Tie Dye Macarons (Step by Step Video)

Tie Dye Macarons (Step by Step Video)

Perfect tie dye macarons (French style) with American buttercream

Learn how to make (and troubleshoot) French style tie dye macarons with the help of a step by step video tutorial for beginners. These marbled macarons are perfect for a fun take on traditional French macarons. They would be perfect for a birthday party, graduation (customize with school colors), or even for a dinner party dessert!

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French macarons – one of the most beloved desserts! They’re light, not too sweet, and the perfect little treat!

If you’ve ever tried making macarons at home, you know they can be tricky and sometimes really frustrating! Today, we are making tie dye macarons, which are a fun spin on the classic French macaron.

Even if you’ve made macarons in the past and had trouble, I want to help guide you through the process so you can finally master how to make French macarons! Be sure to check out the macaron troubleshooting guide and video for help. As always, feel free to leave comments so I can try to help you out!

What are French Macarons

First things first, you need to know: what is a French macaron?

Macaron (pronounced as ma·kr·aan) is a meringue based dessert made from egg whites, confectioners sugar (icing sugar), almond flour, and granulated sugar. And just so we’re clear macarons and macaroons (an American coconut cookie) are NOT the same thing!

You’ll often hear macarons called ‘French style macarons’ and that’s due to the style of meringue used in the recipe. Meringue can be made using French, Italian, or Swiss style. Therefore, macarons can also be made from these three styles.

French macarons (and French meringue) is often the trickiest because the meringue is not stable until baked. However, it also tends to be the lightest and airiest. In order to make a French meringue, there is nothing that needs to be cooked or heated up.

To make a French meringue, simply beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then, slowly add in granulated sugar, and turn the mixer on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form. Follow the instructions below for full details.

Qualities of a Good French Macaron

There are some qualities that good French macarons have. You’ll want to try to achieve these within your own macarons:

  • Crispy (not too soft) top. You don’t want the top to crack when you touch it.

  • Small feet with a slight vertical rise. You don’t want lopsided or ruffled feet that are spread out on the sides.

  • Full, slightly chewy interior. You don’t want a large hallow gap in between the top and bottom, although this is one of the hardest things to get correct and can take some practice!

  • Equal sized top & bottom shells. You don’t want small and large shelled paired together to make one full macaron.

French Macaron Formula/Ratio

If you don’t know about baker’s percentage (or baker’s math), you can check out this video to learn more. Baker’s percentages are used to write recipe formulas that can easily be scaled up or down. Each ingredient is expressed as a percentage of the egg white weight.

While there are many different formulas for French macarons, this is the one I finally landed on after many experiments:

Egg White: 100%

Almond Flour: 119%

Confectioners Sugar (Icing Sugar): 179%

Granulated Sugar: 37%

Cream of Tartar: Approximately 1/4 teaspoon for every 100 grams of egg whites. Although I added slightly more for additional stabilization, as you’ll see in my recipe below.

RELATED POST: 15 Tips for Making Macarons

What do You Need to Make Macarons?

In order to make these tie dye macarons, or really any kind of macarons, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment. Please keep in mind that all of this equipment can be used in future baking projects. So while it may be an investment upfront, these are tools you’ll use over and over again. I never buy one-use tools, so trust me on this one 🙂

Hand or Stand Mixer: Mixing egg whites by hand will take a long time, and make your hard very tired. Same some time, and elbow grease by using an electric mixer.


Glass or Metal Bowls: When making a meringue, you can’t have any residue or oil on the bowl because it will ruin the meringue. Plastic bowls tend to hold oil. Opt instead for a glass or metal bowl.


Silicone Spatula: You’ll need a silicone spatula to fold in the almond flour/confectioners sugar to the meringue, as well as for the macaronage process (working the batter to the right consistency). This silicone spatula is huge and it’s great for big batches of macarons.


Kitchen Scale: This is an absolute necessity for making macarons. You cannot get a consistent batch of macarons by measuring with volume (with measuring cups). Measuring by weight is really the only way to get the same amount of each ingredient every single time!


Oven thermometer: This is another essential tool. Oven temperature plays a huge role in your macarons. You’ll notice in the troubleshooting guide below, that oven temperature can make the difference between a crappy macaron, and an amazing macaron.

