These sweet & zesty pink lemonade macarons are just like sipping on a tall glass of the classic childhood drink in bite-sized form. Each one has a pale yellow shell and hot pink dairy-free frosting pipped in the center. Macarons don't have to be complex and hard to make - follow the step by step recipe directions to whip up some beautiful french-style treats!
What better way to embrace the summer heat than with a fresh pink lemonade macaron?! With a creamy lemon flavored pink frosting sandwiched in between two soft and chewy yellow colored shells, these babies are hard to pass up.
Macarons are known for being elegant and sophisticated and yes, sometimes hard to make. But fear not! I'm spilling all my tips and tricks on how you can achieve bakery style macarons just like the french!
If lemonade isn't your thing, be sure to check out my dark chocolate caramel macaron recipe.
The nice thing about macarons is that you really don't need too much to whip up a batch. Below are the ingredients with some key notes included so you can get to making these pink lemonade macarons!
- Almond flour - This is the base of most macaron recipes. Yes, believe it or not, macarons are typically made gluten-free! Make sure your almond flour is super fine. If needed, throw it in a blender or food processor to further break it down.
- Egg whites - Used to prepare the meringue. Try not to use egg whites from the carton if you can. They won't work as well and can be a little finicky. Ideally, you want room temperature pasture-raised eggs and separate them by hand, making sure not to get any yolk in the egg whites. If you do chose to use egg whites from the carton, Camila from Pies & Tacos has a great post how to best use them for macarons.
- Powdered sugar - This is how macarons get that soft and pillowy texture. Make sure to sift your powdered sugar so it's fine or throw it into a blender or food processor along with the almond flour to break it up.
- Cane sugar - Typically, caster sugar (aka baker's sugar) is used in macaron recipes. However, Wholesome Sweet's organic cane sugar is excellent in macarons and works really well! It's certified organic sugar cane grown in South America and is freshly squeezed from sugar cane and then evaporated and crystallized into these beautiful sugar crystals!
Dairy-free pink lemonade icing ingredients
- Vegan butter - Makes up the base of the lemon buttercream frosting. For optimal results, make sure your butter is room temperature and soft to the touch. If needed, you can pop it in the microwave for 5 seconds to start the softening process (just don't melt it). Grass-fed butter works with this recipe as well, however, if you want to make it dairy-free, vegan butter or shortening is what you will need to use.
- Almond milk - Used to thin out the frosting slightly so it can be pipped into the pink lemonade macarons. Any dairy-free milk will work in this recipe.
- Pink food coloring - Gel food coloring is best as it won't affect the consistency much. This pack of gel food coloring is my go-to for all things baking.
Step by step directions
Trust me, making macarons is not that difficult as long as you follow these easy steps!
Step 1 : measure your ingredients
As you probably already know, macarons can be finicky. The best way to ensure a gorgeous macaron every time is to measure your ingredients with a kitchen scale. They are about $12 on Amazon and worth every penny!
Step 2 : heat the egg whites and sugar
This is the "Swiss macaron" method and I claim it be the most foolproof. Add the egg whites and cane sugar to a heat-proof bowl and whisk vigorously over a pot of simmering water. If you have a double-boiler that works best.
The heat will dissolve the sugar into the egg whites and lead to a more stable meringue that's easier to whip! Continue to whisk until the mixture develops a thin foam on top and the sugar is dissolved. Pay attention to the time as you don't want to cook the egg whites!
Step 3 : whip the meringue
Next, add the mixture to a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.
To do this, beat on a low speed initially, about a speed 2 on a KitchenAid for about 30 seconds. Then increase the speed slightly to about a 4 on a KitchenAid and continue to beat until the mixture looks like a slightly thick soup. This can take 1 - 2 minutes.
Then increase the speed one more time to about a 6 on a KitchenAid and beat until the meringue is thick and resembles whipped cream. This can take anywhere from 6 - 12 minutes depending on your mixer. You will know it's done when you can hold a beater up straight and the meringue sticks up (it shouldn't curl downwards).
Step 4 : fold in the dry ingredients and lemon
Once the meringue is formed and is thick with stiff peaks, add the almond flour and powdered sugar to the mixing bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and food coloring.
