Vegan Italian Macarons with Aquafaba

After over a year of trying to perfect the vegan macaron, going through countless recipes and recipe variations, I’ve finally gotten them figured out! And funny enough, it was by jumping off of the very first recipe I had ever tried and making some tweaks.

So first off, I want to thank Jasmine Lukuku over at The Blenderist for figuring her recipe out and sharing it with the world. If you want to check it out, it’s here and it’s wonderful if you’re starting.

Beautiful shells, but lopsided. I needed to figure out how to fix them.

It made some nice macs for me – better than any other published recipe I tried, but I couldn’t get them absolutely perfect in my climate. And I need perfect. I want my vegan goodies to be so unbelievably great that even non-vegans and non-allergic people prefer them over the conventional version. So I set out to do that. And this recipe is the result.

If you don’t want to see the step by steps or photos, and don’t care to read my explanations for everything, go ahead and click here to skip down to the recipe card below. Otherwise – buckle up for a wild and crazy ride!

CHAPTER ONE: WHAT IS A MACARON?

The perfect macaron: Beautiful smooth shell with gorgeous ruffled feet that are less than half the height of the shell.

First off, an explanation of what a macaron is and what a macaron isn’t. A macaron is a little cookie made from meringue (traditionally, whipped egg whites and sugar) and almond flour.

There are three varieties of macaron: Italian, French, and Swiss. They are called as such based on what type of meringue is used. Italian meringue adds molten sugar to fluffed egg whites (or in our case, aquafaba fluff). French meringue adds raw sugar into the fluff. And Swiss, the least used method, melts the sugar together with egg whites over a double boiler, and then whips them up together.

No matter the meringue method used, they turn out almost the same – those who don’t make or obsess over macarons would never be able to tell the difference. That said, Italian macarons seem to be the most stable and the easiest to get right for beginners, so that’s where I’m starting in the blog.

Can you tell that these are French macarons? Didn’t think so.

Now, what are they like? I think of the texture as being a bit like a Milky Way candy bar: it has a crisp (but not hard) shell that breaks easily, melts in your mouth, but the whole cookie still has a good bit of chew to it. They are extraordinarily sweet, and the shells can be flavored but usually it’s the filling that gets the flavor and the shells are left to be “plain” sweet almond to compliment the filling.

Macarons also have iconic “feet” – a cute little ruffle along the bottom of the cookie that is formed as steam builds up inside of it during baking, causing it to rise up from the baking tray. The space between the cookie shell and the tray fills in with the raw batter which bubbles from the heat and makes the adorable little frilly feet everyone who makes macarons desperately craves and seeks out in their confections.

I wish I knew whom to credit for this image! If you know, please let me know. It’s genius!

Macarons are not macaroons. Macaroons are also made with meringue, but rather than being mixed with almond flour, macaroon meringue is mixed with shredded coconut. Then they are usually dipped in and/or drizzled with chocolate.

Macarons will self destruct in any manner they see fit. Here are a few examples of my fails.

Macaroons are easy. Macarons are not. Macarons are jerks who don’t like to play nice and you should not feel bad if your first batch does not turn out. Or your second. Or your eleventy sixteenth. That’s just the way this cookie crumbles (or melts, or explodes, or burns, or crystallizes, or implodes, or any other manner of destruction which they might dream up).

I’m hopeful that this guide will help you to succeed right off the bat. But that’s all I can guarantee: that I’m hopeful. I’m going to try to outline my exact process and ingredients, and hopefully it will help you to make beautiful macarons much sooner than a year after you first set out to do it. If not, don’t give up – change up your oven temp, try different brands of ingredients, search the internet for answers. Join my vegan macaron group on Facebook. Feel free to even send me a message to help troubleshoot if they’re really getting to you. We will get you making gorgeous vegan macarons!

My favourites are the ones filled with coffee flavored buttercream!

CHAPTER TWO: OVERVIEW OF INGREDIENTS

Macarons are, at their most basic level, three ingredients: almonds, sugar, and egg whites (aquafaba, in our case). Anything else extra is added to make the process easier and give more consistent results.

My recipe, adapted from that of The Blenderist, consists of almond flour, powdered sugar with tapioca starch added, sugar, garbanzo bean (chickpea) aquafaba, cream of tartar, and/or vinegar. Gel or powder food coloring may also be used.

These are the exact brands I use in case you want to replicate what I do to the T:

• Almond flour: Bob’s Red Mill superfine, blanched [UPDATE: I now use Blue Diamond almond flour, as that’s what Sam’s Club carries. It has worked marvelously!]

• Powdered sugar: H-E-B Organics

• Sugar: Zulka

• Garbanzo beans: Walmart’s Great Value organic

• Cream of Tartar: McCormick

• Vinegar: whatever store brand I have

• Food color: Some of my favorite vegan food coloring options are AmeriColor gels, ProGels, and Artisan Accents gels. Ultimate Baker has an amazing line of powdered colors that are both vegan and all natural, if you prefer the natural route! Make sure you use gels or powders though, not liquid.

As far as the almond flour goes, I have also heard great things about Costco’s Kirkland brand flour. I would not recommend Nature’s Eats brand as it has large pieces and doesn’t pass through the sieve well. I also don’t recommend Blue Diamond brand because it is quite oily and will result in splotchy, fragile macarons.  [UPDATE: I now use Blue Diamond and have been having fantastic results!]

For powdered sugar, if you’re not fortunate enough to live in Texas and have an H-E-B nearby, Wholesome 365 has an identical organic powdered sugar with tapioca starch added. If you don’t need a vegan sugar, any powdered sugar should work – whether it has corn starch, tapioca starch, or no starch at all.

The same goes for the granulated sugar; I use Zulka because it is made without bone char. If you’re not concerned about bone char use in your sugar, any granulated sugar should work fine.

For your aquafaba (aquafaba is the cooking liquid from beans – NOT the soaking liquid. It can either be the broth from homemade beans, or be poured from a can of beans) any canned or homemade aquafaba should work. As long as you’ve whipped it up successfully before, consider it a worthy candidate for macarons. I’ve also never noticed a difference in results from salted vs unsalted. I use the Great Value organic garbanzos because they have pop-tops and are easier for me to open.

