These Vanilla Macarons are deliciously flavored, airy, and light. These delicate French treats are not as hard as you think, and this recipe will show you how to make the perfect ones at home.
The Perfect Vanilla Macarons
Sweet, airy, and delicate, these Vanilla Macarons are perfect. The light macaron shells are filled with rich buttercream that makes these sweet sandwich cookies a delight. You may have heard that making macarons is very difficult and getting them just right to create “feet,” which are the ruffly edges at the bottom of each shell, is tough. But I promise, making Vanilla Macarons is not as hard as you think. This recipe will show you just how to create your own amazing French macarons to enjoy with coffee or wow your friends with.
What you’ll need
- Wet ingredients- Egg whites (room temperature), Salt, Cream of tartar, Vanilla extract, and Granulated sugar
- Dry ingredients- Powdered sugar and Blanched almond flour
- Buttercream filling- Unsalted butter (softened), Cream cheese (softened), Powdered sugar, Milk, and Vanilla extract
How to Make Vanilla Macarons
Making the Vanilla Macaron batter
- Prepare the baking sheets. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, mix at high speed. Then add the salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract. Once the egg whites begin to get foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar. Beat for another 4-5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
- Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar, and mix to combine. Sifting well is important here for the texture and smoothness of your vanilla macarons.
- Fold in the egg whites. Now add the whisked egg whites to a large bowl, then add 1/3 of the almond flour mixture. Fold them together with a large rubber spatula. When there are no more dry patches, add the next 1/3 of the flour mixture. Repeat until the macaron mixture looks like brownie batter. Be careful not to overmix.
- Fill a piping bag. Place a round piping tip, like a Wilton 1A, into a pastry bag and begin filling it with the batter. Twist the bottom end of the bag to reduce any mess.
Pipe and bake the shells
- Pipe the vanilla macarons. 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.
- Get rid of air bubbles. Then take the cookie sheets and bang them onto the counter a few times to get rid of any air.
- Let the macarons dry. Now let the macarons dry at room temperature for about 30-50 minutes, or until they are no longer tacky to the touch. This dry time may vary depending on your climate.
- Bake. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit on the conventional setting and bake 1 tray at a time for 16-18 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t underbaked and sticking, or browning too much. Then let them cool down to room temperature.
Make the Vanilla Buttercream
- Make the buttercream. Add the softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Then use an electric hand mixer to mix until the buttercream is light and creamy.
- Assemble the vanilla macarons. Place a round Wilton 10 piping tip into a pastry bag and fill the backside of 1/2 of the macaron shells. Then place the other half on top to complete the macrons.
Tips for the Best Vanilla Macarons
- 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 vanilla macarons.
- Avoid a piping mess– I find that twisting the bottom of the pastry bag when filling it with vanilla 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 vanilla 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.
- Don’t underbake them. Be careful NOT to underbake these macarons or they will stick to the parchment paper.
- 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 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.
How to freeze vanilla macarons
Both the buttercream and macaron shells handle freezing well. Just store these vanilla macarons in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The options are absolutely endless, but here are a few yummy ideas.
- Fruit flavors– Blueberry, lemon, raspberry, orange, and lime
- Chocolate– Dark, milk, and white chocolate
- Nuts– Coconut, pistachio, and hazelnut
- Others- Coffee, salted caramel, lavender, cookies and cream, and red velvet. And many, many more!
More delicious sweet treats to try!
- Coffee Macaron Recipe
- Vanilla Cake Pops- Starbucks Copycat (VIDEO)
- Raspberry Macarons
- Easy Cream Cheese Cookies
- Lace Cookies with Chocolate (Florentine Cookies) VIDEO
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, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Once the egg whites begin to get foamy, slowly add 1/3 cup granulated sugar. 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.
- Next, place a round piping tip such as Wilton 1A into a pastry bag and begin filling it with the batter. This step can be very messy so I find it helpful to twist the bottom end to keep it closed so the batter doesn’t ooze out.
- 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 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 vanilla buttercream, add 1/2 cup unsalted softened butter, 2 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into a large bowl. Then use an electric hand mixer to mix until the buttercream is light and creamy.
- Place a round Wilton 10 piping tip into a pastry bag and fill the backside of 1/2 of the macaron shells. Then place the other half on top to complete the macrons.