Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

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!

[I get a lot of questions about this white serving dish. I bought this particular one at a local thrift store, but I found similar one on amazon.com.]

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?

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!

Enjoy!

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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!

Yield: About 25 filled macarons

Cook Time:20 min

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

Ingredients:

For macaron shells:
  • 100gr almond flour
  • 100gr powdered sugar
  • 70gr (1/3 cup) egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 50gr sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 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

Directions:

  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, lemon juice and yellow food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute. (Watch this meringue video for more information.)
  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. Let cool the macarons on baking sheets for at least 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  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 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
All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory

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265 comments

  1. i’ve used other recipes before and i didn’t like this one. the shells aren’t as crinkly as they should be and the insides are more “cookie”-like. i made lemon curd for the filling instead of buttercream because the shells weren’t very lemony, so i wanted more tart lemon flavor. some of the shells also rose and cracked a little in the oven.

    Rating: 2
    • Hi, Savannah. Bummer that my recipe didn’t work out for you, but I’m glad you’ve had success with other recipes. I’d suggest stick with those. And as for filling, my lemon buttercream is nice and zesty and adds plenty lemon flavor. But I love adding lemon curd in the middle too! Thank you so much for trying my recipe and for sharing your feedback.

  2. Tasted decent but did not turn out right. I followed the directions, my only thought at where it could have gone wrong was under mixing the batter, but I’m not sure. I’ve made macarons before with a different recipe and they mostly turned out. Mine today didn’t dry all the way, were chewy, had no feet, and the tops were soft and didn’t have that nice crunch. 

    Rating: 2
  3. This was my first time making macaroons and with your videos and easy to follow instructions they turned out great!  Love, love the lemony flavor in the buttercream filling.  The filling melds so nicely with the macaron shells.  Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  4. I have a question, after I put the lemon juuce and the zest, the egg white starting to get fizzy, then the batter do the same.  No feet after bake

  5. What does the ribbon mean when checking the batter?

    • Hi, Wendy. Ribbon means the batter falls on itself in ribbon-like pattern, then it dissolves into the main batter. I included a short video on folding the batter and how to check the consistency. The video is in the blog post above. Hope that helps.

  6. 1) I added my lemon zest but it just made my shells look ugly. How did you get such a smooth shell without the zest sticking out?
    2) How long does it take for the butter to fluff up? I tried but it was just so little butter that the whisk just couldn’t whisk it properly. Should I just beat it by hand? (because the bowls that come with the kitchen aid have a raised middle it doesn’t seem to be able to whip properly)

    • Hi, Kris. What kind of zester did you use? I use this microplane zester (<- affiliate link), which makes super fine zest. I use the same bowl and I feel like that raised middle actually helps to whip small amount of butter nicely. It usually takes a little bit (about a minute or so) to start fluffing up. I've never tried hand whipping, but you could definitely do that too.

  7. this really recipe really works. you just have to kinda nail it and get used to making them in general.

    Rating: 5
  8. A couple of friends and I wanted to make French macarons together but had never made them before. We were really nervous (as macarons are notoriously finicky), but we found this recipe and followed it to the letter and they came out beautifully! Feet on our first attempt! We couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you! 🙂

    Rating: 5
    • That’s fantastic, Kayla! I bet you had a great time! Reminded me of the time when I used to bake with my friends. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

  9. Just made these last night, which was my first ever attempt at macarons! Thank for working out all the issues and providing such great guidance! Mine turned out pretty great (FEET!!) for the first attempt! Plus they are delicious and perfect for summer.

    Rating: 5
  10. The recipe is good, I just have 2 things. You say to let them cool on a wire rack BEFORE removing them from the cookie sheet?And you specify vanilla in the ingredients but I don’t see where it’s supposed to be added in. The recipe turned out well, but those things threw me off.

    Rating: 4
    • Gotta add. I got the macarons out.of the oven. Baked at the temp & time you say. But they are still very goopy and sticky and in my attempt to check them, I wound up breaking several. I put them back in, but I’m really disappointed.
      Do you have a gas oven or electric? Becuase temps and times differ, and I think specifying which one you use helps the process so people know it wont be exactly the same for others.

      • Hi, Megan. Sorry my directions were confusing. I can see how cooling the baking sheet on a wire rack is confusing. 🙂 And as for vanilla extract, I had it in the original recipe, but since any additional liquid affects the batter, especially in humid climates, I removed it. And it looks like I forgot to remove it from the directions. Thank you for pointing those out.

        As for oven, I bake the macarons in a regular electric oven without fan. I have no experience with gas ovens. That said, EVERY oven is different (whether it’s electric or gas, conventional or convection) and the temperature could fluctuate up to 50°F up or down. And that’s why I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer to check how your oven heats. You can read more about it in this post.

        Thank you so much for your feedback. I’ll update the recipe to reflect these details.

      • I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and it’s turned out amazingly every time EXCEPT for when I’ve used a gas oven. I was never able to figure out why, but even after I made sure the temperature was accurate they never cooked right. 

