French Macarons are a meringue sandwich cookie that boasts a sweet chewy cookie with a filling of your choice. Using the Swiss Meringue method, this recipe is practically fail-proof!
French Macarons Swiss Meringue Method
There are three different ways to make French Macarons- they all have a different way of adding the sugar to the meringue. There is the French, Italian and Swiss method. The Swiss method isn’t quite as popular, but honestly I find it the easiest.
With the Swiss meringue method yields a sturdier and more forgiving batter, which I am ALL about because Macarons can be tricky! With my step by step instructions, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Ingredients in Macarons
- Egg Whites
- Granulated Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Super Fine Almond Flour- Yes, almond flour. Not almond meal or anything like that. Super fine almond flour. 🙂
- Food Coloring
- Filling- This can be chocolate ganache, buttercream frosting, jams, caramels, marshmallow cream.. We will discuss more filling options, pros and cons below.
Kitchen Tools needed to make Macarons
- Kitchen Scale- kitchen scaleAll of the ingredients will be measured by weight so a kitchen scale is a must. Here is a good that can be purchased on Amazon if you are in the market.
- Sifter/fine mesh strainer- We need to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar to get all lumps out to insure a smooth macaron.
- Double Boiler- spoiler alert: I like to use my Instant Pot as a double boiler! It works perfect for Macarons! You’ll also need a metal or glass bowl that fits on top of your Instant Pot or sauce pan to create your double boiler.
- Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper- I generally use silicone baking mats because I can not stand when parchment paper curls up while I am working. If parchment is all you have, it should work just fine, though.
- Piping Bag- Okay, I’ll admit I’ve used a zip top bag before when I was in a pinch, but a pipping bag is much easier!
- Round Tip- The bigger the tip the more your macaron batter will leak out of it! You want a generous sized piping tip but nothing huge.
How to make Macarons
First thing first, measure out all of your ingredients. Once we get going, you’ll need all of the ingredients ready to just dump into the bowl quickly so do this first thing.
All of the ingredients will measure to a weight of 100 grams.
Once you have all of your ingredients weighed out, sift together the powdered sugar and almond flour to get rid of any and all lumps. You may have to use a spoon to break up the last of the almond flour, but it should all make its way through the mesh strainer or sifter.
Set the powdered sugar and flour aside.
Now, get your double boiler going. If you have an Instant Pot, place about 1 cup of water into the removable liner and then turn your Instant Pot onto saute mode. You’ll want it in the medium setting. Allow the water to heat until it starts to steam.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, place about 1 cup of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and heat until steaming.
While your water is heating up, add your eggs and about 3 tbsp of your sugar into the large glass or metal bowl that you’ll be using for your double boiler. You will want this bowl to be large enough that we can finish making the batter right in that bowl. We won’t want to move the merengue from the warm bowl.
Once your water is steaming, place the bowl on top to create your double boiler and start whisking. Whisk constantly until the egg whites are white and foamy (pictured above). It is important to whisk constantly. We don’t want the egg whites to cook and get chunky at all.
If your egg whites cook and it smells like you’re making scrambled eggs, you need to whisk faster or your boiling water is too hot. Toss those eggs and start again.
I like to use the whisk attachment to my electric hand mixer to make this super easy.
Once your egg whites are white and foamy, remove from the heat (double boiler) and add in the remaining granulated sugar. Whip at the highest speed until the egg whites are extremely glossy, white and hold firm peaks (pictured below).
If you want to add In food coloring, now is the time. I just use the same grocery store food coloring that you probably have in your pantry, too. Note that you’ll want to make the batter a little brighter than whatever color you want your final product to be. The dry ingredients will lighten the color up a bit.
Next, pour the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl.
Turn your mixer on and mix the dry ingredients into the egg whites for a total of 8 seconds. I’m serious, count out loud! 8 seconds. Once the 8 seconds is up, it should be mostly mixed, looking a little lumpy and sad. Thats okay!
Now, get out a silicone spatula and start stirring and smearing the batter. Take your spatula and take the batter from the outside of the bowl and smear it into the center, rotating the bowl as you go.
The batter will get thinner the longer your stir and smear. You’ll know you have reached the right consistency when a ribbon of batter can drizzle off of your spatula without breaking. It should move in the bowl if you were to tip it, but it should move in slow motion.
