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French Macaron 101

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

Pictured above: Lemon Macarons and Sea Salt Chocolate Macarons

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I have a thing for macarons! Due to non-existence of any bakeries with fresh macarons in my area (I live in the middle of nowhere!), I was forced to learn to make these little treats at home.

And I have to tell you I’ve had many, many trials and errors, as well as picture-perfect winners in the last 3 years since I discovered these gems! Earlier this year, I tried the famous Ladurée macarons while in Paris, so now I kinda know what considers as a perfect macaron.

Over the years I’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to perfect these finicky little delights. And today I decided to share an extremely long post to put together all the tips and tricks I know in one place. In order to bring you a complete guide, I even purposefully made the common mistakes like under-mixing and over-mixing the batter.

By no means I claim I know everything about macarons. I’m just sharing my experience and what works for me. And although I tried to cover most of the common problems, I’m sure there are some I’ve never encountered. Sometimes, macarons fail for no apparent reason and leave me scratching my head. I encourage you never give up on making macarons though. There is no such joy as watching your macarons grow lacy feet as they bake in the oven and pulling out perfectly round macarons with shiny smooth tops and pretty ruffled feet out of the oven. I swear, every single time, when I see my macarons through the oven door puffing up and baking perfectly, I can’t help but do a little happy dance in my kitchen! Pure joy, I’m telling ya!

Ok, without further ado, let’s get started with some general tips.

Meringue

Good stable meringue is the foundation for perfect macarons. There are 2 different techniques to make a meringue: French and Italian. Italian meringue is made with egg whites and cooked sugar syrup, while French meringue is made with egg whites and sugar. Some argue that Italian meringue is the easiest and foolproof, but I find French version is much more approachable for us home bakers.

Here are my tips to make fluffy and stable French meringue:

  • Weigh the egg whites. All of my recipes call for large egg whites, which should yield about 30-33gr of egg whites per egg, or no more than 70gr of egg whites total.
  • Be sure to use crystal clean (read: completely grease-free!) bowl and whisk to whip the egg whites. Just a touch of oil has a power of ruining your meringue, preventing egg whites to reach perfectly fluffy and sturdy meringue. Some advise to wipe the utensils with vinegar, but I don’t go that far. Just washing and drying with a clean towel does the trick for me. Also, try to use stainless steel or glass bowl, because plastic bowls tend to absorb oil.
  • Along the same line, be careful not to include even the smallest drop of yolk in the egg whites. Egg yolk = oil.

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

  • Start with room temperature egg whites. They beat faster and better than the cold ones. I don’t age my egg whites, because I don’t see much difference either way and I find it unnecessary. If you live in a humid climate, I do recommend aging the egg whites, as it helps to remove excess water out of the egg whites.
  • To achieve perfectly fluffy and stable meringue, start beating the egg whites on low speed and then gradually increase the speed as they start foaming. Also, when the meringue reaches hard peaks, slowly decrease the speed instead of shutting the mixer off right away.
  • Cream of tartar is not essential, but it helps to stabilize the egg whites for sturdy meringue.
  • Add any additional flavorings, such as vanilla extract, or candy oils, and food coloring once the meringue reaches soft peak, or closer to hard peak.
  • Once meringue reaches hard peak, stop! Overbeating will dry out the meringue, which will cause array of issues, like hollow macarons.

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

  • I highly recommend using gel food coloring in the meringue, instead of liquid ones to minimize the amount of liquid introduced to the batter. You could use powdered food coloring, but I have no experience with it.
  • And lastly, stand mixer is helpful, but it’s not required.

Dry Ingredients

Before we dive into details about the dry ingredients, I’d like you to watch this video where I talk about certain things to watch out for when choosing the ingredients for making macarons.

  • Weigh the dry ingredients. This is super important for the macaron batter ratio. If you’re serious about baking macarons (or baking in general), do invest in kitchen scale.

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 with tips and visual macaron troubleshooting guide to perfect your macaron skills.

  • Sifting the dry ingredients is crucial as well. There are a few reasons for sifting:
    • To aerate the dry ingredients.
    • To thoroughly mix the sugar and almond flour.
    • To get rid of any lumps and big chunks of dry ingredients for smooth and delicate macarons. It is normal to have about 2-3 tablespoons of excess large chunks of almond flour. Discard it, or add it to your cereal.

Macaronage

The most important aspect of making macarons, besides stable meringue and sifted dry ingredients, is the folding technique, aka macaronage. Although it might look pretty simple to mix the macaron batter, this step can make or break your macarons. Here are my tips on macaronage:

  • Unlike many recipes out there, I don’t incorporate the dry ingredients into the meringue in 3 batches. Instead I simply add all the dry ingredients right away, and gently fold the batter. At the beginning the batter is quite thick, but it’ll get thinner as you fold.
  • If you’re just starting to make macarons, it helps if you count each fold. It usually takes about 50-60 folds to get to proper consistency. I no longer count, but it helped a lot when I was just learning.
  • What is the correct consistency of the batter? The batter should be thick, yet runny enough to fall into a ribbon when you lift the spatula. And the edges of the ribbon should smooth out within 10 or so seconds.
  • Be careful not to over-mix, or the batter will get too runny and the cookies will spread too much. Over-mixing also results in hollow macarons, and other common problems, like no feet.
  • And don’t be tempted to under-mix the batter to avoid over-mixing, because then the macarons won’t have shiny smooth top and won’t have pretty ruffled bottom.

