Macarons! We LOVE these dainty French confections around here. With endless flavor combinations — the caramel, candy cane and eggnog macarons featured in recent roundups barely scratch the surface — they are such a great canvas for your imagination to run wild. Plus, they can be made into gorgeous place cards or favors with the simple addition of flowers and baker’s twine.
This roundup of [mostly] sweet macaron recipes introduces several more creative flavor combos, shapes — spoiler alert: hearts, donuts and ice cream cones — and ways to incorporate your finished products in other stunning desserts. If you find yourself in need of additional information on macaron technique and flavor combos, consider picking up a copy of the highly-rated I Love Macarons — it truly is a fantastic resource!
1. Classic French Macaron with Vanilla Buttercream Filling: Bookmark this page for a detailed how-to guide — and recipe — for making classic, vanilla buttercream-filled French macarons. (via Food52)
2. Harmonie Macaron Cake: Look to this giant almond-pistachio macaron filled with strawberries and whipped cream when you’re in need of an elegant alternative to strawberry shortcake or angel food cake. (via SprinkleBakes)
4. Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Frangelico Ganache: Hazelnuts and almonds team up in this macaron shell recipe. An added layer of nuttiness is found in the Frangelico-spiked ganache filling — perfect for any Nutella fans out there! (via The Baker Chick)
5. Chocolate Raspberry Donut Macarons: Do these macarons totally remind you of Homer Simpson’s favorite donuts? Simply piping the batter in a circle to create a donut shape, along with a thin royal icing glaze and sprinkles introduces a whole new, absolutely adorable presentation! (via The Blonde Buckeye)
6. Lavender Macarons with Lavender-infused Chocolate Ganache: A chocolate ganache filling tempers the floral, lavender flavor in these macarons. (via Buttersweet Symphony)
8. Lemon-Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake: What a cheerful cake — macarons are not only perched atop the frosted cake, but also hidden inside between the layers of lemon-blueberry cake, buttercream and lemon curd! (via Sweetapolita)
10. Pão de mel Macaron: The flavors of a traditional Brazilian gingerbread-type cake are echoed in these macarons. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves provide a warm spice profile to the shells, a lovely pairing with the dulce de leche filling. (via Technicolor Kitchen)
12. Real Strawberries and Cream Macaron: Pulverized, freeze-dried strawberries lend a delicate strawberry flavor and ballet slipper pink hue to these macarons — no extracts or food coloring here! A fluffy vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream completes the strawberries and cream effect. (via Cake on the Brain)
13. Clementine Macarons: This time of year, clementines abound at the grocery store. Put a few of the sweet citrus fruits to use in this recipe; as a bonus, they’re a perfect treat to make for Chinese New Year! (via The Pleasure Monger)
14. Valentine’s Heart-Shaped Macarons: What a heartfelt treat for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. Italian meringue is piped into heart-shaped shells that are then filled with an indulgent, white chocolate-raspberry ganache. (via Ai Love Baking)
15. Smoked Salmon and Sesame Seed Macaron: These savory macarons are a delightfully unexpected appetizer choice — perfect for New Year’s Eve served alongside glasses of Champagne! (via Martha Stewart Weddings)
16. Pistachio and Grapefruit Macarons: Pretty pink grapefruit zest-enhanced shells are filled with a citrusy, white chocolate ganache with a slight bitter edge courtesy of Campari. (via Cannelle Et Vanille)
18. Pierre Hermes Ispahan Macarons: Rose-lychee cream fills these macarons inspired by the famous Ispahan macarons at Pierre Herme. (P.S. If you don’t feel like baking and find yourself in San Francisco, b. Patisserie’s grande macaron is another gorgeous take.) (via The Baked Road)
19. Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Macarons: Blood oranges and Meyer lemons come into season soon, these macarons are a terrific way to celebrate these shining stars of the citrus family! (via One Vanilla Bean)
22. Almond Macarons with Almond Buttercream: Almond flavor is doubled down in these macarons, a favorite combination of yours truly (the sweet wedding almond macaron from ‘lette is my all-time-fav). (via Heo Yah Yum)
23. Balsamic Strawberry Butter Cake: Buttery yellow cake is layered with a strawberry-balsamic buttercream, which also serves as the filling for the heart-shaped macarons on top! (via Raspberri Cupcakes)
Are you a macaron-making pro? Do you have a favorite source — be it a bakery, friend, etc. — for these confections? Don’t be shy, spill in the comments!