Now it is time to fill your pipping bag and pipe out your macarons! Make sure to use a silicone mat or parchment paper. Your piping bag should beheld straight up and down and then apply gentle pressure to pipe out your circle, lifting straight up when you are done piping.
Within about 30 seconds, your macaron should flatten out and there should’t be a peak anymore. If yours still has a peak from where you piped it out, your batter isn’t thin enough- go stir and smear a little more.
Repeat the piping until you’ve used all of the batter. Once all of your macarons have been piped out, gently but firmly bang the pan onto the counter a few times to help any air bubbles escape.
Now preheat your oven to 300°.
Allow your macarons to dry out for about 20-30 minutes while your oven is preheating. Your macarons should feel dry to the touch before going in the oven.
Bake at 300° for 11-13 minutes. They should not turn brown but should feel firm.
Pull them out of the oven and allow them to cool completely before filling them.
What Fillings are good in Macarons?
You can fill your macarons with anything your heart desires! But keep in mind the liquid content of your filling- the more liquid in the filling (i.e. jams) the faster the meringue cookie will soften and just generally not hold up as well.
Ganaches are a great option because they are thicker and the cookie holds up well. Ganaches can be made my pouring small amount of heated heavy cream over chocolate chips and stirring until combined. Make sure to let this cool completely before filling your macaron with it though!
Buttercreams also work really well and what I generally use. I will include a recipe for my favorite vanilla buttercream in the recipe card below. Feel free to use chocolate buttercream, raspberry buttercream or mix up your extracts to make lemon or maple! Get creative!
To fill your macarons, add your filing to a piping bag and pipe a small about gently onto the center of the bottom of one cookie and then gently sandwich the filling with a second cookie. Repeat.
How to store Macarons
You can store these at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer. Generally they are served at room temperature. If you are going to be eating your macarons within the day, room temp is just fine for storage. Just store in an air tight container.
If you’d like your macarons to last a few days, store them in an air tight container in the fridge. Pull them out 20 minutes before serving to allow them to come to room temperature.
If you’d like to keep your macarons for even longer, say weeks or even a few months, feel free to freeze them! Just let them come to room temperature for about an hour before serving.
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Simple French Macarons
- 100 grams powdered sugar
- 100 grams super fine almond flour
- 100 grams egg whites
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- food coloring if desired
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
- 4 tbsp butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- up to 2 tbsp heavy cream
- food coloring if desired
- 1 cup water for double boiler
- Measure out all ingredients.
- Sift together the powdered sugar and almond flour. Set aside.
- Add the 1 cup of water to your sauce pan or to the liner of your Instant Pot.
- Heat the water over medium heat until steaming.
- While the water is heating, add the egg and 3 tbsp of the measured out sugar to the bowl you'll be using for the double boiler.
- Once the water is steaming, place the bowl over the steaming water and whisk until the egg whites are foamy and white. When they are foamy and white, remove the bowl from the pan or Instant pot and set on a hot pad on the counter. Turn off the burner or Instant Pot.
- Add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and mix using an electric hand mixture until the egg whites are white, glossy and can form stiff peaks.
- Add the fool coloring now if you'd like to color your macarons. Mix until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar and almond flour to the bowl and mix with your mixer for 8 seconds. After the 8 seconds is up, use a silicone spatula to stir and smear the batter from the outside of the bowl towards the center. Turn the bowl as your do this to make sure all of the batter gets stired equally.
- Do this until your batter thins and is able to drizzle a ribbon of batter for a few seconds without it breaking.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag equipt with a round piping tip.
- Pipe equal circles onto a silicone or parchment lined cookie sheet. Make sure that your piping bag is straight up and down, apply equal pressure and release pulling straight back up. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Bang the pan gently but firmly onto the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Allow the macarons to dry out as the oven preheats, for about 20-30 mintues. Your macarons should be dry to the touch before going into the oven.
- Bake for 11-13 mintues at 300°. The macarons should not turn brown!
- Allow the macarons to cool completly on the pan.
- When the macarons are completly cool make your filling.
- Make your filling by combining all ingredients using either a stand mixer or your electric hand mixer. Slowly add in that heavy cream (you can substitue milk if you'd like) because we want a thick buttercream so it doesn't squirt out while we eat the macaron.
- Once the buttercream is mixed together and your desired consisency, gently pipe some frosting onto the bottom side of one cookie and then sandwich the frosting with the bottom side of a second cookie to create your macaron.
- Repeat with remiaining cookies.