Kids and adults love these eggless vegan macarons with vegan buttercream frosting!
Macarons are traditionally started by making a meringue from whipped egg whites. In vegan cooking, there are several egg substitute options. The flaxseed egg is probably the easiest and most common “vegan egg” to make. It works well when attempting to thicken or emulsify your cooking since the soluble fiber from the flaxseed gels in water. However, the flax egg does not whip into a gorgeous and delicate meringue. For that, we need to mimic the proteins of egg whites that give meringue its structure. The key is aquafaba.
“Aqua” means water and “faba” means bean in Latin. Aquafaba is literally the thick water that is found in canned chickpeas. Whipped aquafaba is the perfect egg substitute to make a meringue- you will be amazed at the similarity. It smells a little bean-y at first, but once you mix in the sugar that smell goes away.
Macaron shells have a delicious sugar-almond flavor without adding any extract. They are airy and melt in your mouth. Usually you will find macaron shells in pastel colors like lavender, mint green, baby pink, and robins egg blue. If you choose to dye your macaron shells, make sure you use a gel dye instead of a water-based one.
The filling is what takes these vegan macarons to the next level. The combination of the light and airy macaron shell with rich, creamy vegan buttercream to sink your teeth into does something so wonderfully indescribable in your mouth. I like to use lemon extract in my filling, and the entire family loves them!
How To Make Vegan Macarons
Drain aquafaba from 3 cans of chickpeas. Pour all of the aquafaba that you collected into a saucepan and simmer until it is reduced by about 1/3rd. Don’t stir because you want to be able to see the ring around the top where the original height was.
Meanwhile, measure out your dry ingredients- 200 g of almond flour (about 2 cups pre-sifted), 200 g of powdered sugar (about 1 ½ cups pre-sifted), and 200 g of cane sugar (about 1 cup). Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Sifting the almond flour and powdered sugar makes your macarons a consistent texture.
Add 75 g of aquafaba to your sifted almond flour and powdered sugar. Mix until you get a dough.
If you will be baking in batches, separate into 2 halves and cover. I’m making two batches. The first batch will be blue and the second will be uncolored.
Thoroughly clean your mixing bowl with soap and hot water. I do this even though the mixing bowl is originally clean. Wipe down with a paper towel to dry, then wipe down the inside with vinegar. Set out your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat on top. I like to lay out two of them so that I can batch bake.
Add 75g of reduced aquafaba and ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar into your mixing bowl. This is going to make a foam.
Mix at medium-high speed until soft peaks form in your foam. The image above is about halfway there. The foam is bubbly but the peak sinks back into the foam.
You know you have a soft peak when you pick up the whisk, flip it over, and see a peak slouched over. This one is ready!
Make it glossy!
Add ¼ cup of water and 200 g cane sugar to a saucepan. Let it boil over medium heat until it reaches 245℉. You don’t necessarily need a candy thermometer for this, as long as your thermometer will read up to 245℉. No matter which thermometer you use, make sure that the tick on the side is fully submerged since that indicates the sensitive area on your thermometer. Be sure that the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pan.
As soon as it reaches 245℉, add it to your foamed aquafaba and mix at medium speed. The mixture will turn from a glistening and delicate structure to a glossy, opaque, sticky consistency. While the mixer is going, I recommend washing out your hot pan so you don’t end up with hardened sugar crystals on it later.
Mix almond paste with the glossy mixture. Now you have your macaron batter!
If you’re baking in batches, separate half of the glossy mixture and half of the almond paste to use later. Mix ¼ of the glossy mixture into the almond paste. It’s really important not to overmix them. If you do, the feet will not form properly underneath the macarons.
Gently fold in the remaining ¼ of the mixture until just mixed. It’s better to be undermixed than overmixed. If you’re coloring your vegan macarons, add the gel dye at this step. You know it is ready when you can make a figure 8 with the batter that runs off of your spatula.
