Red Velvet Macarons

4.22 from 57 votes

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Filled with sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting, these stunning red velvet macarons are made to impress! Learn how to achieve that perfect deep red color and texture!

3 red velvet macarons stacked on top of each other and surrounded with more macarons.


 

Why you’ll love red velvet macarons:

Red velvet macarons are, hands down, one of my absolute favorite macaron flavors, right after pistachio macarons and lemon macs.

Not only does it have the most gorgeous color, but the flavor is so, so good!

The sweet n’ tangy cream cheese filling, crisp and pleasantly chewy shells with slight hint of cocoa and vanilla. I couldn’t ask for anything better!

Is this macaron recipe for you?

Now, if you’re new to making macarons and you’re determined to get the “perfect” look, this may not be the best recipe to start your macaron journey.

I highly recommend starting with my plain macarons for beginners. It has all the nitty-gritty details, explanation of techniques for success and video tutorial.

This red velvet macaron recipe is slightly advanced because of added cocoa powder and significant amount of food coloring.

Check out my entire MACARON ARCHIVE full of helpful resources for beginner macaron bakers!

Vibrant red velvet macarons filled with white cream cheese frosting arranged on a white serving platter.

Key Ingredients Note:

Measure the macaron ingredients in grams with a kitchen scale. This intentional step leaves no wiggle room for error, maximizing your success!

  • Egg whites – Quality egg whites lead to stable meringue, which is the foundation of perfect macarons. Choose fresh eggs, carefully separate the whites and yolk, and weigh the amount precisely. I’ve also had success with carton egg whites. Be sure to check the labels and avoid the ones that’s says “not for meringue”.
  • Almond flour – Choose super-fine almond flour to with light beige color and fluffy texture. Avoid oily, yellow and/or coarse almond flour. This almond flour is my go-to.
  • Powdered sugar – I don’t recommend making your own powder sugar, because commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. And it helps with texture of the cookies.
  • Granulated sugar – It’s important to use fine granulated sugar for meringue, as it dissolves quicker. You can also use caster sugar, aka baker’s sugar.
  • Cocoa powder adds a hint of chocolate flavor and deepens the red color of the macarons. You can use either natural or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Cream of tartar is optional and can be omitted. However, it helps to stabilize egg whites and create sturdier meringue. It’s just an extra insurance!
  • Red gel food coloring is absolutely necessary to achieve that vibrant red color.
Red velvet macarons ingredients in individual bowls.

How to make red velvet macarons:

We’re making French meringue macarons, which is my go-to method and it’s the easiest method of all.

Sift almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder 3 times. This’s important, because not only are we mixing the ingredients, but we’re also aerating them for fluffier cookies.

TIME-SAVING TIP: If you have a stand mixer, sift the dry ingredients while the meringue is whipping.

Side by side images of sifting the dry ingredients.

French meringue is the easiest, because we simply whisk egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks. Now, while it seems super easy, there’re a few things to keep in mind.

Combine egg whites, granulated sugar, salt and cream of tartar, if using, in a large bowl. And beat the mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Add red food coloring and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. You want to see a nice defined ridges as pictured below.

meringue tip

Slow and consistent speed is key to achieving the sturdiest meringue when it comes to French method. The exact time depends on each mixer. Don’t rush this process. It can take up to 40 minutes to reach stiff peaks!

Side by side images of the meringue at soft peak stage vefore adding coloring and at stiff peak stage with red food coloring added.

2023 UPDATE: In the last year, I’ve changed my French meringue technique to combining the egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar from the start instead of adding sugar slowly into lightly whipped egg whites. I found this meringue method works better for macarons.

Add dry ingredients into the meringue and fold the batter until it reaches the perfect consistency, which means the batter is thick, yet runny enough to slowly flow off the spatula into a ribbon.

Side by side images of combining dry ingredients and meringue.

how to check the batter consistency

1. Scoop some batter on your spatula and then drop the batter into a ribbon into the bowl.
2. Slightly tilt the bowl and count to 10.
3. If the edges of the ribbon melt back into the batter in 10 seconds, the batter is ready!

