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Red Velvet Macarons

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 20 filled macarons
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Shinee
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.
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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
  • 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.

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