink back into itself. If it takes less, your batter was overmixed and is too thin. If it takes longer, continue slowly folding the batter to deflate more air, then perform the figure 8 test again. It’s best to go very slow so you don’t accidentally overmix.
  6. Spoon the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip, such as Wilton 12, Wilton 1A, or even Ateco 806. The macaron batter is very drippy, so transferring to the piping bag can be messy.
  7. Holding the piping bag at a 90 degree angle over the baking sheet, pipe batter in 1.5 – 2 inch rounds about 1-2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. I usually pipe little mounds– see video tutorial above. The piped macaron batter flattens out. Bang the pan a couple times on the counter to pop any air bubbles, then use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
  8. Let the piped macarons sit out until they are dry and no longer tacky on top, usually 30-60 minutes. This time allows the top to firm up and form a skin, which helps the macarons rise UP and form their trademark ruffly “feet.” Do not let them sit out for longer than they need to because they could begin to deflate.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  10. Bake for 13 minutes. As the macaron shells bake, they should form feet. To test for doneness, lightly touch the top of a macaron with a spoon or your finger (careful, it’s hot). If the macaron seems wobbly, it’s not done and needs another 1-2 minutes. If it seems set, it’s done. Basically, bake until the macarons don’t move around when touched.
  11. Let the shells cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling. The macaron shells may stick to the parchment paper/baking sheet if you try to remove them too early. If this is happening, let them cool on the baking sheet a little longer before removing.
  12. After cooling, the shells are ready to fill and sandwich together. I have plenty of filling suggestions in the recipe notes below. You can spread filling with a knife or pipe it using the same round tip you used for the macaron batter.
  13. You can eat right away or, as some professionals prefer, cover and refrigerate them 12-24 hours so the macarons and flavors can mature. Bring to room temperature before serving. (I usually just serve them right away!)
  14. Cover leftover macarons and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Cooled macaron shells and finished assembled macarons can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature before filling/serving.
  2. Ingredient Substitutions & Weights: I do not recommend any ingredient substitutions in this recipe. Using weights (and a food scale) is the best way to guarantee success. However if you do not own one, use the following approximate measurements: for the superfine sugar, use 1/3 cup. For the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar, you need about 1 cup + 1 teaspoon each.
  3. Egg Whites: For best and most consistent results, I strongly recommend using fresh egg whites instead of liquid egg whites from a carton.
  4. Extract/Flavoring: I keep these macarons plain. Without flavoring, they have a sweet almond flavor. However, if desired, feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite extract such as almond, vanilla, coconut, lemon, etc.
  5. Make Your Own Superfine Sugar: Add 80g of regular granulated sugar to your food processor or blender. Pulse about 10-15x until granules are much finer, aka superfine sugar. Weigh 80g superfine sugar– should be about the same amount you started with.
  6. Optional Food Coloring: Tinting macaron batter is completely optional. If you don’t tint it, the macarons will be a natural beige color. Avoid using liquid food coloring because it will change the consistency of your macaron batter. Instead, use 1-2 drops of gel food coloring. (I used dusty rose, aqua, and fuchsia.) Powder food coloring should be fine, but I haven’t tested it. Only use a very small amount.
  7. Almond Flour: Make sure you use almond flour, not almond meal. It is usually labeled as “fine” almond flour. Almond flour is much finer than almond meal and made from blanched, skinless almonds. Almond meal is coarser and contains almond skin. You can make your own almond flour, but be very careful because almonds can quickly release their oils, clump up, and turn into almond butter. It might be easier to just pick up a bag of fine almond flour. It’s very common in mostly all grocery stores these days– I use and love Bob’s Red Mill brand.
  8. Macaron Filling Ideas: The pictured macarons are filled with vanilla buttercream (I prepared a half batch). Other ideas are a 1/2 batch of chocolate buttercream, lemon buttercream, chocolate peanut butter frosting, Nutella frosting, cream cheese frosting, champagne frosting, strawberry frosting, or a full batch of peanut butter frosting. Cooled and thickened chocolate ganache or cooled salted caramel are great, too!

Adapted from Les Petits Macarons and Mad About Macarons

Keywords: macarons, French macarons

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I followed this recipe exactly as written. My macarons came out perfectly! The recipe was very precise and I was shocked that they tasted almost as good as the ones which I had in Paris! If you follow the instructions you will find that they are not too difficult to make and they taste fantastic. I have always been intimidated to make these and now I have them in my repertoire!

  2. I followed the recipe very carefully the first time I made these and they turned out great! I felt so proud of myself!!I had never even tried one before but they are so amazing!