Shaping and Baking

  • I like using heavy-duty aluminum baking sheets. Unlike thin cookie sheets, these thick baking sheets bake the cookies evenly and prevent browning the bottom of the macarons.
  • Try to pipe uniform circles for even baking. Mine doesn’t always turn out perfect, but I do my best. I use this Wilton A1 large round tip. Its extra large plain tip helps to achieve the uniform shells. If you want to be precise, you can print out little circles and place it under the parchment paper for guidance.
  • I’ve baked macarons on both parchment paper and silicone mat. And I prefer the ones baked on parchment paper. Silicone mats are thicker and conduct heat differently. I find the macarons on parchment paper bake faster and more evenly, which helps to prevent excess browning on top.
  • Once the macarons are piped into rounds, tap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. If you don’t release these air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells.
  • Before baking, let the cookies rest for half hour or until they form a film on top. It shouldn’t stick to your finger when you lightly touch the surface. This helps to create that signature ruffled feet on the bottom. I’ve tested baking macarons without any rest time, and the result was fine. But keep in mind, I live in relatively dry climate, so if you’re in humid area, it’s best to stick with drying the shells before baking.
  • The accuracy of your oven temperature is important as well. Too high oven temperature is culprit for many popular problems, like hollow macarons, cracked top, and/or browned shells. Low oven temperature will prevent the macaron shells to rise and create the ruffled feet. If you suspect your oven might not be accurate, test it with an oven thermometer.
  • If you notice your macarons tend to brown easily on top, place another rack on the highest level and put an empty baking sheet to block the heat coming from the top of the oven.
  • If bottom of the macarons stick to the parchment paper, or silicone mat, it means they’re not cooked long enough, or you haven’t cooled the cookies enough before removing. Here is a trick from Ladurée Macarons book: “Remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully lift the corners of the parchment paper, and using a small glass, pour a little water between the paper and the hot baking sheet. Do not use too much water or the shells will become soggy – the humidity and the steam produced will help remove the shells more easily when cold…”

Now, onto the macaron troubleshooting guide…

Attention, macaron-lovers! Check out my complete French Macaron 101 for detailed tips and tricks to perfect your macaron skills. Plus, visual troubleshooting guide to solve the most common problems!

Are you still with me? Kuddos to you. I hope this post answered your questions and helps you to perfect your macaron skills.

And if there is anything I haven’t covered, please leave me a comment below. I’d like us, macaron-lovers, connect and discuss various problems we face baking macarons. Let’s get the discussion started.

8 Tools You Need to Make Perfect Macarons

8 Tools You Need to Make Perfect Macarons

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238 comments

  1. Hi 
    This was my first time making Macarons and I used your recipe. It wasn’t that bad lol but the feet were a bit shallow and inside is a bit crispy. I bought an oven thermometer and it said the temp was 150c, how long should I preheat the oven for. When I went to pipe it the batter was a bit runny as well but when I was folding batter I got the figure 8.

  2. I’m keep getting hallows and not sure what to do next..
    My latest batch was on 2 trays, rested for 30-45 minutes. The first tray has nice feet but wrinkled on top at 300 degrees, lower rack, 16 minutes on silpats – the bottoms are slightly sticky. For the second tray I increased the temp to 315, middle rack, about 16 minutes also – they did not crack, but the tops browned, and a tiny bit sticky on the bottoms, still have nice feet.
    What do you suggest I do differently? I tried different meringue methods to see if it made a difference and they seem about the same. Also, I never get air bubbles come out when I drop/tap the trays.
    Thanks!

    • Hi, Mimi. What method are you using for meringue? If you’re using French meringue method, try my trick of beat the meringue low and slow at one consistent speed until stiff peaks. In my video, I show what’s the perfect meringue stage, at 09:02.

      Also, if your macarons are sticky on the bottom that means they’re under-baked, and it’s common due to silicone mat. If you have regular silicone mat, they tend to be thick and transfer the heat poorly. So I suggest to try baking macarons on a parchment paper and see if that helps.

      You don’t necessarily have to see air bubbles, but still make sure to tap those trays. 🙂 Hope these helps. Let me know if you see any progress.

      • I tried the french, italian and swiss methods. The most recent was italian because I heard it was the most forgiving. Not a fan of melting the sugar, but now I know after trying it. I used parchment before but was getting lazy with drawing the circles. Your video is helpful, I will follow let you know how the next batch comes out! Thank you!

      • Hi Shinee:
        I followed your recipe exactly and they look better, the bottoms were slightly sticky on parchment, but after filled and refrigerated, the cookies are soft, there is no crunch at all, not even at the edge. What can I do differently? Thanks!

  3. Hi, mine turned out great except that the second time I made them they didn’t have a shine. I have no idea what I did differently the first time. What factors contribute to shine? My best guess is that I undermixed the second batch but I was curious what other things affect shine as well.

    • Hi, Maddie. So most of the time, rest time affects the shininess. The longer you rest, the duller the macarons are. I’ve heard some speculation regarding food coloring affect that too. Did you add any food coloring to your first or second batch?

