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Donut Macarons

This week we’re making donut macarons! They’re decorated to look just like little donuts and are filled with delicious maple buttercream.

My favorite donut growing up was a maple bar, so that’s the flavor I wanted these macs to have! However, you could definitely use a classic vanilla buttercream or even fill the centers with jelly to make jelly donut macarons (see more on that below).

image of donut macarons iced with royal icing

Making Macarons with the French Method

There are quite a few different ways to make macarons, including the Italian, Swiss, and French Method!

I’m a fan of the French method, mostly because of its simplicity! The French method whisks egg whites together with a bit of sugar to create a French meringue with stiff peaks.

This meringue is then folded into a mixture of finely ground almonds and powdered sugar. This process of folding the meringue into the dry ingredients is called macaronage.

No matter what method you use, macarons require expertise to mix the batter the perfect amount to achieve that elusive, lava-like consistency.

Equipment You’ll Need to Make These Donut Macarons

Like I mentioned above, these donut macarons don’t require a ton of equipment!

However, I find they turn out best when the ingredients are weighed and the macarons are baked on a silpat mat. As macarons bake, they usually spread less on silpat mats than parchment paper.

Below is a list of tools and equipment I like to use when I make macarons:

Making Donut Macarons – Step by Step Process

While the recipe below is quite detailed, I find visual cues to be super helpful!

Below are some photos and a video tutorial of the process to help guide you through this recipe for donut macarons.

Step #1: Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment to Make These Donut Macarons

After weighing your ingredients, wipe down your mixing bowl and whisk attachment with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. This removes any traces of grease and helps the meringue whip up properly.

Step #2: Sift Your Dry Ingredients

Sift your superfine almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. This ensures your macaron shells turn out nice and smooth.

image of dry ingredients being sifted into bowl to make french macarons

Step #3: Make French Meringue

Next it’s time to make the French meringue! Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on a medium speed until the surface is covered with small bubbles.

Next, add in the granulated sugar and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds to help the sugar incorporate into the egg whites.

Once the sugar is incorporated, mix on a medium high speed (speed 6 on a KitchenAid mixer) until stiff peaks form. This can be done with a stand mixer or hand mixer.

Keep a close eye on your mixer to avoid over mixing your meringue. Stop the mixer once you notice texture as the meringue mixes, and the meringue begins to gather in the whisk.

image of plain french meringue that's been whipped up to make french macarons

Step #3: Mix the Dry Ingredients Into The Meringue

Add a small drop of yellow gel food coloring then fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. The combination of a tiny bit of cocoa and a touch of yellow gel food coloring should give these macarons the color of a freshly fried donut.

Mix until the batter forms a thick ribbon that flows off your spatula when it’s lifted.

A great way to test the consistency of your batter is the figure 8 test. This is when you lift your spatula and see if you can draw a figure 8 with the batter running off your spatula in one consistent stream.

You should be able to draw a couple figure 8s once your macaron batter is the right consistency.

Step #4: Pipe the Macaron Shells

Fill a large piping bag with the macaron batter and use this template to pipe rings of macaron batter onto the prepared baking sheets. If you want to make jelly filled donuts, pipe regular circular macaron shells. Or you can do a combination of both!

Firmly bang or drop your pans on the counter a few times to bring any trapped air bubbles to the surface and pop them with a toothpick. This can help you avoid hollow or cracked shells.

image of macaron batter being piped into rings to make donut shaped macarons

Step #5: Rest Your Piped Macaron Shells

Next let the macarons rest for about 30 minutes, or until they form a skin.

They should be mostly dry to the touch and look matte once they’re ready to be baked! While the shells rest preheat your oven.

Step #6: Bake The Donut Macaron Shells

Bake one tray of macarons at a time, and rotate the pan half way through to help them bake evenly.

Let the macarons cool fully on the pan then gently remove them from the silpat mat.

image of donut shaped macaron shells that have been baked and have perfect feet

Step #7: Decorate Half of the Macaron Shells with Royal Icing

Once the shells have cooled, pipe royal icing on half of the shells to look just like the icing on a donut. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles, then set aside to try for about 30 minutes.

image of macaron shells that have been decorated with royal icing to look like little sprinkle donuts

Step #8: Assembling These Donut Macarons

Once the royal icing has hardened, pipe a circle of maple buttercream onto one macaron shell and top it with a second shell.

