Christmas Macarons are the perfect dessert to impress for the Holidays! They are made with Vanilla macaron shells, filled and decorated with vanilla buttercream to make the most festive dessert you will eat this season!
Besides being in the Holiday spirit, I’ve been in the macaron baking spirit and let me tell you, no one seems to be complaining! I don’t make them too often because when I first started the blog I was on a macaron baking spree and was kind of tired of baking them for a while.
This past spring I decided it was time to bake them again and had a macaron month and rekindled my love for them. Now it seems like I’ve missed them because I have a mini macaron series coming up for you and we’re starting it off with Christmas Macarons!
Low key, I also wanted to make beautifully decorated festive cookies but hate making sugar cookies so that’s how we got here.
How to make Christmas Macarons
If you’ve made my macarons before, you’ll be glad to know I use the same base recipe for the shells as my Vanilla Macarons. If you’re a first timer, I suggest giving that post a read because I go into detail on how to make them.
I use the Swiss method because, although macarons are known to be difficult to bake, this recipe and method is simple. I’ve tried the French and Italian methods as well and the Swiss has proven to make the most stable meringue, thus making it easier to work with.
After you make the cookies, my Christmas Macarons are filled with American Buttercream and decorated for the Holidays!
As I mentioned earlier, these macarons are made using the Swiss method which involves cooking the egg whites to create a firmer meringue, making it easier to work with. After you make the meringue you fold in the almond flour and powdered sugar.
I love this method because the recipe is easy to remember since all you need is about 100g of all your ingredients, minus the 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste.
- Almond Flour: Macarons will always use a nut flour, traditionally almond flour. Using wheat flour won’t give you that smooth and airy batter and cookie that make macarons unique.
- Sugar: You need two types of sugar for macarons – granulated and powdered. You need the granulated sugar to make the meringue and the powdered sugar when you fold in the flour.
- Egg Whites: I use egg whites to make my meringue. It is important to heat the egg whites with the sugar until the sugar dissolves before transferring it to the stand mixer.
Generally I would opt for my French buttercream because it’s less sweet and uses up at least two of the leftover egg yolks.
However, I decided to use the American Buttercream recipe from my 6 Inch Vanilla Cake because of the decoration. You won’t need a whole batch of frosting to fill the macarons so you’ll have leftovers which I used to decorate.
American buttercream “crusts”, as in it creates a firm shell on the outside because of the powdered sugar. You could also fill and decorate with the French buttercream (or whatever you want) but French buttercream stays silky so when you go to pick them up, it’ll get all over your fingers.
Ok so the green ones in the photos were done with the buttercream but the white ones were done with royal icing like in my Pop Tart Gingerbread House. The thing is with the royal icing, it literally has to be at the perfect consistency and temperature to pipe such tiny lines so I definitely prefer the buttercream version.
I made a timelapse reel of how I decorated them so you can check that out too.
How to Decorate Christmas Macarons with Buttercream
I made a half batch of frosting and used a little over half of that to fill one batch of macarons. Then I colored the leftover buttercream with a generous amount of green, teal and black to get that dark forest green color for the trees and wreaths. I used an Ateco #8 star tip for the buttercream decorations.
For the wreath, just LIGHTLY pipe a circle and lift as your piping so that you don’t get a thick poof. For the trees, pipe the bottom of the tree first. Do three lines going upward, then two and then one.
How to Decorate Christmas Macarons with Royal Icing
Like I said, this one is a little bit more finicky. I had to fill my piping bag with the royal icing and test out the consistency a few times before it was good to pipe. If it’s too thick, it will break as you’re piping your lines and if it’s too thin it’ll just run everywhere. So you want the icing to be able to ribbon off the spatula but not blend into itself right away.
I used an Ateco #2 and you can see that my lines were still not super thin, especially on the snowflakes and the ‘joy’. This one is just kind of what you see lol, for the christmas trees, I just piped back and forth in an upward motion and more narrow at the top (I started at the bottom).
For the snowflakes just pipe the three crossed lines and then the dots at the end and connect them. The sprinkles really help make it look less messy and more frosted lol.
