You could say my macaron obsession is growing. I just love making these things! Let’s indulge once more in this delicious classic. We’re well into summer and a lemon flavored macaron recipe feels right! You may not be in love with lemon desserts, but these macarons have the magic to change your mind.
This macaron recipe is a celebration of sorts. My husband Travis will tell you that macarons can be overrated because they are small and are often very expensive. He believed this to be true until he tasted these healthy, zesty, soft macarons. These sweet lemony bites won his cold macaron hater heart. It could be because he didn’t have to pay three dollars a piece for them or wait an hour in line with a wife who wants to buy five in every flavor. But the real magic of these macarons is their bright lemon flavor and freshly made melt-in-your-mouth texture.
I took these lemon macarons to a dinner party with the same positive reviews. They are a sweet ending to a meal without making you feel heavy or extra full. The bright addition of lemon was really good and I was surprised that I may like the lemon flavor more than my beloved rose macarons! Not possible, right? It’s safe to say you must try them both to decide for yourself!
Most macaron recipes pull their flavor from the fillings – buttercream, curds or jams. This allows customization of the macarons while retaining that delicious almond flavor. This recipe uses a drop of lemon oil in the cookie and a bit of lemon juice and zest in the frosting. It adds the perfect citrus zing while keeping that delicate, classic almond flavor. I know what you’re thinking. Oh la la! And blissfully, you’ll be enjoying this bakeshop treat without any lines at Ladurée.
Naturally Sweet Lemon Macarons
120 grams or about 3/4 cup packed powdered Whole Earth Sugar*
60 grams or scant 3/4 cups Super Fine Almond Flour
70 grams Egg Whites, at room temperature (about 2 Large Egg Whites or 3 small Egg Whites)
35 grams or about 3 Tablespoons granulated Whole Earth Sugar
3 drops Natural Yellow Food Coloring
1 drop Lemon Oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the 120 grams of powdered sugar with the almond flour. Sift the two ingredients together to remove any large pieces for a smooth, fine mixture. Sift well and make sure there are no large almond or sugar pieces.
In a stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Take the whisk and whisk the eggs and sugar by hand for a few seconds until starting to combine and slightly bubbly. Fit the attachment on the mixer and beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed (Speed 4 on a kitchen aid) for 2 minutes. Set your timer! Increase speed to speed 6, for another 2 minutes. Lastly, increase to speed 8 for another 2 minutes. At this point the eggs should be white, glossy and hold a firm shape. Add lemon oil and food coloring and beat on high (speed 10) for 1 more minute. (Watch the eggs at this point. I ended up beating for a little less than a minute because the eggs looked great!)
Now it’s time to fold in the almond/sugar mixture into the egg mixture. We want to incorporate the flour so it’s a smooth, lava-like batter. Make sure to get all the batter into your folds for a smooth, even batter. You don’t want to under or over mix but in my experience, under mixing is a little more forgiving. You’ll naturally deflating the batter a bit as you transfer the batter to your piping bag and pipe cookies. Take a look at videos online to get an idea of the batter consistency you’re looking for! You want a thick, moving batter.
Transfer batter to a piping bag, fitted with a large circle tip. I use a Wilton 2A. Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Pipe macarons in small circles. I like to pipe at a 90 degree angle to avoid any tails. Once piped, firmly tap the baking sheets against your counter, at least 3 or 4 times to relieve any air pockets in the cookies. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Let these cookies sit and rest for 20-30 minutes. This is important for allowing macarons to form that crisp coating and beautiful lace edge called “feet”.
After 20-30 minutes, bake the lemon macarons! Conventional oven: Bake macarons with second baking sheet underneath to protect bottoms for 17-18 minutes. Convection oven: please bake for 13-15 minutes without a second baking sheet. Allow macarons to cool for at least 10 minutes before frosting.
Refined Sugar-Free Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup softened Butter
2 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cup Whole Earth Sugar
4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
½-1 teaspoon Vanilla Stevia Extract, to taste
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Zest
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined and creamy. If buttercream is a little too soft for piping, please add more sugar or cornstarch. Pipe on cooled cookies and top with a second shell to assemble macarons. Store in an airtight container. Cookies are best within 2 days of making them. Macarons can be frozen for up to 4 weeks.
- This frosting is for very generous buttercream centers. I didn’t fill all these cookies as much as I had planned so I had some leftover. If you don’t love a lot of icing, feel free to half the recipe.
- I like to make these cookies completely dairy-free by using Earth Balance Butter and a vegan cream cheese!