As far as your cream of tartar and vinegar go, they are acids and help to stabilize the meringue. I don’t think the brand matters at all here, I just grab whatever is easiest to reach and is the cheapest. If you can’t find cream of tartar, then just use vinegar in its place. We will also use the vinegar to wipe out our mixing bowl which will help with the fluffing process.

CHAPTER THREE: OVERVIEW OF SUPPLIES

Check out my Amazon Shop to browse all the ingredients and supplies I actually use and recommend.

First of all, you need an oven. You don’t need a fancy one, but you do need one that can hold a consistent temperature. Make sure you’ve tested the internal temperature with a reliable oven thermometer (here’s one that’s NSF certified in case you need that). Macarons will fail if the temperature is even two degrees one way or another; it needs to be exact and it needs to be consistent. My oven offers both conventional and convection baking. For my macarons, I use the conventional setting – NOT the convection/fan setting. I’m working on figuring out what temp convection needs to be on in order for the macs to turn out, but I haven’t gotten it yet. I will update once I do. The heat from my oven also comes from the bottom coils.

Second, a working stovetop.

Third of all, you need a mixer with a whisk attachment. I recommend having a stand mixer because it’s going to be going for a loooooong while. I have two KitchenAid stand mixers: a smaller tilt-head mixer and a larger Professional Series mixer with a lever to raise and lower the bowl. Unless you’re going to be making a double batch, I highly recommend using the smaller mixer. While it’s possible to use the larger one, the whisk has a harder time reaching the aquafaba to whip it up. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can totally use a handheld mixer! Just expect to be standing there holding it for a while.

You absolutely need a kitchen scale that weighs grams.

A large metal or glass mixing bowl.

A fine mesh sieve. I use metal, and have never had luck with the plastic ones.

A silicone spatula.

A small, very clean saucepan.

A food thermometer that goes up to at least 400°F. I have a thermometer with a probe that connects to a timer. I can set a target temperature and it will alert me when it reaches it. I got it for about $15 at my local grocery store, and I highly recommend it because you can walk away from the stove and focus on other things without worrying about burning your sugar. A conventional candy thermometer will work just fine, however.

Next, you need piping bags. I love my tipless bags I grab from Amazon, but any piping bags will do. These are the bags I use:

Mseeur 200 Pcs Disposable Cream Pastry Bag 

As far as tips go, yes I use them. With my tipless bags. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but as I said earlier – I want perfect macs, and to get those perfect circles I need to use tips. I use Wilton 10 and 12. These are smaller than most people use but I’ve found the smaller the tip, the fewer bubbles I get in my macarons. If you don’t want to use tips, feel free to snip the bags so you have an opening about 3/8 to 1/2″ wide. If you want to use tips, grab a few here:

Wilton 12 Round Decorating Tip

A tall glass with a wide mouth. This will help you fill your piping bags with batter.

Light colored aluminum cookie sheets or baking pans. I have commercial half sheet pans that I bought at Sam’s Club. You can use any light colored aluminum pans you have, though. I’ve even used upside down cake pans! These are the types of pans I use:

Nordicware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver

Silicone mats or parchment paper to line your baking pans with. I recommend silicone mats. Parchment paper will cause your macarons to cook into oblong shapes with wrinkled bottoms. They will be just as delicious, but not perfect. You may also have to adjust your cooking time with parchment since the macarons will cook quicker and burn easier. Mats are relatively cheap on Amazon. The ones I use are these:

Macaron Silicone Baking Mat – Set of 2 

A cooling rack.

And finally, probably the most important supply: Patience. A lot of it. Sorry I don’t have an Amazon link for that. 😉

CHAPTER FOUR: PREP

1) Reducing your aquafaba:

The first thing you need to do is prep your aquafaba. If you’re using canned beans, give them a quick shake to distribute all the proteins first. Drain the beans and add the liquid to a saucepan. If you’re using homemade, you need at least 225ml. I don’t like to be exact here though, and usually make a big batch so I don’t have to prep aquafaba every time I make macarons. All we are going to do here is reduce our aquafaba by about a third. I eyeball it. It’s totally fine if you do, too. I do it on a low simmer so that it doesn’t boil up and over. That cleanup is not fun.

Also, if your reduced aquafaba isn’t gelatinous, that’s totally fine! It won’t be unless you refrigerate it (which I don’t do before I use it. It just use it!). I refrigerate the leftover aquafaba if I’m going to be making more macs in the next couple of days, otherwise I freeze it.

My reduced aquafaba. I judge by the line around the pan as to when it’s been reduced by about a third.

2) Cleaning your mixing bowl and whisk:

Even the smallest speck of grease or fat of any kind will kill your meringue before it even starts. To prevent this, make sure you wash them really well in hot water with a good lathering dish soap. Dry them with a clean paper towel, and then pour about a teaspoon of vinegar into the bowl. Using your paper towel, wipe the vinegar all over the inside of the bowl and then use the same paper towel to wipe down the tines of your whisk. It’s also a good idea to wipe down your silicone mats with your vinegar, too.

Skipping this step may mean your aquafaba never fluffs up.

3) Having all your supplies at hand:

Once you get started with the recipe, you need everything at arm’s length and ready to go. This isn’t something you can walk away from for long. Make sure all the dishes you’ll need are washed and dry and that you have all the ingredients you’ll be using.

CHAPTER FIVE: MAKE THE MACARONS!

Ingredients:

150g reduced aquafaba
200g granulated sugar
1/4c water
200g powdered sugar
200g almond flour
1/4 tsp cream of tartar OR 1 tsp vinegar

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 310°F if you’re using silicon mats, 300°F if you’re using parchment paper.

2) Add 75g of reduced aquafaba to your mixer’s bowl along with your cream of tartar or vinegar. Turn the mixer up to medium high speed. You want to get it to soft peaks. That means that when you lift the whisk out of the fluff, it forms little mountains that fall over and wiggle a lot. They remind me of the waves in Japanese art.

75g of reduced aquafaba goes into the mixer bowl. I used 1tsp of vinegar for this batch because I ran out of cream of tartar.