  3. Sally, I know the macarons will be difficult, but I’m committed. I’ve already put my egg whites in the fridge. I was ready to measure the dry ingredients and noticed the sugar was not perfectly clear to me. I wanted to assume it meant 80 grams. Is that correct?
    8og superfine sugar (aka caster sugar, see note)
    Callie

    1. Hi Callie! Yes, 80 grams – see recipe notes for details on making your own superfine sugar.

  4. These are some great tips for making macs! I hadn’t heard of letting egg whites sit overnight and it definitely helped! The only thing that didn’t work out for me was where you say to add the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture. I’ve always added the almond mixture gradually to the egg whites, and found doing it the way this recipe says resulted in lumps in my batter (but if I’d mixed more I think it would have been over mixed). Saved their look by decorating them for St.Patrick’s day so you can’t see the lumps. The flavor is great! I love doing these monthly baking challenges!

  5. Very easy to follow directions. Despite my imperfect circles, I’m calling my first try a win!

    I had enough egg whites for 3 batches. I flavored one with coconut, one with almond and one with vanilla. I filled them with leftover buttercream, lemon cream and chocolate hazelnut spread. My daughter says they’re sweet enough without filling.

  6. I’ll be honest. Even if I never make macarons at home, I still enjoyed reading your tutorial. Thanks for the great pictures and tips for success!

  7. OH MY GOSH! I made these today and followed your directions exactly and they came out perfect! I filled them with the vanilla buttercream. I can’t wait to make them again. Thank you for challenging me to bake outside of my comfort zone!

  8. The flavor of the cookies turned out great. Mine stuck to the baking sheet so they don’t really look presentable.

  9. I gave my niece a macaron baking kit for Christmas and it wasn’t till this week that our schedules meshed so that we could try our hand at it. AND it coincided with this month’s challenge!

    They weren’t perfect but they were delicious! We’re going to try again. We made lemon buttercream for the filling (that was my niece’s job). We danced around the kitchen when our egg whites whipped into shape perfectly.

    I sent her your recipe to read it beforehand. I have to say, the pictures in your post were not only immensely helpful but critical. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. Thank you!

  10. These turned out really nice and looked pretty. The cookie part was nice and chewy. Everything came together easily:)
    I liked the taste and so did my kids, all except one:)
    Thanks for another fun baking challenge!

  11. I always thought that making macarons was something only advanced, professional bakers on baking competition TV shows were able to make. Boy, was I wrong! This recipe was so easy to follow and made the whole process simplified and fun! My macarons turned out amazing and delish. Even my husband, who is my toughest critic, loved them!

  12. I feel like I messed up somewhere. I followed the recipe exactly and they had very small to no feet, they cracked, and they wouldn’t pop off of the sheet. I’ll be trying again because mama didn’t raise a quitter, but any helpful tips would be appreciated!

  13. Oh Sally, you are truly a gift to the world. Your recipes are so thorough and perfectly detailed. I can’t thank you enough. This recipe was perfect! I aged the egg whites just as instructed and sifted and weighed all my ingredients and they had feet! They were so good, my girls were so excited and so impressed and proud of their Momma! I wasn’t sure if they were going to come out but they did!! Thank you Sally, I won’t doubt myself again!

  14. Hi sally, I’m really looking forward to try this recipe as every recipe I’ve done from your site was a huge success especially the cheesecake recipe- it’s heavenly. I was wondering what I could do if I didn’t have any available way to get parchment paper, I really don’t want them to stick, what can I do?

    1. Hi Nick, I’m so glad to read how much you enjoy the cheesecake recipe! You do need a lined pan for these macarons– I’ve never had luck on plain nonstick cookie sheets. Don’t grease with butter. It’s best to use parchment or a silicone baking mat.

  15. I’ve been trying my hand at macarons for awhile now, but this recipe is my go-to! All the tips are super helpful to figuring out how to get the macarons quite right.

  16. Great recipe with terrific step by step instructions and video. They taste great-I just couldn’t get mine to look picture perfect. Definitely a challenge making macarons! Thanks Sally for taking me out of my comfort zone and making me try something totally new in my kitchen.

  17. What a great beginner’s guide! I made macarons for the first time yesterday using this recipe. They came out looking and tasting wonderful! Thank you for the precise directions!

  18. Hi!! I gave these macrons a whirl today. I’ve been wanting to learn how to make macrons, but they seemed too technical for me to make with any kind of success. Sally’s tips and very specific details made this baking adventure very easy! Mine baked with perfect little feet and were not hollow. I filled them with Nuttella. Delicious!

    I attempted to make the cookie strawberry flavored with some strawberry extract and colord pink with some natural food coloring gel, but the flavor of strawberry and pink color didn’t come through that well. I only added what was recommended in the recipe and was afraid that I’d ruin the cookie by adding more. Any suggestions for this?

    1. Hi Chaia, strawberry extract isn’t very potent. (I think it depends on the brand though.) You can try using 3/4 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon next time. I wouldn’t add more than that.

  19. This recipe is amazing! The work was worth it! Any beginner could easily have success with this recipe! Thank you Sally!

