Classic French macarons are beautiful, delicate cookies that are perfect for any occasion. You can’t go wrong with vanilla, and this Vanilla Macaron recipe is no exception.
For so long, I was hesitant to add French macarons to this site. Although I made many macarons in pastry school and my internship, it has been a long time since I baked these classic French cookies. Over the years, I have gotten many questions on how to make French Macarons. So I decided it was time to add a basic macaron recipe to The Sweet Occasion.
This vanilla macaron recipe has step-by-step instructions to help make the process successful. I have included some ways to troubleshoot common macaron issues. If the first time around isn’t a success, don’t worry. It takes time and patience. It took me a long time to get it just right, but once you do figure it out, you’ll want to make macarons often. These treats are not only delicious but so versatile with endless options for flavors.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
1.5″ (3.5 cm) round cookie cutter
1 baking sheet pan
1 medium bowl
Stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
1 silicone spatula
2 pastry bags
1 round pastry tip
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
You will notice that the amount of sugar in this recipe is greater than any other ingredient. This is because macarons require a good amount of sugar to create a brittle, shiny shell on the outside. Therefore, you cannot reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe without affecting the macaron’s appearance and texture.
Almond flour absorbs the most amount of moisture compared to any nut flour. Therefore it is the nut of choice for macarons. The dryer the almond flour, the more it will absorb the moisture from the batter. For an added step, you can let your almond flour air dry for a couple of days before making the macarons. Doing this will help ensure the flour is dry and will absorb a greater amount of moisture. For macaron recipes, select almond flour made from skinned almonds. Additionally, the finer the flour, the more water it can absorb. Therefore, if you have coarse almond flour, you can put it in a food processor with the powdered sugar and blend for 10 seconds
The macaron shells have hollow interiors. This issue results from over whipping the egg whites. It’s important to mix the meringue just until the white clings to the bowl, and a small, stiff mass of meringue begins to clump in the middle of the mixer. Additionally, over baking your macarons can cause hollow interiors. Check that your oven temperature is correct and take your macarons out of the oven sooner if necessary.
The macarons cracked in the oven. Not allowing enough time for the macaron shells to dry out before baking could cause them to crack in the oven. On more humid days, the drying process could take longer. Additionally, if the macarons are piped too wide, this could also cause them to crack in the oven. To prevent this second issue, make sure to pipe macarons no larger than 3.5 cm (1.5″).
The macaron feet are too tall. Macaron feet that rise quickly and become tall can happen from an oven temperature that is too hot or overwhipping the meringue. It is better to bake macarons at a lower temperature for a longer period than a higher temperature for a shorter period. Also, careful not to overwhip the egg whites. Stop whipping them once you achieve stiff peaks.
Tips and takeaways
- Careful not to include any yolk into your egg whites (or any grease for that matter in your bowl). Any oil will prevent your egg whites from turning into a fluffy and stable meringue.
- Macarons are finicky to make. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t turn out as you hoped the first time around. They do take practice to get them right every time. Be sure you know your oven. You may have to adjust the baking time based on your oven. I always keep an oven thermometer in my oven to make sure I have the correct temperature.
- Avoid making macarons on a rainy day or humid day. The meringue absorbs moisture, and when it’s humid out, your meringue will weep and not hold its beautiful shape.
- Watch lots of videos on making macarons. There are many recipes out there but few variations in technique. A visual guide will allow you to see what exactly your meringue should look like and the proper consistency of the batter.
- For an extra vanilla flavor, substitute 1/2 of a vanilla bean (scraped and seeded) for the pure vanilla extract in the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- You will have some buttercream leftover. You can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months. Before using, bring to room temperature and re-whip.
More French recipes
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make these Vanilla Macarons. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print
Classic French macarons are beautiful, delicate cookies that are perfect for any occasion. You can’t go wrong with vanilla and this Vanilla Macaron recipe is no exception.
- 170 g almond flour
- 300 g powdered sugar
- 180 g egg whites, at room temperature
- 160 g sugar
- 4 g pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 batch swiss meringue buttercream
For the macaron shells
- Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Using a 1.5″ (3.5 cm) round cookie cutter, draw circles for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper allowing for 1″ (2.5 cm) between each circle. Flip the parchment paper traced side down and line baking pan. Set aside.
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add the sugar and increase the mixer speed to high. Add the vanilla when you achieve soft peaks. Whip the meringue until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold half of the almond mixture into the meringue until combined (do not stir). It’s ok to deflate some of the meringue at this stage but not all of it.
- Add the remaining almond mixture to the meringue and carefully fold together. Deflate some more air in the batter by using the spatula to scrape the batter against the bowl in a circular motion. Turn the bowl as you do this to ensure you spread the batter around the entire bowl.
- Test the mixture for consistency often. The batter should flow like honey when you lift the spatula from the bowl. You should be able to slowly trace a figure 8 with the batter without it breaking.
- Fit a pastry bag with a round tip. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to your baking sheet pan, pipe batter on each traced circle. Squeeze the piping bag to fill each circle and then stop squeezing and give a little flick of the wrist to help prevent the batter from forming a point.
- Carefully bang the baking sheet pan on your counter a few times to eliminate any air bubbles and any points on top. This will help your macarons spread out a bit.
- Allow the macarons to sit at room temperature for about 20-40 minutes, or until a skin forms on the outside (you should be able to gently touch the macarons without your finger sticking).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Each macaron should have a foot that should bake without browning. To check for doneness, test the feets as they should not budge when you push on them (they should be stable).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the hot sheet pan for 10 minutes. Peel each macaron off the parchment paper and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Fill a pastry bag with the prepared swiss meringue buttercream. Cut the tip off the pastry bag and pipe a dime-size amount of buttercream onto half the macarons. Top with the remaining macaron shells and gently press together to evenly spread the filling. Enjoy.