3) While your fluff is fluffing, pour your granulated sugar into your clean saucepan along with 1/4 cup of water and put it over medium low heat. Do not stir. Add your thermometer – making sure the actual thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan but sits in the middle of your sugar mixture. We want to bring this to 245°F. I set my target temp for 225°F so that I can check my aquafaba fluff to see if it’s at soft peaks yet. If it’s not, I turn the heat down to low under the sugar and kick the mixer speed up by one.

200g of granulated sugar. Make sure the pan is extremely clean or it may burn.

4) While waiting on all of this to happen, measure out your dry ingredients. Use your spatula to push 200g of powdered sugar and 200g of almond flour through your sieve into a large mixing bowl.

200g of powdered sugar. (ok, 201. whatever.)

200g of almond flour.

Mixed together.

4) Once your sugar reaches 245°F, take it to your fluff and slowly pour it in while the mixer is on medium. Don’t worry about the sugar that sticks to the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back up to medium high and let it go until the outside of the bowl feels cool to the touch. At this point, the meringue should be glossy and white and it will be ribbony and sticky when you lift the whisk out of it.

5) Pour in the remaining 75g of aquafaba into the dry mix and combine it well. Congratulations, you’ve just made marzipan!

75g of reduced aquafaba added to the dry mix.

We now have almond paste! AKA marzipan!

6) Remove the mixer bowl, and using your spatula move 1/2 of the meringue into your marzipan, being careful not to grab any of the candied sugar on the sides of the bowl. Stir it until it’s mixed well and you don’t see any white meringue or chunks of marzipan.

Mixing the marzipan and the first half of the meringue. I added a few drops of AmeriColor “violet” into this.

7) Now is the part where you need to be careful. The macaronage. Macaronage is the careful folding of the meringue into your almond mixture so that we can knock out just enough air to form a perfect macaron batter.

Add the rest of your meringue into your almond mixture – again, being careful not to grab any of the candy bits on the side of the bowl. Tilt your bowl 3/4 on its side so that the batter slides down from the bottom of the bowl and rests along the side. This way, gravity is going to help us with the folding.

Use your spatula to scrape along from the top of the bowl, around the side, around the bottom, and back up the other side to the top of the the bowl. You should be cleanly picking up the whole mixture and folding it over onto itself. Do this gently until everything is incorporated. The batter should be relatively thick at this point. If you want to add gel color, you can do it now. You can add up to a teaspoon and it shouldn’t affect the macarons.

Now, alternate between smushing the batter along the sides of the bowl and scraping and folding – slowly and gently, until you can lift the batter with the spatula and draw a figure 8 with the batter that falls off. Once you can do this, STOP. Your batter is done. Err on the side of undermixed if you’re not sure.

I can make a figure 8 with my batter falling off the spatula, so this is where I stop mixing. It’s ready to bag!

8) Line a tall glass with your prepared piping bag/tip (just like a bag in a trash can). If using a tip, I like to twist the bag just above the tip and smush the twist down into the tip. This prevents batter from leaking out. Pour your batter into the bag and either twist or tie it closed. There should be enough batter to fill the bag two or three times. Cover what’s left in the bowl so that it doesn’t dry out.

9) Grab your prepped baking pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment (but remember that with parchment the cookies won’t come out as perfect circles).

Holding the piping bag perfectly perpendicular (up and down) to the baking pan, gently squeeze until you’ve made a circle about an inch in diameter. Stop squeezing, and quickly make a small circle with the piping tip as you lift it. This will prevent your macarons from having nipples.

Pipe your next macaron about 2.5″ from your first one. Continue until you’ve filled your tray.

Freshly piped macarons. And my babies in the background.

10) Now comes the fun part! You’re going to slam the tray down on a flat surface to bring all the bubbles up and out of your macs. I like to do it two or three times on one side of the tray, rotate, another two or three times, rotate, so on and so forth until I feel like the bubbles are all gone. I probably hit the tray around 20-30 times. If you have stubborn bubbles, you can pop them with a toothpick, clean sewing needle, or cookie scribe.

11) Once you’re done slamming the tray and popping bubbles, set your tray on a flat surface and wait for the macarons to form a dry skin. This is imperative because without the skin, the macarons will probably explode in the oven. This skin keeps all the steam inside the cookie and allows them to lift and form feet. I like to set mine on the (now cool) stovetop with the exhaust fan running above them.

12) Once you see that the cookies are no longer shiny and you can lightly run your finger along the surface without it sticking to you, set a timer for 20 minutes. Once that goes off, put your cookies into the oven on the lowest rack (if using parchment, you may need to use the middle rack). Set another 20 minute timer (22 if you’re using parchment).

Now sit impatiently outside of your oven, staring into its belly hoping and praying that your macs form feet (around 6-7 minutes is when this should happen) and that they don’t explode. If your oven has hot spots, you may want to rotate your tray at about 12 minutes.

Watching them in the oven without blinking.

At 20 minutes, the feet should appear dry (no longer shiny) and if you give one a gentle poke with your finger, it shouldn’t jiggle.

13) Pull the tray out and set it on a cooling rack. Do not attempt to remove your macarons yet! Wait until they are totally cool, and they should peel right off. If they don’t, pop the tray in the freezer for 3-5 minutes and then they will.

14) Find matching pairs and fill with whatever your heart desires – buttercream and ganache are the most common fillings. I’m also a fan of cookie butter. If you plan on using something a bit more wet like jam or curd, form a barrier on the cookie with some buttercream or chocolate first so that it doesn’t make the macaron soggy. Put into an airtight container and IF YOU CAN, place them into the fridge for at least 24 hours before enjoying. This process is called maturation and it helps to fill hollow spaces in the shell and lets all the flavors mingle and marry and become infinitely yummier.

Finished macarons ready to pop into the fridge for maturation.

If you can’t wait that long, they’re perfectly yummy straight away though.

This recipe makes between 70 and 85 shells depending on how large you pipe them. They can be put into an airtight container and refrigerated up to a week and frozen for up to six months.

Three Hour Video Tutorial:

Join me as I make a batch of macarons, from beginning to end.

