A macaron is a French meringue-based treat, made with powdered sugar, white sugar, egg white, almond and food coloring. These delicious little bites are often composed of two macarons sandwiched together with buttercream, jam or ganache, and you can get many different flavors. You can even make your own easy French macaron recipe. Don’t confuse macarons (with one O) with macaroons (with two O’s) – the latter are heavy, coconut cookies.
Macarons are been around for hundreds of years, and they are believed to date back to 8 AD. Italian pastry chefs accompanying Catherine de Medici in 1533 when she married Henry II of France, brought the recipe with them. 1792 was when these confections started to become famous, when a pair of Carmelite nuns sought asylum in Nancy, France, and they baked and sold macarons to fund their housing.
No fillings or flavors were used in these early macaron recipes so our easy French macaron recipe is a bit different to the original. The fillings came about in the 1830s. There are 2 different ways of making macarons, the French way and the Italian way, and it depends how the meringue is prepared.
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French Macaron Recipe Flavors
Almond, blueberry, caramel, chocolate, coconut, honey, lemon, orange, peppercorn, pistachio, rose, and vanilla are popular flavors, although these days you can get more unusual ones such as matcha, chai masala or saffron.
American inspired macarons come in flavors like peanut butter and jelly, strawberry cheesecake, candy cane, maple bacon, salted caramel popcorn, or salted pretzel, among others.
In the following recipe there are a number of suggestions for colors and flavorings to use in your easy French macaron recipe, but you will get the best results when you use your imagination. For example, if you want to make chocolate macarons which have a raspberry filling (rather than a chocolate one) go ahead.
Easy French Macarons Recipe: Getting the Flavors and Colors Just Right
You will need flavoring extracts and food coloring gels to make authentic macarons. I find that food coloring gels give a richer color than food coloring liquid, but use what you want. The liquid would work well for pastel macarons but save the gel for brightly colored ones.
Swap any of our suggested jams or colors with ones of your own, to come up with your own macaron concoctions. It’s hard to go wrong when you get creative and a French macaron recipe is one you’ll want to make again and again.Print
Easy French Macaron Recipe
These delicious little bites come in a variety of flavors and colors, and you might want to make your own because the recipe for macarons is much simpler than you might have thought.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 36 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
- 1 3/4 cups (220g) powdered sugar
- 1 cup (95g) almond flour
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup (25g) superfine sugar
- 2 to 3 drops gel food coloring
- 1/2 teaspoon mint, vanilla or almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats.
- Whisk the powdered sugar with the almond flour, then sift through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Discard any coarse almond flour that won’t go through.
- Now beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on a medium speed until frothy.
- Beat them on medium-high for 5 minutes now, adding the superfine sugar gradually.
- Add the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour.
- Fold the mixture with a rubber spatula until incorporated and the mixture runs thinly like lava.
- Add your choice of flavoring and coloring, and fold for 2 minutes or until the batter is smooth.
- Put the batter in a pastry bag and fit it with a 1/4-inch (1/2 cm) round tip.
- Pipe 1 1/4-inch (3 1/4 cm) rounds on to the baking sheet.
- You will be able to get 24 per sheet.
- Tap the baking sheets against the countertop to get rid of air bubbles.
- Let the sit at room temperature for 15 minutes if it’s dry or an hour if it’s humid, or until they are no longer sticky.
- Slide another baking sheet under the first, because baking on 2 sheets helps protect the macarons from the heat.
- Bake this first batch for 20 minutes or until the cookies are shiny and slightly risen.
- Repeat with the other batches.
- Let the macarons cool, then sandwich them together with filling.
For Double Chocolate
- You can add some cocoa powder or brown food coloring to the macarons. For the filling, warm 1/2 cup (125ml) of heavy cream in a pan until it begins to boil, then stir it with 4 oz (115g) of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Wait 1 minute then stir in 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Chill this filling for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator before using.
For Almond and Raspberry
- Add 2 drops of bright pink food coloring gel and flavor with almond extract, then fill with 3/4 cup (180ml) raspberry jam.
For White Chocolate Mint
- Add 2 drops of mint green food coloring gel and flavor with mint extract. Melt 3 oz (85g) of white chocolate in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and a tablespoon of butter, stirring often. Now stir in 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract and a drop of mint green food coloring gel.
For Pink Velvet
- Add red food coloring to the macaron mixture. For the filling, whisk 8 oz (230g) softened cream cheese with 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter and a teaspoon of vanilla extract for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fluffy and smooth.
For Honey and Lavender
- Use 2 drops of violet food coloring gel and flavor with either vanilla or almond extract. The filling is 3/4 cup (170g) mascarpone cheese mixed with a teaspoon of ground dried lavender and 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Use 2 drops of lemon yellow food coloring and flavor with vanilla extract. To make the filling, press 3/4 cup (245g) of pineapple jam through a sieve and discard any bits that don’t go through.
For Blueberry Cheesecake
- Use 3 drops of royal blue food coloring gel and flavor with vanilla extract. The filling can be 4 oz (115g) of softened cream cheese mixed with 3 tablespoons of blueberry jam.