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Lemon French Macarons

My easy to follow step-by-step directions will guide you to these pretty lemon macarons with zesty lemon buttercream. A short video is included!

Lemon French Macarons- perfect spring-flavored confections with zesty lemon buttercream that you can make right at home with my new video tutorial!

Sometimes I feel fortunate that we don’t have any bakeries close by that sells French macarons. I probably would be spending way too much to satisfy my cravings.

Instead, when the craving hits, I bring out my mixer and get to whipping the egg whites. Did you know that you can make these delightful confections yourself way cheaper than $2/each?

Lemon French Macarons- perfect spring-flavored confections with zesty lemon buttercream that you can make right at home with my new video tutorial!

Yeah, sounds pretty exciting, but you might have been putting it off because it’s too difficult, or intimidating. Well, fear no more! I’ve made a short video tutorial to show you how I fold my French macaron batter to make perfect little macarons!

Lemon French Macarons-4

In this video, I wanted to show you how the batter consistency changes with each fold. Therefore, I opted not to cut anything out, but instead I simply sped up the folding process in some places. The whole folding process took about 3 minutes.

UPDATE: I also made this full video tutorial to show you the entire process of making macarons. Hope you find it helpful.

I hope after watching the video you’ll start whipping those egg whites and sifting the almond flour!

Lemon French Macarons- perfect spring-flavored confections with zesty lemon buttercream that you can make right at home with my new video tutorial!

I’m personally not a huge fan of basic buttercream. But I’m totally head over heels about this lemon buttercream. It’s so light and zesty, sour, yet sweet. Absolutely awesome filling for my lemon french macarons.

Oh by the way, french macarons taste way better on 2nd or 3rd days. The flavors from the filling really soak into the shells and the whole thing becomes just absolutely heavenly! And the bonus, it won’t break the bank! It’s always cheaper and better when it’s homemade!

Lemon French Macarons- perfect spring-flavored confections with zesty lemon buttercream that you can make right at home with my new video tutorial!


Lemon French Macarons

My easy to follow step-by-step directions will guide you to these pretty lemon macarons with zesty lemon buttercream. A short video is included!

Yield: About 25 filled macarons

Cook Time:20 min

Total Time:2 hours (including resting and cooling time)


For macaron shells:
  • 1 cup (100gr) almond flour
  • 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg whites (about 70gr)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Yellow gel food coloring
For lemon buttercream:
  • 3 tablespoons (40gr) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (130gr) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Helpful Equipment:
• Pastry bag with Wilton Extra Large Round Tip #1


  1. In medium bowl, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar twice. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon juice and yellow food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
  3. Sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half, as shown in the video above. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though. Every so often test the batter to see if it reached the right consistency. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon are dissolved within ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat, do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter couple more times and test again. I posted a few pictures above to show you how just couple of folding changes the consistency of the batter. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not to over mix the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. (I use this Wilton A1 large plain round tip.)
  5. Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  6. Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells. And who wants cracked macarons, right?
  7. Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  8. Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. To check the doneness, remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
  9. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets.
  10. While macarons are drying, prepare the lemon buttercream. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
  11. Transfer the buttercream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons. It’s best to serve macarons the next day.
  12. Store the filled macarons in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in airtight container for up to 5 months.
  • For additional tips and notes, read the post above.
  • For more tips and visual troubleshooting guide, check out this post.
  • You can now watch a full macaron tutorial video here

Made this recipe? Share your photo with #sweetandsavorybyshinee to be featured on the Reader's Gallery .

All photographs and content on Sweet & Savory by Shinee is copyright protected, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use any of my photos without my authorization. If you would like to share my recipe, you may re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the full directions. Thank you for your cooperation!

You may also find this post helpful:

French Macaron 101

French Macaron 101 w/Visual Troubleshooting Guide

8 Tools You Need to Make Perfect Macarons

8 Tools You Need to Make Perfect Macarons

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  1. This looks SO delicious!! I’ve never made my own macarons (or even dreamt I would) but I love lemon macarons so much and you just made it look so easy. Now I HAVE TO try! thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful! Love the lemon! I’ve been too intimidated to try making them at home but maybe when equipped with your video tutorial, it’ll be a success!