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Vegan Italian Macarons with Aquafaba

Allergy and vegan-friendly macaron cookies.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients

  • 150 g reduced aquafaba see recipe notes above
  • 1/4 c water
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 200 g almond flour
  • 1 tsp vinegar OR
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 310°F.

  2. Add 75g of reduced aquafaba to your mixer’s bowl along with your cream of tartar or vinegar. Turn the mixer up to medium high speed. You want to get it to soft peaks. That means that when you lift the whisk out of the fluff, it forms little mountains that fall over and wiggle a lot. They remind me of the waves in Japanese art.

  3. While your fluff is fluffing, pour your granulated sugar into your clean saucepan along with 1/4 cup of water and put it over medium low heat. Do not stir. Add your thermometer – making sure the actual thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan but sits in the middle of your sugar mixture. We want to bring this to 245°F. I set my target temp for 225°F so that I can check my aquafaba fluff to see if it’s at soft peaks yet. If it’s not, I turn the heat down to low under the sugar and kick the mixer speed up by one.

  4. While waiting on all of this to happen, measure out your dry ingredients. Use your spatula to push 200g of powdered sugar and 200g of almond flour through your sieve into a large mixing bowl. Give it a good stir with your spatula until they look well combined.

  5. Once your sugar reaches 245°F, take it to your fluff and slowly pour it in while the mixer is on medium. Don’t worry about the sugar that sticks to the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back up to medium high and let it go until the outside of the bowl feels cool to the touch. At this point, the meringue should be glossy and white and it will be ribbony and sticky when you lift the whisk out of it.

  6. Pour in the remaining 75g of aquafaba into the dry mix and combine it well.

  7. Remove the mixer bowl, and using your spatula move 1/2 of the meringue into your marzipan, being careful not to grab any of the candied sugar one the sides of the bowl. Stir it until it’s mixed well and you don’t see any white meringue or chunks of marzipan.

  8. Add the rest of your meringue into your almond mixture – again, being careful not to grab any of the candy bits on the side of the bowl. Tilt your bowl 3/4 on its side so that the batter slides down from the bottom of the bowl and rests along the side. This way, gravity is going to help us with the folding.

    Use your spatula to scrape along from the top of the bowl, around the side, around the bottom, and back up the other side to the top of the the bowl. You should be cleanly picking up the whole mixture and folding it over onto itself. Do this gently until everything is incorporated. The batter should be relatively thick at this point. If you want to add gel color, you can do it now. You can add up to a teaspoon and it shouldn’t affect the macarons.

    Now, alternate between smushing the batter along the sides of the bowl and scraping and folding – slowly and gently, until you can lift the batter with the spatula and draw a figure 8 with the batter that falls off. Once you can do this, STOP. Your batter is done.

  9. Line a tall glass with your prepared piping bag/tip (just like a bag in a trash can). If using a tip, I like to twist the bag just above the tip and smush the twist down into the tip. This prevents batter from leaking out. Pour your batter into the bag and either twist or tie it closed. There should be enough batter to fill the bag two or three times. Cover what’s left in the bowl so that it doesn’t dry out.

  10. Grab your prepped baking pan lined with a silicone mat (or parchment if you haven’t gotten a mat yet, but remember you may have to adjust your baking time and your cookies won’t come out as perfect circles).

    Holding the piping bag perfectly perpendicular (up and down) to the baking pan, gently squeeze until you’ve made a circle about an inch in diameter. Stop squeezing, and quickly make a small circle with the piping tip as you lift it. This will prevent your macarons from having nipples.

    Pipe your next macaron about 2.5″ from your first one. Continue until you’ve filled your tray.

  11. Slam the tray down on a flat surface to bring all the bubbles up and out of your macs. I like to do it two or three times on one side of the tray, rotate, another two or three times, rotate, so on and so forth until I feel like the bubbles are all gone. I probably hit the tray around 20-30 times. If you have stubborn bubbles, you can pop them with a toothpick, clean sewing needle, or cookie scribe.

  12. Set your tray on a flat surface and wait for the macarons to form a dry skin. This is imperative because without the skin, the macarons will probably explode in the oven. This skin keeps all the steam inside the cookie and allows them to lift and form feet. I like to set mine on the (now cool) stovetop with the exhaust fan running above them.

  13. Once you see that the cookies are no longer shiny and you can lightly run your finger along the surface without it sticking to you, set a timer for 20 minutes. Once that goes off, put your cookies into the oven on the lowest rack (if using parchment, you may need to use the middle rack). 

  14. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the tray at around 12 minutes.

  15. After 20 minutes, pull the tray out and set it on a cooling rack. Do not attempt to remove your macarons yet! Wait until they are totally cool, and they should peel right off. If they don’t, pop the tray in the freezer for 3-5 minutes and then they will.

  16. Find matching pairs and fill with whatever your heart desires.

  17. Put into an airtight container and IF YOU CAN, place them into the fridge for at least 24 hours before enjoying.

  18. This recipe makes between 70 and 85 shells depending on how large you pipe them. They can be put into an airtight container and refrigerated up to a week and frozen for up to six months.

Recipe Video

Allergy-Friendly and Vegan Pastry Recipes:

[grid content=”post” show=”image, title, content, more_link” content_limit=”14″ categories=”2″ number=”9″ align_text=”center” slider=”true” slidestoscroll=”3″ center_mode=”true”]

124 thoughts on “Vegan Italian Macarons with Aquafaba”

    • Hi! Thank you very much for your kind words! I am in the United States and I use Great Value organic garbanzo beans. I don’t believe they are higher quality than other brands I’ve tried, but the cans have pop-tops and I have arthritis, so we get along better. 😉

      Reply
      • So the first time I made these was a disaster, but due to your helpful troubleshoot guide, I know what I did wrong; I overmixed them! The second time I made them, they turned out beautiful! I was nervous with adding color, so I went a little too light handed, so while they turned out a very pretty pale pink, it’s almost impossible to tell that in photos 🤦🏻‍♀️

        However, this was my first successful attempt at ANY version of a macaron, let alone a vegan one. I’m honestly so thrilled and I’m definitely ready to become a macron machine.

        Thank you so much for this recipe!

