These gingerbread macarons are filled with a delicious buttercream made with ground ginger and molasses and are a perfect treat for the holidays!
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Gingerbread Macarons Recipe
- Prepare dry ingredients – Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. Almond flour has a lot of moisture and will not sift well on its own. (TIP: Weigh out your powdered sugar first, add it to the sifter, then weigh your almond flour and add it to the powdered sugar which is already in the sifter. This is the easiest way I’ve found so the almond flour doesn’t get stuck in the mesh of the sifter.)
- Make the meringue – Whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar until you have stiff peaks. The meringue should clump up in the whisk. (TIP: If you lift the whisk from the bowl and the peak falls to the side, keep whisking.)
- Combine the ingredients – Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue and deflate some of the air until the batter is shiny and smooth and runs down the spatula without breaking.
- Pipe and rest the shells – Pipe the shells and rest them until the batter is no longer sticky. (Preheat the oven while shells are resting.)
- Bake the shells – Bake at 305F-310F for 14-16 minutes. (TIP: It is very important to use an oven thermometer because oven displays are not always accurate. Also, because all ovens are different, this temperature and baking time should only be used as a guide.)
- Decorate and fill macarons – Decorate the macarons with the royal icing drizzle and sprinkles, make the buttercream, and fill.
- Mature the macarons – After filling, the macarons should be refrigerated for at least 24 hours so that they can mature and get the chewy texture that they’re known for.
Gingerbread Macaron Filling
For that traditional gingerbread flavor, I used molasses and ground ginger in my filling.
- Salted butter – Make sure the butter is softened.
- Powdered sugar – No need to sift unless your powdered sugar is very clumpy.
- Molasses – Gives the filling that classic gingerbread taste.
- Ground Ginger
- Heavy whipping cream
I kept these gingerbread macarons simple by decorating them with an easy royal icing drizzle made with meringue powder and green and red sprinkles. The royal icing adds a little bit of a sweet crunch which compliments the texture of the shells and the gingerbread filling perfectly!
How Long Do Macarons Last?
Macarons can last up to a week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Macarons?
Yes, you can freeze both filled and unfilled macarons. I have frozen filled macarons for up to 2 months to test how well they keep in the freezer and the texture of the macaron shell and consistency of the buttercream has not been affected at all.
If you want to make them ahead and freeze them:
- Bake and fill the macarons
- Place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight to mature
- The next day, transfer them to the freezer
- The day before you plan on eating them, transfer them to the refrigerator to defrost
- Remove them from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before eating so they can come to room temperature
- Sift almond flour and powdered sugar for smooth macaron shells
- Use room temperature egg whites – the meringue will whisk up faster and easier
- Whisk meringue until you have stiff peaks – meringue should clump inside the whisk and have a little bit of resistance when you push down on it with the whisk
- Use gel food coloring – liquid food coloring will add extra moisture to the batter and this will affect the texture of the macaron shells
- Tap the baking sheet a few times to remove air bubbles – pop any air bubbles that come up to the surface with with a scribe or toothpick
- Let macaron shells cool before removing from silicone mat
More holiday macarons to try
- Candy Cane Macarons
- Snowman Macarons
- Reindeer Macarons
- Caramel Apple Macarons
- Pumpkin Spice Macarons
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- One 16 inch pastry bag
- Two 8 inch pastry bags
- Medium round piping tip
- Small bowl (to mix royal icing)
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- 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
- 2 drops chocolate brown gel food coloring
- ¼ cup salted butter (½ stick)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1½ tsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp molasses
Royal icing drizzle
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp meringue powder
- 1 tbsp water (room temperature)
- green and red sprinkles
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.
- Whisk for another minute and stop and add the chocolate brown gel food coloring.
- Whisk for about 5 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.
Royal icing drizzle
- 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 for a drizzling consistency.
- Once you can lift the spoon and the icing sinks back into itself within 10 seconds, the icing is ready.
- Transfer the royal icing to an 8 inch pastry bag, cut a very small opening at the tip, and drizzle the icing on half of the shells. Add the sprinkles before the royal icing dries. (I usually drizzle the icing and add the sprinkles on 3 shells at a time, because if the icing dries before adding the sprinkles they won't stick)
- Let the icing dry before assembling the macarons. It should dry within 10-15 minutes. While you wait, make the buttercream.
- 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 the ground ginger and whisk until combined.
- Add the heavy cream and the molasses and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy.
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.