Strawberry macarons with real strawberry flavor in every layer. They’re soft and chewy on the inside with crisp exteriors, just the way a good macaron is supposed to be.
This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.
My strawberry macarons are loaded with strawberry flavor. It’s in the shell and filling so you get a punch of strawberry in each bite.
The shells are made with my classic macaron recipe and I infused the strawberry flavor by adding ground freeze-dried strawberries. I also added the ground berries to the filling. The result is a sweet, tart, intense strawberry flavor in every bite.
It can be challenging to flavor the shells. They are so finicky and anything you add to them can cause them to bake improperly.
This is perfect for flavoring the macaron shells. You don’t need to add a lot in order to get big flavor.
And the luscious strawberry buttercream filling paired with the chewy, crisp cookie is phenomenal!
Why this recipe works:
- The base of the shells is made with my tried and true macaron recipe. It works beautifully!
- The shells use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour and it always gives me great results.
- Freeze-dried strawberries ground into a fine powder yields intense flavor without having to use a lot. Less is more when it comes to macarons.
- The filling is a Swiss meringue buttercream that’s so silky and flavorful, you’ll want to eat it with a spoon.
The best way to flavor macarons
There are so many ways to flavor French macarons. Some recipes use purees, emulsions, or essences. These are great for flavoring the filling but not the shells.
You can’t add liquid flavorings to macaron shells without throwing off the chemistry. This results in gummy shells that lack feet. Or they simply won’t puff up.
I really wanted to have the strawberry flavor for these macarons in the shell as well as the filling. I found that strawberry powder was the best way to achieve that.
You can buy strawberry powder or you can make it. Simply pulse freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until they’re finely ground. Either option works but making it yourself isn’t as heavy on your wallet.
Homemade strawberry macarons require few ingredients. some of the ingredients are repeated in the shells and filling.
- Almond flour: Use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour. It’s finely ground from the best California-grown almonds.
- Sugar: A little granulated sugar goes in both the shells and filling.
- Powdered sugar: Make sure the powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. Other anticaking agents don’t work as well with macarons.
- Strawberry powder: You can buy strawberry powder but it’s easy to make by grinding freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor.
- Egg whites: Egg whites make up the base for the shells and filling. Make sure they are at room temperature when making the shells.
- Cream of tartar: This helps stabilize the egg whites when whipping the meringue for the macron shells.
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted sweet cream butter in all of my frostings. Regular unsalted butter will work also.
Optional –> I also like to add a drop of red gel food coloring to enhance the color of the macarons. This is completely optional. If you decide to use it, remember the color fades during baking. So go a little darker than you’d like the macarons to be.
Can I use regular flour for macarons?
The short answer is no. Using wheat flour in a macaron recipe will not work.
However, you can use other nut flours. Just be sure the nut flour is finely ground. And sift it with the powdered sugar to remove larger pieces that can mar the surface of the cookie.
Can I make a flavor other than strawberry?
Yes! You absolutely can choose a different flavor for these macarons. Simply grind your preferred freeze-dried fruit into a powder and make the recipe as instructed.
- Stand mixer: I prefer to use a stand mixer with whisk attachment for macarons. You can use a handheld mixer but I find they’re powerful enough to make the Swiss buttercream filling.
- Baking sheet: You’ll need 2 large baking sheets.
- Silicone mat: I love to use a silicone mat made specifically for macarons. This saves time since you won’t need to draw your own template on parchment paper.
- Piping bag: A large pastry bag is needed to pipe the shells and filling.
- Piping tip: A Wilton 2A piping tip is perfect for piping the shell batter. It also works well for filling the macarons.
How to make strawberry macarons
Step 1. Before you do anything, make sure the egg whites are at room temperature. And your pans are lined with silicone mats or parchment paper.
Step 2. Sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, and strawberry powder together 2-4 times. Discard the large pieces. You can use a fine-mesh sieve or a flour sifter.
Step 3. Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip to soft peaks. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring if using then continue to whip until a thick, glossy meringue forms.
Step 4. Use a silicone spatula to fold half the almond mixture into the meringue until fully combined. Add the remaining almond mixture and fold until the batter flows like lava. You’ll be able to draw a figure 8 without the batter breaking.
Step 5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2A piping tip. Pipe 1-2 inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet.
Tap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to bring air bubbles to the surface. Let the macarons sit until they no longer feel sticky. This can take up to 1 hour.
Step 6. Bake for 15-18 minutes on the lower third rack at 300°F. I like to double up the baking sheets so the bottoms to not brown too much. Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
Step 7. Sandwich two cookies together with strawberry buttercream. Refrigerate the macarons for at least 1-3 days then bring them to room temperature just before serving.
How to make strawberry filling for macarons
Step 1. Combine the sugar, salt, and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Step 2. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Whisk continuously until the mixture reaches 150°F and the sugar is fully dissolved.