        Reply
    • Okay, I’m pretty sure did something wrong but I’m not sure what. My aquafaba whipped up nicely but as soon as the sugar syrup hit, it turned to liquid again. My mixer has been going for about 15 minutes and it looks like a sad pool of marshmallow, with no fluff☹ it taste great but there’s NO AIR! help please lol

      Reply
  1. 5 stars
    Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe! I made the macarons today and they taste delicious, but my shells mostly ended up hollow and after cooling, the bottoms were still extremely sticky and basically stuck on the mat, even though I let them cool for a while. Do you know what I can do to improve this?

    Reply
    • Hi, Maria! First of all, thank you so much for giving my recipe a try!

      If the shells were both hollow and sticky, chances are that the batter was overmixed OR your sugar may have crystallized while boiling.

      To prevent overmixing, stop folding your macaron batter just before or exactly when you can lift it and drop it off the spatula in a figure-8 pattern. Undermixing is preferable to overmixing, so err on the side of undermixed batter if you’re not sure.

      To prevent sugar from crystallizing, make sure that the pot is extremely clean, do not stir it, and you can even add a few drops of vinegar into the water and the acidity will help prevent the sugar crystals from forming. Also, make sure you heat it slowly instead of cranking up the heat.

      Let me know if that helps, and if you have any other questions!

      Thanks again. 🙂

      Reply
      • Hi and thank you for sharing this recipe! I need help with lopsided shells on silicone mats (300f for 17 minutes) . I wait until dry to the touch, plus some! I also get some volcanos. I tried rotating my trays and it makes no difference. Literally every single Shell Is lopsided. I never have this Problem with regular macs. (I am really good at making regular ones) Any thoughts? Thank you!

        Reply
          • I usually get two and a half to three trays out of a batch – so around 75-90 depending on how big I make them. You can halve it, but it makes it immensely difficult to measure the sugar temperature and whip the smaller amount of aquafaba.

  2. 5 stars
    Super educational post with a fantastically straightforward recipe! You answered many of my questions (and then some) and provided a ton of tips that led me to my first (and hopefully not last 😂) batch of vegan macarons. Thank you for sharing all your hard work and food science with us!

    Reply
    • 5 stars
      I tried this recipe today and had some success. I found some of the pieces, not all, ran out at the bottom instead of keeping the nice edge. In fact my blue ones turned out nicely and my pink ones look like a sunny side up egg. Why do you think this is? After mixing and before piping, I did let it sit for 10 min because I needed to step away. Could that have effected this? I’m looking forward to trying again soon.

      Reply
      • Hi, Samantha!

        I’m glad to hear you had some success on your very first try! That’s kind of amazing!

        It sounds to me that the color you added may have been affecting them. I would suggest mastering them without color first, and then you’ll be able to tell if the color is sabotaging your batch.

        Reply
    • You’re very welcome, Rose!

      Feel free to ask any questions that might come up when you take a crack at them. 🙂

      Reply
    • Second time trying vegan macarons, both times they’ve not grown feet and collapsed at the end, even though up to 5 minutes before the end they were fine! What am I doing wrong?!

      Reply
      • Oh no! This can happen if your almond flour is very oily, or if there’s too much color added. Don’t give up! Try with a new brand of flour if you can and don’t add any coloring and see if that helps.

        Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Recipe is INCREDIBLE! I was very nervous because of all the steps and precautions but if you do as the amazing and talented Meggan says, they turn out fantastic!

    I never thought I could make macarons let alone VEGAN ones and they are BEYOND DELICIOUS 🤤🤤

    Reply
    • Aw, Sammy! Thank you so so much for your kind words! It’s my absolutely pleasure to spread vegan mac joy around the world.

      Thanks for being a part of it. 🙂

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! I can’t believe how light and fluffy they are! I have a few cracked ones, but that’s okay: it was a great excuse to taste test 😀 I will be making these again for sure. I foresee a lot of hummus in my future 😉 Thanks for the very clear instructions and the warning about the thermometer. (I almost decided not to do it, but the warning convinced me to run to the store to get one, and I’m glad I did because eyeballing it, I would have stopped at around only 200 degrees!)

    Reply
    • I’m glad you gave them a try!! And I hope you like hummus! Lol. If you have cracked ones, chances are they needed to rest just a bit longer – that’s usually the case with mine. 🙂

      Reply
  5. I am so excited to try this. Can you give the name brand of the candy thermometer you used? Also, how long on average do they need to sit to form the smooth layer? Just curious if it’s like 20 min or two hours?
    I only have a 6 quart stand mixer. Will that make the aquafaba whip? Did you come out with a video yet?? So many questions

    Reply
    • The thermometer I use is an orange digital probe thermometer I bought st H-E-B (my local grocery store) for $10.

      You can definitely use your mixer, you’ll just have to mix on high from the get go to froth it up so the whisk can reach it to fluff.

      I don’t have a video yet but am working on one! I have so many videos on my to-do list. Lol.

      Reply
    • And there are sooooo many factors that go into how long the macs take to form a skin. How humid is your kitchen? Is there airflow? How hot is the kitchen? How wet is your batter? What brand of almond flour? How much starch is in your powdered sugar?

      And even knowing all the answers to those I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Lol.

      I just let it go until I can gently rub my finger across them, and then tack an extra 20 minutes onto that.

      Reply
    • I use it however it is! If it’s just been reduced, I’ll use it hot. If it’s been in the fridge, then cold. If it’s been in the freezer, I pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes and use it like that. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the quick replies. I’m really excited to give it a go. I’m going to try and find your live video as well and give it a watch. I know these can be tricky and somehow I’ve convinced myself I can do it right on the first go. 😄

        Reply
      • 5 stars
        Macs! With feet! On my very first try!!! I didn’t have a candy thermometer, so I did the cold water test, and that worked great. Also used an egg beater instead of a stand mixer; it was a little inconvenient but whisked up beautifully! My oven definitely has hot spots, so the ones around the edges were more like little volcanoes. For those of you that also like to live dangerously (aka not buying an oven thermometer), do a couple of small test batches. I found I needed to bake for 17 minutes at 280 degrees to get the chewy interior (not that I MIND crunchy mini meringue things. They’re just not quite macarons).