A spoonful of red macaron batter falling off the spatula into the mixing bowl.

Transfer the batter into a piping bag, fitted with a round tip. (I use Wilton 12 tip.) Pipe the shells on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Rest the macarons for 15 minutes. And bake one baking sheet at a time for about 18 minutes at 300°F.

side by side images of piped macaron shells on a baking sheet before and after baking.

FREE macaron template

I made a perfect template for you. Subscribe to my e-mail list and download this custom macaron template for FREE(This template is perfect for my recipe and super easy to use!)

Baked red velvet macaron shells on a white teflon mat.

Make cream cheese filling while the macaron shells are cooling. I use my simple frosting recipe as it works perfectly for macarons as well.

Whipped cream cheese in a glass bowl of stand mixer.

Remove the macaron shells from the baking surface once they are completely cooled. Then pair them by size and fill them with cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet macaron shells arranged on a baking sheet and half of the shells with cream cheese frosting.

I know, you want to dive right in. But these macarons are best when served after maturing them for at least 8 hours in the fridge after filling.

During this process, filling seeps into the shells, softening and flavoring the macarons perfectly.

how long to mature the macarons

Typically, macarons are matured for at least 24 hours, but since cream cheese frosting is wetter filling, 8 hours is sufficient for maturing.

The Secret to Vibrant Red Color:

Red food coloring alone yields lighter, pinkish red macaron shells no matter how much coloring you add.

The secret to achieving intense red macarons is using the combination of cocoa powder and red food coloring.

choose the right food coloring

Only use gel food coloring for macarons, as liquid food coloring may throw the wet to dry ingredients ratio off.

I use Americolor Super Red gel food coloring.

Red velvet macarons on a plate with one macaron bitten.

How to store macarons:

  • Plain macaron shells can be store in a dry, airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days. Or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Assembled macarons should be refrigerated in a dry, airtight container for up to 3 days. Or freeze them for up to 1 month. If there’s any moisture in the container, it will transfer to the macarons and make them soggy.
  • Remove the macarons from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Macarons are best at room temperature! 
  • Don’t store these delicate cookies in bags. They are more likely to crack or break this way.

macaron storage container

These clamshell plastic container is not airtight. You can store macarons in this container, but place it in a freezer bag before refrigerating or freezing.

Assembled macaron shells in a clamshell macaron container.
"Macaron 101" cookbook on a marble background.

Macaron 101: A Comprehensive Guide

Master the art of French macarons and create your signature flavors!

3 red velvet macarons stacked on top of each other and surrounded with more macarons.
4.22 from 57 votes

Red Velvet Macarons

Stunning red velvet macarons are made to impress! Follow my step by step visuals for these crisp and pleasantly chewy macarons filled with sweet and tangy cream cheese filling.
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 20 filled macarons

Ingredients

For macaron shells:

  • 100 g super fine almond flour Note 1
  • 65 g powdered sugar Note 2
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder Note 3
  • 70 g egg whites at room temperature Note 4
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar Note 5
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 75 g fine granulated sugar Note 6
  • 1 teaspoons red gel food coloring Note 7
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For cream cheese filling:

  • ¼ cup (55 g) cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Instructions 

To make macaron shells:

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or teflon sheet, or silicone mat.
  • To prepare dry ingredients, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder twice. Note: If you have up to 2 tablespoons of chunky dry ingredients left in the sifter, you don't have to replace it. Simply discard those chunky bits.
  • To make meringue, in a clean mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, combine egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt and beat the mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form. (I set it to speed 4 on my KitchenAid stand mixer. It takes 30-40 minutes to whip the meringue, but it's well worth it for nice and full shells.)
  • When the meringue reaches soft peaks stage, add red gel food coloring and vanilla extract.
  • Continue beating the egg whites on the same medium low speed until hard peaks form. Visual cues: Meringue should ball up inside the whisk, and when you lift the whisk, the meringue should hold a pointy end and have sharp ribs.
  • To make batter, sift almond flour mixture into the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until fully incorporated. Then continue to fold the batter until it’s runny enough to draw a figure eight. To test, take a small amount of batter and drop it into the bowl. If the small peaks dissolve into the batter on its own in about 10 seconds, the batter is ready. If not, fold couple more times and test again. Be careful not to over-fold the batter. (TIP: Making french macarons is all about the technique. This is one of the most crucial step. Let me try to describe the folding motion as best as I can: run the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. If you’re beginner macaron-baker, I suggest to count every fold. It takes roughly about 50 folds to reach the proper consistency. After 50 folds, start testing the batter, and continue testing after every couple folds.)
  • To pipe macaron shells, transfer the batter into a pastry bag, fitted with a round tip. (I used this Wilton 12 tip.)
  • Hold the pastry bag at straight 90° angle and pipe about 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on prepared baking sheets. (TIP 2: Download my free macaron template. Simply pipe the batter to fill inner circle.)
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a toothpick to burst some large air bubbles. This step ensures smooth tops.
  • Let the macarons rest on the counter for 15 minutes before baking.
  • To bake, working one baking sheet at a time, place one tray with macarons on the middle rack. (TIP: To prevent browning, place an empty baking sheet on top rack to shield the heat.) Bake for about 15-18 minutes. It’ll take longer for larger macarons. To test for doneness, touch a macaron lightly and try to move it. If it slides and wobbles, bake a minute or so longer. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move. (TIP: It’s always better to slightly over-bake macarons than under-bake them!)
  • Cool macarons complete and then remove the shells from the parchment paper. (TIP: Don't remove the shells while warm, you may risk breaking the shells, or the bottom might get stuck to the baking surface.)

To make the filling:

  • While macarons bake, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
  • Transfer the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a round piping tip. (I used Wilton 10 piping tip.)

To assemble:

  • Pair the macaron shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack.  Line them up so that bottom shells are upside down.
  • Pipe a dollop of filling on bottom shells. Place the top shell over the filling and press lightly so the filling spreads till the edges.
  • Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 8 hours to mature, which allows the filling to soften and flavor the shells.
  • To serve, bring the macarons out about 30 minutes prior to serving.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: It’s best to use super fine almond flour to ensure smooth tops. Weigh the ingredients before sifting.
Note 2: I don’t recommend making your own powder sugar, because commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. And it helps with texture of the cookies.
Note 3: For this recipe, you can use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
Note 4: I’ve had success with carton egg whites (Bob Evans brand). You’ll need 1/3 cup of egg whites.
Note 5: Cream of tartar is optional and can be omitted. However, it helps to stabilize egg whites and create sturdier meringue. It’s just an extra insurance!
Note 6: It’s important to use fine granulated sugar for meringue, as it dissolves quicker. You can also use caster sugar, aka baker’s sugar.
Note 7: I used this gel food coloring.
GOT MACARON TROUBLE? Check out my macaron troubleshooting guide.

Nutrition

Servings: 1 filled macaron
Calories: 114kcal
Carbohydrates: 15g
Protein: 2g
Fat: 6g
Sugar: 14g
Sodium: 30mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

This recipe was originally published on June 27, 2016.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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243 Comments

  1. Shinee: I couldn’t figure out why my macarons had such small feet. I had practiced and practiced making the macaronage and my macarons came out good but always with small feet. I thought my oven was at the right temperature but then realized it was too hot. Once I decreased the temperature of my oven I got perfect feet on my macarons.

    1. Yay, I’m so happy you figured it out. Seemingly small things make such big difference, doesn’t it. Thanks for sharing your experience, Dale.

  2. This is an excellent website! Thank you for all the tutorials, tips & tricks!
    Do you have a link to the macaron box that you showcase your macarons in? It’s beautiful and colorful!
    Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recioe with Dutch cocoa. Absolutely divine, and it’s a major crowd pleaser with friends and family. I am loving this macaron journey, and am so grateful to have found this site.

    1. Hi, Caroline. I’m so happy you love the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and experience with Dutch cocoa powder!!