Strawberry Macarons (new & improved recipe)

3.45 from 18 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

These strawberry macarons are infused with strawberry flavor in every layer (no artificial flavoring)! Let’s get to the nitty-gritty details of flavoring macarons with freeze-dried strawberries!

Pink heart-shaped macarons stacked on a plate.


 

Why you’ll love this strawberry macaron recipe:

These heart-shaped macarons are not only adorable, but they’re also insanely flavorful!!!

We’re not just infusing strawberry flavor through the filling, we’re actually incorporating crushed freeze-dried strawberries into the macaron batter.

And not only that… We’ll drop a little bit of strawberry jam in the middle for a pop of flavor/surprise!

2/8/2023 Update: Due to readers’ feedback regarding a “thick-batter” issue with my original recipe, I reworked my recipe to resolve this issue!

Pink macaron shells with piped buttercream border and jam in the center.

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • Freeze-dried strawberries – Use high-quality freeze-dried strawberries. And open a new package right before making macarons because freeze-dried fruits absorb humidity from the air and lose their crispness quickly.
  • Almond flour – It’s best to use super fine almond flour to ensure smooth tops. Weigh the ingredients before sifting.
  • Powdered sugar –  I don’t recommend making your own powdered sugar, because commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. And it helps with the texture of the cookies.
  • Egg whites – I’ve had success with carton egg whites (Bob Evans brand, #notsponsored). You’ll need 1/3 cup of egg whites.
  • Cream of tartar is optional and can be omitted. However, it helps to stabilize egg whites and create a sturdier meringue. It’s just extra insurance!
  • 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.
Strawberry macaron ingredients.

What are freeze-dried strawberries?

Freeze-dried strawberries are made by flash-freezing them. Then they’re slowly heated in a vacuum chamber to dry the fruits by evaporating ice before it turns into water. 

The end result is beautiful dried berries in their original shape and color, that’s feather-light.

Unlike air-dried/dehydrated fruits, freeze-fried fruits don’t really shrink in size, and they become ultra-light and crisp.

They are great in homemade snack mixes, and oatmeals, and are becoming increasingly popular in baking nowadays! And for a good reason!!! They lend so much flavor without added moisture.

Freeze-dried strawberries are satisfyingly crisp and unbelievably intense in flavor!

A white bowl of freeze-dried straberries.

How to make strawberry macarons:

1. Make French meringue

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy and add cream of tartar and salt. Then slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is still running.
  • When the meringue reaches the soft peaks stage, add a couple of drops of pink gel food coloring.
  • Continue beating the egg whites on the same medium-low speed until hard peaks form, about 20 minutes.
A glass bowl of pink meringue.

Tip

Be sure your whisk and bowl are squeaky clean and free of any oil residue. (Stainless steel and glass bowls are ideal!)

2. Prepare the dry ingredients

I prefer to crush the strawberries with a rolling pin instead using a food processor. That way you won’t overwork the powder and turn it into a gummy texture.

  • Place the freeze-dried strawberries between two sheets of parchment paper and crush them with a rolling pin until a fine powder.
  • Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, and strawberry powder twice.
Side by side images of preparing the strawberry powder and sifting the dry ingredients.

Tip

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.

Tip

It’s important to crush the strawberries right before making the recipe so that they don’t absorb too much humidity and turn gummy.

3. Macaronage

  • Sift the 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 fall into a ribbon. 

To test, scoop some batter with a spatula and let the batter drop into the bowl. It should fall into a ribbon-like pattern. Slightly tilt the bowl to allow the batter to slide slowly. 

Carefully observe the batter. If the edges of “the ribbon” dissolve into the batter on its own in about 10 seconds, the batter is ready. If not, fold a couple more times and test again. Be careful not to over-fold the batter.

Side by side images of testing macaron batter.
  • Transfer the batter into a pastry bag, fitted with a Wilton 10-round tip. A smaller tip gave me more precision for a better shape.

4. Pipe heart-shaped macarons

  • Place the heart template under a silicone, or teflon baking mat. (Download my custom heart macaron template for FREE.)
  • Hold the pastry bag at a straight 90° angle. Then pipe the batter as if you’re drawing two hooks facing each other, tracing the template. Then fill the center with more batter.
  • Using a toothpick, slightly pull the end to create more pointy bottom of the heart.
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. This step ensures smooth tops.
  • Air dry the macarons on the counter for at least 15 minutes, and up to a couple of 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.
Step by step photos of piping heart macaron shells.

5. Bake the macarons

  • Bake the macarons for about 18 minutes at 300°F, one tray at a time.

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.

  • Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the baking mat.

6. Make strawberry buttercream

While the macarons are drying and baking, prepare the strawberry buttercream.

  • In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. 
  • Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat until well combined.
  • Transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag.
side by side images of strawberry buttercream.

