Lemony Macarons

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on Yummly

Macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) are quite the rage these days — these bite sized meringue-based treats are showing up in specialty shops and bakeries everywhere. If you have a little time, and a little patience, you can make these lemony macarons yourself!

I have always loved macarons, and have spent a decent amount of money buying them because they always looked too hard to make. My local Sur La Table has a few classes specializing in making various flavors of these tiny sweet sandwiches, so I decided to go see just how difficult they actually were to create — and the answer is not too hard at all!


The only thing you might not already have in your cabinet is almond flour (we used King Arthur Almond Flour for this recipe). My teacher actually suggested toasting the flour for about 20 minutes to make sure it was very dry. (Nut-based flour can add unwanted oils to the recipe and cause the meringue to separate or go flat.) Everything else you likely have in your pantry if you do any amount of baking. And if you don’t, it is very easy to find at your local grocery store.

Sur La Table gave us some important tips to make sure our Lemony Macarons came out perfectly. In addition to drying out the flour, triple sift the flour and powdered sugar together. You also should fold the dry goods it into your meringue in quarter batches so as not to flatten the meringue.

Also, if you use a flavoring, it is preferred to use a paste instead of a liquid (liquid flavoring has alcohol, which can cause the meringue to separate). The same applies if you use a coloring for the meringue pieces. Another option is using dried fruit or peel zest — which can add not only wonderful flavor, but natural color to your end product without having to worry about the meringue issues.

The great thing about this recipe, is that while I used lemon, you can replace the lemon with any flavor you want both for the sandwich and/or filling part. (The above picture has lemon with lemon poppyseed buttercream filling, and green tea with chocolate ganache filling.) The important thing is to give it a try, and have fun in the effort!


Lemony Macarons

Lemony Macarons


  • 7 ounces powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces King Arthur almond flour
  • 4 large (4 ounces) egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon yellow food coloring, plus more as needed (gel coloring is preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted poppy seeds (optional)
  • For Lemon-Poppy Seed Buttercream filling:
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 11/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter cut into 1-inch pieces (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted poppy seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 300° F, with rack placed in the lower section of the oven.
  2. Fit baking sheets with parchment paper. Make sure the pans are flat {not dented or warped) and the parchment is trimmed to fit pan. Using small round cookie cutters (or you can find templates searching on-line) trace circles onto the parchment.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process confectioners' sugar and almond flour into a fine powder, about 30 seconds. Using a sifter, sift mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper -- repeating two additional times -- and discard any coarse meal (no more than 1/2 teaspoon). Set aside.
  4. To make the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and cream of tartar; whip whites on medium speed until foamy.
  5. Gradually add sugar, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Once all the sugar is incorporated, continue to whip meringue into stiff glossy peaks.The meringue should have the consistency of shaving cream.
  7. Whisk in yellow food coloring, adding more as needed until the desired color is achieved. (Gel is preferred in a meringue recipe because the alcohol in liquid food coloring will break down the meringue).
  8. Add one-third of the sifted flour mixture to the meringue and fold with the spatula.
  9. Once incorporated, add the remaining flour mixture, smearing the batter along the sides of the bowl and then folding back to the center, being careful not to over mix. Repeat until the batter becomes shiny and reaches the consistency of slow moving lava. To check for the correct consistency, the batter should flow from your spatula like thick lava and hold a ribbon for a couple of seconds, then fall back into itself making a smooth glossy surface. If it falls in clumps and doesn't flow slowly, continue to fold gently, deflating the batter until the proper consistency is reached.
  10. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip.
  11. Pipe a small dollop of batter onto the corners of each baking sheet and lay parchment over (ink side down) and press down corners to secure.
  12. Using both hands to hold the pastry bag, pipe batter by placing the tip 1/2-inch above the parchment at a 45° angle perpendicular to the pan-directly in the center of the first stenciled circle-and fill.
  13. Once the circle is filled, stop squeezing and make a quick upward and sideways motion to detach the batter and move to the next circle. (The batter should settle into a smooth and glossy round circle.)
  14. If you like, you can garnish each macaron with a small pinch of poppy seeds.
  15. Allow the macarons to stand at room temperature until a firm skin forms on them (about 30 to 45 minutes.) To check to see if the macarons are ready, lightly touch the side, and if your finger does not make a dent, they are ready for the oven.
  16. Bake macarons one sheet at a time, rotating the tray halfway through, until they are crisp and firm (about 14 to 16 minutes.)
  17. Carefully slide macaron topped parchment sheets onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before removing from paper and filling.
  18. For the filling:
  19. Using a small saucepan over medium heat, add lemon zest and juice.
  20. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until juice is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
  21. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  22. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
  23. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer, and then place the bowl with the egg whites over the simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  24. Remove bowl from the heat and attach to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the mixture on high speed until it cools to room temperature, is light and billowing, and resembles marshmallow fluff. If the meringue is warm, it will melt the butter, so feel the bowl to make sure it has cooled to room temperature before continuing.
  25. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to blend in fully before adding the next.
  26. Halfway through adding the butter, stop the mixer and use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl thoroughly. The buttercream may appear to separate, continue to whip until all the butter has been added and the mixture is velvety and smooth.
  27. Add the lemon vanilla reduction and (optional) poppy seeds; whip to incorporate.
  28. Transfer buttercream to a piping bag, and pipe a cherry-sized portion of buttercream onto a macaron half. Top with a second macaron half and gently press just enough to push the filling out to the edges.
  29. The buttercreme filling can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  30. If you refridgerate or freeze, bring buttercream to room temperature and rewhip in the mixer with the paddle attachment before using.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on Yummly

Blogger Disclosure

Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Chocolate, Chocolate and more earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

Don’t Miss a Post! Get Updates By Email:

Get all of these delicious recipes delivered directly to your inbox.

About Kim Roberson

I'm Joan's cousin, Kim, and am happy to help keep her dream of spreading a love of Chocolate Chocolate and more to sweet treat lovers around the world! I live outside of Washington DC with my furry four-legged children, and when I'm not working my day job, I am in my kitchen trying out new recipes from old cookbooks that I find in local antique stores and used booksellers. My posts include not only my favorites, but recipes from my mom, Kitty, and my sister, Jennifer -- as well as a few of my friends. I hope our love of baking comes through with what we share!

Speak Your Mind

Thank you for your comments! I read every comment and try my best to respond. Your comment will show up once approved. I have the right to remove any comments that are spam or offensive.


Manage your shopping list and search for recipes from across the web at ZipList.com