  20. Sally, Sally, Sally. You seem so nice, and then you assign a baking challenge for French Macrons. I believe they are the exact reason that French bakeries exist! I have been to Laduree in Paris and would gladly pay whatever they charge; rather than make these persnickety little buggers. But, I did it anyways. I must say I learned alot.
    First, do not start a macron recipe unless you are in the right frame of mind. I thought I was, but my game was off. I read through the recipe and thought I had it down – until I began whipping the egg whites. I suddenly realized that I had sifted the wrong sugar (caster) with the almond flour! So many things went wrong for me with this recipe (all on me, not the recipe). My scale is not accurate, so I used cup conversions for measurements. I left the caster sugar in with the almond flour and made up the deficit with the confectioner’s sugar. I forgot to print a template for making the correct size and just decided to “wing it”. I don’t have piping bags, so I used a zip lock bag and cut too big a hole and piped massive macrons on the first cookie sheet. I cut a smaller hole in the opposite corner and got a decent approximation on the next sheet. Cooked them on Silpat mats and the big ones were a little under baked.
    Even with all of these “issues” I must say the end result was very good. I didn’t have any hollow shells. I filled them with Stonewall Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt caramel sauce and stuck them in the fridge. They were polished off in minutes.
    Thanks for the challenge, which included an idiot-proof recipe, all the great photos & video.

  21. This is my first try at making macarons. I watched them as they baked and the developed nice feet, but once out of the oven the feet deflated a bit as they cooled. Not that I’m complaining though, because they tasted delicious and no one in my family besides me even noticed! Any suggestions for when I try this again?

    1. Hi Jessica! It may be as simple as baking them an extra minute or 2 so the feet remain a bit sturdier.

  22. I made sure to follow this recipe very carefully and was super happy with the results! I’ve never made macarons before these turned out very similar to other delicious ones I’ve tried. Reading through all directions before starting allowed me to prepare everything so making them didn’t take as long as I expected.

  23. These were so much fun to make. I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out great!!

  24. I have made these a few times now. Do take the time to make following Sally’s process. You will not regret it. I use lemon oil in the buttercream and lemon zest for the macarons themselves. Wish I could attach a photo because they are picture perfect!

    1. Hi Karen, thank you so much for the positive feedback! Your lemon macarons sound incredible. If you haven’t already, you can email us your photo at sally@sallysbakingaddiction.com. Thank you for participating!

  25. I’ve made Macs before but I am always looking out for a new recipe. I noticed right off that there was more egg white ratio to dry used then I’ve seen in other recipes but as always Sally’s recipe was well balanced. And I can’t say enough superlatives when it comes to her detailed instructions and accompanying video. Well done! My advice to first timers is to not second guess the instructions, tips and trouble shooting. It’s spot on. Macs are finicky and you can make them perfect 5 times in a row and then have a streak of not so perfect. But for me they are fun to bake and once you get the hang of them it’s so fun to play around with flavors.
    Here is a few tips that I didn’t see mentioned:
    Bake only one s cookie sheet at a time (personally this goes for all cookies)
    If you have a top element in your oven ( most electric ovens do)
    Put an empty cookie sheet on the top rack about half way that he baking time. and bake the cookies in the middle rack this will deflect some heat and keep the cookies from browning on top so you keep the vibrant colors.

  26. Amazing! Wow! These taste so good! You can definitely make these again.

    Just a few of the comments I got today after making these macarons. I followed the directions exactly as written although I did leave my egg whites in the fridge for more than 24 hours because I didn’t get the time to do it on the day I had planned. If you follow the directions as written you will have no problem wowing all your family and friends.

    For my particular oven I probably would have done 12 minutes but that could just be for me. 13 minutes made them come out a little browner than I would have liked but otherwise cooked enough and they rose like they should. Err on the side of too little mixing and test your batter regularly after adding all the egg white mixture.

    Thanks for the great recipe and clear directions. I’ve baked with your recipes before and never had a bad batch!

  27. I’ve tried quite a few French macaron recipes, and none have been so helpful and detailed as this one! LOVE how they turned out – thank you for the recipe!

    1. Quick question on flavor extracts. As I’m waiting for mine to mellow before baking, I’m going over the recipe again and did not add a flavoring because I didn’t see where to add it in the details. If choosing to flavor, in which step would you add this? Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to see outcome!

  28. I have always wanted to try these. I literally have only eaten them once before I baked them myself. I followed the recipe…i even bought a kitchen scale..lol. I almost wanted to cry when they turned out so well. Yes they weren’t all perfect…but they were perfect enough for me. I used Sally’s vanilla Butter cream and her strawberry compote recipes. I did blend the compote down to make it smooth. Thank you as always for making something so intimidating go so smoothly. My middles were chewy and outside a little crunchy. I will make these again..for sure.

  29. Delicious! We added 1 tsp of vanilla at step 3.3 to make vanilla macarons. Thanks for the tips! This recipe is great.

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