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Lemon Macarons

When life gives you lemons, I say make lemon macarons!

These macarons filled with lemon curd and lemon buttercream and are just as delicious as they sound.

image of french lemon macarons filled with lemon curd and fresh lemon buttercream frosting

The French Method vs. the Italian Method

The French method of making macarons involves whisking egg whites together with a bit of sugar to create a French meringue with stiff peaks.

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

This method is quite a bit easier and quicker than the Italian method, which involves a candy thermometer and temperature sensitive sugar syrup.

With that in mind, this recipe uses the French method to make French lemon macarons.

image of french lemon macarons filled with lemon curd and fresh lemon buttercream frosting

Equipment You’ll Need to Make These Lemon Macarons

Like I mentioned above, these lemon 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 lemon macarons:

Making Lemon 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 lemon macarons.

Step #1: Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment

After weighing your ingredients, wipe down your mixing bowl and whisk attachment with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to remove any residual grease. This helps the meringue whip up better!

Step #2: Sift Your Dry Ingredients

Sifting your superfine almond flour and powdered sugar will help your macaron shells turn out nice and smooth. This step makes sure that no chunks of almond or powdered sugar get mixed into your macaron batter.

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 on a medium speed until soft peaks form, then add in the granulated sugar.

Once the sugar is incorporated, add in gel food coloring if desired. Then mix on a medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Keep a close eye on your mixer to avoid over mixing your meringue.

image of french meringue on a whisk that's been colored yellow with gel food coloring

Step #3: Mix the Dry Ingredients Into The Meringue

Mix the dry ingredients into the meringue in two additions. The batter might look a bit stiff but it’s better to be too thick than to overmix it! The batter should form a thick ribbon that flows off your spatula when it’s lifted.

image of yellow macaron batter that's been mixed perfectly to have a lava like consistency

Step #4: Pipe the Macaron Shells

Fill a large piping bag with the macaron batter and pipe 1 1/4 inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

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 yellow macaron shells being piped onto a silpat mat

Step #5: Rest Your Piped Macaron Shells

Next let the macarons rest for 30 minutes 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.

image of yellow macaron shells that have rested and have formed a touchable skin before being baked

Step #6: Bake The Lemon Macaron Shells

Bake one tray of macarons at a time and place the tray on the middle rack of your oven. Let the macarons cool fully on the pan then gently remove them from the silpat mat.

image of yellow macaron shells that have been baked and are cooling before being filled

Step #7: Assembling These Lemon Macarons

Pipe a ring of lemon buttercream around one macaron shell and fill the center with lemon curd. Top it with a second shell and gently press down to create a sandwich.

Place the finished macarons in the fridge in an airtight container to mature overnight then bring the macarons back to room temperature and enjoy!

image of a lemon macaron that's filled with lemon curd and a fresh lemon buttercream

Lemon Macaron Troubleshooting

I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of lemon macarons will turn out perfectly but my own experience has taught me that’s not how things usually go.

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 perfectly baked yellow macaron shells with feet and no browning

Choosing The Right Filling for Your Lemon 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.

image of lemon curd and fresh lemon buttercream placed in piping bags and ready to fill lemon macarons

I have a big sweet tooth, so I love using a lemon american buttercream to fill these lemon macarons. I also fill the centers with lemon curd to really pack them with lemon flavor.

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

Recipe Yield

This recipe makes about 36 macaron shells, which can be used to make 18 macarons. You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.

The yield and bake time will also vary based on the size of macarons you pipe. I pipe my shells with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches diameter.

Decorating These Lemon Macarons

If you want to take your lemon macarons to the next level, you can decorate them a few different ways.

I chose to pull out two little corners from each macaron with a toothpick to create lemon shaped macaron shells! You can also use a template, but since this is such a simple shape I decided to freehand it.

image of lemon shaped macaron shells that have been piped and are ready to be baked

The second way you can have fun is by drawing on your macarons! Yup, you heard me right.

With the help of an edible marker you can make your lemon macarons look adorable with kawaii smiley faces or even make them look like the cross section of a lemon.

image of adorable and cute lemon macarons that have been decorated with an edible marker

The possibilities are endless. Let your creativity flow and have some fun!

Tips for Making the Best Lemon 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.
  • 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 before they’re baked to allow them to develop a skin.
  • 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 want to have some extra fun, decorate your macarons with an edible marker. I drew on mine to give some of them a kawaii smile, and made the other half look like a lemon slice.
  • If your first batch of macarons doesn’t turn out, please check out my macaron troubleshooting guide.
image of a lemon macaron that's been bitten into to show its lemon curd filling and fresh lemon buttercream

Making These Lemon 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.

Let Me Know What You Think!

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

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

image of super cute lemon macarons that have been decorated to look just like lemon slices

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 18 macarons

Lemon Macarons

image of french lemon macarons filled with lemon curd and fresh lemon buttercream frosting

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 6 minutes

Ingredients

Lemon Macarons

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 56g unsalted butter, room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 4g lemon extract (1 tsp)
  • 3g fresh lemon zest (1 Tbsp)
  • 1g salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 125g powdered sugar (1 cup)
  • 10g heavy cream (2 tsp)

Optional FIlling

  • 15g lemon curd (2 Tbsp)

Equipment

Instructions

French Lemon Macarons

  1. Sift 70g superfine almond flour and 63g powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. 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 until your reach the soft peak stage.
  3. Add 55g of granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. If desired, add in yellow gel food coloring at this point, then increase the mixing speed to a medium high speed. Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in two additions 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!
  5. Pour the batter into a large piping bag fit with a medium-sized round piping tip and pipe 1 1/4 inch rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  6. 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 toothpick.
  7. Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes to develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed.
  8. As the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 300 F.
  9. Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 16-17 minutes and rotate your pan halfway through.
  10. Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the pan (about 15 minutes), then gently remove them from the silpat mat.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  1. 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 lemon extract, 3g fresh lemon zest and 1g salt on a low speed.
  3. Slowly mix in 125g of powdered sugar and 10g 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 a small round tip and set aside.

Assembling These Lemon Macarons

  1. Pipe a thick ring of lemon buttercream or frosting of your choice around one macaron shell and fill the center with the a dollop of lemon curd. Gently press a second shell on top of the frosting to create a 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 36 small macaron shells, which can be used to make 18 macarons. You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.

The yield and bake time can vary based on how large you pipe your shells. I piped these shells with a diameter of about 1 and 1/4 inch, so they're a tiny bit smaller than a standard macaron.

Tips for Making the Best Lemon 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 yellow gel food coloring. 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.

Making These Lemon 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

18

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 126Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 29mgSodium 37mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 1gSugar 14gProtein 2g
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Mini Macarons: Recipe and Step by Step Video Tutorial

Thursday 28th of January 2021

[…] Lemon Macarons […]

CARMEN hislop

Monday 28th of December 2020

Hey used use ground almonds almond meal in a inteasd of almond flour? I can’t find it anywhere here in New Zealand

Thea

Thursday 26th of November 2020

So sorry there a lot of typos in there

Thea

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

I am allergic to almonds so is it possible to use all-purpose flour? Thanks! Also I love all of your recipes! You are the first person I go to when I bake. ps, I love you TikTok’s ?

Juliane

Thursday 4th of February 2021

@Thea, No, macarons can only be made with almond flour.

Nicola E Rubinow

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Wow! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me, Chelsey ... I'm saving this recipe to make in the spring ... but they sound absolutely phenomenal and your video is terrific! Congrats on yet another culinary masterpiece! Niikki