Dulce De Leche Macarons (Easy!)

You might have heard that macarons are very hard to make. It actually is not that hard if you take the time to make a few mistakes and learn from them!

White dulce macarons on dark surface with almonds in the background.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Tastes delicious! You can feel almond, dulce de leche, and coffee flavors in every bite.

Easy instructions. I will take you through each step of the macaron-making process to ensure your success.

Quick. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare the macarons for rest & bake.

– Macarons are originally gluten-free as they are traditionally made with almond flour.

French Macarons vs. Italian Macarons

This recipe uses the French macaron method. The difference between the two is that the French method has you add sugar to the egg whites as you beat them and then fold in almond flour with powdered sugar. Italian method, on the other hand, has you make a simple syrup out of sugar and water on the stove and then add it to egg whites while beating them. Then, in the Italian method, you add extra egg whites to the almond flour and powdered sugar which turns them into a paste which you then add to the beaten egg whites.

I tried both methods multiple times, and, hands down, the French method is way easier for me than the Italian one. With Italian macaron shells you have to make sure the temperature of the syrup is precise, then you need to pour the syrup while beating the eggs (try doing that with a hand mixer!) without touching the whisks. Oh, how many times I had hardened candy inside my egg whites!

With the French method, my macarons turned out nearly perfect every single time. So, I am here to show you how you can achieve the same results without making my mistakes! These macarons are inspired by Preppy Kitchen’s French macaron recipe.

What Is The Secret To Perfect Macarons?

Practice, practice, practice! I had to make 10 batches of macarons before I got it right. And I followed the recipes to a T! Pay attention to the details, follow the recipes as closely as you can, give yourself room to make mistakes, and you will get there!

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

Ingredients for dulce de leche macaron shells.

Almond flour – use very finely ground almond flour, not almond meal.

Egg whites – use egg whites from fresh eggs, not boxed egg whites from a store.

Powdered sugar – you can make your own powdered sugar by grinding granulated sugar in a coffee or spice grinder.

Dulce De Leche Buttercream

Ingredients for dulce de leche buttercream on a wooden surface.

Egg whites – use egg whites from real eggs. Don’t use store-bought egg whites in a box.

Dulce de leche – you can buy it or make it yourself!

Substitutions

Almond flour – you can substitute 50% of almond flour for either coconut or hazelnut flour to add a different flavor to the shells. Don’t use walnut flour as it has too much oil in it!

Powdered sugar – if you don’t have confectioner’s sugar, you can make it by grinding granulated sugar in a coffee or spice grinder.

Sugar – I haven’t tried this recipe with any other types of sugar but I assume that coconut and cane sugar should work well. I am not sure about packed brown sugar.

Variations

To change the flavor you can add a different filling and substitute up to 50% of almond flour for another nut flour. For example, you can use 50% coconut flour in the shell and make coconut buttercream for Raffaello-flavored macarons. You can make Raffaello filling by following this easy homemade Raffaello recipe!

You can make your shells a different color by adding food coloring. Just make sure to use gel or powdered food coloring.

For more gluten-free desserts, check out my collection of easy no-bake gluten-free desserts!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Prepare the batter

Sifting almond flour with powdered sugar.

First, prepare all your ingredients, parchment paper or silicone liners, baking trays, and the piping bag. Then, sift almond flour with powdered sugar into a bowl and whisk to combine.

Whisking almond flour with powdered sugar.

Sugar might form lumps even after sifting but whisking will help break those lumps.

Egg whites foaming.

Then, take a metal bowl and wipe it with a little bit of vinegar. Add the egg whites and start beating them on low speed. Once the eggs start foaming wait until the foam becomes thicker but not too thick yet. At that point, start adding granulated sugar to the bowl 1 tsp at a time. Let the mixer go 5 circles, then add 1 tsp more. You can speed up adding the sugar after you added at least half of it.

Ready egg whites with a whisk attachment.

Once all sugar has been added, you can increase the mixer speed. Stop frequently to see how thick egg whites are. You want them to be stiff but not entirely stiff. The tip of the mixture should lean to the side, not stand up straight. You know you beat the egg whites too much if when you start folding the flour egg whites break apart into lumps.

Folding flour into the egg whites with a rubber spatula.

Once egg whites are ready, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl and carefully fold it into the egg whites using a rubber spatula. You need about 7 folds until you are ready to add another 1/3 of the flour.

Drawing number 8 in the macaron batter.

Once all flour has been added, continue folding until the batter flows off the spatula and you can slowly draw number 8 with the batter without it breaking the line. Be careful not to overmix the batter. If you mix it too much, it will lose air bubbles and become very thick so that it won’t flow at all.

Once the consistency is right, add the batter to the piping bag using a rubber spatula.

Step 2 – Pipe & rest

It is important that you turn your baking trays upside down and place parchment paper or silicone mats on top of it. Now, to make the shells the same size you need to use a macaron pattern. Some silicone mats have that but you can also print out the pattern and place it under the parchment paper.