Fold with a rubber spatula to incorporate the flour into the meringue. This will take some elbow grease but be sure not to over-fold this step or the batter will dry out.
You want to fold the mixture well until you can easily make a figure 8 with the spatula. If the figure 8 "breaks" when trying this, you need to keep folding. The figure 8 should be easy and done in one fell swoop.
Step 5 : pipe onto a baking sheet
Fill a pipping bag with the macaron batter and pipe small dollops onto a baking sheet with parchment paper about 2 inches a part. If you're concerned about having uneven macaron shells, I recommend using one of these mats to help guide you.
Once you've pipped all of the macrons onto the baking sheet, bang the pan on the counter softly to get rid of any air bubbles. This is important as if there are air bubbles in the batter you will have hallow macarons.
Then let the macarons dry out for 30 minutes before baking them in the oven. You will know they are ready to go in the oven when you can gently touch the batter and if feels smooth, not sticky.
After they have dried out, bake them in the oven, turning half way through to ensure each macaron shell is cooked evenly. Let cool completely before icing.
Step 6 : prepare the icing
While the lemonade macaron shells are cooling, prepare the pink lemonade icing. First, beat the softened butter in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Then add 1 cup of the powdered sugar to the bowl and continue to beat, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the almond milk and vanilla to the bowl along with another 1 cup of the powdered sugar and beat to incorporate. Slowly add in the last cup of powdered sugar. Stop the mixer, add the pink gel food coloring, and a little more almond milk if needed to thin it out, and beat until the color is even and the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.
Step 7 : pipe the icing
Fill a pipping bag with the icing fitted with a star tip. Swirl the icing onto the bottom of a macaron, leaving a little room around the edges. Add another macaron shell on top and press down gently to seal the macaron together.
To ensure you create drop dead GORGEOUS pink lemonade macarons every time, here are a few pointers:
- Make sure to use room temperature egg whites. If you're a beginning at macarons, I do recommend using a full room-temperature egg and separating the whites yourself. The egg whites in a carton can be tricky and you should know what texture and consistency you're looking before you use it. If you forgot to set your eggs out beforehand, soak them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to take the chill off.
- Slowly whip the egg whites and sugar. Be sure to increase your mixer speed slowly as you whip the egg whites into the meringue. This means starting off slow at a speed of 2 and increasing to a 4 for a little bit and then a 6. This prevents a bunch of air bubbles developing in the batter which will leave with a hallow macaron shell.
Expert tips cont...
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar. This makes sure your macaron shells are smooth and don't have lumps and bumps on them. If you don't have a sifter, use a blender or a food processor.
- Use a real lemon. Opt for a real organic lemon for this pink lemonade macarons recipe. The juice from a real lemon is more potent and will provide a stronger lemon flavor without changing the consistency of the macaron batter too much (you don't want to do that). Additionally, use an organic lemon if you can as the zest has a stronger flavor and isn't coated in a thin wax coating.
- Don't forget to tap your baking sheet on the counter a few times. This will bring any air bubbles in the batter to the surface so you can easily pop them with a toothpick. Besides over mixing, this is one of the most common reasons macarons fail so don't skip this step!
- Rotate the baking pan in the oven. It's no surprise that most ovens have hot or dull spot. Because macarons can be a tad temperamental, it's important to rotate your baking pan halfway through the baking time to ensure each one is cooked evenly.
Macarons are actually quite easy to store. Simply place these pink lemonade macarons in an airtight container. They can be stacked on top of one another. Store the container in the fridge where they will keep fresh for up to 5 days.
You can also store them in the freezer fully assembled. When ready to enjoy, take them out of the container and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, macarons are traditionally gluten-free as they use almond flour to make the shells. Although these pink lemonade macarons are gluten-free be sure to check other recipes for their filling ingredients to make sure it's entirely gluten-free.
Some would say yes but that doesn't need to be the case! The Swiss meringue steps are easy to follow and ensure a more stable meringue which is one of the top reasons most macaron recipes fail. I recommend the Swiss method for those just staring out with homemade macarons and it's the method I continue to use I find it fool-proof.
Depending on the filling, no most macarons do not need to be refrigerated. However, they will dry out after day or two so it's best practice to refrigerate them if you have some left over.
For more bite-sized treats, check out my:
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