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Lime Macarons

Summer is finally here and in my mind that means all things citrus! So, today we’re making some lime macarons.

They’re filled with a delicious, homemade lime curd and zesty lime buttercream.

image of lime macarons stacked on top of each other

They taste like a slice of key lime pie and are the perfect summer macaron flavor.

Making These Lime Macarons with the French Method

There are a few different ways macarons are made. French macarons are considered easier to make while the Italian and Swiss methods use a few more steps but are more structurally sound.

French macarons also require less equipment. While I love Italian macarons, I like to keep things simple and used the French method for this recipe.

image of a lime macaron being held up in the air to show it's nice feet

Equipment You’ll Need to Make These Lime Macarons

I’ve made quite a few batches of macarons, and they definitely turn out best when the ingredients are weighed, and the macarons are baked on a silpat mat.

These are the tools I like to use when I make these macarons:

How to Make These Lime 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 of the process to help guide you through this recipe.

Or if you’d like to see a long form video, check out this video about how I make my French macaron recipe.

Step #1: Make the French Meringue

The first step is to make the French meringue!

Whisk the room temperature egg whites on a medium-low speed until the surface is covered in small bubbles.

image of egg whites that have been whipped to make small bubbles on the top before adding in the sugar to make french meringue

Add in a pinch of cream of tartar and continue to mix until the whisk begins to leave tracks. This is called the soft peak stage.

Gradually add the granulated sugar and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. Then increase the mixing speed to a medium high speed.

Mix until stiff peaks form like in the photo below. Keep a close eye on your mixer to avoid over mixing the meringue.

image of meringue that's shiny and has reached stiff peak stage for making macarons

Step #2: Sift and Fold the Dry Ingredients into the Meringue

Sift the superfine almond flour and powdered sugar into the meringue.

image of dry ingredients being sifted into meringue to make macaron batter

Use a rubber spatula to break up any big clumps and press them through the sieve.

image of dry ingredients being pushed through a sieve to make macaron shells

Add in the yellow and green gel food coloring at this point. I like to add in 4 small drops of yellow and 1 small drop of green gel food coloring.

It sounds like a strange ratio, but it gives the shells a really nice, green color.

Then fold the ingredients together with a rubber spatula.

image of dry ingredients being folded into meringue to make macaron batter

Use a circular motion that sweeps around the edge of the bowl and then pull through the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is getting mixed together.

image of macaron batter being folded to incorporate the dry ingredients

Don’t forget to scrape off the inside of the spatula intermittently.

Sometimes meringue can get stuck there and not get mixed in properly.

image of bright green macaron batter being mixed with a rubber spatula

Fold until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it is lifted.

You should be able to draw a couple figure 8’s with the batter running off your spatula in a continuous stream once it is the right consistency.

image of green macaron batter that's been mixed properly and passes the figure 8 test

If the stream of batter breaks before you’re able to this, you may need to stir it a bit more.

Step #3: Pipe the Macaron Shells

Fill a large piping bag with macaron batter and pipe 1 3/4-inch rounds onto 2 silpat lined baking sheets. Space them about 1-inch apart.

image of green macaron shells that have been piped and are resting

Firmly bang or drop your pans on the counter a few times.

This brings any trapped air bubbles to the surface, which can then be popped with a toothpick or scribe.

Popping these little bubbles can help you avoid hollow or cracked shells.

image of green macaron shells having their bubbles popped with a scribe

Step #4: Rest the Macaron Shells

Let the macarons rest for about 30 minutes, or until they form a skin. On rainy days this can take up to an hour where I live!

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 green macaron shells that have rested and have become matte and formed a skin

Step #5: Bake the Macaron Shells

Bake one tray of macarons at a time and place the tray in the middle rack of your oven.

Rotate the pan halfway through to help them bake evenly. After you rotate the pan, place a foil tent over the shells to prevent browning as they finish baking.

image of green macaron shells that have baked up with nice, even feet

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

If they’re properly baked, they should peel off the mat cleanly and have a shiny bottom.

image of green macaron shells that have been properly baked and have smooth, shiny bottoms

Step #6: Make the Lime Curd

The lime curd filling needs a little time to cool and thicken, so I recommend making it next! It can also be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

It takes a little bit of extra time to make from scratch, but it’s totally work it!

image of homemade lime curd being scooped out of a glass jar

It’s also the perfect way to use up the leftover yolks from making the shells.

