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Vanilla Macaron Recipe

This week I’m sharing my vanilla macaron recipe! They’re baked to perfection and filled with the most delicious vanilla bean buttercream frosting. To top it off, I splatter the shells with edible gold paint to really take them to the next level!

image of vanilla macarons made using the french method and decorated with edible gold paint

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 this Vanilla Macaron Recipe

Like I mentioned above, these vanilla 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 Vanilla 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 vanilla macaron recipe.

Step #1: Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment to Make These Vanilla 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.

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.

image of french meringue that's been whipped to have stiff peaks and is perfect for making macarons

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

Step #3: Mix the Dry Ingredients Into The Meringue

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

image of white vanilla macaron batter flowing off a rubber spatula in thick ribbons indicating it has been mixed perfectly and is ready to be piped

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.

image of white vanilla macaron batter that's been used to draw a couple figure 8's  indicating it has been mixed perfectly and is ready to be piped

Step #4: Pipe the Macaron Shells

Fill a large piping bag with the macaron batter and pipe circular macaron shells that are about 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

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 white vanilla macaron shells that been been banged against the counter to release air bubbles and are having any air bubbles that have surfaced by popped with a scribe

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.

image of vanilla macaron shells that have rested and formed a skin and look matte

Step #6: Bake The White Macaron Shells

Bake one tray of macarons at a time, and rotate the pan half way through to help them bake evenly. After you rotate the pan, place a foil tent over the macarons to prevent any browning.

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

image of vanilla macaron shells that have been baked and have perfect feet

Step #7: Decorate the Macaron Shells with Edible Gold Paint

This step is optional, but I like to splatter a bit of edible gold paint over these macaron shells! I love the way it looks, and think it gives these vanilla macarons such a pretty finished look.

image of white vanilla macaron shells that have been splattered and brushed with edible gold paint

Step #7: Assembling These Vanilla Macarons

Pipe a dollop of vanilla bean frosting on the bottom shell, then top it with another 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!

image of vanilla macarons made using the french method and decorated with edible gold paint

Vanilla Macaron Troubleshooting

I’d love to think everyone’s first batch of this vanilla macaron recipe 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 white vanilla macaron shells

Choosing The Right Filling for Your Vanilla 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 filling these macarons with vanilla bean buttercream.

image of a vanilla macaron shell that's being filled with vanilla bean buttercream

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

Vanilla Macaron Recipe Yield

This recipe makes about 32 small macaron shells, which can be used to make 16 macarons. I like to pipe my macarons with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches, which is smaller than most bakery style macarons.

You can double or triple this recipe to make more macarons if needed.

Tips for Making the Best Vanilla 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 the 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 Vanilla 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 vanilla macarons made using the french method and decorated with edible gold paint

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this vanilla macaron recipe, 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

Vanilla Macaron Recipe

image of vanilla macarons made using the french method and decorated with edible gold paint

Learn how to make perfect vanilla 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

Vanilla Macaron Ecipe

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

  • 56g unsalted butter, room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 4g vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • 1g salt (1/8 tsp)
  • 125g powdered sugar (1 cup)
  • 10g heavy cream (2 tsp)

Optional Decoration

Equipment

Instructions

French Vanilla Macaron Recipe

  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-low 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 you reach the soft peak stage.
  3. Add 55g of granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. Increase the mixing speed to a medium high speed. Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form (this usually takes me anywhere from 4-6 minutes mixing with a Kitchen Aid on speed 6).
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in using a 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 315 F.
  9. 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. Place a foil tent over the the shells when you rotate your pan to prevent them from browning.
  10. Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the pan (about 15 minutes), then gently remove them from the silpat mat.
  11. If desired, splatter a bit of edible gold paint over your macaron shells using a kitchen paint brush and a fork (see video).

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat 56g of room-temperature butter on a medium speed for a minute with a whisk attachment until it becomes lighter in color and smooth.
  2. Mix in 4g vanilla bean paste or extract 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 round tip (or snip the end to have an opening that's about 1 cm wide) and set aside.

Assembling These Vanilla Macarons

  1. Pipe a dollop of vanilla bean buttercream onto the bottom of one macaron shell and 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 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.

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 Vanilla 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Vanilla 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 139Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 31mgSodium 40mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 15gProtein 3g
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