        Reply
    • It sounds like you must live in a very humid climate!

      There are a few things you can try to speed up the drying time:

      1) put a gentle fan towards them, so they’re getting some moving air – but not enough to change their shape

      2) use a dehumidifier in whatever room you have them in

      3) put them on the stove under the vent hood with it running (this is what I do)

      4) you can try adding up to 10g of corn starch (also known as corn flour) in your dry ingredients. It helps to absorb the excess moisture.

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. Is it possible to substitute the almond flour for a nut free alternative? I’d love to make these but my boyfriend is allergic to nuts.
    It seems that almond flour is in every recipe and seems important to macaron-success.

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    Hi! Do you use the convection setting on your oven while baking vegan macarons? I tried the recipe and they looked perfect but were hollow! Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi, Crystal!

      First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Beautiful macs are an amazing accomplishment!

      Now, if they’re hollow it’s possible that they were overbaked by a minute or two. Or that you folded one or two too many times. Most of the time though, the macarons will fill out after maturing for a couple of days.

      Good luck and please update when you try again!

      Reply
      • Thanks for this amazingly detailed recipe! Hoping you can help me troubleshoot my first effort… Things seemed to be going OK throughout the whole process (possibly the mixture at the end was a little thick? Not sure), but when I put the macarons in the oven, instead of rising up equally all around, they popped up in the middle and the insides burst out the top. They look like Hershey’s kisses that have exploded. But they taste good! Do you have any idea what went wrong? I noticed that by the end the oven was 5 degrees hotter than it should have been–should I just try again with a lower temperature? I have photos if helpful! Thanks for any assistance!

        Reply
  8. Hello, Meggan.
    I did all the instructions you wrote and the shells came almost perfect but the feet came flat (didnt rise), like run to the sides (if you get what I mean..). Im wondering if its to set such high oven temperature.. Because on other sites its written to set significantly lower (115-120C) temperature. Maybe you have some any other ideas! Thank you for your help.
    P.S. its a pitty I cannot upload my pic..

    Reply
    • Hi, Martyna!

      First of all, thanks for the comment – I love helping folks try to troubleshoot their macs!

      I have a few questions:

      1) do you have an oven thermometer?

      2) what color pans are you baking on, and are you using parchment or silicone?

      3) are you using conventional or convection oven?

      I’d also love to invite you to my macaron group on Facebook – there are over 1,000 members now, and loads of people are ready and willing to help troubleshoot – including yours truly. 🙂 You can join it at https://www.facebook.com/groups/veganmacattack

      Reply
    • Hi, Chloe!

      I can’t really tell if I can’t see them, but it sounds like you may have over-mixed your batter.

      Stop mixing just before or exactly when you can make a figure 8 with the batter falling off the spatula, and it should help!

      Reply
  9. Hi Meggan,

    Thanks for this most delicious looking vegan macaron recipe!!

    Before I get started I wanted to check, I am reducing sugar in my diet for less blood sugar spiking and wanted to know if I could replace the granulated sugar with xylitol? And I found a way to make powdered xylitol with arrowroot powder (1 cup xylitol to 1 tbsp arrowroot) blended into a powder. Am I able to use this for the powdered sugar alternative? I am completely new to baking and am not yet confident to change recipes. One more thing, can I use a canvas piping bag instead of the plastic ones? Thanks so much for you help 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi, and I’m so glad you’re giving these a chance!

      As far as I know, no one has had success using a keto/low carb sugar substitute in their macarons. There have been many attempts (including from me) but none of them have produced something I would call a successful mac. I’m working on it, though!

      As far as the bag, yes! You can definitely use a canvas bag, just make sure that it is absolutely free from grease of any kind or it will deflate your meringue.

      Reply
      • Thank you Meggan, much appreciated for your help!! I’m definitely going to try making them, but I think I’ll try normal sugar first then seems as though all of you experts say how finicky they can be! Thank you 🙂

        Reply
  10. First i wanted to say thank you for the recipe! The batter tasted wonderful and so did the very flat, ynderdone macarons lol they looked like the white ones in your pictures of failed attempts. It felt like the batter never thinned out and almost seemed like it got thicker😫 please tell me what i did wrong, id love to master macs

    Reply
    • Hi, Vivi! Good for you for giving them a shot!!

      It sounds like your batter was over mixed (usually when they spread like that, that’s the culprit). If it was getting thicker as you mixed, I would venture to say the aquafaba was too concentrated. You can add about 5ml extra of the liquid into your batter next time and see if it helps.

      Reply
  11. Hello,
    I made these tonight and the macarons that were on the silicon baking mat that you suggested were almost perfect (the batches I made on parchment paper were awful!). However, the shells are hollow. Any ideas on why that happened? I have two oven thermometers that both had the same temperature on them.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi, Taylor! First of all, congratulations on your success!! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting macarons with a perfect aesthetic.

      To fix the issue of hollows, you can try pulling them out of the oven just a couple of minutes earlier and it should help. 🙂

      Reply
      • Hi I’ve tried these today but they keep exploding I’ve left them out until they have the skin and are not sticky but they just keep exploding in the oven. Help please, thank you xx

        Reply
        • Hi, Asmina!

          Usually when they explode out the top it’s because they need to rest longer. The thick skin formed prevents their insides from becoming their outsides.

          If it’s the feet that are exploding, usually that’s due to them being over-mixed or because of the addition of a color that deteriorates the meringue.

          Reply
  12. HEY SO I HAVE A LOT OF AQUAFABA IN MY FREEZER… AND UNSURE HOW TO USE IT SO I DONT MAKE A MESS OF THINGS… CAN YOU PLEASE GUIDE ME? (FOR THE MACARONS)

    Reply
  13. 5 stars
    Hi Megan! I attempted macarons for the first time using your recipe. I was intimidated to try but I love how you thoroughly explained every step. It made me feel a lot more confident while making the macarons!