Piping macarons onto a silicone mat.

Bring the pipe close to the surface and pipe until the desired size. Then, stop pushing the bag and make a quick circular motion to separate the bag from the macaron. This will help avoid tips following the bag’s movement as you move on to the next shell.

Popping air bubbles in the macarons with a toothpick.

Once all shells are piped, tap the baking trays against the table about 10 times to get rid of the bubbles inside the shells. Then, take a toothpick and poke any visible bubbles that did not break on their own.

TIP: if you don’t want to be loud, tap the baking tray against a softer surface, like a couch.

Now, rest the shells for 30-40 minutes until the surface doesn’t stick to your finger as you touch it.

Step 3 – Bake

After 20-30 minutes of resting the shells, start preheating the oven to 300F/150C. Use an oven thermometer as most ovens are not precise with their temperatures. Mine, for example, has to be heated to 275F/135C in order to reach 300F/150C on a thermometer.

When the oven is ready, bake the first batch in the middle of the oven for 12-14 minutes. The shells should be firm to the touch when ready. If you feel a little wobbling as you press on the shell, keep baking for another minute and check again. It is better to overbake your macarons a little than underbake. It is easy to make them soft later!

Baked macaron shells in held by a hand.

It is very important to let macarons cool completely before transferring them. Once ready, use a metal spatula to carefully separate the shells from the surface.

Step 4 – Make dulce de leche buttercream

Whipped butter for dulce de leche buttercream.

You can make buttercream while macarons are resting, baking, or cooling. To make dulce de leche buttercream, you will need dulce de leche and room-temperature butter. I like to add ½ tbsp of coffee grounds for extra flavor. Beat the butter with a mixer for at least 5 minutes stopping to scrape the sides from time to time. The butter should become light, fluffy, and creamy. Patience is key!

Dulce de leche buttercream with coffee in a mixing bowl.

Then, add dulce de leche with coffee grounds and mix until incorporated.

Buttercream piped onto a macaron shell with a piping bag next to it.

Fill the piping bag with buttercream and pipe on a macaron shell, then place the other one on top.

Macaron shells with buttercream on top on a wooden surface.

Repeat until all macarons are ready. Then, let macarons age in the refrigerator for 24 hours before eating!

Half of a macaron held by a hand.

Expert Tips

– Wipe the mixing bowl and the whisks of the mixer with a little bit of vinegar using a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel. This will eliminate any contamination that can prevent egg whites from foaming.

– Use a metal mixing bowl for the egg whites.

– Use room-temperature egg whites. I like to place eggs into hot water for 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.

– It takes about 7 folds after each addition of dry ingredients to incorporate them, then about 20-30 folds to get the batter to the right consistency. Altogether it takes about 50-60 folds.

– Turn baking trays upside down.

Let macarons rest until the tops don’t stick to your fingers as you touch them.

– To know if macaron shells are ready, gently press one shell and if it isn’t stable, keep baking for another minute or two.

– If you overbaked macarons and they became hard, dip the bottoms in some unsweetened condensed milk to make the shells soft and chewy.

– Use room temperature butter for the buttercream. Cut the butter into small cubes and leave for 10-20 minutes at room temperature if you didn’t take it out of the fridge earlier!

– If you don’t want to be loud while tapping the trays, tap them against something soft, like a couch.

FAQ

Why Did My Macarons Crack After Baking?

Not resting macarons enough or baking at the wrong temperature is most likely the cause. Make sure the tops don’t stick to your finger before baking them. Then, use an oven thermometer to ensure precise temperature! Finally, make sure to tap the trays before resting the shells to get rid of the trapped air pockets.

Why Are My Macarons Shallow Inside?

This could be due to extra trapped air pockets inside the batter if you whipped the egg whites too much or not enough. It takes a few tries to get a feel for the right consistency! It took me 10 batches to have my first success!

Why Did My Macarons Flow Out?

If the batter flows out too much after piping, the chances are you didn’t beat the eggs long enough.

Why Didn’t My Macarons Develop Feet?

The lack of feet might mean all kinds of problems. Wrong temperature, wrong consistency of the batter, not resting the batter long enough, etc. Try paying more attention to the process and nailing down every single instruction and tip. It takes time to learn!

My Macarons Are Browned On Top And Raw Inside

That means the temperature is too high. You might be preheating your oven to the right temperature but if you are not using an oven thermometer, you will never know what temperature your oven is actually at.

Download my FREE macaron baking template in PDF!

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White macarons on a dark surface with almonds in the background.

