This vanilla macaron recipe is made with the French meringue method and is filled with creamy vanilla buttercream. This is a great basic recipe for macarons and can be used as a base for many other flavors.
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Vanilla macaron recipe ingredients
- Powdered sugar – also known as confectioners’ sugar
- Almond flour – use blanched almond flour so there are no brown bits in your macarons
- Egg whites – the egg whites should be at room temperature
- Granulated sugar – you can also use caster sugar which is a bit finer. Either one will work just fine
- Vanilla extract – adds a nice flavor to the macaron shells
- Powdered egg whites (optional) – if you’re having a difficult time getting a strong meringue, using a very small amount of powdered egg whites can help
- Gel food coloring – avoid liquid food coloring because it will add moisture to the batter which can make it runny and ruin the texture of the shells
- Kitchen scale – weigh all your ingredients in grams.
- Strainer – sift the powdered sugar and almond flour to get smooth macarons. You’ll want to sift them together because almond flour is moist and will not sift well alone.
- Whisk – helps to break down clumps when sifting the powdered sugar and almond flour.
- Stand mixer – meringue can sometimes take a while to make so I would recommend a stand mixer instead of a hand-held.
- Spatula – for the macaronage (folding the batter).
- Pastry bag – 16 inch bag works for this recipe.
- Round piping tip – I use the Wilton #12.
- Silicone baking mat – silicone mats help keep the macarons round.
- Half sheet pan
- Oven thermometer – oven displays are not always accurate. To make sure you’re baking at the correct temperature, I highly recommend an oven thermometer.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is clean and grease free
- Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. Almond flour is moist and does not sift well on its own
- Use room temperature egg whites. (TIP: to bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a small bowl filled with hot water for about 5 minutes)
- Weigh all ingredients in grams for accuracy
- Whisk the meringue until you get stiff peaks
- Let macarons dry before baking so they don’t crack
How to make macarons
This vanilla macaron recipe is the basic recipe for macarons and is a great base for many other flavors.
- Prepare the dry ingredients – Weigh and sift the powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down all the little clumps.
- Make the meringue – Whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar until you have medium peaks. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides and add the vanilla. Whisk for a few more minutes. Stop and add the food coloring. Whisk for another few minutes until you have stiff peaks.
- Combine ingredients – Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in three stages until the batter is fully combined. Once combined, continue folding the batter until it looks smooth and glossy and runs off slowly from the spatula.
- Pipe the shells – Pipe the macarons in ¾ inch circles, about an inch apart, as they will spread a bit.
- Tap the baking sheet – To remove any air bubbles, tap the baking sheet against the counter several times.
- Rest the macarons – Let the macarons rest at room temperature until they are dry to the touch. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending how much food coloring is used or the level of humidity in the kitchen.
- Bake the macarons – Bake at 305F-315F for 14-16 minutes. Let the macarons rest for 10 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.
- Make the vanilla buttercream – Using the stand mixer, whisk the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cream until smooth.
- Assemble the macarons – Fill a pastry bag with the buttercream and cut the tip about 1/2 inch wide. Pipe the buttercream on half of the macarons and top with the remaining halves.
How to pipe macarons
Line your baking sheet with a silicone mat. You’ll need a pastry bag and a medium round tip. Holding the bag at a 90 degree angle, pipe out just enough to make a ¾ inch circle. Release the pressure as you finish piping so you don’t get a pointy top. If you do get a pointy top, don’t worry, it may flatten once you tap the tray against the counter.
Leave at least an inch between each macaron because they will flatten and spread a bit.
When you’re done piping, remember you MUST tap the baking sheet on the countertop to release air bubbles. I do about 2 taps on one side, turn the tray clockwise, do 2 more taps, and so on, until I’ve tapped the baking sheet about 8 times.
You may still have some little bubbles on the surface and you can just pop those with a scribe or toothpick.
Once you’ve piped the macarons, and before baking them, you need to let them rest until they’re dry to the touch. If you can touch the top of the shell and the batter doesn’t transfer to your finger, they’re ready to bake.
This usually takes anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour in my kitchen, depending on the humidity.
You’ll want to bake these between 305F and 315F. I recommend using an oven thermometer. My oven is about 30 degrees off, which means I need to set it at 345F, for the internal oven temperature to actually be 315F.
How long to bake macarons
I bake these vanilla macarons anywhere from 14 to 16 minutes. Depending on how much food coloring you use, they may take a bit longer.
If you take the macarons out of the oven and you can touch the top of the shells without them moving, they’re done baking. If they shift a bit, they need more time. You can put them back in the oven for another 30 seconds and then check again.
How to store macarons
Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge. Macarons are best the day after, as they need time to mature in the fridge once filled. This is what makes them chewy.
Once you’re ready to eat, take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes.
More macaron recipes to try
- Galaxy Macarons
- Mango Macarons
- Guava Macarons
- Orange Macarons
- Cotton Candy Macarons
- Earl Grey Macarons
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Macarons
- Honey Macarons
Vanilla Macaron Recipe
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- One 16 inch pastry bag
- One 8 inch pastry bag
- Round piping tip
- 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 pink gel food coloring
- ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down any clumps. Set aside.
- Line sheet pan with silicone mat.
- Insert the piping tip into the 16 inch pastry bag.
Make the meringue
- Whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed (speed 4) until opaque (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 medium (speed 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.
- Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until medium peaks, and then add 2 drops of gel food coloring.
- Whisk until stiff peaks.
- Add the powdered sugar and almond flour mixture in three parts, 1/3 at a time, folding each part until fully combined.
- Once fully combined, you'll need to deflate some of the air by smearing the batter against the side of the bowl two or three times and folding once or twice.
- Repeat the process of smearing the batter against the side of the bowl and folding until the batter looks smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula slowly in ribbons. If the batter sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, it's 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.
- 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 vanilla extract and the cream and whisk until smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill the 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut about a ½ inch opening at the bottom of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of half of the macarons and top the macarons with the remaining halves.