    I did have a few questions though! I did three separate batches in the oven because all would not fit in at once and two of the batches came out with hollow shells. I tried to follow the exact same steps each time but I am not sure what went wrong here? Also, a few minutes in my feet started rising uniformly but another few minutes in, some sides of the feet would rise more than others, resulting in lopsided shells. Is this because my oven has hot spots? And if so, what can I do about it? And last question, what would I do differently if I wanted to make chocolate shells? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi, Priya! Yay, I’m so glad you’ve given them a shot and you’re now an official member of the macaron club!!

      For your first question, I would suggest piping the macarons one tray at a time – as in pipe, let dry, bake – pipe the next one as the last one is baking, dry, bake, etc. That would ensure equal results with all three of your trays.

      As for the lopsided ones, first I would try to turn your oven up five degrees Fahrenheit. That usually takes care of them for me.

      When it comes to hot spots, if that’s truly an issue, there’s not much you can do. Maybe putting a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to help distribute the heat more evenly would help, but otherwise rotating your trays during baking with help defend against it.

      I hope this helped!

      Happy baking. <3

      Reply
    • And as for chocolate shells, you can try adding 4-10g of cocoa powder to your dry mix, but that makes them a bit more temperamental – so I don’t recommend giving that a shot until you really get good at plain shells.

      Reply
  14. Hello, I tried making these with ground almond and agave nectar instead of honey. The taste was alright, but the macron were a bit wet from inside,

    Reply
  15. 5 stars
    Hello Meggan,
    I tried my first macaron batch with Trader Joe’s blanched almond flour, and a few recipes from the web. The 30 min bake resulted in flat pancakes.

    Today, I worked along with your 3 hour tutorial and Bob’s superfine almond flour. For a second attempt, there were incredible successes – first batch on my only siicone mat a lot of cracking and volcanoes, second batch (I think oven settled down) FEET PLUS no CRACKING, very exciting.

    Anyway, I take your counsel to not be a perfectionist on my second attempt. I ascribe my success to your tutorial! I moved ahead of you at one point and missed the instruction to fold the second batch of aquafaba into the marzipan in a gentle WAY! Oops. AND I did not have a thermometer for the sugar syrup so that was a guess. All in all, I’ll get a sugar thermometer and try again – and “NEXT time I’ll be gentle with the second add in. Many thanks. I’m in TX as well.
    Best to you

    Reply
    • Hi! You can half it, but if you’re using a stand mixer it will have a hard time reaching the aquafaba enough to whip it.

      If you need to make a half a batch, I suggest trying to whip the entire quantity of aquafaba rather than dividing it in half and keep the flour mix dry instead of making a marzipan.

      I only recommend trying this if you’re an experienced macaron maker though, so you know the consistency of batter you’re looking for. 🙂

      Reply
  16. My “marshmallow” mixture is still going and not even close to room temp. I was rolling with you in the vid until this. My house is cold. What gives? Is it possible to over-whip the meringue?

    Reply
  17. Hi
    How many ml is the 1/4 cup of water? Have looked through the posts as I thought someone else might have asked (but can’t see anything). Also, I have a matt but without markings so could I trace circles on baking paper (underneath)
    Thank you
    Lindsey
    x

    Reply
  18. I’m stuck at home during #socialdistancing and don’t have a kitchen scale, but need to put my aquafaba to use. Having unsuccessfully tried making vegan macarons in the past, I know this recipe requires precision. However, can you give me an idea of how many mL or fl. oz. 150g of aquafaba amounts to?

    Reply
  19. Hi, there,
    Are you measuring the 150 grams of aquafaba by weight (as on a scale) or by volume (as in a measuring cup for liquids). I’m unsure as to how to convert grams to ounces by weight or ounces by volume, since this is a liquid. I’m assuming all the dry ingredients listed as grams are by weight.

    Reply
  20. 4 stars
    I made these with one chickpea can’s worth of aquafaba and after reducing i ended up with 35% of what the recipe needed! But I decided to still give it a try by reducing the recipe and they turned out so great! I had to use a hand mixer, so I just made sure I was keeping an eye on everything. My marshmallow fluff didn’t seem stiff enough so I was nervous, but it still worked out. Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply
  21. Hi, my first attempt is an epic fail. They look like the photo of your blue ones during your trial & error period. The insides melted out, they are completely hollow. The merengue seems to have become unstable? What caused this, how do I fix it?

    Reply
    • Hi, Martha!

      Unfortunately, with macarons, it could be one (or way more) of a million different things. Usually the culprit is either overmixing at the macaronage stage, or adding a color or flavor that melts the meringue.

      Reply
  22. 5 stars
    Hi! Thank you for your detailed post! I find most macarons too sweet to my taste, where can I reduce the sugar? With the powdered sugar in the almond meal or the sugar in the aquafaba? I also want to make chocolate ones, how much cocoa powder should I add to the dry mix and do I need to adjust anything else? Thanks so much in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi, Sarah!

      The sad truth about macarons is that they’re super duper sweet. Lol. There really isn’t any way to reduce the sugar without compromising the structural integrity of the cookie. You could try to replace some of the powdered sugar with either corn or tapioca starch, or even cocoa powder to make them chocolate flavored. Once you start to replace more than 10-15g, things really go awry, though.

      Reply
    • Aishwarya,

      I would love to provide those, but it would most certainly result in the macarons failing. This recipe is incredibly precise and requires gram measurements for success.

      Reply
  23. 5 stars
    Hi, this recipe is so helpful because you have given warnings for everything that could possibly go wrong! But can Almond Flour be replaced by All Purpose Flour or Chickpea Flour? I live in a rather remote part of India and it’s too difficult to acquire any other flour options.

    Reply
    • Hi, Prachi!

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you’ve found the post so useful!

      You can definitely use all purpose or chickpea flour here! You can also use oat, sunflower seed flour, pumpkin seed flour, and watermelon seed flour. Pretty much any flour will work, actually. The thing is that all the flours absorb liquids differently from one another, so you are going to need to experiment and adjust the amount of meringue you use in order to get the perfect consistency.

      I plan on experimenting with different ingredients so that I can publish those exact recipes in the future, I just haven’t done it yet.

