Basic Macaron Shells

Make these pretty and petite confections yourself at home.

For many a baker, achieving the slightly crisp yet impossibly light macaron shell poses quite a challenge. This recipe will give you the confidence to make these pretty and petite confections yourself. 

Basic Macaron Shells

International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM)
Make these pretty and petite confections yourself at home.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 96


Basic Macaron Shells

  • 320 Grams confectioners sugar sifted
  • 265 Grams almonds (finely ground), sifted
  • 100 Grams Egg whites only
  • 265 Grams sugar
  • 60 Grams water
  • Liquid Food Coloring


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine confectioner s sugar and ground almonds. Add egg whites and mix well; set aside.
  • Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a saucepan. Place sugar and water in the pan and bring to a boil. At the same time, place egg whites in a mixing bowl and start whipping at high speed using a whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites to medium peaks.
  • Boil sugar-water mixture until it reaches 117°C or 245°F. While continuously whipping the whites on high speed, slowly and carefully add the syrup to the mixing bowl, pouring the mixture in a fine stream on the side of the bowl. Add food coloring of choice and continue whipping until stiff peaks form and the temperature reaches 40° to 45°C or 104° to 114°F.
  • Using a large rubber scraper, gently fold the ground almond mixture into the beaten egg whites in three batches. This crucial step is called macaronage. Remember to fold carefully and with minimal strokes so as not to deflate the air bubbles in the mixture. When the mixture is just smooth and no streaks of egg white remain, stop folding. Alternatively, you can also fold in the almond mixture using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats. Transfer macaron mixture to a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds on the mat, leaving a 1-inch space between each circle. Tap the baking sheets firmly on the countertop a few times to flatten the macarons.
  • Leave the piped macarons to dry in an air-conditioned or draft-free room for a minimum of 3 hours.
  • Preheat a convection oven to 135°C or 275°F. Bake macaron shells for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the trays halfway through. Take them out of the oven, then gently peel the shells off the mat. Make a small indentation using your finger in the center of the inside of each shell. Place shells on a rack and let cool.
  • Place shells on a Basic Italian Buttercream. This buttercream serves as the base and blank canvas for the many flavors you can fill your macaron shells with.
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