Red Velvet Macarons

4.19 from 55 votes

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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:

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 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.

Tip

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.

Tip

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.

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.

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.

Tip

Getting your meringue just right is one of the crucial steps for making perfect macarons. Watch my Meringue 101 video for more tips!

3. Macaronage

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.

Tip

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.

5. Bake

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.

8. Maturing

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.

Tip

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

4.19 from 55 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
  • 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

Instructions 

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.)

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

Serving: 1filled macaron, Calories: 114kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 21mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 109IU, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

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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234 Comments

  1. 1 star
    This recipe is horrible! I tried 2x and both came out like cakey cookies and didn’t even taste good. For true macarons, you need more powdered sugar than almond flour in the dry mixture. Anyway, I wish I had read the comments first and made a lot of changes. Or just went with a different recipe altogether.

    1. Hi, Sammy. Sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work out for you. But I’m glad you found a recipe that works for you. As for texture of macarons, I think it’s an opinion of taste. I don’t like my macarons too crispy and meringue-like, which is usually due to excess sugar. And I’m surprised your macarons came out cake-y though. Did you weigh the ingredients, or you measured by cups?

  2. I have found a recipe that says that i can use raw sunflower seeds instead of almond flour, have you heard of this? My youngest really wants to make some but he us allergic to tree nuts…Thank you!

    1. Hi, Adeline. I have never made macarons with raw sunflower seeds, and have no idea how it’d turn out.

  3. Hi Shinee, 
    I am looking for a red velvet macaron recipe and really want to try yours. I feel like many macaron recipes I’ve seen use a greater volume of confectioner’s sugar to almond flour. I was wondering why you use less sugar, like for the taste or structure of the shell? 

    Thanks!
    Simone

    1. I ended up trying the recipe, and the batter did turn out incredibly stiff and grainy. I threw out the batter, and tried it again, switching the volumes for the almond flour and the sugar and using half the vanilla and the macarons ended up nearly perfect (a few slightly hollow towards the top)…I won’t give you a bad rating, but just letting you know that there may be an issue with your recipe. it could also totally be my fault, maybe I didn’t use enough egg whites when I tried yours. But I do think that there may be a good reason for why most recipes use more confectioner’s sugar than almond flour. 

      Thanks
      Simone

      1. Hi, Simone! Sorry I didn’t respond to your first comment. Yeah, my macaron recipe does have less sugar than others, but I like it that way and it works with no problem. However, egg whites amount is incredibly important. Even as little as 3-5gr less egg whites does yield thick batter. I’m planning on updating all my macaron recipes to only indicate the weight of egg whites, instead of quantity. But any way, I’m glad you found a recipe that works for you. Thank you so much for your feedback!!

    2. Oh forgot to mention that I find the macaron recipe with a lot more sugar are more like meringue-like and too sweet. I like my macarons chewy and almond-y. 🙂

      1. I’ve found that recipes with more confectioners sugar are light and chewy, while this recipe turned out crunchy and meringue-like for me. I think part of that was also because of the cream of tartar. I never used cream of tartar before in my macarons, until I made this recipe, and this is the first time the shells have cracked on me

        1. Hi, Emily! Interesting that your results are basically opposite from my outcome. I find the macarons with more sugar come out crisp and light, like meringue cookies. My macarons come out chewy, and more almond-y. Cream of tartar won’t make much effect on the crunchy, meringue-like texture though, because it simply helps to stabilize the egg whites. I’ve made my macarons with and without cream of tartar with pretty much the same results.

  4. 4 stars
    Thank you so much for your detailed and well explained recipes for macarons. I had hit and miss success with macarons until I followed your recipes. I have made pistachio, hazelnut, and red velvet and have ventured out with coconut “coques” with a chocolate and almond ganache and also coffee “coques” with a “pralin” ganache which my husband said was like eating a “Paris brest” pastry. My husband and our guests have given me rave reviews. Macarons are now a delight to made instead of a frustrating experience. Merci beaucoup!

    1. Hi, Deborah! Yay, so happy to hear that my recipe works great for you! And your flavors sound amazing!!! Thank you SO much for your feedback!!

  5. Hi Shinee, what a great receipt!! But I had a problem, when I had filled them, the next day, the surface of the macarons were wet and some of them destroyed. How can I avoid this?

    Warm regards from Spain

    1. Hi, Jess! It’s really hard to say what happened. Did they have nice, smooth and hard shell on the first day?

  6. I just started making macarons and addicted and frustrated in making them. I can’t get it perfect. They turn out okay but not as good as like what bakeries make. And I really am determined I can make them like the ones I buy from bakery. I hope I can make it as beautiful as yours.

    1. I totally understand what you mean, Patrick. Making macarons can be either extremely satisfying, or totally frustrating! Where do you think your macarons are lacking?

  7. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe, unfortunately my meringue kept falling as soon as I added the gel food coloring. Because the peaks fell i feel it contributed to my fairly flat macroons. Did taste delicous though. Any advice on the issues i had?

    1. Hi, Cynthia. I’m sorry to hear you had problem with the meringue. What brand food coloring did you use? I’ve never had that happen to me,, and I use gel food coloring in my macarons all the time. I only used Wilton and AmeriColor brand gel coloring though.

  8. 5 stars
    I am getting a great flavor and no complaints from friends who eating these, thanks for the recipe. I am having texture problems though, they are coming out kind of grainy looking or bumpy and pink. I’d love for them to be more red and smooth like your final product, any suggestions?
    Cream cheese frosting is great too, I’ve made a thousand times but maybe the cream makes the difference.

    1. Hi, Patty. So glad you and your friends are enjoying the macarons.It sounds like your almond flour is a bit on coarse side, so I’d suggest pulsing it in a food processor a few times to make them finer. I personally use super fine almond flour (specifically this one), and it doesn’t require pulsing in a food processor. As for color, what kind of food coloring are you using? I find gel food coloring gives best red color.

  9. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this post. The macaroons were almost perfect, which is a big achievement as it was my first time making these. I am motivated to try different flavors now. Cheers to all baking lovers.

    1. Hi, Sayeeda! So happy that your first macarons were success. Thank you for your feedback. And cheers to many more macarons!