Place the finished macarons in the fridge in an airtight container or ZipLoc bag to mature overnight then enjoy!

image of donut macarons decorated with royal icing to look just like little frosted sprinkle donuts

Donut Macaron Troubleshooting

I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of donut macarons will turn out perfectly but my own experience has taught me that’s not always the case.

Macarons can be incredibly temperamental and it might take a few tries to get them just right.

If you run into any issues please check out my detailed French macaron troubleshooting guide.

image of donut macarons decorated with royal icing to look just like little frosted sprinkle donuts

Choosing The Right Filling for Your Donut Macarons

While we put tons of energy into the shell of a macaron, almost all of the flavor in a macaron comes from its filling.

The shell gives the macarons an incredible texture, but the filling is what determines its flavor. You can use just about any type of frosting or ganache to fill macarons.

I have a big sweet tooth, so I love making maple buttercream to fill these macarons. It makes them taste just like a bite of a maple bar! I also filled the center of a few of my macarons with raspberry jam to make jelly filled donuts.

image of a jelly filled donut macaron being made with raspberry jam and maple buttercream

If you don’t want your macarons to be super sweet, I recommend using Italian buttercream or Swiss meringue frosting instead!

Donut Macaron Recipe Yield

This recipe makes about 32 macaron shells using my donut template, which can be used to make 16 macarons. You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.

image of a jelly donut macaron that's been bitten into to show it's full shells and delicious filling

Tips for Making the Best Donut Macarons

  • Wipe your mixing bowl and whisk with lemon juice or vinegar to remove any traces of grease before making your meringue. It will help your egg whites whip up better!
  • Separate your own eggs and age them if possible. Do not use egg whites from a carton.
  • Measure your ingredients in grams with a kitchen scale. You really need to be precise with this recipe and your macarons will turn out best if the ingredients are weighed.
  • Use superfine almond flour rather than trying to make your own! It more consistently yields great macarons.
  • Carefully read through the directions before making these macarons. There are quite a few steps and it’s good to know your game plan before you start!
  • Use a macaron mat or print out a template to help you pipe consistently sized macarons.
  • FIRMLY bang/drop your pans on your counter after piping your macarons. This helps release any air bubbles that may be trapped and prevent cracked or hollow shells.
  • Rest your macarons for 30 minutes (or until they develop a skin) before baking them. This will help the feet develop properly!
  • If you’re not super familiar with your oven, pipe a small number of macarons on a few sheets to test your oven for hot spots and to see if it bakes accurately. This way you won’t waste a whole tray of macs if your oven runs hot or cold.
  • Let your macarons mature! Letting them rest overnight while they are filled softens them (in a good way) and allows the flavors to develop.
  • If you run into any issues making these macarons, please check out my macaron troubleshooting guide.

Making These Donut Macarons in Advance & Storage Tips

  • You need to let French macarons mature for a few hours or overnight in the fridge before eating them. This gives them their best texture and taste.
  • Store macarons at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate macarons for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze filled macarons for up to a month in an airtight container.
  • Unfilled macaron shells can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
  • Make your filling ahead of time too or save any leftover filling! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
image of donut macarons decorated with royal icing to look just like little frosted sprinkle donuts

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for donut macarons, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets on social media so that I can see your amazing creations!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 16 macarons

Donut Macarons

image of donut macarons iced with royal icing

Learn how to make these adorable donut macarons! My step by step tutorial & detailed recipe will help you master these delicious little cookies.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes

Ingredients

Donut Macarons

Royal Icing

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • 56g unsalted butter, room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 4g vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • 4g maple extract (1 tsp)
  • 1g salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 125g powdered sugar (1 cup)
  • 5g heavy cream (1 tsp)