  3. Will definitely try it out. All the while I thought it was a difficult task but with your video, it’s sure going to be simple. Tks for sharing.

  4. apologies, typo error in my email add. it should read as

  5. What do you mean by “fine sugar”? Am I using regular white sugar or powdered??
    Thank you!

    • Hi, Andrea. Sorry for confusion, it’s white granulated sugar with smaller granules. You can substitute with regular sugar. The only thing is fine granulated sugar dissolved faster.

  6. Shinee, your macarons are beautiful! I’ve got baking macarons on my culinary bucket list, but I’m SO afraid of screwing up the process! Your video will come in so handy 🙂 Pinned and Stumbled this post for later use!

    • Becca, thank you so much! Im glad that you found my video helpful! I think the folding technique is the most important and the rest is pretty easy. Good Luck! 🙂

  7. If I refrained from frosting these bad boys, do you think I could freeze them successfully for a later date?

    • Hmm, I never froze macarons, so I have no idea. Sorry, Christina.

      • Freezing works perfectly! Like you say, with a buttercream filling it is better to freeze the shells by themselves. With a chocolate ganache or jam filling, you can complete the macarons and freeze them. 15min in the fridge, and they are ready to be served again. Check out my macaron blog for more tips: 🙂

  8. can i replace heavy cream with whipped cream and how to make the lemon zest?

    • Hmm, I’ve never tried using whipped cream, but you can use heavy whipping cream though. To make lemon zest, just grate the lemon on the small grater, or zester.

  9. My second ever attempt at macarons…they look amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe, instructions were perfect and I can’t believe how fantastic they look. Not to mention, taste great 🙂

    • Melanie, I’m so happy for you! I love these lemon macarons, and I’m glad you had success with my recipe! Thank you for your feedback as well. It made my day!

  10. I’m having trouble keeping macarons yellow.. I tried first with a few drops, then they turned brown. I tried a second batch, uses extra food coloring and they are still brown.. They are not over cooked at all so I’m so confused.. I make perfect pink macarons all the time.. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? The only difference is I use a yellow gel food coloring vs the red liquid coloring.. Did you use gel coloring for this reciepe? Thanks!!!

    • That’s really weird, Candra! I have no idea what causes that. I also use gel food coloring. I even tried liquid food coloring, but it didn’t turn out perfect.

  11. As a first timer, I have a few questions. Can I make macarons using a hand held electric mixer or is the KitchenAid mixer really the only way to mix it to get the best consistency? I’ve read that the egg whites must be aged, does your recipe call for that? Lastly, where can I purchase the square slotted macaron dish you have pictured above? Thank you for your help. I look forward to trying this recipe.

    • Hi, Carire! Yes, you can use handheld mixer. In fact, I’ve made my very first macarons with handheld mixer. It’s a little challenging to add the sugar with one hand and hold the mixer with another, but it’s possible. I’d advise to place a rag under the bowl, so that the bowl won’t move while you’re trying to whip the egg whites with one hand. 🙂
      As far as aged eggs, it never made any difference for me. I get farm fresh eggs from my MIL, and I’ve never had any problem. Just make sure they are at room temperature.
      I got that slotted dish from a thrift store. On the bottom of the dish, it says Indoor Outfitters/ Over and Back Inc. Not sure if it’ll help.
      Good luck with macarons and let me know how they turn out!

  12. Thank you so much for your help. I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out. Hopefully, I’ll have a good report.

  13. hi,love this, thanks for sharing…. Can you please tell me, when you said it yealds 28, does this meen 28 sandwitched macoroons or individual macorons? Thanks a million.

  14. Love this recipe! My first batch wasn’t pretty so I order a mat to help me make uniformed cookies. Just set out to make my second batch and boy does the sifting part really make you want to give up.
    Any suggestions on making the sifting part easier?

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Hi, Heidi. Yeah, sifting multiple times is annoying, isn’t it? I totally hear ya. What kind of sifter do you use? I use this one and it makes the process a lot easier. Hope you’re enjoying your macarons. 🙂

  15. Can you replace the lemon flavor with other things? If so, how much would I need?

  16. About how many does this recipe make ? And do you have any more flavor recipes? Very excited to attempt these! 

  17. I failed it… why?
    first time i’m bake it nicely but the second time i failed it..
    i used the same ingrediants and method..