There’s really no way to know exactly how hot your oven is getting without a thermometer. Often times, the digital reader on the oven is not 100% accurate. In addition, it takes a while when preheating the oven for it to reach the proper temperature. An oven thermometer will get you the exact temperature you need every time!


Sifter: The key to smooth macarons is sifting the almond flour and confectioners sugar. Some people like to sift it up to three times even to ensure a smooth finished product. You’ll need a sifter for this process.

If you need help pushing the almond flour and confectioners sugar through the sifter, you can use the silicone spatula to help push it through! Just don’t force big lumps through the sifter. Those are the pieces we are trying to weed out during this process – those go in the trash.


Metal Baking Sheet: You’ll need a sturdy metal baking sheet to place your parchment paper or silicone mat on.


Piping Bag/Tips: You’ll need a piping bag to pipe your macaron shells, as well as adding the buttercream or other filling of choice to your macarons. I prefer a large piping big that can hold all of the batter at one time.

As for the piping tips, use a round tip to pipe your macaron batter, and then you can use a fun tip (I love Wilton M1) for your buttercream filling.


White Vinegar: Like I mentioned above, having oil on any of your products with ruin the meringue. One way to ensure there isn’t any excess oil on your bowls or mixer beats is to wipe them down with a paper towel that has white vinegar on it.


Parchment Paper or Silicone Mat: Both of these tools help to ensure even heat distribution. Play around to see which one you prefer. You will get different results with each of the products, so test them out and see what gets you the most consistent results with your oven.

Macaron Template

For the perfect sized macarons, use a template! You can use the macaron template on your silicon mat, or you can grab a free printable macaron template here.

How to Color Macarons

In order to color or dye your macarons, you’ll want to use gel food coloring. The liquid based food coloring will not work as it will cause your batter to be the incorrect consistency.


When you’re adding gel food color to your macaron mix, be sure to do so slowly. Too much food color can cause your macarons batter to be ruining. Be sure to only add in a few drops at a time until the desired color is reached.

French Macaron Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble with your macarons, use this guide below, or my video to help you troubleshoot the exact problem you’re having:

My macarons are flat & wrinkly:


The oven is too hot. Ovens that are too hot (typically anything over 325°F, although even that can be too hot for some macaron recipes like this), can cause flat wrinkly macaron shells. Try bringing the temperature down 5-10°F at a time.


You over macaronaged your batter. The batter should be a lava like consistency (see my video for an example). You can test this by lifting your spatula and seeing if the batter drops almost like lava. Once it drops off the spatula, the batter that was dripped should fade back into the batter within 15-30 seconds. When in doubt, don’t overmix.


My macarons are cracked:


You didn’t rest your macarons long enough. To fix this, you’ll need to make sure a “skin” has formed on the macaron. You can test this by touching the tops. If you can touch the top without ruining the macaron or making a dent, you’re probably good to go! Resting time will vary depending on the humidity.


You have air bubbles in the macarons that burst during the baking process. To fix this, gently tap the sheet pan down the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
 

Your meringue is under whipped. French meringue needs to be properly beat in order to form a strong macaron. Make sure that you’re fulling beating your meringue to stiff peaks. To test the meringue stiffness, pull the whisk out. A stiff peak should stand straight up (no curl at the tip). Signs that you’re ready to test the stiffness include seeing lines left from the beaters in your eggs. In addition, the meringue starts to almost ball up inside the whisk beater attachment. You’ll also know it’s ready because you can fully flip the bowl over and nothing moves or falls out.


The oven is too hot. To fix this, make sure you have an oven thermometer to measure the exact temperature of your oven (it should be placed in the middle of the center rack of your oven for a proper reading). Try lowering the oven temperature by 5°F at a time. Test until there is no more cracking.


My macarons are soft shells:


Your meringue is under whipped. French meringue needs to be properly beat in order to form a strong macaron. Make sure that you’re fulling beating your meringue to stiff peaks. To test the meringue stiffness, pull the whisk out. A stiff peak should stand straight up (no curl at the tip). Signs that you’re ready to test the stiffness include seeing lines left from the beaters in your eggs. In addition, the meringue starts to almost ball up inside the whisk beater attachment. You’ll also know it’s ready because you can fully flip the bowl over and nothing moves or falls out.