  4. I recently had my most successful batch of macarons, entirely due to awesome videos that showed correct meringue and macronage techniques – thanks so much Shinee! I have tried something a bit different though – I read that the skin technique might actually be a bit of a myth, and I inadvertently tested this yesterday by making smaller ones which lead to 2 pans sitting out for about 45 minutes. Those two pans ended up with almost half cracked tops, which still had the right texture but didn’t look as nice. I admit, they were also different pans and used parchment instead of silicon mats, so that might have been a factor, but the ones on the pan that went straight in baked perfectly fine. I did have a ceiling fan and the a/c going, so maybe the humidity was low enough that the skin didn’t matter? Something to think about anyway!

    Rating: 4
    • Hi, Caroline. Thank you for your feedback. So happy to hear your macaron success. And I agree with you, no rest macarons do work for some people, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the climate. In dry climate, it’s probably a lot more forgiving. Now that’s just my suspicion, so don’t quote me on that. In the past 7 years, I sure tried no-rest, but I must have never documented it. But one of the main issues with baking macarons without the skin formed is cracked shells and no ruffled feet.

  5. Hi Shinee, I’ve been attempting macarons for the past week or so, and I made 3 batches. All of them cracked and have no feet but they taste exactly how macarons should taste, crispy outside and chewy inside. I think my batter is too runny (overmixed batter, I’m assuming) and now I’m too scared to make another batch cause I’m scared it will fail again haha but I have a few questions to ask :

    – how long does it typically need to rest? I left mine out for 3-4 hours (I live in a rather humid country) and I’m able to touch them but they’re still considered rly wet and sink in when poked. Should I leave it out longer and try to save it or it’s alrd considered a fail? 

    – when baking, the macarons rise in the middle and crack after awhile, plus they don’t develop feet. I use a silicon macaron base while baking. Is this caused by the temperature of the oven being too high? 

    – Based on videos and tutorials that I watched, When piping macarons, most of their macarons stay in shape and have grainy texture while mine looks smooth but runny. Is this due to over mixing as well? I do stop mixing once I achieve the “figure 8” as most tutorials say. Should I also add almond powder to the batter when mixing if its too runny? 

    • Hi, Sara. Thank you for reaching out! So, it does sound like your batter is over-mixed.

      1. The resting time really depends on humidity. I live in a relatively dry climate, and it takes me about 20-30 minutes to dry. In humid climate, it can take hours. When you touch the macarons, the batter should not stick to your fingers. Since you live in a humid climate, I suggest to use a fan in the kitchen to promote drying quicker.
      2. Make sure to tap the baking sheet with macaron shells after piping to burst all the bubbles. If not, the trapped air bubbles will burst during baking.
      3. I’d recommend to try baking your macarons on parchment paper, instead of silicone mat. I don’t like most silicone mats, because they don’t transfer heat evenly.
      4. Make sure to pipe the shells immediately after you mix the macaron batter. If you let the batter sit for bit, especially in warm environment, the batter will become runny. And stop mixing slightly before you think it’s done.
      5. No, don’t add more almond flour if you over-mix the batter. It won’t fix the issue. When in doubt, under-mix the batter.

      Hope this helps. Please let me know if you try baking macarons again.

  6. Shinee, Sorry to bombard you with questions… what are your thoughts/experiences with garnishing the shells with a dusting of cocoa powder, spices or sprinkling sugar? Will it affect them cooking properly? I assume you do this right after piping and before they rest.

  7. I followed your recipe and invested in an oven thermometer and a kitchen scale! My macarons came out really well and adorable! they weren’t brown, flat, and cracked all at the same time anymore! thank you so much! ive followed other recipes but they were always a flop. I appreciate you and this recipe so much!

    Rating: 5
  8. Hi, right now I’m making macarons and they’re in the oven but.. the feet seems a lot thicker than my other attempts (which have come out perfectly) and also the tops are soft and not hard which is odd. I know for a fact I didnt overmix my batter so I’m not sure what the problem is. I cracked one open and they’re not hollow. If anything, they’re just soft on top. Shoudl I put them back in the oven at a higher temp?

    • Hi, Ellen. It’s hard to say exactly what may be causing the issue. It could be due to almond flour, too much moisture/ humidity. Which recipe did you make?

  9. Hi Shinee, I was thinking of trying some of the LorAnn products to vary my macaron shell flavors and am wondering if you can recommend which of their products would be best for using for macaron shells? Thank you!

  10. Hello!
    My macarons came out brown, flat, and cracked at the same time. they did have tiny feet, but other than that, it was a disaster, any reasons or tips? thank you!

    • Hi, Pea. What recipe did you use? I recommend to review this troubleshooting guide for more details. But from your description, it sounds like your batter was overmixed, which makes the batter too runny and the shells spread flat, which causes the flat shells. And I’d try to reduce your oven temperature by 15-20°F, brown cracked shells may indicate that they were baked at too high temperature. I also suggest getting an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temp is accurate.

  11. Every time (being 4 times) they are absolutely perfect BUT they have wrinkled skins……….? What is happening?

    Rating: 3
    • Hi, Penny. Wrinkled skin usually indicates excess moisture. Is it humid where you live? If the climate is nice and dry, then I’d check your almond flour. It shouldn’t be too oily. And another thing is are you adding any liquids to the meringue, like flavorings or liquid food coloring?

