Fear not, the French Macaron! These tiny cookies have a reputation for being both extremely tasty and temperamental. Here, I break them down step-by-step with my tried-and-true French Macaron recipe, and lay out my best macaron baking tips! This classic French Macaron recipe is the base for all of my macaron recipes. It pairs perfectly with my vanilla buttercream recipe.


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French Macaron, pale pink French Macarons on marble countertop
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Demystifying the French Macaron

French Macarons are really having a moment. Chances are, you’ve seen a macaron, tasted a macaron, or at least heard about how difficult macarons are to make.

First of all- it isn’t entirely true that macarons are “difficult” to make. Yes, there are many things that could go “wrong” or at least shake out less than perfectly, BUT- there is no part of this process that you cannot do.

Next- just because macarons take a little practice, doesn’t make them difficult. The first time you make macarons may not be the best batch you ever make, but the same could even be said for chocolate chip cookies! There’s a first time for everything, and practice makes progress. Everyone has to start somewhere!

Simplifying the French Macaron

Let me just say it- It’s a cookie, people. I think sometimes we, bakers, forget that. And we’re scaring people.

There’s no shortage of talented bakers and macaron makers showcasing their skills on the internet, and writing recipes. However, I do think there’s a big opportunity to create one comprehensive, detailed, and easy-to-digest French macaron recipe. One that is both approachable for beginners, and insightful for seasoned bakers.

That’s where I come in!

Making the French Macaron

You. Can. Do. This.

Don’t be discouraged by the length of the recipe. I wanted to create a very detailed, step-by-step guide that any beginner could follow. There’s a lot of information, but I’ve broken down the process and laid it out into SEVEN simple sections:

  • Before you begin
  • Making the meringue
  • Macaronage technique
  • Piping
  • Resting
  • Baking
  • Filling & Storage

This recipe is filled with helpful tips and detailed instructions that will hopefully leave not much to be desired!

Before you get started, download and print my circle macaron template. Trust me, this is a big help!

I will say that I’m a visual learner, and I do plan to create a series of short videos to demonstrate certain aspects of the macaron making process that I feel would be better explained visually
. So, drop a comment below to let me know which part of the recipe you would really love to have a visual aid for!

High-Altitude? No Problem.

I actually perfected this recipe in Colorado at 6000′ elevation! Then, I tested it in North Carolina at 300′ elevation. Perfect, fluffy, full macaron shells every time.

This French Macaron Recipe Speaks for Itself!

So, without further ado, here it is! My Classic French Macaron Recipe!

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Classic French Macaron Recipe

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This Classic French Macaron recipe is the base for all of my French Macaron flavors. This recipe has been tested several times and works perfectly at both high and low altitudes. Here is a detailed, step-by-step guide, loaded with tips, to master the tasty and temperamental French Macaron! 

  • Author: Wildflour Mama
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 macarons (sandwiched) 1x
  • Category: Macarons
  • Method: French

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 138g Blanched Finely Ground Almond Flour
  • 110g Confectioners Sugar
  • 105g Room Temperature Egg Whites
  • 90g Granulated Sugar
  • Scant 1/8 tsp of Cream of Tartar

Instructions

BEFORE YOU BEGIN 

  1. Carefully measure all ingredients with a food scale. 
  2. Sift all of your dry ingredients once or twice, then double check the weight of the sifted ingredients to ensure they are still accurate. Depending on the brand of sugar and almond flour, you may have to discard several clumps, then add more product for correct measurements.  
  3. Wipe your stand-mixing bowl with some vinegar or lemon juice and a paper towel to eliminate fat residue from past bakes. The presence of fats will prevent your meringue from forming. 
  4. Prepare your piping bag and piping surface. If left untouched for too long, the macaron batter will begin to set and dry out, so I find it better to go ahead and prep my piping area. This is how I like to set up: 
  5. Make sure eggs have had a chance to come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs are imperative! *Quick Tip: If using fresh, whole eggs, you can let your cold eggs rest in warm water for 5 minutes to quickly bring them to room temp! 