The macaron shells are underbaked. If you don’t give your macaron shells enough time to bake in the oven, a sturdy outside will never develop. Make sure to check that the macarons are done before putting them out of the oven. If you tough the shell and it wiggles or is still sticky/wet, you know they need longer to bake.


My macarons have large ruffled feet:


The batter was over mixed in the macaronage process. This will cause the macarons to spread out wide, rather than rising up vertical. To fix this, work on the macaronage process. The macaronage stage which refers to working your batter to the proper consistency is a technique that takes a while to master. The batter should be a lava like consistency (see my video for an example). You can test this by lifting your spatula and seeing if the batter drops almost like lava. Once it drops off the spatula, the batter that was dripped should fade back into the batter within 15-30 seconds. When in doubt, don’t overmix.


Your meringue is over whipped. Over whipped meringue will produce almost too much air in your macrons, thus causing them to rise and expand outward, creating these ruffled feet. Make sure to get just to stiff peaks, and not further. Over whipped meringue tends to be a little dull (not as shiny). Watch out for this!


The oven temperature is too hot. Similar to the flat and wrinkly macaron shells, a hot oven will cause the macarons to spread out too much. Temperature can be a cause for ruffled feet, along with not using parchment paper or a silicone mat to help evenly distribute heat.


My macarons are browned:


Your oven is too hot. To fix this, make sure you have an oven thermometer to measure the exact temperature of your oven (it should be placed in the middle of the center rack of your oven for a proper reading). Try lowering the oven temperature by 5°F at a time.


The macarons are baking too long. Turn on your oven light (but don’t open the oven door) to keep an eye on the macarons while they’re baking.


My macarons are hollow:


This is the last troubleshooting problem you should worry about. Before perfecting your macarons so they don’t have hollows, make sure all the other properties are correct.


The meringue is over/under whipped. In order to prevent hollows, you need the perfect consistency of meringue before starting the macaronage process. Oftentimes, adding in an acid, like cream of tartar, can help stabilize your meringue and allow more time for the air to get incorporated. Check out my video for a visual guide.


The batter was over or under mixed in the macaronage process. The macaronage stage which refers to working your batter to the proper consistency is a technique that takes a while to master. If you’ve worked the batter to a lava-like consistency and you’re still getting hollow shells, try working it a tad less.


Your oven temperature is too high/low. Oven temperature plays a big role in hollow macarons. Unfortunately, due to the capabilities of home conventional ovens, you have to test and play around with the temperature to get your macaron shells perfect. Most recipes suggest baking macarons anywhere from 275°F – 325°F. Test these temperature ranges out with your home oven and an oven thermometer to see what works best.



Macarons are a delicious dessert, but they can be tricky to master. If you’ve tried macarons once, twice, or even three times and they didn’t turn out well, don’t worry! Try these French macaron troubleshooting tips. These will help you solve your specific problem. You can also always leave a comment below and I will get back to you with some personalized help!

Other Common Questions About Making Macarons

Can I substitute almond flour when making macarons? No. Similar to other baking products, you cannot simply sub out the flour. Each type of flour has a specific texture, protein percentage, and purpose. You need almond flour for this recipe.

Can I bake my macarons without resting them? You can definitely test this out as there are recipes out there that tout they are no rest. However, most French macarons need time to rest so they form a skin on top. This helps prevent them from cracking.

Should I age my egg whites for macarons? There’s a big debate in the macaron world about aging your egg whites for a less runny batter (you can do more of your own research). What I would argue is more important, that people often don’t do, it allowing your eggs to fully come to room temperature before beating.

How long should I macaronage my macaron batter? There’s really not a set time. It all depends on the recipe, your specific ingredients and environment, and even the amount of batter you are baking. It’s all about the feel of the batter. It should be a lava like consistency (see my video for an example). You can test this by lifting your spatula and seeing if the batter drops almost like lava. Once it drops off the spatula, the batter that was dripped should fade back into the batter within 15-30 seconds.

When in doubt, it’s better to undermix a little bit. Overmixing causes more detrimental mistakes that are more noticeable (cracking, no feet development, etc.)

My macarons aren’t developing a skin/drying out: That’s likely because it’s too humid. Many people often run dehumidifiers or run the air conditioning in their kitchen to help if they live in a very humid environment.