    • Hello! The only issue I ever get is when I try dusting them with something like espresso powder for example. It completely ruins my shells. I know other bakers do it just fine so not sure why it doesn’t work for me

      Rating: 5
  12. Hello, first attempter here! I must’ve used the hand mixer for 12 minutes and could not get hard peaks… I got probably soft and medium. Is there anything I am missing you mix with the egg white besides cream of tartar and sugar? Was I supposed to use powdered sugar? Additionally, I tried the batter check method and felt it was good. I still had wrinkly soft macarons after baking. Could there be any other reason? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi, La. If you meringue didn’t whip into stiff peaks, I suspect you may had a drop of egg yolk in the whites, or bowl/whisk had streaks of fat/oil. It sounds like your meringue didn’t whip to hard peaks, causing the wrinkly soft macarons. No powder sugar in meringue. Just a little salt and cream of tartar, and granulated sugar.

  13. Hi Shinee,I have made several batches of macarons during quarantine, and have to say Ive had pretty good luck. I used your and another blogs recipe who had very similar recipe/weights etc. I have not had any problems with cracks or hollows, or missing or spread feet and mine look great however, each batch has been on the chewy side. The outer shell isn’t crunchy… im still thrilled with the results but am wondering how I can fix to make the outer shell a little crisper without overbaking. I have reduced my oven temp… I started on 300 convection and am now down to 285 for 14 minutes. I’ve had a hard time finding results for just chewy macarons… Thank you so much. I enjoy browsing your pages very very much.

    Rating: 5
    • Hi, Cynda. Thank you for your review and feedback. Do your macarons have smooth shells? Or are they soft and wrinkly? Or they have smooth shells, just not crisp? It maybe due to almond flour, if it’s a bit on oily side. I’d suggest trying different almond flour and see if that helps.

      • Thank you so much for your reply Shinee. My shells come out smooth and shiny and to look at they look perfect. But when you bite into them (after maturing) the shells are soft and chewy. If thats the worst then i think Im still doing good but would love to perfect that crispness for the shell. Hmm, we did just get a new brand of almond flour. I am def going to try a different brand and see if that helps.

        • Hi, Cynda. I think you’ve got a perfect macaron. Your photo looked perfect. I think it’s normal for the shell to soften after maturing.

  14. I could not fold the batter enough it seemed, gave up after 80 or so folds. It always was thick. Pretty sure I did not overbeat the egg whites. I tried twice. Both batches tasted good but I think too much batter in each cookie since so thick. Will try again tomorrow.

  15. I used the Scran Line’s recipe, I might try yours next time, but my macarons came out really dense. The taste is great and the texture is super close, but they don’t have that nice crispy outside and they’re a smidge too dense inside. I kept the oven at 300 F and only kept them in there for about 15 minutes, so I think it must have gone wrong during the mixing stage. Any advice?

    • Hi, Cecilia. I’m not sure what you mean by dense? You do want your macarons full inside. Maybe you meant they’re like wet, sticky inside? Also it’s hard for me to troubleshoot the issue, as I’m not familiar with your recipe.

  16. Thank you so much for the tips!
    You mentionedthat there may be 2-3 tablespoons of the larger pices of slmond flour. Does it need to be replaced? Would it be s better idea to sift the almond flour to eliminate these pieces?

    • Hi, Lulani. If you have no more than 2 tablespoons of almond chunks, then you don’t need to replace it. But if you get more than 2 tablespoons, then yes, add more almond flour. We’re sifting almond flour and powdered sugar for 3 purposes: 1. get rid off the large chunks. 2. aerate the dry ingredients. 3. mix the dry ingredients. In my experience, I never got more than a teaspoon of large chunks of almond flour. So a good quality almond flour makes a difference.

  17. Hi,
    Thank you for your sharing. After countless attempts I finally came up with something that l somehow looks like macarons. However, there are still some missing here:
    •The shells are hollow
    •Some of them cracked in the oven
    •Some of them have uneven feet
    I did not over whip the white or over work the batter, I also bang the tray right after piping and I baked mine at 300°F for 7mins then turned down to 265°F for 15mins.
    Can you help me with these? Thanks a lot 😁

  18. I have not tried to make your recipe yet but I did make my first macarons almost 2 weeks ago and they actually turned out pretty good! My 2nd attempt was this past weekend and they were a total fail except for the taste ☺ I made an Italian meringue and added melted chocolate just like the recipe said to but the wouldn’t dry and they spread out like lace cookies! I think there was too much moisture in my house because I was at a friend’s house the first time I (we) made them. Please tell me using melted chocolate in the shell batter will actually work, I want to make them for a chocolate cookie contest!

  19. I made it as directed but the shells were hard and inside still gooey so I cooked longer and it remained gooey. Any ideas what could be the problem? It also seemed hard and not at all cakey like in your pictures! 👎

    • Oh no, Kati. It sounds like your oven may be running hotter. Do you have a oven thermometer to check the accuracy? I highly recommend getting this super inexpensive oven thermometer to keep it in your oven to monitor the temperature. Because it’s very normal for ovens run hotter or cooler up to 50°F, which could be a big deal breaker for baking macarons.