 

PREPARING MACARON SHELLS 


MERINGUE
 

  1. Mix room temperature egg whites with the whisk attachment in your stand mixer on LOW (KitchenAid Speed 2-3) for 3 minutes. The egg whites should be completely frothy and foamy- no longer gooey. 
  2. Add the cream of tartar to your eggs. Increase mixer speed to MEDIUM-LOW (KitchenAid Speed 3-4) and whip for 2 minutes. You should begin to see the egg whites thickening and track lines in the eggs from the whisk attachment. 
  3. While the mixer continues whisking on MEDIUM-LOW, slowly add the granulated sugar. Be careful not to throw it all in at once, or you may deflate the eggs.  
  4. Let the sugar and eggs mix at MEDIUM-LOW for 1 minute. 
  5. Increase mixer speed to HIGH (Kitchen Aid Speed 8-10) and let it whip for 5 minutes.  
  6. After 5 minutes, stop the mixer, raise the mixer head, remove the whisk attachment and inspect the meringue. 
    • Remove the whisk attachment and dip it into the meringue by hand, swirl it around, be sure to touch the bottom of the mixing bowl, then lift it back out. Slowly rotate the whisk upside down and check the peaks.  
    • The meringue is ready when there are stiff peaks, and the meringue is clumping together in the center of the whisk. 
    • We are looking for stiff peaks! Not firm. STIFF! Jagged! Sharp and pointy peaks! The meringue will likely take around 10 minutes to form peaks this stiff, but for beginners it’s good to check often throughout the process to acquire that rhythm and see the difference in peaks.  
    • Here is a great visual to show you the different stages of meringue peaks.
  7. If the meringue isn’t quite ready, reattach the whisk, and whipping on HIGH. Check the meringue every 2 minutes until you’ve reached sharp stiff peaks! 
    • If you wish to add gel food coloring or edible pigment powder, this is the time to do it! 
    • It is possible to overwhip and break the meringue. That is why I suggest checking every two minutes for stiff peaks. If your meringue is overwhipped it will appear curdled and chunky, and that means it has broken. 
    • Remove your stand-mixer bowl with your meringue and set aside.


MACARONAGE
 

  1. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together your sifted almond flour and sifted confectioners sugar. 
  2. Sift the dry ingredients one more time together.  
  3. Add 1/3 of your dry ingredient mixture to your meringue.  
  4. This is how I macaronage: 
    • Tilt your bowl with the opening toward you at a 45 degree angle and envision the circumference of your bowl is a clock face. 
    • Using a firm rubber spatula, scrape and fold the contents of your bowl around the edges starting at 12 o’clock. 
    • Sweep the spatula all the way around the circumference of the bowl in either direction, folding the batter, all the way back up to the 12 o’clock position.
    • From the bowl’s 12 o’clock, firmly press the contents of the batter that you’ve collected on your spatula straight down into 6 o’clock.  
    • This technique for incorporating ingredients while deflating the air bubbles in the meringue is called macaronage 
    • It can take a while to develop this technique, so don’t be discouraged if it feels odd or takes some getting used to! 
  5. Continue to sweep around the sides of the bowl, folding the batter, then firmly pressing into the sides of the bowl. Mix until just combined.  
  6. Add in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and repeat steps 4 & 5. 
  7. Add in the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients and continue to sweep around the sides of the bowl, folding the batter, then firmly pressing into the sides of the bowl. Be sure to also scrape the bottom of the bowl and rotate the bowl as you go. 
  8. Now, you will want to continue the macaronage process, deflating air bubbles, until the batter begins to move more easily in the bowl. 
  9. Here’s when you really need to start looking into your batter:  
    • When the batter is free of any dry spots or dry ingredients. Batter should be completely wet. 
    • The batter is moving more easily and takes the shape of the bowl. 
  10. Once you’ve reached this stage, continue to macaronage, but pay close attention and check the batter often for the following: 
    • Lift some of the batter on the spatula and let it run off the edge. 
    • Macaron batter that is ready to pipe will fall slowly off the end of the spatula in one or a few continuous “ribbons,” folding over itself as it falls into the bowl. 
    • The edges of the “ribbons” should be slightly jagged.  
    • Look for a “V” shape as the batter is falling from the spatula.  
    • Once your “ribbons” have fallen into the bowl they should hold their shape and then begin to sink back into the rest of the batter. Time them to see if they begin to sink back into the batter within 30 seconds- if so, you’re ready to move on!
  11. If the batter is too thick, falling off of the spatula in blobs, or not moving much at all, keep macaronaging, but check often for the desired consistency! 
  12. The batter should not be running quickly off of the spatula. It shouldn’t even be jogging. It should be like a third grader with a hall pass sent to run a “special errand,” –taking its time with no place to be.  
    • If the batter is flying off the spatula, or if it doesn’t hold the folded ribbon shape when it falls into the bowl and immediately sinks into the batter, you have gone too far. You can still pipe and bake the shells, but the result will likely be different. Be careful when piping, because over-macaronaged batter will spread further on your baking surface. 