7. Fill and mature the macarons

  • Pair the macarons by shape and arrange them with one shell bottom-side up.
  • Pipe a border around the edges of the macarons with strawberry buttercream.
  • Then fill the center well with strawberry jam.
  • Finally, place the filled macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 3 days, to mature.
Side by side images of piping the filling on macaron shells.

Macaron Tips:

  • If you’re new to baking macarons, I highly recommend starting with plain basic french macarons. Also, check out my comprehensive Macaron 101 for additional tips and a troubleshooting guide. I won’t go into details again here.
  • It’s important to crush the strawberries right before making the recipe so that they don’t absorb too much humidity and turn gummy. This will help to prevent wrinkly shells and/or thick batter issues.

How to store macarons

Strawberry macarons freeze really well.

  • Fill the macarons, as directed.
  • Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
"Macaron 101" cookbook on a marble background.

Macaron 101: A Comprehensive Guide

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

Pink heart-shaped macarons stacked on a plate.
3.45 from 18 votes

Strawberry Macarons

These adorable little heart-shaped strawberry macarons are infused with strawberry flavor in every layer (no artificial flavoring)! So good, you wouldn’t want to share!
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 25 filled macarons

Ingredients

For macaron shells:

  • 10 g freeze-dried strawberries Note 1
  • 90 g super-fine almond flour Note 2
  • 65 g powdered sugar Note 3
  • 70 g egg whites Note 4
  • 75 g fine granulated sugar Note 5
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar Note 6
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Red gel food coloring

For filling:

  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jam divided
  • 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 the dry ingredients. Place the freeze-dried strawberries between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, crush the strawberries into a fine powder. (TIP: Do this step right before you begin making macarons because the strawberry powder draws in moisture and affects the texture of the batter.)
  • Sift together, prepared strawberry powder, almond flour and powdered sugar 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, add pink gel food coloring.
  • Continue beating the meringue at the same medium 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 use this Wilton 2A tip.)
  • To pipe heart-shaped macarons: Place the template with hearts under the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Hold the pastry bag at straight 90° angle and pipe the batter as if you’re drawing two hooks facing each other, tracing the template. Download my free macaron template
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or slap the bottom of the baking sheet with one of your hands) 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, bake the macarons for 15-18 minutes, one baking sheet at a time, on the middle rack. 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.
  • Cool the macarons complete and then remove the shells from the baking surface. (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 strawberry buttercream filling:

  • While the macarons are drying, prepare the strawberry buttercream. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat until well combined. Transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag.

To assemble the macarons:

  • Pair the shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack, or a baking sheet. Turn half of the shells upside and pipe the buttercream filling around the edges, leaving a small hole in the middle. 
  • Using a small spoon, drop a small amount of strawberry jam in the middle, or place strawberry jam in a piping bag and pipe the jam in the center of the buttercream border.
  • Place the other shells on top.

To mature the macarons:

  • Place the filled macarons in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving. It's ok to indulge right away if you're impatient like me, but if you let the macarons mature, the moisture and flavor of the filling will infuse the shells even more for even better texture.
  • Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Tips & Notes

Yield: This recipe yields about 25 filled macarons, about 1.5 inches in diameter.
Note 1: Use high-quality freeze-dried strawberries and open a new package when you’re ready to make macarons because freeze-dried fruits absorb humidity from the air and lose their crispness quickly. I don’t recommend already crushed strawberry powder. 10g of freeze-dried strawberries yield about 3 tablespoons of strawberry powder.
Note 2: It’s best to use super fine almond flour to ensure smooth tops. Weigh the ingredients before sifting.
Note 3: I don’t recommend making your own powdered sugar, because commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. And it helps with the texture of the cookies.
Note 4: I’ve had success with carton egg whites (Bob Evans brand, #notsponsored). 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 a sturdier meringue. It’s just 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: You can easily double this macaron recipe.
Note 8: Read this post for must-have macaron tools.
GOT MACARON TROUBLE? Check out my macaron troubleshooting guide.

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal
Carbohydrates: 15g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 3g
Sugar: 13g
Sodium: 17mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

This recipe was originally published on February 9th, 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.

3.45 from 18 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Made this? Rate this recipe:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

110 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These shells are delicious on their own! I used the new recipe and did not have an issue with the batter. If you live in a humid location like I do, work quickly and bake when humidity is at its lowest point in the day, with air conditioning on blast. Thank you for the delicious recipe and video to work alongside!

    1. Yay, Daphne, I’m so glad my updated recipe worked for you!! I agree with you, the shells are so delicious on their own too! Thank you for your feedback!

  2. The batter in my first batch was way too thick and the macarons ended up looking like little hamburgers. Based on a previous reviewers comments I made the following adjustments: 5 grams freeze dried strawberries, 105 g almond flour, 100 g powdered sugar, 100 g egg whites, and 100 g granulated sugar. They turned out beautiful! Thank you!

    1. Hi, Tracey. Thanks for your feedback!! I did update the recipe and bummer that you still had thick batter issue. Glad the new adjustments from the comments worked for you!