These candy cane macarons are filled with peppermint buttercream and bits of crushed candy canes. They’re decorated with a marbled red and white royal icing shell resembling the classic red and white candies and are perfect for any holiday party!
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Candy Cane Macarons Recipe
- Prepare dry ingredients – Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together (almond flour has a lot of moisture and doesn’t sift well on its own)
- Make the meringue – Whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar until you have stiff peaks. The meringue should clump up inside the whisk.
- Combine ingredients – Fold the meringue and dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and shiny and flows down the spatula in ribbons.
- Pipe the shells – Using a medium sized piping tip, pipe the shells in 3/4 inch circles and tap the baking sheet a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Rest the macarons – The shells need to rest until they develop a skin so they don’t crack in the oven.
- Bake the macarons – Bake the shells at 300-315F for 14-16 minutes.
How to Make Candy Cane Macarons
- Bake the macaron shells and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- While the shells are cooling, prepare the royal icing in a small bowl (instructions below).
- Add a few drops of red gel food coloring to the royal icing and swirl it with a scribe or toothpick.
- Dip the top of the macaron shell and swirl it as you lift it out of the icing to create the swirls.
- Let the royal icing dry for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
Royal Icing with Meringue Powder
- Powdered sugar – no need to sift unless the powdered sugar is very clumpy
- Meringue powder
- Water (room temperature)
In a small bowl using a spoon, mix the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a few drops of water and stir until fully combined. Continue adding water, a few drops at a time, until you have 10 second icing. This means that if you lift the spoon, the icing will sink back into itself within 10 seconds.
Peppermint Buttercream Recipe
- Salted butter – softened
- Powdered sugar – no need to sift unless the powdered sugar is very clumpy
- Heavy whipping cream
- Peppermint extract
- Crushed candy cane – One small candy cane is enough for this recipe
How to Make Peppermint Buttercream
Whisk salted butter until creamy and add powdered sugar in two parts, mixing each time to make sure the sugar is dissolved well. Add the heavy cream, peppermint extract and crushed candy cane and mix until creamy and smooth.
- Use a kitchen scale – weigh your ingredients (almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and egg whites). Macarons are very finicky cookies and you need exact amounts, which you won’t get with cups and spoons.
- Whisk the meringue until you have stiff peaks – Your meringue should be stiff and the peaks should stand straight up, not flop to the side.
- Use room temperature egg whites – Egg whites should be at room temperature because they will whip up more easily and quickly, and the meringue will have more volume.
- Use an oven thermometer – All ovens are different and temperature displays aren’t always exact. It’s very helpful to know your exact oven temperature. (For example, my oven runs 30 degrees cooler, which means I need to set the temperature at 345F to bake at 315F) If I was not using a thermometer and was setting the temperature at 315F, I would actually be baking at 285F.
More holiday macarons to try
- Reindeer Macarons
- Gingerbread Macarons
- Snowman Macarons
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons
- Pumpkin Spice Macarons
- Caramel Apple Macarons
Candy Cane Macarons
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- One 16 inch pastry bag
- One 8 inch pastry bag
- Medium round piping tip
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- Small bowl (for royal icing)
- Scribe (or toothpick)
- 90 grams powdered sugar
- 80 grams almond flour
- 70 grams egg whites (room temperature)
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 2 grams egg white powder (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 6 drops red gel food coloring
- ¼ cup salted butter (½ stick)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 1 small candy cane (crushed)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp water
- red food coloring
Prepare dry ingredients
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down any clumps. Set aside.
- Line sheet pans with silicone mats.
- Insert the piping tip into the 16 inch pastry bag.
Make the meringue
- Whisk the egg whites on medium speed (speed 4) until you see small bubbles (this can take as little as 15 seconds sometimes).
- Slowly add 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between each tbsp.
- Whisk until you start to see tracks in the meringue.
- Increase speed to 6 and continue slowly adding the remainder of the granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until you’ve added all the sugar.
- Once you have soft peaks, stop the mixer, scrape the sides and add the vanilla extract and 6 drops of red gel food coloring.
- Whisk for about 5 more minutes, or until stiff peaks. The meringue should form a clump inside the whisk.
- Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold the batter until you can't see any of the dry ingredients.
- When folding the batter, slide the spatula under the batter, lift it in a U motion, go over the top of the batter, and slide it under again. This way you make sure to get the batter at the bottom of the bowl.
- Once fully combined, add in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and repeat the process of folding.
- Add in the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and fold until fully combined.
- Once all of the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture has been added, continue folding a few more times to make sure all the ingredients are combined well.
- Now it's time to deflate some of the air in the batter by folding once and smearing the batter against the side of the bowl twice, and then folding again. You only want to smear the batter 3 or 4 times against the side of the bowl because you don't want to deflate all of the air in the batter.
- You can test the consistency by lifting the spatula and letting the batter run down. If it falls in ribbons without breaking and sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, the batter is ready.
Pipe the macarons
- Transfer the batter to the 16 inch pastry bag.
- Holding the pastry bag at a 90° angle, pipe the macarons into ¾ inch circles about 1 inch apart.
- Tap the tray against the counter about 8 times to release any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons rest until they form a skin and are no longer sticky.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 310°F.
- Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes.
- Macarons are ready when they no longer shift if you touch the tops.
- Let the shells cool for about 30 minutes before dipping the tops in the royal icing.
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a few drops of water and stir with a spoon.
- Continue stirring, adding a few drops of water at a time if necessary.
- Once you can lift the spoon and the icing sinks back into itself within 10 seconds, the icing is ready.
- Add a few very small drops of red gel food coloring to the icing and swirl the color around with a scribe or toothpick.
- Dip the tops of half of the shells in the royal icing to cover the tops completely, turning the shells as you lift them off the icing to create the swirls.
- Let the royal icing dry for at least 30 minutes or more if necessary.
- In a medium bowl, using the stand mixer, whisk the butter until smooth.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until combined.
- Add the peppermint extract, heavy cream, and crushed candy cane and continue mixing until smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill an 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut a ½ inch opening at the bottom of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of half of the macaron shells and top with the decorated shells.
- Place the assembled macarons in the refrigerator overnight so they can mature.
- When ready to eat, remove macarons from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes, before eating.