Step #7: Assemble the Macarons

While the shells bake and cool, make the lime buttercream. Place in a small piping fit with a small round piping tip and set aside.

Once the macaron shells have cooled, pair them up and pipe a ring of buttercream around one macaron shell. Fill the center with lime curd.

image of lime curd being piped inside of lime macarons

Gently press a second shell on top of the filling to create a sandwich.

Sprinkle extra lime zest over the top of the macarons to give them a little extra pizazz.

Place the finished macarons in an airtight container and store in the fridge to let them mature overnight.

image of a stack of lime macarons that are being topped with fresh lime zest

Letting the filled macarons rest overnight softens them (in a good way) and allows the flavor to develop.

Troubleshooting These Lime Macarons

While I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of these lime macarons will turn out perfectly, I’ve learned that’s not how things usually go.

Macarons are incredibly temperamental, and it might take a few tries to get them just right. If you run into any issues, check out my macaron troubleshooting guide!

Choosing the Right Filling for These Macarons

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

The shell gives macarons an incredible texture, but the filling is what determines its flavor.

image of lime macarons stacked and are filled with lime curd and lime buttercream

I think this combination of tart lime curd and sweet lime buttercream is absolutely incredible, but you could also just fill these with lime buttercream.

If you like less sweet frosting, I recommend making a quarter batch of my hybrid buttercream or my Swiss meringue buttercream.

Recipe Yield

This recipe makes about 36 large macaron shells, which can be used to make 18 macarons.

You can double or halve this recipe as needed.

The yield and bake time will vary based on the size of macarons you pipe. I piped these shells with a diameter of 1 3/4-inches.

image of lime macarons stacked and are filled with lime curd and lime buttercream

Tips for Making the Best Lime Macarons

  • Use key lime juice to make the lime curd and frosting if possible. It gives these macarons a wonderful depth of flavor.
  • Wipe your mixing bowl, whisk, and baking mats with lemon juice or vinegar to remove any traces of grease before making the 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. Your macarons will turn out best if the ingredients are weighed.
  • Use a macaron mat or print out a template to help you pipe consistently sized macarons.
  • Let your baked and filled macarons mature! This softens them (in a good way) and allows the flavors to develop.
  • If your macarons don’t turn out, check out my macaron troubleshooting guide!
image of lime macarons stacked on a plate that have been filled with homemade lime curd

Making These Lime Macarons in Advance & Storage Tips

These macarons need to mature for a few hours or overnight in the fridge before being eaten. This gives them time to develop the best texture and taste.

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! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

image of a macaron that's been filled with homemade lime curd

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for lime macarons, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and comment below.

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

Yield: 18 macarons

Lime Macarons

image of lime macarons stacked on top of each other

These lime macarons are perfect for summer! They're filled with tart lime curd and delicious lime buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Macarons Shells

Lime Curd

Key Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • 56g unsalted butter, room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 6g lime zest (1 Tbsp)
  • 6g lime juice (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 4g vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • 1g fine salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 166g powdered sugar (1 1/3 cups)
  • 15g heavy cream (1 Tbsp)

