Classic Macarons

published Dec 23, 2021
Macarons Recipe

Homemade macarons are well worth the effort and easy enough to make with a little patience and care.

Makesabout 40 macarons

Prep1 hour 30 minutes

Cook12 minutes

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two pink Macarons with chocolate filling, with one balanced on top of the other.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Macarons are some of the most delicate and delectable cookies out there. They come in endless hues and filling flavors, but one thing is a must: the texture. The shells should be light-as-air, crisp, and on the brink of shattering on the outside but held together by the chewy insides and a sweet dollop of filling — whether that’s jam, ganache, or buttercream

Homemade macarons are well worth the effort and easy enough to do with a little patience and care. To make the shells, it’s important to follow the steps exactly and not take shortcuts. The trick is getting the consistency of the almond-meringue batter just right — not too thick, not too thin — so it settles gently. It’s best to make macarons on dry days, as humidity can make your meringue weep (as the baker will when it doesn’t work out!).

What Exactly Are Macarons?

Macarons are meringue sandwich cookies filled with chocolate ganache, buttercream, or jam. The cookie shells are made of finely ground almond flour, egg whites, and powdered sugar. The batter puffs up during baking to create a light, airy cookie with a defined foot that holds various fillings. 

Credit: Perry Santanachote

Tips for Successfully Making French Macarons

  • Use a kitchen scale for more accurate measurements. It’ll help ensure success when making delicate pastries like macarons.
  • Make macarons on dry days, as they do not like humidity.
  • Sift your dry ingredients to remove lumps.
  • Print out a macaron template online so your macaron shells are all the same size (an important detail when sandwiching them together).

Classic Macaron Flavors

The flavor possibilities are limitless when it comes to macarons, but the classics include the following:

  • Chocolate (chocolate ganache filling)
  • Vanilla (vanilla bean buttercream filling)
  • Pistachio (pistachio paste filling)
  • Lemon (lemon curd filling)
  • Salted caramel (caramel buttercream filling)
  • Strawberry or raspberry (jam filling)

What’s the Difference Between a Macaroon and a Macaron?

French macarons and macaroons look totally different, but the two cookies actually share foundational DNA: egg whites. The differences are macaroons have shredded coconut in them instead of almonds and aren’t sandwiched. Macaroons have a much more rustic appearance due to the craggy ridges from the coconut and a completely different texture.

How to Store Macarons

Once you bake the cookies, you can store them unfilled in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months.

After they’ve been filled, macarons need to “cure” in the refrigerator. For this recipe, we recommend at least one hour, but 24 hours is preferable. After that, you can keep them in the fridge for three more days or freeze them for up to 1 month. Thaw them slowly in the fridge for at least one hour then bring them to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Macarons Recipe

Homemade macarons are well worth the effort and easy enough to make with a little patience and care.

Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes

Makes about 40 macarons

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    large egg whites

  • 125 grams

    powdered sugar (about 1 cup)

  • 50 grams

    super-fine blanched almond flour (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cream of tartar

  • 50 grams

    granulated sugar (scant 1/4 cup)

  • 3 to 6 drops

    gel food coloring

  • 1 cup

    filling, such as jam, buttercream, or chocolate ganache


  1. Place 2 large egg whites sit in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit until room temperature, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. You can slide printable macaron templates under the parchment for more accuracy while piping the cookies (just make sure to remove the templates before baking).

  2. Place a medium-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Place 125 grams powdered sugar (about 1 cup) and 50 grams super-fine blanched almond flour (about 1/2 cup) in the strainer and gently tap and shake to strain into the bowl. (Alternatively, use a sifter.)

  3. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and continue beating until the mixture is opaque, 5 to 6 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add 50 grams granulated sugar (scant 1/4 cup) 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each addition, until the sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 3 to 6 drops gel food coloring and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 8 minutes. When you lift up the whisk, the meringue should hold a pointy tip that does not flop over.

  4. Add the almond-sugar mixture to the egg white mixture and gently fold with a rubber spatula to combine: Scrape along the sides of the bowl while gradually turning the bowl in the opposite direction, then gently twist the spatula toward the middle and down into the center of the batter. Do this 50 times, making your way around the bowl, until the batter moves like lava. The batter should be thick but runny enough to continuously flow off the spatula. Give the batter a test by slowly drawing a figure-8 with the batter as it flows off the spatula into the bowl. The batter should form the shape as it hits the bowl without breaking. If it breaks, keep folding, and recheck after every 5 strokes. You may need to do up to 30 more strokes. Another sign the batter is ready is if the edges of the figure-8 recede and melt back into the batter within 10 seconds. Do not overmix; otherwise the batter will become too runny.

  5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 3/8-inch (or slightly smaller) round tip. Push the batter all the way down to the tip then twist the open top end several times to lock in the batter. Hold the piping bag at a 90° angle and 1/2 inch above a prepared baking sheet, then steadily squeeze to pipe batter onto the sheet until you have a 1-inch circle. Stop squeezing and quickly twist the bag (the motion is in your wrist) to detach the batter. Repeat piping circles at least 1 inch apart until both baking sheets are full. Firmly tap the sheets against the counter several times to remove air bubbles and immediately use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles.

  6. Let the rounds sit uncovered until a skin forms on the tops, 30 to 45 minutes. To test, lightly touch one with a finger. It should be dry to the touch. Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 325°F.

  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Continue baking until cookies are puffy and stiff, about 4 minutes more.

  8. Immediately slide each parchment sheet of cookies onto a wire rack or heatproof surface. (If you leave the cookies on the baking sheet, they will continue cooking.) Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Very carefully peel the cookies off the parchment. They are now ready to be filled, or can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

  9. Generously spoon or pipe a mound of filling (about 1 teaspoon) onto the flat side of one cookie, stopping 3 millimeters from the edge. Top with another cookie flat side touching the filling, then gently twist so that the filling spreads to the edge. Repeat until you’ve filled all the cookies.

  10. Transfer the macarons to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the filling soften and flavor the cookies. This resting time is essential for that crunchy-chewy macaron texture (fresh macarons will be too dry). Let the macarons sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate macarons in an airtight container for up to 5 days.