Chai Macarons – An elegant french macaron recipe with chai tea latte flavors! Classic macaron shells filled with a chai spice buttercream! This is an easy macaron recipe that anyone can make!
I’m back with more macaron recipes! This time, I combined my favorite chai flavors into macarons and they turned out incredible! The flavors are on the lighter side but really work wonderfully together! I’d suggest pairing them with a Chai Tea Latte (it’s a Starbucks Copycat recipe!), they were meant to be together!
How 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 chai macarons! They are a basic macaron shell with a touch of cinnamon and a chai buttercream filling! After making the Earl Grey Macarons and Lavender Lemon Macarons, I feel like I am getting the process down! If you love chai tea lattes, 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.
Now this recipe was updated in March 2021 and the whole thing was reworked to have step-by-step pictures and a recipe that I think works better (and tastes better too!). I have found much more success with the Swiss method of making macarons than the French or Italian and I think it is easier to nail for macaron cooks of any skill level.
Common Questions About Making Macarons
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 should I do if I don’t have a kitchen scale?
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 (dry)
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. This same conversion is in the recipe notes down below.
Why do I need cream of tartar in macarons?
Cream of tartar helps strengthen the egg whites and keep them from collapsing. While it is technically optional, I think it is good to use just in case.
How do I pipe macarons into circles?
Hold your piping bag at a 90 degree angle and just push the batter out until it is the right size. You can also pipe a swirl but I found that leads to less round macarons. Additionally, you want your macarons to be 1.5″ wide which can be kind of tricky if you are just winging it. I suggest either using one of the silpat mats specifically for macarons that has the circles printed on or you can do what I did which was to find a similarly sized circular object in my house and traced it onto parchment paper which I laid under my silicon mat before piping. If you have some kinda wonky shapes, that’s totally fine, just try your best. It gets easier as you go.
What is the Swiss method?
This recipe uses the swiss method which is made by whisking the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler (a pot of water simmering with a heat-proof bowl over it that has the ingredients) for 2-3 minutes while the sugar dissolves. After that, you transfer the mixture to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
This method is different from the French method which involves just beating the egg whites and sugar together until stiff peaks form.
What else can I make with chai tea?
So many things! Some of my favorites include –
- Chai Tea Latte
- Iced Chai Latte
- Chai Scones
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Chai Coffee Cake Muffins
- Chai Frappuccino
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 chai macarons?
I decorated mine with a drizzle of warm white chocolate (white chocolate chips microwaved for 1 minute 40 seconds and mixed until smooth then transferred to a ziploc bag with the tip cut off) that I piped on and a drizzle of homemade butterscotch sauce.
Can I fill my macarons with anything else?
What other types of macarons can I make?
Some of my personal favorite macarons include –
- 90 grams egg whites *(see notes for imperial measurements)
- 90 grams granulated sugar
- 95 grams powdered sugar
- 95 grams almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Chai Spice Buttercream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 chai tea bags
- 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Shell
- 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, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and cream of tartar 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 trays 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 minutes on the trays).
For the Filling
- Heat the heavy cream, tea bags, and all of the spices in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the cream starts to bubble, remove it from the heat and cover it with a lid for 30 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
- Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until it becomes light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down a few times.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, tea infused heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer to high speed and allow the buttercream to whip for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
- Set aside until ready to use.
- Place the macarons in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small amount of filling onto the center of one macaron 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.
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