These Lemon Macarons are light, delicate, and full of lemony sweetness. Filled with lemon curd and buttercream, they are airy pastries that are easier to make than you think.
Lemon Macaron Recipe Details
This recipe for scrumptious lemon macarons is bright and sunny, perfect for spring and summer. Here is what we love most about them!
- TASTE: These macarons are perfectly sweetened with bursting lemon flavor from the lemon zest, lemon curd, and lemon extract.
- TEXTURE: They’re light and airy with a chewy center and slightly crispy exterior.
- TIME: Macarons can be whipped up fairly quick but it can take 30 minutes to an hour for the “skin” to form before baking.
- EASE: Not going to lie, these cookies do take some practice. But once you get it, the results are phenomenal.
What you’ll need
- Wet ingredients- Egg whites (room temperature), Salt, Cream of tartar, Vanilla extract, Lemon extract, Yellow gel food coloring, and Granulated sugar
- Dry ingredients- Powdered sugar and Blanched almond flour
- Lemon buttercream- Unsalted butter (softened), Cream cheese (softened), Powdered sugar, Milk, Vanilla extract, and Lemon zest
- Lemon curd– Homemade or store-bought
How to make Lemon Macarons
- Line the baking sheets. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature egg whites and whisk them at high speed using the whisk attachment. Then add the salt, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
- Now add the sugar and food coloring. Once the egg whites begin to get foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar and yellow food coloring. Beat for another 4-5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
Pro Tip: If you forgot to bring your eggs to room temperature, just submerge them in hot water for about 5 minutes, and they should be good to go!
- Sift the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar and mix to combine. This is important for getting smooth macarons.
- Fold in the egg whites. Add the egg whites to a large bowl and then 1/3 of the flour mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a large rubber spatula. Once combined, add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, folding in again. Repeat with the remaining flour. It should resemble the consistency of brownie batter. Be careful not to overmix.
- Fill the piping bag. Place a round piping tip into a pastry bag and fill it with batter. This can get messy so twist the bottom of the bag to keep it closed and avoid batter oozing out.
- Pipe the lemon macarons. Pipe out 1-inch mounds of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to leave 1-2 inches in between each because they will continue to spread a little.
- Get rid of air bubbles. Take the cookie sheets and bang them on the counter a few times to get rid of any air. I hit them pretty hard, about 10 times.
- Allow them to dry. Now let the macarons dry at room temperature for about 30-50 minutes, or until they are no longer tacky to the touch. The dry time may differ depending on the humidity in your area.
- Bake. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the oven is on the conventional setting, without the fan on. Bake one tray at a time for 16-18 minutes. Be careful NOT to underbake them or they will stick to the parchment paper. The second batch may be a little drier from sitting out, so you may want to remove them from the oven a minute or two earlier to avoid burning. Then let them cool down to room temperature.
- Make the buttercream. Using an electric hand mixer, combine the softened butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Mix until the buttercream is light and creamy.
- Add the filling. Place a star piping tip (I used a Wilton 21) in a pastry bag, and fill it with lemon buttercream. Flip half of the macaron shells on their back and pipe a border around the edge. Then fill the empty center with your favorite lemon curd. Then place a macaron shell on top to complete the lemon macrons.
Tips for the Perfect Lemon Macaron
- Sift the dry ingredients well- It’s vital for the consistency of your macarons to sift the almond flour to get rid of any larger pieces of almond. You can also pulse the almond flour in a food processor to make it super fine.
- Get the right batter consistency– It should be similar to brownie batter and able to drip off the spatula. You can also tell when you are able to make a figure 8 in the batter. Just be careful not to overmix and create air pockets in the lemon macarons.
- Avoid a piping mess– I find that twisting the bottom of the pastry bag when filling it with lemon macaron batter helps keep it closed so the batter doesn’t ooze out and make a mess.
- Make sure to get rid of air bubbles- You don’t want air pockets in your macarons so bang the baking sheets hard on the counter as many as 10 times to get rid of any. This will ensure even rising as the macarons develop “feet.”