  20. My 1st attempt at macarons was the ultimate fail and went directly into the trash. The next day I tried again with slightly better results. Then I found your troubleshooting guide to macarons. Since my problem seems to be over beating the merengue the 3rd attempt should be better. Thank you.

  21. Hi!! I’m just wondering if it’s necessary to add more almond flour after sifting? A majority of the time, there’s a few tbsp that are too big to be sifted so I’m worried that the consistency will be off if i leave the clumps out 😅 

    • Hi, Joohyun. I never replace the discarded portion as long as it’s no more than 2 tablespoons. So if you have like more than 2 tablespoons of almond flour in the sifter, I’d suggest add 1-2 tablespoons of almond flour. Hope this helps.

  22. Hi,
    I have had many attempts making macarons and I have had no luck. My macarons always are cracked, even though I rapped the tray. They are spreading, even if my batter is thick or is the right consistency, and they are hollow. I have tried many things but they have not worked. Also I have a lot of trouble at identifying what a proper meringue looks like and what a good batter looks like. Can you help me? Thanks a lot.

    • Hi, Jade. Thanks for reaching out! And kuddos to you for not giving up on macaron making!! It sounds like you’ve got lots of different issues going on. But before I begin troubleshooting, I’m wandering what recipe are you using? If you haven’t already, I highly recommend trying my basic macaron recipe. That way our troubleshooting will be consistent and more productive.

      And a few quick notes about the issues you’re experiencing. Cracked macarons are typically due to over-mixed batter, so are the spreading issue. If your macaron batter is the correct consistency, your shells should not spread too much.

      In my white macaron recipe, I shared how meringue looks like at soft-peak and hard-peak stage.
      You can also watch my video tutorial for batter consistency. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck!

  23. Hi , thanks for the tips . 
    I tried baking it twice , and my batch always gets fluffy in oven but then the top gets very thin and either (Mostly)cracks or get Very wrinkly. 
    Could you please help me understand what could be the reason. (My meringue had hard peaks and also batter was not runny ) 

    • Hi, Jayc. So those thin soft and wrinkly tops indicates excess moisture. It could be the moisture in the batter or in the environment, but most likely the batter.
      Couple things that cause excess moisture in the batter:
      1. Too much liquid flavorings such as vanilla extract, or liquid food coloring.
      2. Too much egg whites. Make sure to weigh the egg whites as well.

  24. My first try at macarons. They stuck to the silicone mat, and they were cooled off! I had to use a knife to release them, and they still stuck. What a mess. Of course the buttercream filling filled in the hollows that were left.

    Rating: 4
  25. Hi Shinee,

    I’ve been making macarons for some time and in my opinion, they come out of the oven looking perfect and tasting quite good but every single batch has come out with hollows. I use a stand mixer and am pretty sure that I am not overbeating my meringue. I have tried different temperature and time variations from 280 for 20 and 22 mins, 302 for 16 mins and 320 for 14 mins. I have ordered an oven thermometer to see if temperature is the reason for my hollows. However I read in one of your replies to another writer that you wouldn’t suggest opening the oven door at all and that it may be the cause for the macarons collapsing.  In the recipe I am using, it says to rotate the baking tray half way through cooking for even baking. Could this be the reason for my hollows and would you suggest I stop doing this?

    • Hi, Katy. What method do you use for meringue? Italian meringue or french meringue? If you’re using french meringue method, I suggest to whip the meringue at a consistent speed the entire time. I whip my egg whites at speed 2 the whole time, and it’s been consistently delivering the most stable meringue and full macarons. Give that a try first. But I also recommend not to open the oven, it could definitely cause the collapse. Let me know if it helps. Thank you!

  26. I am confused about your instruction with the eggs white. On one paragraph you say when the meringue reaches hard peaks, gradually reducing the speed and not just shutting the mixer off.stop.
    On another paragraph you say when it reaches hard peaks then stop. 

    Can you please clarify?  Thanks 

    • Hi, Maria. Sorry for confusion. I suggest to gradually reduce the speed, instead of abruptly stopping the mixer. But that shouldn’t take very long, about 30-45 seconds slowing the speed down to stop should be good. Hope this clarifies. Let me know if you have any questions.

  27. Hi there!
    I’m having gear success with the texture and consistency of the shells, but I can’t stop the browning and the colour changing.  Also, even if the colour works out ok, they look really dull and ever so slightly grainy. Not smooth and shiny like the pictures. I sift several times! 
    Thankyou!!

    • Hi, Jenny. First, browning issue: I’d suggest to play around with your oven temperature. It’s possible your oven runs a bit hotter. Try reducing the temp by 10-15°. Or you could place an empty baking sheet on top rack over the macarons, which will block the heat from the top. And as for smooth shells, I highly recommend getting “super fine” almond meal, which helps with texture. Hope these tips help. Please keep me posted.

  28. Hi Shinee, 

    I baked my macarons yesterday and they came out beautiful. The taste was great and they had feet. But I noticed they had hollow shells and it was a bit crunchy. I don’t know what I did wrong though, I beat my meringue until they are at stiff peaks – about 6 mins. Can you help me how to fix the problem? Thanks. 