      Reply
  24. Hi! I’ve tried making macarons 4 times in the past 24h and every time I add the sugar it deflates. The last time I tried, it was going seemingly okay until the last 1/3 of the syrup was added. I tried the French method too, and the same thing happened. My conclusion is it must be the sugar, right? I use Costco organic sugar (fine granulated) and I grind it to make it finer. I suspect it’s actually the same manufacturer as Zulka though!
    Do you think I can keep the marzipan covered in the fridge overnight so I don’t lose it?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Reply
    • Hi there, Mariana!

      I have a dear friend that this happens with too – and we haven’t been able to figure it out. 🙁 She does use Costco sugar as well as Zulka, with the same exact results each time.

      I wish I could give you any advice or info to help, but this really truly is a mystery to me.

      And unfortunately the marzipan will not work the same after being stored. The almond flour absorbs the liquid and it will make your batter much too thick.

      Reply
    • Hi, Aanya!

      If your batter is too liquidy, you need to whip your meringue much stiffer before adding the almond flour mixture.

      The meringue is what keeps it from turning into a puddle. <3

      Reply
  25. Hi Meggan,

    My sugar crystallized as soon as I poured it over the aquafaba? Omg, I never thought this could happen. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Unfortunately not much can be done to help it once it gets to that point. 🙁

      Next time, try heating it up slower so it doesn’t have as much temperature shock. Also, try adding a tiny splash of vinegar and make sure your pan is super duper clean. <3

      Reply
  26. Thanks for the recipe! Loved the video along with the method, made it so easy to follow! Unfortunately, I think I over mixed and they exploded out the bottom! Not giving up, I will be trying again soon!! Fingers crossed!

    Reply
  27. 5 stars
    Hi, thanks so much for this recipe, I really had fun with it (even though I accidentally made rock candy the first time). I did witness perfect feet forming through the oven window, but then they collapsed and started growing outwards. I’m at 8000ft, which I now realize explains the syrup problem. Do you know if there’s anything else I should change up with oven temp, meringue stiffness, etc. to deal with the altitude effects?

    I was also wondering if your aquafaba meringue could be used in a French macaron recipe? I made the French style with eggs a few times before I was vegan and had a little better luck with it, but not sure if the eggs or the sugar were a bigger factor there. Anyway thank you for the great recipe!

    Reply
    • I’m so sorry, I’m not going to be much help here! I have zero experience with high altitude baking, so I can’t offer any tips at all there.

      As far as using my recipe for French macs, the ratios throw the whole recipe off when you don’t cook the sugar syrup. If you head over to piesandtacos.com though, Camila over there has tons of lovely vegan French mac recipes!

      Reply
  28. 5 stars
    Hi there! Thanks so much for posting this incredibly detailed recipe. My best friend is vegan and gluten free and I have some gluten and egg sensitivity, so finding this recipe was super exciting for us both. My first attempt was a total fail, but thought that I had a really good game plan to fix my mistakes. The second attempt was, overall, a success. I got perfectly smooth round cookies with beautiful feet, only issue was that they were completely hollow. Too hollow for buttercream maturation to fix. I read through some of your responses to comments and your secondary post about what could cause it, but I guess I’m just wondering, what should I try to change first? Less time in the oven? Less whipping of the aquafaba at the start? I saw you mention that my sugar may have crystallized, how do I tell? I also see you saying that it could be overmixing of the batter during macaronage, but how do I know when I’m overmixing it? Also, wouldn’t it make more sense that I might be undermixing, like I’m leaving too much air in the batter? Any guidance is much appreciated!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Ally!

      It’s really hard to pinpoint the cause of hollows, so I always feel bad when I can’t give a really direct answer. My first change is usually trying some on parchment paper. 90% of the time that fixes it for me, which tells me they need more heat coming from the bottom.

      Also, slightly undermixing can help because you don’t start the chain reaction of your millions of microbubbles popping in the meringue. You want little bubbles, not big ones – and when all the tiny ones pop in the oven, it creates giant ones that are your hollows.

      As far as the sugar crystallizing, you’d know! It literally turns into rocks. Lol.

      Reply
  29. I am having trouble with the sugar stage. At 245 degrees the sugar came out chunky so I am taking to off the stove closer to 220 degrees. My aquafaba mixture is light and fluffy (holding peaks and looking great) but as soon as the sugar comes in it gets weighed down, turns much more liquid, and ends up too runny. Am I pouring it in too quickly? Also, my wisk attachment does not go very deep into my mixer. So it is only frothing the top third of the mix. Should I use the hand mixer to get the sugar mixed in better (and keep the froth). Everything else is going well but this stage is giving me trouble. 🙂

    Reply
    • It sounds like your sugar is crystallizing. Make sure you’re cleaning the pot really well before using, wipe it out with vinegar, and bring it to temp slowly without stirring.

      And your whisk definitely needs to reach to the bottom of the bowl. That could contribute to your meringue deflating, because it’s getting overheated at the bottom of your bowl and popping all the meringue bubbles. See if you can calibrate the mixer so it reaches deeper, or try the hand mixer and it should help!

      Reply
  30. Hi, I am a professional chef with almost 40 years of experience, including pastry.

    I’ve tried this recipe 4 times now…. has not worked once.

    I tried reducing the aquafaba, making my own, and am meticulous when it comes to making meringue for macarons. I have made thousands of macarons with egg white.

    I cannot figure this out. The aquafaba whips nicely up to a soft peak on it’s own, but when I add the sugar syrup, it gets to a creamy whipped consistency, but definitely not a stiff peak necessary for a macaron. Since the aquafaba whips to stiff peak on it’s own, and the syrup is “clean” not crystalized, and it starts to whip without breaking, I am wondering if this really works. My thought is that aquafaba just does not have enough protein to sustain a stiff peak needed for all meringues. I also see other people having the same issue on here. I would not recommend the aquafaba method for macarons.

    Reply
    • Hi, Chef!

      The meringue in my recipe doesn’t come to completely stiff peaks, but to a stiff marshmallow fluff/bird’s beak consistency.

      Have you joined the vegan macaron group on Facebook? A few thousand of us are over there and can help to troubleshoot any issues you might have, or if you want to switch methods we can help with that, too. 🙂

      Reply
    • I’m sorry to report that I haven’t had a chance to play with the powder myself quite yet. I would assume if you doubled the strength, it should work fine though.

      Reply

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