Easy Dulce De Leche Macarons

Natasha
These delicious French macarons with dulce de leche buttercream are fairly easy to make! Once you nail macarons, you will want to make batch after batch after batch of these.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Resting Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Italian
Servings 30 macarons
Calories 84 kcal

Ingredients
  

French macaron shells

  • 140 g (about 1 ½ cups) almond flour
  • 130 g (about 1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 100 g egg whites from about 3 large eggs
  • 90 g (a bit less than ½ cup) granulated sugar

Dulce de leche buttercream

  • 112 g (½ cup) butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup dulce de leche adjust to taste
  • ½ tbsp coffee grounds optional

Instructions
 

  • First, prepare all your ingredients, parchment paper or silicone liners, baking trays, and the piping bag. Then, sift almond flour with powdered sugar into a bowl and whisk to combine. Sugar might form lumps even after sifting but whisking will help break those lumps.
  • Then, take a metal bowl and wipe it with a little bit of vinegar. Add the egg whites and start beating them on low speed. Once the eggs start foaming wait until the foam becomes thicker but not too thick yet. At that point, start adding granulated sugar to the bowl 1 tsp at a time. Let the mixer go 5 circles, then add 1 tsp more. You can speed up adding the sugar after you added at least half of it.
  • Once all sugar has been added, you can increase the mixer speed. Stop frequently to see how thick egg whites are. You want them to be stiff but not entirely stiff. The tip of the mixture should lean to the side, not stand up straight. You know you beat the egg whites too much if when you start folding the flour egg whites break apart into lumps.
  • Once egg whites are ready, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl and carefully fold it into the egg whites using a rubber spatula. You need about 7 folds until you are ready to add another 1/3 of the flour.
  • Once all flour has been added, continue folding until the batter flows off the spatula and you can slowly draw number 8 with the batter without it breaking the line. Be careful not to overmix the batter. If you mix it too much, it will lose air bubbles and become very thick so that it won’t flow at all. Once the consistency is right, add the batter to the piping bag using a rubber spatula.
  • It is important that you turn your baking trays upside down and place parchment paper or silicone mats on top of it. Now, to make the shells the same size you need to use a macaron pattern. Some silicone mats have that but you can also print out the pattern and place it under the parchment paper.
  • Bring the pipe close to the surface and pipe until the desired size. Then, stop pushing the bag and make a quick circular motion to separate the bag from the macaron. This will help avoid tips following the bag’s movement as you move on to the next shell.
  • Once all shells are piped, tap the baking trays against the table about 10 times to get rid of the bubbles inside the shells. Then, take a toothpick and poke any visible bubbles that did not break on their own.
  • Now, rest the shells for 30-40 minutes until the surface doesn’t stick to your finger as you touch it.
  • After 20-30 minutes of resting the shells, start preheating the oven to 300F/150C. Use an oven thermometer as most ovens are not precise with their temperatures. Mine, for example, has to be heated to 275F/135C in order to reach 300F/150C on a thermometer.
  • When the oven is ready, bake the first batch in the middle of the oven for 12-14 minutes. The shells should be firm to the touch when ready. If you feel a little wobbling as you press on the shell, keep baking for another minute and check again. It is better to overbake your macarons a little than underbake. It is easy to make them soft later!
  • It is very important to let macarons cool completely before transferring them. Once ready, use a metal spatula to carefully separate the shells from the surface.

Buttercream

  • You can make buttercream while macarons are resting, baking, or cooling. To make dulce de leche buttercream, you will need dulce de leche and room-temperature butter. I like to add ½ tbsp of coffee grounds for extra flavor. Beat the butter with a mixer for at least 5 minutes stopping to scrape the sides from time to time. The butter should become light, fluffy, and creamy. Patience is key!
  • Then, add dulce de leche with coffee grounds and mix until incorporated.
  • Fill the piping bag with buttercream and pipe on a macaron shell, then place the other one on top. Repeat until all macarons are ready. Then, let macarons age in the refrigerator for 24 hours before eating!

Notes

– Wipe the mixing bowl and the whisks of the mixer with a little bit of vinegar using a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel. This will eliminate any contamination that can prevent egg whites from foaming.
– Use a metal mixing bowl for the egg whites.
– Use room-temperature egg whites. I like to place eggs into hot water for 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.
– It takes about 7 folds after each addition of dry ingredients to incorporate them, then about 20-30 folds to get the batter to the right consistency. Altogether it takes about 50-60 folds.
– Turn baking trays upside down.
Let macarons rest until the tops don’t stick to your fingers as you touch them.
– To know if macaron shells are ready, gently press one shell and if it isn’t stable, keep baking for another minute or two.
– If you overbaked macarons and they became hard, dip the bottoms in some unsweetened condensed milk to make the shells soft and chewy.
– Use room temperature butter for the buttercream. Cut the butter into small cubes and leave for 10-20 minutes at room temperature if you didn’t take it out of the fridge earlier!
– If you don’t want to be loud while tapping the trays, tap them against something soft, like a couch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1macaronCalories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 8.3gProtein: 1.4gFat: 5.4gSaturated Fat: 2.1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 25mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 7.5gCalcium: 14mg
Keyword buttercream macarons, Dulce de leche macarons, Easy macarons recipe, French macarons recipe, the best filling for macarons
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