For the candy canes, I piped every other line first, then dipped into the red sprinkles. Then pipe lines between the red sprinkles and drip into sparkly sprinkles.
What sprinkles to use
You can use whatever sprinkles you have on hand! Some of my favorites are Wilton Holiday Mix, Natural Ugly Christmas Sweater, Wilton Silver and Gold, and Christmas Cheer. I can’t find my exact ones but these are similar to the clear shimmery sprinkles I used on all of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Add Flavor to the Buttercream?
Yes! If you want to be more festive and add some Holiday flavor, you can add ½ tsp peppermint extract in place of the vanilla. If you want even more options, my book Frosted has 60 different frosting flavors that you can choose from.
Why do you need 2 types of sugar
Granulated sugar has larger granules which incorporate air into the egg whites when you beat the meringue. But you can only use so much sugar in the meringue in order for it to dissolve properly. Powdered sugar has cornstarch and it’s powdery so it will absorb a lot of the liquid from the meringue when you fold the batter.
How to store Christmas Macarons
You can store macarons in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a couple months. If you freeze them, place them in an airtight container and place the container in a freezer bag, squeezing out all of the excess air. When it comes time to serve them, they are best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post! If you have any questions just comment down below, I’m happy to answer! If you make these Christmas Macarons I would love to see the results, so please make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram and order my cookbook, Frosted. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
Vanilla Macaron Shells
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour, spooned and leveled
- 7/8 cup (105g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 3 large (100g) egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cup (240g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 3/4 cups (90g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp meringue powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water
- Leftover buttercream
- Green gel food coloring
- Teal gel food coloring
- Black gel food coloring
Vanilla Macaron Shells
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar and set them aside.
- Heat up a small pot of water on the stove to create a double boiler for the Swiss meringue. Whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer over the double boiler until the sugar is fully dissolved and the egg whites are frothy (about 120F or 49C).
- Remove the mixture from the heat and use the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, at high speed, to beat the egg whites and sugar just until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla bean paste and mix for a few seconds, until it is fully incorporated.
- Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture over the meringue and use a firm spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. The method that I use to fold the batter (use photos for reference) is by pressing the batter up against the wall of the bowl and then scraping it off of the bowl.
- Do this until the mixture is able to ribbon off and form a complete figure '8' without breaking. This may take a while, just keep folding but don't over-mix, so test the figure '8' every 5-10 folds.
- Using a piping bag, with a small circle tip, pipe out 1 1/2 inch size circles onto a lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Rap tray on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles from within the batter (use a toothpick to remove any air bubbles that are visible and won’t come out).
- Allow the cookies to rest while preheating the oven to 300F (149C). Bake one pan at a time in the center of the oven for 13 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter at full speed until it's pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat at low speed just until it's combined.
- Scrape the edge of the bowl and continue beating at medium-high speed until the sugar is fully dissolved and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and turn the mixer to low-medium speed, pour in the 2 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream and mix until it's well combined.
- If you want it softer, add the extra 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream and mix until it's fully combined.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and use the electric mixer to beat at full speed, for 2-3 minutes, until it's smooth and fluffy.
- Color the leftover buttercream with a generous amount of green, teal and black to get that dark forest green color for the trees and wreaths. I used an Ateco #8 star tip for the buttercream decorations.
- For the wreath, just LIGHTLY pipe a circle and lift as your piping so that you don’t get a thick poof. For the trees, pipe the bottom of the tree first. Do three lines going upward, then two and then one.
- Make sure to decorate with sprinkles before the buttercream dries.
- For the royal icing, I used an Ateco #2. For the Christmas trees, I just piped back and forth in an upward motion and more narrow at the top (I started at the bottom).
- For the snowflakes just pipe the three crossed lines and then the dots at the end and connect them.
- For the candy canes, I piped every other line first, then dipped into the red sprinkles. Then pipe lines between the red sprinkles and drip into sparkly sprinkles.
- This one dries even quicker so make sure to top with sprinkles before it dries.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.