Basic Macaron Recipe
You can totally do this! Follow my simple instructions and video tutorial, and you’ll be enjoying freshly made French macarons from your own home kitchen! This basic recipe for classic almond shells couldn’t be more simple. (Naturally gluten-free.)
I feature recipes for French macarons pretty regularly here, because they are a little bit special, gift-able, and infinitely adaptable. There are so many different flavor possibilities, and it’s a lot of fun to come up with different kinds of shell + filling pairings. You can just let your imagination run wild; there are tons of different ways you can make them uniquely your own.
But for all the different ways you can make macarons, one thing always remains the same, and that’s the feedback I get from you guys. Over and over again I hear things like, “I just love macarons, but I’m too scared to make them,” or “they look delicious but I don’t think I am experienced enough to tackle that challenge.” Well, I have been listening, and I am here to tell you that yes, they can be a little bit finicky at times, but you can totally do this!
The macarons you see here are not perfect. If you look closely you will notice that some of them are lopsided. The edges aren’t as neat as they could be. There are some air bubbles. But if I can make them in an oven that looks like this, then you should have no trouble! And even if you do, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: lopsided macarons with air bubbles still taste every bit as good as the pretty ones!
So, are you in? Let’s do it!
Just like with a lot of other pastries, you’ll have the best results if you weigh your ingredients, because that’s a lot more accurate than spooning/packing things into a measuring cup. But that’s easy enough to work around, and the main idea is nothing you aren’t already familiar with. Basically, you have dry ingredients and wet ingredients, and you mix them together. The dry ingredients consist of ground almonds, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. The wet ingredients are egg whites and granulated sugar, with a pinch of cream of tartar to help keep the meringue from falling flat. It’s really that simple.
1) Use room temperature egg whites from whole eggs. (I have tried using pasteurized, liquid egg whites and have not been happy with the result.)
2) Make sure your mixing bowl and whip are really clean and you haven’t pierced any yolks when separating the eggs. (Any small trace of fat will prevent the whites from whipping up well.)
3) If you choose to tint your shells, use either gel paste or powdered color, and add it to the meringue before you begin folding in the almond mixture. (Liquid food coloring is not recommended.)
4) Don’t over- or under-mix the dry with the wet. (Stop folding when the batter drops from the spatula in one long ribbon- or maybe even a few strokes before. Remember that the process of filling your piping bag will work the batter even a little bit more, so I like to err slightly on the side of less folding.)
5) Pipe the rounds a little smaller than you want your finished shells to be. (The batter will spread as it sets.)
6) Handle them gently. (Some recipes recommend rapping them forcefully on the counter to force out air bubbles, but when I have done this in the past, it’s caused the shells to crack in the oven. Personally, I prefer bubbles over cracks.)
7) Dry times may vary based on the humidity level in the air. For me, here in the northeastern U.S., 45 minutes is usually good. (You’ll know they’re ready when you can feel a thin, dry membrane on their surface.)
8) Bake them at a low temperature so they don’t brown. (Bake times can also vary, but you can reach your hand in the oven at around the ten minute mark and give them a feel. Pull them when they’re set and let them cool on the baking sheet.)
9) When they’re fully cool, fill them with something delicious. (I prefer fillings that are a little less sweet. The shells themselves are quite sugar-y, so fillings like dark chocolate, salted caramel, and tangy curd are particularly good, in my opinion ;))
10) Eat them the following day. (One of the best things about macarons is the way the filling and the shell kind of meld together into a soft, almost chewy blend of flavors. They need several hours to overnight for this to occur.)
Here are some of my most used (and loved!) macaron-making tools:
Chocolate Walnut Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling
Hazelnut Macarons with Pumpkin Maple Cream Cheese Filling
Coffee Macarons with Nutella Filling
Blueberry Mascarpone Macarons
Strawberry Rose Macarons
Orange Walnut Macarons with Spiced Cream Cheese and Cranberry Filling
If you still aren’t feeling brave enough to take on macarons, hopefully this video will help. As you can see, it’s just a handful of simple ingredients and all the hard work is done in a matter of a few short minutes.
