Go-To Gluten-Free Macarons

Go-To Gluten-Free Macarons

The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Rest: 30 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 35 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
95 Calories
4g Fat
15g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 65mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Macarons are a favorite gluten-free dessert. Elegant, beautiful, delicious, and always a crowd-pleaser.

Macarons are light and airy meringue-based sandwich cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar. Once the macaron "cookie" is baked and cooled, they are filled with ganache, buttercream, or fruit curd for an endless array of flavor combinations.

Macarons, while delicious, can be finicky and delicate to prepare. Do not be daunted by the list of steps, which are detailed to help you successfully prepare these beautiful and festive gluten-free cookies at home. 

Treat this recipe as your foundation and blueprint for all the macarons you create. You can color them any color you desire and fill them with your favorite flavors. Try filling them with vanilla buttercream, lemon curd, or chocolate ganache.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for go-to gluten-free macarons recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Baking sheets lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Add confectioners' sugar and almond meal to a food processor fixed with a metal blade. Run until a fine powder forms. Sift four times, discarding any tiny lumps or almond meal “pebbles” between sifting. Set aside.

    Sugar and almond meal in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Whip room temperature egg whites using a stand mixer fixed with whisk attachment, on medium speed until foamy.

    Egg whites in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Add granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Once mixture thickens and all of the sugar is added, stop mixer.

    Egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Add cream of tartar, scrape down sides of bowl, then turn mixer back on, increasing speed to high.

    Cream of tartar added to the egg whites in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Whip mixture for about 5 to 6 minutes or until a peak at the end of the whisk attachment holds its form. (Test this by turning off the mixer and checking to see if the mixture at the tip of the whisk attachment doesn’t drip).

    Whipped egg whites in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Remove bowl from stand mixer and set it on a counter or table. Add a third of the almond meal-confectioners' sugar mixture and fold gently to combine. Add another third of the almond meal-confectioners' sugar mixture, then fold again.

    Macaron batter in bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Add final third once mixture is incorporated, as well as gel food coloring. Fold one final time. The batter that forms after three rounds of folding should be firm with a glossy shine. Test batter by lifting the spatula; if batter drips very slowly from spatula like lava, it’s ready. If not, continue to fold batter for another 30 seconds. Be careful not to overmix. 

    Macaron batter with food coloring

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Affix a pastry bag with a No. 12 plain round tip. Fill bag with batter until 3/4 full. Pipe into 1.5-inch rounds on lined baking sheets at least an inch apart. Take care to pipe so that the bag is perpendicular to baking sheet, not at an angle. After piping a circle of batter, flick wrist quickly to the side so that a point doesn’t form at the top of the macaron. (If a tip does form, no worries, smooth it out with a small spatula later).

    Macarons piped onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Firmly tap baking sheet on work surface to get rid of any air bubbles potentially stuck in batter. Let prepared baking sheets sit at room temperature until a dry shell forms on the macarons. Test by touching batter with fingertip. If fingertip doesn’t stick to batter, macarons are ready for the oven. The “resting” phase can take 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the humidity in the room.

    Macaron batter circles on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  12. Bake macarons, one baking sheet at a time, in lower third of oven for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. When done, the tops will be firm to the touch and the center won't jiggle like jelly. 

    Baked macarons on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  13. Remove macarons from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Gently peel macarons off parchment paper and transfer to a wire rack. (Do not do this while macarons are still hot, they'll come apart). Repeat with remaining macarons and allow them to cool completely before filling.

    Macarons on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn

  14. Arrange macarons by twos, top side down, making sure to match sizes best you can. Depending on the size of the macaron, squeeze a nickel- to quarter-sized amount of filling onto the bottom of the macaron. Lay second macaron on top, and very gently press together so that filling expands but doesn’t come out the sides.

    Go-To Gluten-Free Macarons

    The Spruce Eats / Abbey Littlejohn


  • Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels to confirm the product is gluten free. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.
  • The more you sift the almond meal and sugar, the smoother the tops will be.
  • Use gel food coloring since it won't dilute the mixture like liquid food coloring will.
  • It's important to let the tops of the macarons dry out before baking, otherwise, they'll crack as they cook. 

Do you have to use almond flour to make macarons?

Almond flour is a main ingredient in macarons and is key to making these treats.

What are some tips for making macarons?

Macarons can be tricky to make. Here are just a few tips to help with the process.

1. Always carefully measure the ingredients.

2. Use only the egg whites and make sure they are at room temperature.

3. Sift the dry ingredients as recommended; there should be no lumps.

4. Fold in the almond meal-confectioners' sugar mixture, do not use the mixer.