How do I get good feet on my macarons? This is the million dollar question! Good feet are the key to a good macaron. There could be many reasons why your macaron feet didn’t turn out correctly. Take a look a my trouble shooting guide above!

How long should macarons sit before eating? It’s best to allow your macarons to sit in the fridge overnight with the filling. This allows the macaron to slightly soften and develop a deeper flavor.

Tie Dye Macarons

Learn how to make (and troubleshoot) French style tie dye macarons with the help of a step by step video tutorial for beginners.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 30 macarons (60 shells)

Ingredients

For the Macarons

  • 124 grams egg whites room temperature (about 4-5 large eggs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 148 grams super fine almond flour
  • 222 grams confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
  • 46 grams granulated sugar
  • gel food coloring (3 colors)

For the American Buttercream

  • 1 cup (224 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325 grams) confectioners sugar (icing sugar) measured, then sifted
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Heat oven to 300°F. It's helpful to have an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Wipe down all bowls and whisk attachment with a little white vinegar on a paper towel to remove any leftover oils.
  • Separate egg whites from yolks and allow egg whites to come to room temperature.
  • Measure dry ingredients using a kitchen scale. Sift almond flour and confectioners sugar together into a large metal or glass bowl.
  • Print off the macaron template. Place them on a sheet pan underneath a piece of parchment paper.
  • Prepare your piping bag with a round tip. Push part of the side of the piping bag into the piping tip to ensure nothing leaks out. Set the bag inside a tall glass, and pull the remaining top of the piping bag out over the outside of the glass to make pouring the batter easy and clean.

For the Macarons

  • Add in room temperature egg whites to a large bowl, along with cream of tartar. Whip on medium-low speed with a handheld mixer until eggs are very foamy. Then add 1/3 of the granulated sugar at a time, and increase the speed to medium high.
  • Once all the granulated sugar is incorporated, allow egg whites to continue to whip up on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (you'll notice the meringue starts to ball up inside the whisk). To test the meringue stiffness, pull the whisk out. A stiff peak should stand straight up (no curl at the tip). You'll also know it's ready because you can fully flip the bowl over and nothing moves or falls out. Make sure not to over beat the meringue at this stage.
  • Pour a third of the sifted almond flour & confectioners sugar into the meringue mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites using a silicone spatula. Continue until all the meringue is fully incorporated and no dry bits of almond flour remains on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Evenly divide the batter into 3 medium-sized metal or glass bowls. Add 1-2 drops of gel food coloring. Then, begin working the batter until everything is fully incorporated (this is called the macaronage process). Slowly, spread the mixture along the side of the bowl, then wipe it back down. Be sure to do this gently. Repeat, until the mixture has reached a smooth, shiny, flowing consistency. You can test this by lifting your spatula and seeing if the batter drops almost like lava. Once the batter drops back into the bowl, it should take about 10-15 seconds for the ribbon that formed to "disappear" back into the rest of the batter.
  • Spoon each color of batter in a straight line on a piece of plastic wrap. Careful roll the plastic wrap up so all the colors are enclosed. Cut off the tip of one end of the plastic wrap, and insert it open side down into a prepared piping bag. Hold the bag vertically, and gently pipe the batter out until it reaches the inside line of the circle template. Continue until no batter reamins.
  • Gently tap the sheet pan down the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick. Allow the batter to sit on the counter and dry for 20 – 40 minutes, just until a thin "skin" develops, and you can touch the tops without ruining the macaron. This resting time will vary depending on the humidity (make sure you don't let them rest too long by periodically checking on them). While the macarons are drying, heat oven to 300°F.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan. Then, move silicone mat or parchment pack to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

For the Amercian Buttercream

  • Add the paddle attachment to your stand mixer. To the stand mixer bowl, add butter. Cream on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add in confectioners sugar.
  • Bump up the speed to medium, and add in heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Continue to mix for an additional 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Match up macaron cookies so they are paired with a similar size/shaped cookie. Pipe buttercream on one side of the macaron shell using a Wilton 1M tip. Gently place matching side on top on the buttercream.
  • Mature the macarons with the filling in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the macarons to slightly soften and develop a deeper flavor.

Notes

See blog post for your full guide to macaron troubleshooting problems.

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