Or, you can watch the Live recipe demo in the recipe card below, which offers a little more in-depth insight with regard to technique:
Let me know if you still have questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them.
This post includes affiliate sales links.
Basic Macaron Shells
- 120 grams egg whites, (about 4 large eggs)
- 170 grams almond meal, (also called "almond flour")
- 200 grams powdered, (also called "confectioners" or "icing" sugar)
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cream of tartar
- 70 grams granulated sugar, (also called "caster's" sugar
- gel paste or powdered food coloring, optional
- Set the egg whites aside to come to room temperature.
- Measure the almond meal, powdered sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture finely, then sift, discarding any large bits. Set aside.
- Measure the granulated sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the cream of tartar to the whites, and mix on medium-high speed, using the whip attachment.
- When the whites hold soft peaks, start adding the granulated sugar, very slowly, while continuing to whip.
- When all the granulated sugar has been incorporated, continue to whip until stiff. Add color, if using.
- Add the almond meal mixture to the meringue, and fold together, until the batter drops from the spatula in a long ribbon.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe 1 1/2-inch diameter rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Allow to dry for 45-60 minutes, or until thin, dry membrane forms on the surface.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and bake the macarons (one sheet at a time) until set (approximately 10-15 minutes). Do not brown.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel from the parchment and sandwich with filling.
Can I substitute purchased almond flour for the almond meal?
Absolutely Joanne! Almond flour and almond meal are interchangeable terms for the same product. Some manufacturers refer to it as almond flour and others call it almond meal, but it’s the same thing: ground up almonds. Thanks for reading and for the great question!
Is it mandatory to use the creme tartar? Or can i leave that out?
Hey Jazmine! It’s not mandatory but it will help to stabilize the egg whites so they stay fluffy. I’ve left it out at times and it’s been ok. Thanks for reading and for the great question!
Great video! I love macarons and your method looks wonderful 🙂
Aw, thank you so much! I just love making macarons. So happy you enjoyed, Sabrina!
AMAZING-pinning for when I finally tackle macarons!!!
Thanks so much Kayle! xoxo
Thank you so much for sharing this straight forward method and for sharing your tips. I’ve never attempted macarons, but you’ve inspired me to try!
Oh good! They are so much fun once you get the basics. So happy you enjoyed Marissa!
I am Anu from India. This turned out to be a “WOW” recipe. All my friends and relatives are impressed with the texture and taste.. OMG !!! Thank you so much. Nowadays my hubby wakes me on every sunday morning with all the ingredients to make macaroons.. 😉
Haha that is great! I’m so happy to hear you had such great success! Now you can have so much fun coming up with different flavor combinations 😀 Thanks so much for the awesome feedback Anu!
Thanks for all the tips Allie! I’ve never made macarons as I fear they’d be to hard to make but I’d definitely love to give them a go! The pics look gorgeous as well!
Happy Friday! x
Happy Friday to you too Consuelo! I hope you do give them a try- they’re lots of fun. Thanks sweetie!
I’ve never tried my hand at macarons, but this tutorial actually makes me feel like I could do this! 🙂 They’ve always intimidated me, but these look so, so pretty that I might have to give them a try soon!
Oh you so could! You’re so talented I just know you’d have no trouble at all with these. Thank you so much Michelle and have a great weekend!
I love this tutorital, Allie! I’ve only made them once, so you know it’s still going to help me! haha
Thanks Marcie! It’s one of those things where the more you do them, the better you understand. Have a great weekend hon!
This macaron video is fantastic. It is my favorite video ever!
Haha girl you are too much! Thanks love 🙂
I don’t know why I’m so afraid to make these..I need to try them out soon!
Oh yeah! Don’t be afraid- they’re just cookies! Thanks Shawn!