    • Hi, Veronica. Congrats on your macaron success!! I think hollow macarons are pretty common issue among beginning macaron bakers. I know I used to have that problem all the time! And I still do from time to time. The biggest culprit to hollow macarons is over-beaten meringue. Another possible problem is your oven may run hotter and cook the shells fast on the outside, and when you bring them out, the inside collapses. I suggest getting an oven thermometer and check your oven temperature for accuracy. And also maybe play around with baking time and oven temp to find the sweet spot with your oven. Good luck!

  29. I was wondering, I was told that the barometric pressure can be a hindurance to making Macarons and them turning out like they should. What should the barometric pressure be, or how high should it be. Thanks

  30. Hi! I have looked all over for an answer to my macaron dilemma. I am hoping you can help. The issue I am experiencing over and over again is soft, paper thin, fragile macaron tops. I have tried EVERYTHING!! I have been told that this is caused from over mixing your batter. I am diligently checking to make sure that my batter is not over mixed and I even walk away from my batter for a few minutes when it looks almost perfect to wait to see if it actually needs any more turns. I use a le cordon bleu “fool proof” recipe and have tried countless others….still the same issue. How do I harden my macaron shells? Help, thanks.

    • Following. Im drying my 5th attempt. I watched so many videos. Tried different consistencys. But everytime i get smooth tops blown out feet and hollow insides. I havent eaten a macaron yet.

      • Hi, Christy. By blown out feet, do you mean they’re super tall, or bulging out ones? Either way, it sounds like the issue is over-beaten meringue. Hollow meringues are usually indication of over-beaten meringue, so is big feet. Hope this helps. And please don’t give up on macarons. Keep at it! 😉

    • Hi, Heather. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Are your macaron shells also wrinkly by chance? If the shells are soft, paper thin and wrinkly, the most likely culprit is excess moisture. Excess moisture can be due to added extracts, food coloring, humid climate or rainy day, etc. Here’re my suggestions: try baking your next batch on a dry day without any added extracts and food coloring. Let me know if that helps.

    • My 4th batch came out like that, so fragile you could just touch them and the tops would crack. They were mostly hollow too. I’ve figured out that I accidentally added too much extract, which started to break my meringue. I managed to salvage it and make a successful macronage, so I thought they’d be ok, but even though they looked pretty they were a disappointment. Two things helped my last batch be the closest to perfect yet – I followed a recipe that included exact times and settings for my mixer (Kitchenaid), and I measured MUCH more carefully. Some came out with cracked tops but the texture inside was perfect, but those were baked on a different pan and I think that was the cause. Keep trying, good macarons are totally worth it!

  31. Hi! So I just tried this recipe (first time making macs) I followed the recipe exact, except I did not use cream of tartar. I also added a drop of raspberry extract to the merengue with the food coloring. Let them sit for almost an hour. Set my oven to 300 and baked them for 20 minutes. The top was brown (almost burnt) and they never formed feet! The taste great though, but they look terrible. Any tips for my second time around? I will definitely need to take them out of oven sooner or bake at a lower temp. But what should I do different so they can form feet?

    Rating: 4
    • Hi, Maryorie. Thank you for your feedback and providing details. It sounds like your oven runs hotter than it’s set, which is very possible. I’d suggest getting an external oven thermometer to check for accuracy. For feet, it may be due to batter being over-mixed. When you piped the macarons, did they spread too much?

    • Hi please help me! I’m despairing and on the point of giving up! I think i’m in batch 40 or something and they are still failing. I am using the Italian method as French ones never work for me but I have had some success with the Italian. It seems that when I mix the egg with the dry ingredients.. Its like a VERY stiff dough. When I try to fold in meringue it’s impossible and all su sequent attempts fail with rubbish looking macarons as the batter never gets runny enough. No matter how much I mix it. So I try adding more egg white into the dry ingredients to make it softer. But I end up with cracked shells and ALL my macarons seem to come out wrinkly. I can’t do this any more! I need help!!!! Please advise me as to where I am going wrong. I really would appreciate any help you may give me x

      • Hi, Bethan. I’m sorry to hear your frustration!!! And I applaud you for your persistence and for not giving up! Can you please let me know following, so I can help you better to troubleshoot the issue?
        1. How are you measuring the ingredients? By volume (cups) or by weight?
        2. Is it humid where you live?
        Adding more egg whites to thin out the macaron batter definitely won’t help. Wrinkly macarons with super soft wrinkled skin is the classic example of excess moisture in the batter, and it’s likely due to adding plain egg white to the batter.
        I look forward to hearing back on those 2 questions and we’ll go from there.

  32. I am not sure exactly what I did but I suspect undercooking even though the tops browned. Can I send you some pictures so you can tell me what you think? I have bottoms sticking to pan, kinda sticky interiors, some discoloration spots on the tops, and slightly hollow bottoms.

  33. Hello, hoping you can help. I can get my macarons, baked beautiful. Smooth, round, with nice ruffle feet. When they first come out of the oven, they don’t wiggle when you touch them, and they lift nicely off the silpat and or parchment. If i break one open fresh out of the oven, the inside is filled with cooked fluffy macaron, with crunchy shell. I let them cool on the pan, and they hollow out and become chewy. If I cool them off the cookie sheet, same thing happens. What is happening, why is this happening. I never even get to buttercream fillings, cuz my cookies fail!

