Stunning red velvet macarons, filled with sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting, are made to impress! Let me show you how to achieve that perfect color and texture!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
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 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 FREE MACARON MASTERCLASS for beginners!
How to achieve bright red color:
The secret to achieving this bright red macarons is using the combination of cocoa powder and red food coloring.
Using red food coloring alone yields lighter, pinkish red shells no matter how much coloring you add.
Only use gel food coloring for macarons, as liquid food coloring may throw the wet to dry ingredients ratio off.
MY FAVORITE FOOD COLORING!
This food coloring is my go-to for making macarons.
How to make this recipe:
We’re making French meringue macarons, which is my go-to method and it’s the easiest one.
1. Sift dry ingredients
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.
2. Make meringue
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.
Getting your meringue just right is one of the crucial steps for making perfect macarons. Watch my Meringue 101 video for more tips!
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.
My 10-second test:
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!
4. Pipe the shells
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.
Let the macarons rest for 15-90 minutes to form a skin. In dry climates, the shells dry faster. In humid climates, it could take up to 2 hours to dry.
FREE macaron template
Bake macarons one baking sheet at a time for about 18 minutes at 300°F.
6. Make cream cheese filling
Meanwhile, make cream cheese filling. It’s just a simple frosting recipe, but works perfectly for macarons as well.
7. Fill macarons
Once macarons shells are completely cooled, remove them from the parchment. Then pair them by size and fill them 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.
Typically, macarons are matured for at least 24 hours, but since cream cheese frosting is wetter filling, 8 hours is sufficient for maturing.
Red Velvet Macarons
For macaron shells:
- 100 g super fine almond flour Note 1
- 75 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 (55g) cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
To make macaron shells:
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or teflon sheet, or silicone mat. (TIP 1: For even air circulation, flip the baking sheets upside down.)
- 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, beat the egg whites on medium low speed until foamy. (I set it to speed 2 or 4 on my KitchenAid stand mixer.)
- When egg whites are foamy, add cream of tartar and salt and continue to whisk.
- Then slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time, while mixer is still running. Allow the sugar to dissolve after each addition.
- 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. (Watch this meringue video for more information.)
- 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 sit out on the counter for at least 15-30 minutes, maybe up to couple hours, depending on humidity. When you lightly touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your finger, then it’s ready to go into the oven.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Note: I don't use convection settings. I set my oven to heat from top and bottom.
- 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.)
- 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.