I’ve had macarons on the brain for a month now and after getting a cookbook full of amazing macaron recipes for my birthday I think I’ve finally been pushed over the top to make them again. The last time I made them was in a Sur la Table cooking class a couple summers ago, so all of your tips and tricks are greatly appreciated and just what I need to tackle these finicky but gorgeous cookies!
Hooray! I want to go to a sur la table cooking class! That sounds really fun! Good luck Danae and enjoy!
I love making macarons, they are one of my favorite things to bake! Thanks for sharing your recipe Allie, they look perfect!
Thank you so much Manali! Aren’t they so much fun? Definitely a favorite of mine too 😉
STILL on my to-make list! Lol. I need to give this recipe a go the next time I “bake for fun” (does that ever happen anymore??).
Even when we bake for fun it’s kind of not really for fun, right? I totally hear ya on that one. #foodbloggerproblems Thanks Ashley!
Allie, I think this post/video tutorial may be the one that actually gives me the courage to try macarons! I have to say that your video is awesome- great info and it’s filmed so beautifully! I also saw your about me video – so fun. What a personal way to get tell your readers about yourself 🙂 Super impressed, but not surprised because you are a pretty amazing blogger! You’re truly an inspiration to newbie bloggers like me.
Girl you are no newbie! You’re a total superstar! Your creations are always so amazing. Thank you for the kind words though! I will admit I was hesitant to put that about video up. I made it for a potential client and some friends convinced me to share it but oy! It’s kind of embarrassing. I’m glad you like it though and thank you so much for all your kind words! Hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday weekend 😀
What a great post! I love the video you made, too. It will be so helpful when the time comes and I take the plunge to make these! That must have been a lot of effort, so thank you for taking the time to put that together :)!
Oh gosh it was my pleasure! I’ve been having a lot of fun with videos lately and it’s great to practice and learn more. Thanks so much dear!
Great post Allie!! Macarons are something I was always afraid to try but happy I did eventually!! Your tips will definitely entice lots of people to make these yummy treats!! Beautiful!
Thank you so much Mary Ann! That’s just what I was hoping to do. Have a great weekend my friend!
Yayy!! Encore, Allie! It’s been a little over a year since I made Macarons, so it is time!!! Thank you for your tips and inspiration! Your Macarons are beautiful!
Thanks Traci! I’d say you’re long overdue lol! Have a great weekend sweetie 😀
Hi there, I’ve been following your site for a while now and the recipe I loved most is your absolutely-no-fail chocolate cupcake 🙂 I have been wanting to bake these macarons for years, but the baking list just constantly gets filled up with other stuff 🙂
I wanted to ask if you have any suggestion for adding colors to these macarons – the natural way? Thanks in advance.
Thanks so much for following along and for the great question! I actually have a few suggestions for you. Number one- if you want to try all-natural food colorings like this, I think it would probably work so long as you don’t use a lot. Maybe just a drop or two. You just don’t want to dilute the meringue, if that makes sense? Another option would be to use something like matcha powder, or maybe even freeze-dried fruit that has been ground to a powder? This is something I have never actually tried myself but have always wanted to. I think it could work well, but again, just a little. You just don’t want to mess too much with that delicate balance of ingredients. Hope that helps!
Thanks for your time, Allie 🙂 Your second suggestion on using matcha powder or freeze-dried fruit powder sounds like a plan! I will try that out some time soon and keep you posted!
Awesome! Good luck!
What a fabulous post, Allie! Thanks so much for sharing all of your macaron tips! I’ve only made them a couple times, but I never get the baking time right and they always stick to the baking sheet. And OMG your macaron video was so perfect. Love all of this! 🙂
Aw, thanks Beth! I’ve had them stick to the sheet too but I’ve found 2 things: 1) let them cool completely before you try and lift them off, and 2) maybe bake them just a leeetle bit longer. But you don’t want them to brown, so if need be, turn the oven temp a little lower. Hope that helps! And thanks so much for the great feedback!