These red velvet macarons have the best flavors of a red velvet cake packed into a delicious sandwich cookie. These bright red macaron shells are delicate and chewy with a crisp exterior and a hint of cocoa and are filled with a sweet, tangy and fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Macarons can be finicky, but with my easy to follow directions and tips and with a little patience and practice, you will be whipping up these perfect macarons time and time again.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- These macarons bake up perfectly with delicate, ruffled "feet" and a smooth surface.
- This recipe uses the French meringue method which is the easiest. No need to heat egg whites or make sugar syrups.
- Perfect for Valentine's Day, Christmas or any special occasion.
- Easy to follow recipe with step by step instructions.
- Almond flour - Finely ground blanched almond flour is the only flour used in macarons. Avoid almond meal as it is coarse and can have bits of almond skin which makes for bumpy and dull macaron shells.
- Confectioner's sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Egg whites - Fresh egg whites only for this recipe. I don't recommend carton whites as they don't whip up quite the same and due to the preservatives that vary by brand, they can be unpredictable.
- Granulated sugar - Either superfine, castor or granulated sugar. Sifting the sugar will remove any large pieces. Sugar keeps the meringue stable so that egg whites don't collapse.
- Fine sea salt
- Cream of tartar - Helps to stabilize and strengthen the egg whites
- Red gel food color - For that perfect red velvet color, adding red gel food color (natural - if you don't like the dye, or culinary grade) is the best option for a deep and/or bright red color. Avoid liquid color as it can change the consistency of the batter. I use Chefmaster Super Red gel color.
Recipe Tools and Equipment
- Stand or hand mixer - You're going to need an electric mixer to achieve those stiff peaks. Doing it by hand would take a very long time and require a lot ( A LOT) of whisking.
- Baking sheets and silicone mat/parchment paper - Standard half sheet baking pans work well. I like to use silicone mats that have a macaron template on them. You can also print macaron templates online and slide them under parchment paper.
- Piping bag and tips - To make your macs uniform in size and shape, you will want to use a large piping bag (or a zip top bag) fitted with a large round piping tip. I use a Wilton 1A or 2A tip.
- Fine Mesh Sieve - Removing large pieces of almond and sugar makes for the smoothest and shiniest macaron texture.
- Kitchen Scale - I know, I know, I say this all the time. Macarons are one of those recipes where I feel like scales are absolutely necessary. They're fairly inexpensive and will last a long time.
- Bring the egg whites to room temperature in the bowl of a stand mixer for 30 minutes.
- Sift together the granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Discard any large pieces of sugar left. Set bowl aside.
- Sift together the almond flour, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder. Discard any large pieces of almond.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the granulated sugar mixture and beat until stiff peaks form. They should be thick, glossy and stand in a straight point, when the whisk attachment is removed from the bowl.
- Beat in the red gel food color.
- Fold in the almond/confectioners' sugar mixture. The batter is ready to be piped when you can make an "8" with the batter falling off of a spatula in a steady stream like lava. This usually takes around 60-75 folds. Starting checking the batter every 10-15 folds.
- Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe 1 ½ inch rounds on prepared baking sheets. Tap the pans on the the counter 2-3 times to pop any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 30-45 minutes. Bake 20 minutes and cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese filling. Beat together the butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Beat for 5-6 minutes longer to until lightened and fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag.
- Pipe a mound of cream cheese filling in the center of half of the macaron shells. Place the other half of the macaron shells on top and gently press the cookies together until the cream cheese frosting just reaches the edges.
Macaron Baking Tips
- Humidity and meringue are not good friends. It's harder to whip egg whites to stiff peaks, and macaron shells tend to not bake evenly in a high humidity environment. The ruffly "feet" of the macaron shells are sometimes missing because the skin doesn't form while they're resting. I typically don't bake any meringue based desserts if humidity is over 50-55%. You can check the humidity on your weather app.
- Macarons require precision to ensure that they bake properly. This recipe is tried and true and should be followed exactly as written for successful macarons.
- Practice makes perfect. It's completely normal to have some macaron fails from time to time. Just don't give up and keep practicing. They're totally worth it.
- Fat prevents egg whites from whipping up properly. Fat residue can remain in plastic bowls even after washing them. Use glass or stainless steel bowls if you are able. For extra security, if you wish, wipe down your bowl and whisk attachment with lemon juice or vinegar to ensure no fat remains.
Storage and Freezing
Because of the cream cheese filling, these macarons must be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Macaron shells and filled macarons can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month. I feel like they start to lose their chewy texture if left much longer. Thaw the shells in the refrigerator overnight.
They are naturally gluten free.
Macarons are notorious for being fickle. To ensure the best macarons and most successful results, it's best to weigh the ingredients for exact measurements.
Red velvet cake is a buttermilk cake made with a hint of cocoa. Many recipes also include the addition of vinegar as well. A hint of cocoa and tanginess are traditional red velvet flavor.
If you make these red velvet macarons, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
For more macaron recipes, check out these posts:
Red Velvet Macarons
- 90 grams large egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
- 60 grams superfine, caster or granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 150 grams confectioner's sugar
- 120 grams finely ground almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon red gel food color
Cream Cheese Filling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.90 grams large egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Line half baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Meanwhile, in medium size bowl, sift together the superfine sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Discard any large pieces of sugar left. Set bowl aside.60 grams superfine, caster or granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a separate large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar and almond flour. Discard any large pieces of almond remaining. Set the bowl aside.150 grams confectioner's sugar, 120 grams finely ground almond flour, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in the granulated sugar mixture to the foamy egg whites.
- Whip the egg white mixture until stiff peaks form. The meringue will stand up straight when the whisk is removed. The egg white mixture will be thick and glossy.
- Whisk in the red gel color.¾ teaspoon red gel food color
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a spatula, fold in the almond flour/confectioners' sugar. The egg whites will deflate a little bit and that is ok. The batter is ready when it "ribbons", which means it falls off the batter in a stream, like lava. You should be able to make a "8" with the batter falling off the spatula. This means the batter is ready. You're looking for about 60-75 folds. Check for the ribboning after every 15-20 seconds.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton 1A or 2A) and pipe 1 ½" rounds on the parchment paper.
- Firmly tap the pans on the counter 2-3 times to remove air bubbles. Let the macarons sit until just slightly tacky, but no batter comes off on your fingers, about 30-45 minutes.
- Bake the macarons for 20 minutes, one pan at a time. Cool on the sheet pan for 20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and salt.2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, ¼ cup cream cheese, 1 cup confectioner's sugar, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, pinch of salt
- Mix on low until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and whip until lightened in texture and color, about 6 minutes.
- Spoon the cream cheese filling into a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip ( I used a Wilton 12).
- Once cool, flip half of the macaron shells over. Pipe a mound of cream cheese in the center of the shells.
- Place the remaining macaron shells on top of the cookies with filling and squeeze gently, until the filling just reaches the edges.