Lemon Macarons – An easy macaron recipe! Classic macaron shells filled with a bright lemon buttercream. This is a classic French dessert that tastes incredible with lots of lemon flavor!
I absolutely love macarons. For years, they have been a dessert that I have been trying to perfect for years. One of the flavors I had been dying to make were these lemon macarons as I thought the bright flavor of a lemon would be perfect in a macaron.
How hard is it to make macarons? The takes seems daunting if you have never made them before but really, they aren’t bad! They just take a little bit of time and patience but trust me, macarons are worth it, especially these lemon macarons! They are a basic macaron shell with lemon buttercream filling! After making the Earl Grey Macarons and Lavender Lemon Macarons, I feel like I am getting the process down! If you love lemon, then this is the dessert for you!
Now I will admit, my macarons are always too big. I have a tendency to make them almost 2″ instead of the classic 1.5″ so hey, try your best. No one is perfect and it’s okay if your macarons aren’t either! I tried to include images for almost all of the important steps in making the macaron shells because I know that when I first learned, the more visual clues that I was doing the right thing, the better.
Common Questions About Making Lemon Macarons
What are lemon macarons?
Lemon macarons are classic macarons made by making shells from almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, egg whites, and yellow food coloring. You then bake them and make a lemon buttercream frosting to fill them with.
Why did my macaron shells crack?
Don’t forget to let the shells dry out for 20-30 minutes before baking them! This step is necessary to help prevent cracking.
What is the difference between a macaroon and a macaron?
Macaroons are a coconut based cookie while macarons are an almond flour and meringue based dessert that typically has a frosting filling in the middle of two macarons, like a cookie sandwich.
Are macarons hard to make?
Macarons are a difficult dessert to master but if you closely follow the instructions and are careful, they can be wonderfully rewarding to make!
What other types of macarons can I make?
Some of my personal favorite macarons include –
What do I need to make macarons?
So you can get as fancy or as basic as you want with your macaron supplies. I suggest having these items –
- Silicon mat or parchment paper – One of these are a must if you don’t want your macarons to get stuck to a pan and either will work perfectly fine. I usually use a plain silicon mat without any of the circles specifically for macarons because that’s just what I have but parchment paper will work well too. If you are new to making macarons and you want a guide, you can always draw circles that are 1.5″ across on parchment paper and place that right under your silicon mat so that you get the size right. Totally optional, I used to do it and it was helpful.
- Piping bags – These are a few dollars to pick up but I think they are super helpful for a wide variety of baked goods and decorating. Any type will do, just make sure that they are decently sized so that you can just put all of the frosting or batter in without having to refill it (because that just makes a mess). Worst case, use a gallon sized ziploc bag.
- Piping tips – So when I make macarons, I use a Wilton 2A or #10 as they are both pretty basic round tips that are about the same size across. I really suggest that you get one of those from your local craft or grocery store, they are a few dollars. Worst case, snip the end of a ziploc or piping bag so that there is a 3/8″ hole on one corner. For the filling, use any piping tip you want.
Do you need almond flour to make macarons?
Yes, almond flour is the key ingredient in a macaron. While some recipes use alternative flours instead of almond flour, it can be tricky to get right with how finicky macarons can be.
Do you eat macarons cold?
Yes, macarons should be stored in a refrigerator and only removed immediately before serving to keep them at their best.
How can I decorate lemon macarons?
I like to drizzle a bit of white chocolate on top to decorate them but that’s totally optional.
What else can I make with lemons?
So many great things! Some of my favorites include –
- 90 grams egg whites *(see notes for imperial measurements)
- 90 grams granulated sugar
- 95 grams powdered sugar
- 95 grams almond flour
- 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 2 - 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the Macaron Shells
- Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Fit a large piping bag with a round tip (I used Wilton 2A but Wilton #10 is another good choice).
- Place a heat-proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved - about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks - about 5 minutes.
- Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Discard remaining chunks.
- Sift the same mixture a second time right into the egg whites.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Make sure to fold all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
- Once all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, continue folding. Run your spatula along the entire bowl and fold it into itself, giving it a light smush each time. Repeat folding until the meringue reaches the figure 8 stage (it should be approximately 50 folds, maybe a bit more). If you can draw a figure 8 with the batter without the stream breaking, the meringue is ready. If the meringue falls off in clumps, smush and fold it a few more times before re-testing for the figure 8 again.
- When the meringue flows smoothly, transfer to the piping bag fitted with the round tip.
- Pipe 1.5" macarons on the baking sheet. Hold the pan 6" off the counter and drop it straight down. Repeat 4-5 times or until it appears that any large air bubbles have popped. If there are any remaining obvious air bubbles, use a toothpick or pointy knife to pop them and then drop the pan once or twice more.
- Set the macarons aside to rest for 25-30 minutes, or until they have developed a skin (you should be able to touch them gently without the meringue sticking to your finger). While the meringues rest, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Bake the macarons, one tray at a time, for 11-14 minutes. It really depends how hot your oven runs so keep a really close eye on them the last few minutes. If your oven cooks unevenly, turn your tray halfway through.
- Remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool fully on the tray. Trying to remove the macarons while they are warm may result in sticking (give them at least 5-10 minute on the trays).
For the Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until it is light and airy.
- On low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly.
- Add in lemon juice and zest. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the buttercream is fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
Assemble and Age
- Place the macarons in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small amount of filling onto the center of the macaron shell and place the other one on top. Press down lightly - just until the filling reaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons.
- Transfer the macarons to an airtight container and place them in the fridge to age overnight.
- Bring the macarons to room temperature and enjoy.
* Don't have a kitchen scale? Don't worry, I translated the metric measurements to the imperial system (i.e. cups, tablespoons, etc).
- Egg whites - Just a touch over 1/3 cup (fluid measurement)
- Granulated sugar - Just under 1/2 cup (dry)
- Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup (dry)
- Almond flour - 1 cup
I've tested the recipe using these exact measurements and found that it worked perfectly. Obviously, it's ideal if you have a kitchen scale but this will work.
* Aging the macarons overnight is not necessary but it does help bring out the flavors.
* Piping around the edge of the macarons and then filling the center with lemon curd or your favorite berry flavored jam is really good!