        Rating: 5
        • Hi, Katie. Thank you for your comment. When I was shopping for a new oven last year, I read that gas ovens are finicky when it comes to baking. No idea what may be the problem, but I stick to electric oven. 🙂

  11. Well, first let me say thank you for posting the videos. Those are very helpful for a first time macaron baker. I have been wanting to make these for a long, long time. Your recipe had the almond flour and the confectioner’s sugar in grams. I don’t deal in grams so I converted it to cups based on the conversion table on the internet. When I was making them, I could tell that it wasn’t enough flour but I followed the directions to a t. When folding, I could also tell that it was off but since I followed the directions, I just went ahead and baked them (after resting which took 1 1/2 hours). Well, they came out as cookies. Good lemon cookies but not macarons by a long shot.So I went back to this site and read more reviews. Lo and behold, way down on the reviews, you posted the recipe in cups. and it didn’t match the internet conversion at all. The internet said 100grams is 1/2 cup and 50 grams is 1/4 cup. Well, you said to use 1 cup (not 1/2 cup) of almond flour and 3/4 cup of confections sugar (not 1/2 cup). Well….no wonder mine didn’t turn out. I am so disappointed that I did all the right things and the reason it didn’t work out was because of your recipe not being correct. So disappointed.

    Rating: 2
    • I need to add to my review. Per checking grams/cups on the internet. If you say 1 cup of almond flour, that is equal to 150grams (not 100 grams as per your recipe) and if you say 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, that is equal to 97grams (not 100 grams as per your recipe). I just wanted to put that on there from reading it. I am disappointed because mine came out like cookies but they do have a good flavor so if I do it again with the CORRECT amounts of flour and conf. sugar, they should be good.

    • Hi, Colleen. I understand how disappointing it is when you have a macaron fail. Believe me, I know that feeling all too well! But it completely baffles me how you came to conclusion that my recipe is all wrong when you didn’t actually followed it. When I provide metric and volume measurements for my recipes, I don’t just convert it by googling it. I actually put a measuring cup on a scale, fill it with the ingredient and weigh it. I have no idea what website you’ve consulted to find the volume info for the dry ingredients, but I just googled 1 cup of almond flour in grams, I got 2 websites that tell me 1 cup of almond flour equals to 96 grams. So, it seems like my measurements are not that far off, are they?

  12. I’ve tried many different recipes for macarons, and this one has turned out perfect almost every time!! Thanks so much 

    Rating: 5
  13. I used this recipe to make my very first macarons and they were perfect! Thank you so much! My third batch I overmixed and they were too runny (which baked up thin and hard/crispy-chewy), but that was totally my fault. 🙂 We used them as macaron “chips” to scoop up the lemon buttercream “dip” and no one was disappointed because your flavors are so good even when I messed up the texture. Thanks so much!

    Rating: 5
    • So great to read your feedback, Heather. And I totally agree macarons are so delicious even when they don’t look right. I absolutely love your attitude about your “fails”.

  14. Hi Shinee, we just tried making these macaroons and they failed!!! Our batter was the right  consistency and we let it sit and it didn’t stick to our fingers. What do you think went wrong? It was a big disappointment for us since we are bakers! Please tell us what went wrong!!!!😡

    Rating: 1
    • Without the details as to what was wrong with your macarons, I won’t be able to troubleshoot the issue. Please provide as much details as you can about what was the problem, how they look, etc. and I’ll do my best to help you out.

  15. Love the reciepe! What are your thoughts on using Lemon extract?

  16. Made these yesterday and they came out perfect

    Rating: 5
  17. I made this recipe this past weekend and it was delicious! My wife has been waiting for me to make lemon macarons and these did the trick. The only question I have is that in step 2 you say to add vanilla extract but no measurement is given under the macaron shells for it in the ingredients list. I just used half a teaspoon, but I wondered whether this was a mistake because some of the macaron’s shells were a little more wrinkly than I was used to.

    • Hi, Joshua. So glad the recipe turned out for you! And I apologize for confusion with vanilla extract. I used to have it in the ingredient list, but removed it as some people have issue with excess moisture, which sounds like you had the same issue. Soft wrinkly shell is an indication of excess moisture. I live in a dry climate, and extra teaspoon of liquid usually doesn’t cause an issue for me. Thank you for your comment. I had updated the recipe now.

  18. Hey, I was just wondering, instead of using almond flour can I use AP flour instead?

  19. So I was wondering if cream of tartar is a cream? Because here in Germany they sell it as a powder. Do I have to do something with the powder to turn it into a cream?
    Also when adding lemon juice do I just add normal store bought lemon juice from the juice section or does it mean squeezed lemons?

    • Hi, Taehee. Cream of tartar is the same here in the U.S., it’s powder, not cream. I prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice, and that’s what I’d recommend.

  20. Hi Shinee, I found this recipe online and is about to make it for my first French Macaron. Well, not my first because I made it long time ago and failed. But I’d like to give a try after seeing your detailed instructions and beautiful pictures. I have set up all the ingredients and about to make it. Just one one question about the lemon zest. How fine you ground the zest? Just fresh grounded from lemon? Will it cause the shell not smooth enough if it is not finely  grounded? Thanks! 
    -Rusha 

  21. I made these macaron recipe and it was AMAZING! I tried others, but you have the best out there!! 

    Rating: 5