These Orange Macarons are filled with a silky orange zest buttercream and decorated with royal icing to look like mini oranges. They’re so cute and delicious, you won’t be able to have just one!
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Orange Macarons Recipe
- Powdered sugar – Sift the powdered sugar together with the almond flour to get rid of any clumps
- Almond flour – Use blanched, finely sifted almond flour
- Egg whites – Your egg whites should be at room temperature so that the meringue whisks up more easily
- Granulated sugar
- Egg white powder – If you have trouble getting a strong meringue, egg white powder will help
- Vanilla extract – Adds a nice flavor to the shells
- Orange gel food coloring – Use gel food coloring because liquid coloring can add extra moisture to the batter which may affect the texture of the shells
How to Make Orange Macarons
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together – Almond flour has a lot of moisture and doesn’t sift well alone. Set aside while you make the meringue.
- Make the meringue – Using room temperature egg whites, sift the meringue until you have stiff peaks. The meringue should clump up inside the whisk and the peaks should stand straight up.
- Combine meringue and dry ingredients – Add the dry ingredients in three parts to make sure they’re incorporated fully into the meringue. Fold and deflate the batter until it runs down in ribbons slowly from the spatula.
- Pipe the macarons – Pipe the batter into circles and tap the tray several times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Rest the shells – Rest the shells until they’re no longer sticky.
- Bake – Bake the macarons at 305F-315F for 14-16 minutes.
Orange Macaron Filling
This orange macaron filling was made using buttercream, orange extract and orange zest to add freshness.
- Salted butter – I always use salted butter for buttercream. You can use unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor and cut a bit of the sweetness from the sugar
- Powdered sugar – No need to sift unless the sugar is clumpy
- Heavy whipping cream
- Orange extract – Orange extract has a strong flavor, so you only need a little bit for a great orange flavor
- Orange zest – I added a bit of orange zest to enhance the orange flavor and add a bit of freshness to the filling
What is a Substitute for Orange Extract?
If you don’t have orange extract, you can add more orange zest to taste.
Can I Substitute Orange Juice for Orange Extract?
Orange extract is more potent and will give more orange flavor than orange juice. You won’t be able to get as much of the orange flavor using juice because the more liquid you add, the runnier your buttercream will become.
Decorating Macarons with Royal Icing
I added a small leaf decoration to my shells using stiff consistency royal icing. Stiff consistency royal icing should not sink back into itself at all once prepared. This is how you get the textured leaf decoration.
You don’t need a special leaf tip for this decoration, you can just cut the tip of the piping bag into a “V” shape, and holding the bag so that the “V” is on the sides, start piping the icing. Lessen the pressure once you get to the tip of the leaf so that it makes a point.
More fruit macarons to try
- Mango Macarons
- Guava Macarons
- Caramel Apple Macarons
- Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons
- Chocolate Strawberry Macarons
- Passion Fruit Macarons
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Macarons
- Pineapple Macarons
- Peach Macarons
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- 16 inch pastry bag
- Two 8 inch pastry bags
- Round piping tip (I used the Ateco 10)
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- Small bowl (to mix royal icing)
- 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 orange gel food coloring
Orange zest buttercream
- ¼ cup salted butter (½ stick)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp water (room temperature)
- 1 drop green gel 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 the 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 the orange food coloring.
- Whisk for about 5 more minutes, or until you have stiff peaks.
- Add in the powdered sugar and almond flour mixture in three parts, 1/3 at a time, folding each part until fully combined.
- Once the meringue and dry ingredients are fully combined, stop folding.
- Now you need to deflate some of the air in the batter by taking the spatula and smearing the batter on the sides of the bowl two or three times, and then folding once or twice.
- Repeat the process of smearing some of the batter on the side of the bowl and folding until the batter looks smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula slowly in ribbons.
- You can test the consistency by lifting the spatula and letting the batter run down. If it falls in ribbons and sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, the batter is ready.
- Transfer the batter to the 16 inch pastry bag.
Pipe the macarons
- Take the pastry bag and, holding the bag at a 90° angle, pipe the shells in 3/4 inch circles.
- Tap the tray against the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. I usually tap about 7-8 times.
- Let the macarons rest until they form a skin and are no longer sticky.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 315°F.
- Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes.
- Macarons are ready when they no longer shift if you touch the tops.
- Let the macaron shells cool for at least 30 minutes to an hour before decorating. While the macarons are cooling, make 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 more drops of water if necessary.
- Check the consistency by lifting the spoon. If the batter forms a stiff peak and doesn't sink back into itself, it's ready. Add 1 drop of green gel food coloring.
- Transfer the royal icing to an 8 inch pastry bag and set aside.
Prepare the orange zest 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 whisk until combined.
- Add the heavy cream, orange extract, and orange zest and mix until creamy and smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill an 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut a ½ inch opening at the tip of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of half of the shells and top with the other half of the shells.
Decorate the macarons
- Take the pastry bag with the royal icing and cut a very small "V" shape at the tip.
- Hold the bag so that the "V" shapes are on either side, place the tip of the bag on the macaron and squeeze. Release the pressure on the bag as you pull away from the leaf to make the tip.
- Let the royal icing dry for a couple of minutes, and place in an air tight container.
- Refrigerate for at least 24 hours so that the macarons can mature.
- When ready to eat, remove the macarons from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature at least 20 to 30 minutes before eating.