    • Hi, Wan. So sorry to hear that, but macarons are quite temperamental. Even the smallest things affect the final result. Without knowing how your macarons failed, I can’t really chime in with advise.

  18. Hello,

    Your recipe looks amazing! I would like to try it out, but my cousin is allergic to all types of nuts. Is there a substitution for the almond flour? Such as baking flour? 

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Nadia! Unfortunately, there is no substitution for almond flour here. The whole point of macarons is using a nut-flour, the regular flour just won’t create the texture, flavors and characteristics of macarons. Sorry.

  19. Love this recipe! Made it at school and turned out great! Although the yellow food gel didn’t really work would it still be okay to use food coloring drops?

    • That’s awesome, Maya! Thanks for reporting back. 🙂 I’m sure liquid food coloring will work. I always use gel ones without any problem though.

  20. Can you replace the heavy cream with regular whole milk for the filling? 

  21. Mine came out chewy.does that mean I didn’t cook them long enough or did I mix it too much?

  22. That lemon buttercream sounds amazing!! Actually your whole recipe looks fantastic! And your photos are just stunning! Pinning…at some point I will get the nerve up to try these…I know they are tempermental. 

  23. Pingback: Easter Lemon Macaroons | The Russian Chefina

  24. Hi Shinee!

    I stopped by to say special thank you for your wonderful recipe and tutorial. My macaroons came out better than I expected! Now after I discovered that I can do it, I am going to experiment more with different flour, flavors and fillings! 🙂

  25. Pingback: Lemon Desserts

  26. Hi Shinee! I’m just wondering, do you think I could use this exact recipe but substitute the lemon juice/ zest for lime?? Thanks! 🙂

  27. I had my first go at macaroons today and these came great! I only wish the made recipe made more. I’m really fighting the urge to eat then ask right now!

    • That’s awesome to hear, Colleen! If you took a photo, I’d love to see it. 🙂 You can e-mail it to me, or share on Instagram with hashtag #sweetandsavorybyshinee. Thank you for trying my recipe!

  28. hi for the sugar, do we use icing sugar?

  29. My niece is getting married in September and wants these french macrons for her shower in July. We have a long weekend in Canada this wknd so I will try and try until I get this recipe right over the 3-day weekend. I may go through a lot of almond flour and icing sugar but practice makes perfect. Like so many others who commented I, too, am intimidated a bit but it will be a good challenge for myself. Thank you for sharing. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  30. i can’t wait to practice this recipe for a bridal shower i’m throwing!  one question….where did you purchase the serving tray that’s in the first photograph? 

    • Hi, Stephanie, I’m so excited for you to make these macarons. I got that dish from a thrift store. On the bottom of the dish, it says Indoor Outfitters/ Over and Back Inc. Maybe try googling it and see if you can find it online.

  31. They turned out absolutely marvelous! One of the best macaron recipe I’ve come across, thank you.

  32. Hi!

    I made the shells yesterday and will be serving them tomorrow evening.  Is it okay if I go ahead a put the frosting in them?  

    I’m really excited about these little sunshine beauties, I’m going to be serving them with lavender iced lattes.  It’s hot in Texas! 

    • That sounds awesome, Kenzi! Yes, go ahead and frost them and store in the fridge. It’s actually better the next day, as the flavors from filling will soak into the shells. 🙂 Enjoy! And if you have a photo, I’d love to see it.

  33. Hi, I have a silly question, maybe, when you are making multiple batches, do you use a new sheet of parchment paper for each batch? or do you reuse them until you are done baking all of the macarons? I trippled your recipe (whipped each one separately) and my first one worked great! all of the macarons came out “feetly” fine…. but the second one …. :(:(:(:( they have no feet :(:(:(:(:( i cant think of any other reason why they wouldn;t work 🙁 

  34. I’m 11, and I made these for my mother’s birthday. They were a big hit! I overcooked the shells a little, but I think I like them that way. I also added more lemon to the filling. Anyway, they turned out really great. Thank you so much for the recipe. I would send a photo, but they were gone before I could take a pic!