Equipment

Instructions

Green Macaron Shells

  1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Set aside.
  2. Pour 110g 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 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and continue to mix until it reaches the soft peak stage and leaves visible tracks.
  3. Gradually mix 110g of granulated sugar into the egg whites over a few minutes while mixing on a medium low speed. Increase the mixing speed to a medium high speed. Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Sift 140g superfine almond flour and 125g powdered sugar into the meringue. Use a rubber spatula to break up any big clumps and press them through the sieve.
  5. Add in 4 small drops of yellow and 1 small drop of green gel food coloring to give the shells a warm green color. It sounds like a strange ratio, but it gives the macs a really nice bright green color.
  6. Fold the ingredients together with a rubber spatula. Use a circular motion that sweeps around the edge of the bowl and then pull through the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is getting mixed together. Don't forget to scrape off the inside of the spatula intermittently. Sometimes meringue can get stuck there and not get mixed in properly.
  7. Fold the batter until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it's lifted. You should be able to draw a couple figure 8's with the batter running off your spatula in a continuous stream when it's the right consistency. If the stream of batter breaks before you're able to this, you may need to stir it a bit more.
  8. Pour the batter into a large piping bag fit with a medium-sized round piping tip and pipe 1 3/4-inch rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Space them about 1-inch apart.
  9. 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.
  10. Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes, or until they develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed. While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 320 F / 160 C.
  11. Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 18-21 minutes and rotate the pan halfway through to help the macarons bake evenly. Place a foil tent over the shells halfway through when you rotate the pan to prevent browning.
  12. Remove the macaron shells from the oven and let them cool on the pan (about 15 minutes), then gently remove them from the silpat mat. If they're properly baked, they should peel off the mat cleanly and have a shiny bottom.

Lime Curd

  1. Make the lime curd next! It needs time to cool to room temperature.
  2. Fill a sauce pan with 2 inches of water and heat over medium-low heat.
  3. Combine 2 large egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp of lime juice, 2 tsp lime zest, and a 1/4 tsp of fine salt in a medium-sized, heat proof bowl. Whisk until combined and smooth.
  4. Once the water begins to simmer, place the bowl on top of the sauce pan to make a double boiler. Leave the heat on medium-low heat and make sure the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl. Continuously whisk the mixture until it thickens. This usually takes me about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl from the pan and turn off the stove. Add 2 Tbsp of butter and stir until incorporated. The mixture should be thick and smooth at this point.
  6. Scoop the lime curd into a small piping bag and seal the top. Place in the fridge to cool. It should have thickened and be fully chilled in 15-30 minutes.
  7. Leftover lime curd can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Lime Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat 56g room-temperature butter on a medium-high speed for 1 minute with a hand mixer until smooth. It should become lighter in color as air is incorporated into it.
  2. Mix in 6g of lime zest, 6g of lime juice, 4g vanilla extract, and 1g salt on a low speed.
  3. Slowly mix in 166g of powdered sugar. Halfway through add 15g of heavy cream or milk to make the frosting easier to mix. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  4. Mix on low for a minute 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. Once the frosting is the right consistency, place in a piping bag fit with a small round tip (like a Wilton 10) and set aside.

Assembling These Key Lime Macarons

  1. Pair up the macaron shells, then pipe a ring of key lime buttercream around one macaron shell. Fill the center with lime curd. If you don't want to make lime curd, you can either use store bought lime curd or pipe a large dollop of buttercream on the shell to fill the entire macaron.
  2. Gently press a second shell on top of the filling to create a sandwich.
  3. Sprinkle a little extra lime zest over the top of the macarons to give a little extra pizazz.
  4. Place the finished macarons in an airtight container and chill in the fridge overnight, then enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Yield:

This recipe makes about 36 macaron shells, which can be used to make 18 macarons. You can double or half this recipe 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 1 3/4 inches, so they're about the size of a standard macaron.

Tips for Making the Best Lime Macarons

  • Use key lime juice to make the lime curd and frosting if possible. It gives these macarons a wonderful depth of flavor.
  • 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.
  • 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 the macarons for 30 minutes before they're baked to allow them to develop a skin.
  • Let your filled macarons mature in the fridge overnight! This softens them (in a good way) and allows the flavors to develop.
  • If your macarons don't turn out, please check out my macaron troubleshooting guide for help!

Making These Key Lime 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 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 200Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 57mgSodium 81mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 1gSugar 27gProtein 3g

Flora.

Tuesday 26th of July 2022

This looks so yummy! Do you think I could add lime zest to the macaron shells?

Chelsweets

Sunday 31st of July 2022

Hi Flora,

I worry that the extra oil from the zest could cause some of the shells to crack. However, I haven't tried so I'm not sure! I really like to leave the shells alone and pack the filling with flavor. If you try it though I'd love to hear how it goes!!

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