- Take your climate into account- If you live in a humid climate, your lemon macaron shells may not dry as fast as in other areas. So add a few minutes to the dry time if you’re having a humid day, allowing them to form the right “skin” before baking.
- Avoid using a fan in your oven- Set your oven to the conventional setting when you preheat it. This should keep any internal fan from blowing and upsetting the baking process of these delicate cookies.
- Adjust the bake time for the second tray- Because the second tray is sitting out longer and drying further, they will bake faster than the first tray. Adjust the time to avoid burning them.
How to know if your macarons are done
You can tell when your macarons have finished baking when they have developed “feet” at the bottom, which are the bubbly, ruffly-looking edges. The tops should also be stable and smooth, and not slide when touched.
There are literally hundreds of macaron flavors that you can try, but here are a few tasty suggestions:
- Fruit flavors– Strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lime
- Nuts– Coconut, pistachio, and hazelnut
- Chocolate– Dark or white chocolate can be used
- Others- Coffee, lavender, caramel, red velvet, and so many more!
How to Store them
Macaron shells usually last for 4-6 days in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Once they have been filled though, they should be stored in the refrigerator in a container with some plastic wrap or parchment paper in between layers to avoid sticking. They will last for 2-4 days.
Can you freeze lemon macarons?
If you forgo the lemon curd, then you can freeze these lemon macarons. Lemon curd becomes runny when defrosted, so either freeze only the empty macaron shells or use only buttercream. Then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
More delicious desserts to try!
- Raspberry Macarons
- Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam
- Coffee Macaron Recipe
- Lace Cookies with Chocolate (Florentine Cookies) VIDEO
- Moist Lemon Pound Cake
Full Recipe Instructions
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Add 4 room temperature egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer at high speed using the whisk attachment. Then add a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. Once the egg whites begin to get foamy, slowly add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1-2 drops of yellow food coloring. Beat for another 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, sift 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour and 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix to combine. Sifting is crucial because you want to get rid of any larger pieces of almond. Tip: To get really smooth macarons, you can pulse the almond flour in a food processor to make it super fine. This is optional but definitely results in a prettier macaron.
- Now add the whisked egg whites into a large bowl, then add 1/3 of the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture into the bowl. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Once you don’t see any more patches of almond flour, add another 1/3 of the almond flour mixture. Fold again, and add in the remaining third. Fold the macaron mixture just until the batter looks like brownie batter. You want to be careful not to over mix this mixture or the incorporated air will cause your baked macarons to have air pockets. A good way to know that you are done mixing is by letting the batter drip off the spatula and you should be able to make the figure 8.
- Now pipe out 1-inch mounds of the macaron batter onto your prepared baking sheets. Make sure to leave 1-2 inches between each piped macaron since they will continue to spread a little.
- To get rid of air bubbles, take the cookie sheets and bang them onto the counter a few times to get rid of any air. I hit them pretty hard, about 10 times.
- Now let the macarons dry at room temperature for about 30-50 minutes or until they are no longer tacky to the touch. The dry time may differ depending on the humidity of the current day. If you live in an area with a lot of humidity, it may take longer for the macarons to form the “skin” before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your oven is on the conventional setting. (or in other words, if your oven has a fan inside of it, avoid having the fan on).
- Bake 1 tray at a time for 16-18 minutes. Be careful NOT to underbake or else they will stick to the parchment paper. I found that the second batch that sat out while the first was baking tended to burn a little since it sat out longer. So you may want to remove the second batch from the oven a minute or two earlier. Once the macarons are done baking let them cool down to room temperature.
- To make the lemon buttercream, add 1/2 cup unsalted softened butter, 2 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and the zest of 2 lemons into a large bowl. Then use an electric hand mixer to mix until the buttercream is light and creamy.
- Place a Wilton 21 star piping tip into a pastry bag and fill it with the lemon buttercream. Flip 1/2 of the macaron shells on their back and pipe a border of the lemon buttercream around the edge. Then fill the empty center with your favorite lemon curd. Then place the other half on top to complete the macrons.
- How to store
- Can you freeze these?
- How to make macarons ahead of time
- Fool-proof recipe tips