  35. Beautiful web site, terrific recipes, very nicely done. So glad I just found your site. I especially like the idea for the cream cheese, jalapeno won tons, can’t wait to try those. I love won tons!!! Here in Oregon a restaurant I used to frequent makes spinach, feta cheese won tons, served with a gourmet mustard dip, those are also quite nice. Just wanted to take a moment, to mention what a terrific site you’ve got here…., I’ll be back!!

  36. What could be a possible substitute for cream of tartar, since it’s not readily available where I live. Could I omit it completely?

  37. I’m so glad I found you (on link party palooza) because I had been wanting a lemon macaron recipe!  Thanks for sharing.  Pinned! 

  38. Oh my…two of my favorites!  Macaroons and lemon!  This recipe looks fantastic!

  39. This is such an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing it. I’m Anita visiting from Creative Ways Link Party.

  40. I love French macaroons and when I see them on a market I’m always sorely tempted to buy some. Although they tend to be expensive I always tell myself that they are notoriously difficult to make and so worth the price. I might try out your recipe instead. They look so beautiful. Love the zesty lemon colour. Perfect for a summer party. Such beautiful photography too. Thanks for sharing xx Kat I

  41. Hi Shinee, just letting you know I will be featuring your macarons on Best of the Weekend at 8pm tonight!

  42. These are such happy little cookies, so sunny and bright! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  43. Hello dear. Thank you for your recipe. It is great. I just have a question about the filing freshness. Can I keep the macaron sandwiches outside of fridges for a week ? How long can they be fresh without freezing them ? As you used heavy cream can I used something else to keep the macarons outside of refrigerator for a longer time ? 

    • Hi, Aida! I wouldn’t recommend storing the macarons at room temperature for a week. 1. The buttercream will get too soft. 2. It’s unsafe to eat. I think Nutella for filling will be the only filling I could think of that you can keep at room temperature for a few days. You can check out my hazelnut chocolate macarons for that.

  44. I did something wrong! I just pullled them out of the oven…and they are thin crispy waffers! I dont know what step i missed. I was sure i followed everything to a T. Haha. They taste AMAZING. They are just not fluffy. They look like nilla waffers. Ive never been good with egg whites so im 100% sure this is definitely my doing. Your tutorial was awesome and like i said once the taste is delicious. Mine just fell flat. Ha. Im going to try again another day. Im all macarooned out for now 🙂

    • Hi, Liana! Macarons are so finicky. You’d think you’ve done everything right, and you can still get not so perfect macarons. Believe me, I’ve been there many times. 🙂 I’m sure not-so-perfect-looking macarons tasted amazing regardless. Here is my thought on what might have gone wrong. Since your macarons spread thin and flat, I suspect your batter might have been over-mixed. Next time, fold the batter just until it’s thin enough to run slowly off the spatula, but still thick enough to hold its shape. Good luck! 🙂

  45. Hi so I am wondering if what kind of sugar to use. In some of the comments you said to use white sugar, but in the recipe it says to use powdered sugar. And is powered sugar the stuff that looks more like cornstarch then salt?

    • Hi, Lily! My recipe actually calls for both types of sugar. First, we sift 100gr of powdered sugar (and yes, it looks like cornstarch) with almond flour. Then later the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of regular white sugar to add into the egg whites to make meringue. Hope this helps. Have fun making macarons!

  46. Are you kidding me GOOD!!! Just made these yesterday for a group coming over tonight and WOW!!! Hope I don’t eat them all before guests arrive! Little time consuming but REALLY good. Thanks for the video!

  47. These look SO GOOD. Im making these over the weekend!

  48. Hi, used this recipe on the weekend and they were awesome. Would like to use the same recipe mixtures for chocolate macarons and was wondering how much unsweetened cocoa I should add and if the qty’s of the almond flour, sugars would change at all when adding the cocoa..

  49. Hi!
    I tried out your recipe for an article I am writing and it worked really great! Thank you for sharing the tips on how to fold… they were definitely needed! I’ll be sure to give you the credit for the recipe and link back to this page!