Additional Decorations / Fillings – Optional

Equipment

Instructions

Donut Macarons

  1. Place two silpat mats in two large baking pans and print out my donut macaron template. Set aside.
  2. Sift 68g superfine almond flour, 63g powdered sugar and 2g of cocoa powder into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour 55g of aged egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk and mix on a medium speed until the surface of the egg whites is covered in small bubbles. Add in a pinch of cream of tartar and continue to mix on a medium speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add 55g of granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. Add in a small drop of yellow gel food coloring at this point, then increase the mixing speed to a medium high speed (speed 6 on a Kitchenaid Mixer). Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form. This usually takes me about 4 minutes.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue using circular motion until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it's lifted. Be careful not to over mix the batter!
  6. Pour the batter into a large piping bag fit with a medium-sized round piping tip and pipe 32 donut shaped shells using my donut macaron template. Place it beneath each silpat mat before piping, then remove it from the pan once you’re done piping.
  7. Bang the pans firmly on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, then pop any remaining air bubbles that come to the surface with a scribe or toothpick.
  8. Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes to develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed.
  9. As the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 315 F.
  10. Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 16-18 minutes and rotate your pan halfway through.
  11. Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the pan (about 15 minutes), then gently remove them from the mat.

Royal Icing

  1. While the macaron shells rest, bake and cool make the royal icing.
  2. Beat together 125g of powdered sugar, 5g meringue powder, and 30g of water for about 4 minutes on a high speed, until medium-soft peaks form. This can be done with a whisk and stand mixer or
    an electric hand mixer.
  3. Divide the frosting evenly between two bowls. Color one bowl pink, and leave the other bowl uncolored. Place each icing in a small piping bag fit with a small round tip.
  4. Pipe the icing on the top of half of the fully cooled macaron shells to look just like the icing on a donut.
  5. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles then let the shells dry until they're firm to the touch (30-60 minutes).

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the royal icing dries, beat 56g of room-temperature butter on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes with a whisk attachment until it becomes lighter in color and smooth.
  2. Mix in 4g vanilla extract, 4g of maple extract, and a pinch of salt on a low speed.
  3. Slowly mix in 125g of powdered sugar and 5g heavy cream on a low speed.
  4. Continue to mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached. 
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional heavy cream or milk (1 tsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time).
  6. Place in a piping bag with same round piping tip you used to pipe the macaron shells and set aside.

Assembling These Donut Macarons

  1. Pipe a ring of maple frosting around one macaron shell and top it with a decorated/iced shell to create a little macaron donut sandwich.
  2. Place the finished macarons in an airtight container and chill in the fridge overnight, then let them warm to room temperature and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Yield:

This recipe makes about 32 small macaron shells, which can be used to make 16 macarons. You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.

Tips for Making the Best French Macarons

  • Measure your ingredients in grams with a kitchen scale! You really need to be precise with this recipe. Your macarons will turn out best if the ingredients are weighed.
  • Separate your own eggs and age them if possible! Do not use egg whites from a carton.
  • Use gel food coloring if you want to color your macarons. If you try to use liquid food coloring it can throw off the consistency of the batter.
  • Carefully read through the directions before making these macarons. There are quite a few steps and it's good to know your game plan before you start!
  • Use a macaron mat or print out a template to help you pipe consistently sized macarons.
  • FIRMLY bang your pans on your counter after piping your macarons. This helps release any air bubbles that may be trapped and prevent cracked or hollow shells.
  • Rest your macarons for 30 minutes before they're baked to allow them to develop a skin.
  • Pipe a small number of macarons on a mat to test your oven for hot spots and see if it bakes accurately. This way you won't waste a whole tray of macs if your oven runs hot or cold.
  • Let your macarons mature in the fridge overnight! Letting them rest overnight while they are filled softens them (in a good way) and allows the flavors to develop.
  • If your first batch of macarons doesn't turn out, please check out the troubleshooting section above for help!

Making These French Macarons in Advance & Storage Tips

  • French macarons need to mature overnight (or ideally 24 hours) in the fridge before being eaten! They taste best 24 hours after being made.
  • Macarons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
  • Macarons can be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • Filled macarons can be frozen for up to a month, but the length can vary based on the filling.
  • Unfilled macaron shells can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
  • Your filling can be made ahead of time too or save any leftover filling! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 84Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 28mgSodium 29mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 1g

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