    What tips can you give me. I am following the recipe, I bake at 320 for about 13 minutes. I use heavy duty commercial cookie sheets. My oven temp is perfect when I test the temp.

    Please Help!

    Cindy

    • I also want to add, that I dont think I am overbeating the eggs. I beat till they just reach peak, or just get to that point where they wont slide out of the bowl. I thought maybe I should try to do more of a soft peak, but worried the batter will be too runny.

      • Hi, Cindy! It sounds like your macarons are being underbaked. It’s basically the same as with cake, when the cake doesn’t bake all the way, they collapse. The same thing is happening with macarons. I’d suggest lowering your oven temp to 300°F and increasing the baking time to 15-16 minutes. Hope this will help. Let me know.

      • Hi, I would try lowering your temp as suggested by Shinee, 300 , start looking at hem at 13 mins and go from there but , 13-18 minutes ish . Happy baking . 

  34. So I’ve become obsessed with making french macarons!! I don’t know why they’re so much fun but they are!!!! I’ve done a lot of troubleshooting on my own but I couldn’t keep the tops from getting a little brown!!! Duh on putting a pan in the oven on a rack above them. Eye roll to myself. Sometimes you hear things and are like “how in the world could I not have thought of that?!?!” So glad you said that!! Sooooo question time. For the first time I made peppermint macarons. Color was great. Consistency was great. But I put crushed peppermint on top after piping them, then banged them on the counter and let them sit. When I baked them there was tiny holes in the top. I’ve never had it happen so I’m thinking it was either putting the peppermint too soon or maybe I should have gotten the air holes out before putting on the peppermint OR maybe I should have put on the peppermint after the shell had formed on top before going in the oven. So the question is when is the appropriate time to add something to the top of the macaron? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!! 

    • Hi, Katie. I’m so sorry for getting back to you after a whole month!!! So I also have trouble with similar issue, but with salt. If you wait for too long and sprinkle things on already formed shells, they won’t stick. So here’s what I do. Definitely sprinkle the topping after removing the air bubbles and wait for like 5 minutes or so. You want the shells to be still slightly sticky and not completely dried out.

  35. Hi Shinee,
    This is a wonderful resource. Thank you for all the time and effort. I recently have moved to 4900 ft and am struggling to get my macarons working up here. I have been playing with sugar and flour adjustments and finally have feet!  But I still have hollow shells. Help!  I had no problems when I was in Atlanta but does the meringue have to be softer at altitude than “normal”?

  36. Hi Shinee,
    I’ve tried making them using all the mentioned  techniques. My macarons turned out pretty and with feet. However, they tasted kinda crunchy instead of the usual outside crispy and chewy interior. Any idea why is that so? Thanks for helping!

    • Probably overbaking. I’ve had that happened too. Any perfect batch of macarons could overbake and become crispy.

      • Did you let them “mature”? Freshly baked macarons will always be a little too crisp, it’s once they are filled and left in the fridge for 24 hours that they get the chewiness! 🙂

  37. is there a way to tell if macrons are done before taking them out of the oven. I more often than not have sticky insides and the bottom is not firm. I am afraid of over baking

    • Hi, Jean. Yes, kind of. It may be a little tricky to explain, but I’ll try my best. If you touch one shell, while macarons are still in the oven, and try to slide it. It should have a little bit of wiggle, but shouldn’t slide back and forth too much. If it does, then bake for another 30sec or so and check again. If the shells are not moving at all and pretty hard, then they’re over-baked. But I say over-baked macaron shells are better then under-baked. Hope this helps.

  38. So me and my wife were trying to make macarons and while we beat the eggs to a soft peak everything is good, but when we added the sugar and kept meeting to get the firm peaks the mixture turns to liquid like everything just deflated. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?

    • Hi, Josh. That’s really weird. Egg whites don’t like even the tiniest trace of fat. I wonder if the bowl had a smear of fat up the walls, and when whipped egg white rose, it got in contact with fat and deflated. I’d try again with super clean bowl and whisk.

    • Hi I have actually encountered this making foam cakes! It’s more than likely due to your sugar being to gritty or being added in too quickly. Perhaps try adding it slower or using a caster sugar instead of granulated.

  39. Hi! So I tried this basic macaron recipe tonight and it totally flopped! It was my first time ever trying to make macarons so I expected it wouldn’t turn out perfect. The taste was very good, but they didn’t look good. The batter was too thick, it never loosened up. I weighed all the ingredients prior to making the recipe using a food scale. I counted my folds and it was never getting to the ribbon stage, so I knew from the beginning something was wrong. I baked them anyways and they came out with no feet and almost like crinkled paper on top. There were no big defined cracks in them and they were not hollow. I made the white chocolate buttercream because we ate them anyways and everyone still loved them. I followed the instructions, so i don’t know where I could have went wrong? Please advise! 

    Rating: 3
    • Hi, Brittany. Thank you for reaching out! And I’m sorry your first try didn’t turn out. You said you weighed the ingredients, but I wanted to double check if you had weighed the egg whites as well? It sounds like your wet and dry ingredients ratio was off. And that could easily happen if you didn’t weigh the egg whites as well. Let me know.