    Thanks again! 🙂

  50. I can’t wait to make these! The technique sounds great. I’ve made other macarons, but they didn’t turn out well. I will be sure to try these. 💙

  51. I really love this recipe! It’s the first one that I found that actually makes it sound relatively easy. 🙂 They have turned out several times, but the last time I made them I think I over-mixed the batter and it was too runny. I have also changed the recipe and made it with oranges instead… They didn’t have feet and the tops weren’t the best but they tasted amazing! I would totally recommend this recipe!

  52. Hi, i am just starting to learn to make macarons. i will try your lemon ones. They look fabulous. Where did you get the ceramic holder from? super cute. Thanks

  53. Hi there! I loved the recipe and it was super easy to follow. I was wondering if any of your test batches came out brown around the edges? I just pulled mine out from a 300* oven only after 15 minutes and most, if not all, of them are brown around the edges. On my next batch should I lower the temperature or possibly leave them in for less amount of time? Thanks again! 

    • Hi, Liz! So glad you tried and loved my recipe. Browning is usually due to high oven temp. It’s pretty common for an oven to vary 50 degrees, so it’s possible your oven runs hotter than specified. So I’d suggest to bake the macarons 25°F lower than the specified temp and see if it helps with browning. Hope this helps. And if you happened to have a photo I’d love to see it. You can share it on social media with #sweetandsavorybyshinee, or simply e-mail me.

  54. Thank you for posting such an easy yet AMAZING recipe! I’ve always heard that French Macarons were a little testy so I was completely expecting a first failed attempt but these were awesome!! They were the perfect consistency thanks to your photos and your directions! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! For one batch, I added strawberry jam to the icing mixture and so good. There are so many possibilities with this recipe! Thank you again!!!

  55. Hey there! I tried this recipe but the only difference is that I increased the portion for each ingredient in the batter by 1.5x. 
    This was my second time making macarons but sadly, it failed. My macarons have no feet!!! 🙁 
    Is there any reason(s) why the feet failed to develop? 

    Thank you so much! 

  56. Made macaron using your recipe tonight. The macaron came out a bit chewy after baking for 19 minutes. I wonder why. Using Wilton yellow gel food coloring but the color turn out more like over bake color. Could you advise me on this?

    • Hi, Ploy! How chewy were the macarons? Like sticky chewy, or tough chewy? In my opinion, you kind of want the macarons to be on chewy side, but it’s a good kind of chewy. As for the color, did the macarons turn brownish? It might have been over-baked, or maybe your oven runs a bit too hot. Next time, I’d try increasing the amount of coloring, and then shielding the macarons from the top by placing another rack with an empty baking sheet above the macarons. Hope this helps.

  57. Hi! I’m a huge fan. can i double the amount of ingredients to make more batches of macaron? Is that a good idea? I’m going to host a party and i need at least 150pcs- 200. Thank you

    • Hi there! If this is your first try at making macarons, I wouldn’t recommend doubling the recipe. If you’ve already familiar with the technique, I think you could. One thing I would suggest is to fill the pastry bag with half of the batter at a time, because while you’re piping the macarons, you’re squeezing the batter, which thins it out a bit. And have fun baking them. Sounds like you’re going to have a fun party! 🙂

  58. Hello, thanks for sharing this recipe. Mine turned out with feet and all, but I thought the macaroon was a bit chewy. I don’t know if it was because i followed the cup measurement. I looked at the ratio of the cup measurement and the Gram being inconsistence. You called for a cup of flour say 100 gr, the 3/4 cup of powder sugar and also stated 100gr. Not sure which one is correct. Can you please clarify. Thanks. The filling was amazing though. I want to get the shell right.

    • Hi, Vivian. Thanks for trying my recipe. What do you mean by chewy? Like sticky chewy or something? In my opinion, french macarons are meant to be chewy but in a good way. The measurements are correct both by cup and weight. The reason for discrepancy is due to density. 1 cup of almond flour won’t weight the same as 1 cup of powdered sugar. This also applies to all dry ingredients in general, that’s why it’s best to weigh the dry ingredients. And I’m so glad to hear you loved the filing, I love that lemon buttercream so much, and I’m not even a buttercream fan. 🙂 I have a few other detailed posts regarding making macarons that you may find helpful for your next batch: French Macaron 101 and 8 Tools You Need to Make Perfect Macarons. And please don’t hesitate to ask any more question.

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