Step 3. Whip the heated mixture until it becomes the consistency of shaving cream. The outside bottom of the bowl should feel cool to the touch.
Step 4. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the butter. Add one tablespoon at a time and let if fully mix in before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Step 5. Add the strawberry powder and mix until fully incorporated.
How to successfully make macarons?
Macarons are finicky and many people struggle to get them right. The main reason people fail is they don’t follow the recipe instructions.
You must make the recipe exactly as it is written. Take the time to read the recipe before you begin. Then take your time with each step as you make the recipe.
There’s also a video that shows you exactly how each step of the recipe should look. I highly encourage you to watch it.
I also encourage you to practice making my basic macaron recipe. This will help you get comfortable with the process and learn how the batter should look and feel.
Make strawberry macarons in advance
Shells: The shells can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container and separate the shells with layers of parchment paper. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Filled macarons: Once filled, store the macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Filling: The filling can be made 1 day in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature and re-whip before using it.
The filling can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Let it come to room temperature and re-whip before using.
For the shells
- 260 grams confectioners' sugar, about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons - Note 1
- 150 grams Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour, about 1 ⅔ cups
- 10 g strawberry powder, about 2 tablespoons - Note 2
- 150 grams egg whites, about 4 large egg whites (at room temperature)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar - Note 3
- 52 grams granulated sugar, about ¼ cup
- 1-2 drops red gel food coloring, optional
For the filling
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 70 g egg whites, about 2 large egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 169 g unsalted butter, about ¾ cup (cut into pieces at room temperature)
- 20 g strawberry powder, about ¼ cup - Note 2
Make the shells
- Set the oven rack to the lower third position. This is just below the center of the oven. Place an empty baking sheet on the rack and line 4 more baking sheets with silicone macaron mats. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the almond flour, confectioners sugar, and strawberry powder into a large bowl. Repeat 2-4 times and discard any clumps. Don't force the clumps through the sieve!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Turn the speed up to high and whip until soft peaks form. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring if using.
- Continue to whip on high speed until a thick, glossy meringue forms. Take extra care to not over whip.
- Using a silicone spatula, fold half the almond mixture into the meringue until fully combined. It’s okay to be a little rough at the point. You want to knock some of the air out of the batter.
- Add the remaining almond mixture and gently fold everything together. This is the part where the batter can go wrong. Overmixing or undermixing will cause issues with how the macarons bake up. After a couple of stirs, you’ll need to stop and check the consistency of the batter. Continue to do this until the batter is just right. (The batter should be shiny and flow like lava. You will be able to let the batter slide off the spatula as you draw a figure 8 and the batter won’t break. The figure 8 you just drew should rest on top of the batter in the bowl without sinking in and losing its shape.)
- Transfer the batter to a large pastry bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. Be as gentle as you can with the process. Try not to overwork the batter.
- Pipe 1 to 2-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Gently tap the baking sheet on the countertop to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Let the macarons sit for 30 to 60 minutes, until a dry skin forms on the surface. They should not feel sticky to the touch when going into the oven.
- Bake one sheet at a time for about 15 to 18 minutes. The macarons are done when you can gently press on the shell and lightly rock your finger back and forth without it moving. If the top of the macaron is wiggly, it needs another minute or two to bake.
- Cool the shells completely on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. Do not attempt to remove the shells from the silicone mat until they are completely cooled or they may stick and break off.
- Sandwich two cookies together with strawberry buttercream filling. Store the filled macarons in the refrigerator for at least 1-3 days and bring them to room temperature just before serving. They taste the best this way.
Make the filling
- Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water. Whisk gently and continuously while heating the mixture. It should register 150°F on an instant-read thermometer. The sugar should be fully dissolved.
- Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is the consistency of shaving cream and cooled slightly, 1-2 minutes. (If the meringue is warm it will melt the butter.)
- Gradually add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Only add the next tablespoon of butter once the last one has been completely mixed in.)
- Once all the butter is added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.
- Add the strawberry powder and continue to mix on medium-high until incorporated.
- Make sure the confectioners' sugar contains cornstarch. This ingredient will make all the difference in how the macarons turn out.
- You can purchase strawberry powder on amazon or you can purchase freeze-dried strawberries and grind them in a food processor.
- Cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites so they whip to their full potential. It is okay to omit it if you don't have it.
- If you don't have a silicone baking mat for macarons, you can use a 1.5-inch round cookie cutter and trace 20 circles onto sheets of parchment paper cut to fit the baking pans. Set another sheet of parchment paper over each template.
- Make sure you double up on the baking sheet or the bottoms of the macarons will be too brown!
- Read my posts on making macarons and swiss buttercream for more tips and techniques!
Make ahead tip
- Macaron shells can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container and separate the shells with layers of parchment paper. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. The shells can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Once filled, store the macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- The filling can be made 1 day in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature and re-whip before using it.
- The filling can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight then let it come to room temperature and re-whip before using.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.