This week we’re making strawberry macarons! They’re decorated to look just like a freshly picked strawberry and are filled with my favorite buttercream and homemade strawberry jam.
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 Strawberry Macarons
Like I mentioned above, these strawberry 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:
- Kitchen scale
- Stand Mixer or Electric Mixer
- 2 large piping bags
- Round piping tip
- Large, flat baking sheets
- Silpat Mats (or parchment paper)
- Scribe or toothpick
Making Strawberry 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 strawberry macarons.
Step #1: Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment to Make These Strawberry 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 and powdered sugar. This ensures your macaron shells turn out nice and smooth.
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 and looks opaque.
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.
Step #3: Mix the Dry Ingredients Into The Meringue
Add a generous squirt of red food coloring then fold the dry ingredients into the meringue.
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 the strawberry shaped macaron batter onto the prepared baking sheets. You can also pipe regular circular macaron shells, or you can do a combination of both!
To give you macarons more dimension and definition, let each strawberry rest for 5-10 minutes before piping the leaves and stem. Sprinkle yellow nonpareil sprinkles over the top of each shell to look like little strawberry seeds.
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.
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 Strawberry 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.
Step #8: Assembling These Strawberry Macarons
Pipe a ring of strawberry buttercream onto one macaron shell and fill the center with your favorite strawberry jam. Top it with a second shell. Repeat with the remaining shells.
Place the finished macarons in the fridge in an airtight container or ZipLoc bag to mature overnight then enjoy!
Strawberry Macaron Troubleshooting
I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of strawberry 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.
Choosing The Right Filling for Your Strawberry 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.
Strawberry Macaron Recipe Yield
You can also pipe smaller round shells and not use the template! If you go that route, this recipe makes about 25 round macarons.
Tips for Making the Best Strawberry 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!
- Print out my strawberry macaron 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 Strawberry 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 strawberry macaron recipe, I’d love to see your creations! Tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets on social media so that I can see your amazing baking.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- 140g superfine almond flour - blanched (1 1/4 cups)
- 125g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- 110g aged egg whites - about 4 large egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar - optional
- 110g granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 2 tsp)
- red gel food coloring
- 1 Tbsp yellow or white nonpareil sprinkles
- 56g unsalted butter, room temperature (1/4 cup)
- 4g vanilla extract (1 tsp)
- 1g salt (1/8 tsp)
- 125g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- 5g heavy cream (1 tsp)
Additional Decorations / Fillings – Optional
- Place two silpat mats in two large baking pans and print out my macaron template. Set aside.
- Sift 140g superfine almond flour and 125g powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
- Pour 110g of aged egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk and mix on a medium speed until the surface is covered with small bubbles and looks opaque.
- Add 110g of granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium low speed (speed 4 on a KitchenAid Mixer) for 30 seconds. 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 4-6 minutes.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue using circular motion. Once the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated into the meringue, place 1/5 of the batter in a separate bowl and add a drop of green gel food coloring. Add a squirt of red gel food coloring into the large bowl of batter. Mix both bowls until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it's lifted. You should be able to draw a figure 8 with the batter as it flows off the spatula once it's the right consistency. Be careful not to over mix the batter!
- Pour the red batter into a large piping bag fit with a medium-sized round piping tip. Pour the green batter into a small piping bag fit with a small round piping tip.
- Place the templates beneath each silpat mat before piping, then remove then from the pan once you’re done piping. To give you macarons more dimension and definition, pipe the red part of the berry and wait 5 minutes before adding the green stem and leaves.
- Sprinkle yellow nonpareil sprinkles over the red part of each shell to look like strawberry seeds.
- 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.
- Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes to develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed.
- As the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 310 F.
- 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.
- Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the pan (about 15 minutes), then gently remove them from the mat.
- While the macaron shells rest and bake, 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.
- Mix in 4g vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt on a low speed.
- Slowly mix in 125g of powdered sugar and 5g heavy cream on a low speed.
- Continue to mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached.
- 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).
- Place in a piping bag with same round piping tip you used to pipe the macaron shells and set aside.
Assembling These Strawberry Macarons
- Pipe a ring of frosting around one macaron shell and fill the center with strawberry jam. Top it with a decorated/drawn on shell to create a little macaron sandwich.
- Place the finished macarons in an airtight container and chill in the fridge overnight, then let them warm to room temperature and enjoy!
This recipe makes about 40 macaron shells, which can be used to make 20 macarons. You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.
You can also pipe smaller round shells and not use the template! If you go that route, this recipe makes about 25 classically shaped macarons (my shells are usually about 1 1/4 inch in diameter).
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 my macaron troubleshooting guide.
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.
Amount Per Serving Calories 84Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 20mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 3g