      • I have a question. My macarons came out chewy and were cracked on the tops. I did get rid of the air bubbles by tapping my baking sheet, so I don’t know what went wrong. And I used the proper amount of flour + sugar etc. so I REALLY don’t know what happened. I baked them for a total of 19 minutes at 300 degrees. I live in New York City. It’s freezing. Please help me I really don’t know what I did.

        • Hi, Lina. What macaron recipe did you make? Did you dry your macaron before baking? If so, for how long? I recently learned that cracked macarons maybe caused by not drying them long enough.

  40. Hiiiiii! My Macaroons have feet but I notice they shrink after a while while baking. Why is this? Please and thank you!!

    • Hi, Gee. So your macarons rise and then drop while in the oven? Did you by chance opened the door to check? The sudden temperature drop may cause that.

      • Hiii! So i’ve been baking many, maaaanyy maaaannny batches of Macaroons but I just cant seem to find the perfect temp to bake. They always seems to be undercooked. I even bought a big countertop oven to try it out but its the same thing. The macaroon top is supposed to be hard right out of the oven right? Or do they harden later on? My macaroons are pretty but just.. chewy. Sad life. I’m about to give up. Any tips helps!

        • Yes, macaron shells are hard right out of the oven. By chewy, do you mean they’re kind of sticky chewy? It does sound like your macarons are being under-baked. In order to troubleshoot your issue, I have a few questions. How humid is it where you are? How long are you drying the macarons before baking? What temperature are you baking? Which rack are you baking the macarons on? How long are you baking your macarons? And finally what happens when you bake them longer?

      • Not humid at all, I wait about 30 minutes to put them in the oven and they do form a shell. I’ve tried about every baking time and they just dont cook. Recently I tried baking them longer but they get so overcooked on the bottom and on the edges but the center is still a little wet. 
        275, 285, 300, for about 18-25 minutes. 
        I do bake them on the bottom rack cause my shells turn brown. I also notice that my feet rise too high and outward when I bake at 285-300. I even bought an oven thermometer. The little tiny Breville countertop oven I bought has a fan feature and ive been playing with that too and its pretty much the same. 

        • Thanks so much for more details. I suggest baking your macarons at 325F for 13-14 minutes without a fan. Try that and see if it helps.

  41. Hi! Love your recipie and have made these three times with great success. today was the first time I tried to make them with lemon juice in the meringue and it could be coincidental, but it’s also the first time they didn’t set prior to my putting them in the oven. I had them out for an hour but no change. Any advice, or idea why they wouldn’t set? Thanks! 

    Rating: 5
  42. Hi Shinee,
    Thanks for a great post! I read almost everyone’s comment about the “hollow” issue. I am having the exact same issue, the macarons come out great and taste really good, but super brittle shells and hollow. With that said. I know I am not over beating the meringue. Or so I think!! I beat the egg whites with a hand mixer and test frequently for soft peak, I then turn the bowl upside down making sure the meringue doesn’t fall out. 
    I am very frustrated because I have been making these temperamental cookies for almost 6 years and just recently in the past few months, they stopped being perfect!!! Could it be my oven??? Thank you. 

    • Hi, Nazy! Yes, the oven could definitely be a culprit. Did you change your oven in the last few months? Check if your oven is accurate with an oven thermometer. And also try varying the temp by 15 degrees higher or lower. Hope this helps, and I really hope you’ll get back to your perfect macarons.

      • Hi Shinee, No my oven is the same. I do have a thermometer in there and it has always been 10 degrees off. But, I JUST finished making a batch of Banana shells with Nutella filling. Guess what? They came out PERFECT. 🙂
        I did do couple of things differently this time. After reading all your comments to others, I made the meringue soft peak, and when I turned the bowl, it was softly sliding off the bowl, normally if I turned the bowl around, it would not fall out. This time it would, but super softly. Then I followed your temperature 300 for 20 minutes. (I put mine at 310 since my oven isn’t accurate). Normally my temperature is at 290 and I think they were under cooked!?
        Thank you so much for such a great website. I am also following you on Pinterest, I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your macarons … 

        • Hi, Nazy. Yeah, your macarons may have been slightly undercooked, which also could cause hollow macarons, because it rises, but it doesn’t cook all the way and therefore collapses inside. I’m so glad your last batch came out perfect! It’s a wonderful feeling! I got your e-mail with the photo, and they look PERFECT!! Thank you!

        • Shinee,

          I have been making more batches and they look great but, they are bit too chewy on the shell. Anything else I am doing wrong??

        • Hey, Nazy. When you say chewy, you mean they’re stick to your teeth kind of chewy, right? My first thought was it’s due to under-mixed meringue. And then I realized you did it on purpose last time. So I’m curious, did your previous batches come out chewy? Or did they just came out chewy when you beat the meringue till soft peaks?

        • Hi Shinee,
          I purposely did it both ways, soft peak and stiff peak, they both came out chewy as in sticking to your teeth. 
          Last night I made another batch and they came out hollow!!! 🙁
          I am just lost …. I don’t want to give up because sometimes I make them and they come out so awesome and then this happens and is just so exhausting that I can’t just make them perfect!!!

        • Ah, I understand your pain, Nazy. Try my new directions I sent you via e-mail, and hope that will improve the situation. Keep me posted.