PIPING 

  1. Once your batter is ready, transfer it to your piping bag.  
  2. I like to use a large piping bag so I can pipe them all at once without leaving the batter to sit out. 
  3. Be sure to pipe all of the macaron shells at once, do not pipe one tray, bake, then pipe the rest later. As the batter sets, it will harden, air pockets form, and it will no longer be smooth and pipeable. 
  4. To pipe, securely twist the top of your piping bag, hold the piping bag perpendicular to your baking surface about ½” off of the surface.  
  5. Hold the bag steady and stationary while you gently squeeze from the top of the bag to dispense the batter. Do not swirl the piping tip around to fill the circle, just hold it in one place. The batter will spread to form a perfect circle from the center point 
  6. If using my circle macaron template, pipe until the batter is just inside of the circle. It will spread when we rap the pans. Also, don’t worry if there is a little bit of a point- those should smooth out while resting! 
  7. Once all of your shells are piped, rap the pans firmly against the counter top several times to release air bubbles.  
  8. If you can see additional air bubbles in the shells, use a toothpick or scribe to pop them and smooth down the tops.  
 

RESTING 

  1. Let the piped macaron shells rest on the counter, uncovered, until a thin skin forms.  
    • You will be able to tell if the skin has developed when the macaron shells are smooth and matte in appearance, and you can gently brush your finger across them without collecting any residue. 
  2. The resting period for macarons varies greatly depending on the climate where you live. For me, in Colorado my macarons need to rest for 45 minutes. In more humid climates it can take 2-3 hours. 
  3. Do not leave your macarons out for too long without checking them, as it is possible for them to become too dry, which may then result in a crunchy and cracked shell. 

 

BAKING 

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle to lower third of the oven. 
  2. Preheat the oven to *275°F (use an oven thermometer to make sure you’re oven temperature is correct. You’ve come to far to be thwarted by a lying oven! Use an oven thermometer!) 
  3. Be sure to remove the circle macaron temple from under your baking surface (I have definitely baked my templates a few times… do not recommend). 
  4. Once your macarons have rested, dried, and developed their skin, bake them in the oven for *15-18 minutes. Rotate your cookie sheet halfway through bake time. 
  5. To tell when the macarons are finished, carefully try to wiggle the top of the shells with your finger. If they wiggle, keep baking. If they don’t move, they are done! 
  6. When they are finished baking, remove the macarons from the oven and let them cool completely before attempting to remove the shells from the parchment or baking mats. 

 

FILLING AND STORAGE 

Fill the macarons with any filling you like. This classic French Macaron shell pairs perfectly with my vanilla buttercream recipe. You can also try jelly and jam for another simple filling. 

  1. Fill and sandwich the macarons with desired filling.  
  2. For the best results, store the macarons in an air-tight container and let them mature in the fridge for 12-24 hours. 
  3. You can store the macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.  
 
 

Notes

*Baking time and temperature in this recipe is for conventional ovens. The baking time and temperature will vary if you are using a convection oven. 

Keywords: french macaron, french macarons, macarons

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @wildflourmama — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

 

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