Fill the piping bag and pipe out macarons. Pipe out circles on your silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Tamper out the bubbles by lifting up and dropping the baking sheet on the counter until the macarons are smooth.
Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 60 minutes. The macarons will dry out on top. When you lightly brush your finger over them, the dough shouldn’t stick to your finger.
Bake at 245℉ for about 35 minutes.
Pop in the oven on the lowest rack for about 35 minutes. They are ready when they have developed “feet” underneath and the feet are not sticky if you poke them. Do not try to remove them from the baking sheet right away; they will harden as they cool and you will be able to remove them cleanly.
It’s better to take them out of the oven early and test them rather than letting them bake for too long. When I lifted up my macaron, it was still sticky underneath so I put them back into the oven for another 20 minutes until they were cooked through, checking them every so often.
The time and temperature will vary from oven to oven. Use your first batch as an experiment and then use that info to correct your second batch.
Repeat. If you’re baking in batches, mix your second batch of almond paste and the glossy mixture, refill your piping bags, and repeat steps 5-8. I like to use a second baking sheet and silicone mat for this while my first batch is cooling. I left the second batch uncolored.
Fill with vegan buttercream icing. Wait for the macarons to cool. Mix 1 cup vegetable shortening, 2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of almond milk, ¼ teaspoon flavoring (I like lemon or vanilla) in your stand mixer. Separate into bowls, add your gel food dye, and fill!
- 2 cups aquafaba (I was able to get this amount from 3 cans of chickpeas)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Vinegar (for cleaning)
- 200 g almond flour
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 200 g cane sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon flavoring (I like lemon or vanilla)
- Gel food dye (optional- I like Wilton brand)
- Drain aquafaba from 3 cans of chickpeas. Pour all of the aquafaba that you collected into a saucepan or skillet and simmer until it is reduced by about 1/3rd. I would turn the heat down every so often to let the bubbles settle to determine how far down it has been reduced.
- Meanwhile, measure out your dry ingredients: 200 g of almond flour (about 2 cups pre-sifted), 200 g of powdered sugar (about 1 ½ cups pre-sifted), and 200 g of cane sugar (about 1 cup). Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl.
- Add 75 g (about ⅓ cup) of reduced aquafaba and mix well. Cover.
- Make Foam. Add 75g of reduced aquafaba and ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar into your mixing bowl. This is going to make a foam. Mix at medium high speed until soft peaks form in your foam, about 8 minutes (Setting 6 on Kitchen Aid Mixer). You know you have a soft peak when you pick up the whisk, flip it over, and see a peak slouched over.
- Add ¼ cup of water and 200 g cane sugar (about 1 cup) to a saucepan. Let it boil over medium heat until it reaches 245℉. As soon as it reaches 245℉, add it to your foamed aquafaba and mix at medium speed for about 5 minutes. The sugar mixture will be hot so don’t worry about getting every last drop into the mixing bowl. The foam will turn from a glistening and delicate structure to a glossy, opaque, slightly sticky consistency.
- Mix almond paste with the glossy mixture.
- Mix ¼ of the glossy mixture (about 1 cup) into half of the almond paste. If you’re coloring your macarons, add the gel dye.
- Gently fold in the remaining ¼ of the glossy mixture until just mixed.
- Fill the piping bag and pipe out macarons. Tamper out the bubbles by lifting up and dropping the baking sheet on the counter
- Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 245℉.
- Bake. Pop in the oven on the lowest rack for about 35 minutes.
Directions for Filling:
- Mix 1 cup vegetable shortening, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of almond milk, and ¼ teaspoon flavoring (I like lemon or vanilla) in your stand mixer.
- Separate into bowls, add your gel food dye, and fill!
- Add more almond milk to thin out and less to thicken.
Allow yourself plenty of time for mistakes and make peace with it... it’s just part of the process. And while you’re doing that, make peace with the fact that your kitchen will be messy and you will probably have to wash your hands a few times. Have everything ready ahead of time. Don’t let your macaron batter sit. If you need to do it in batches (either due to the size of your oven or due to the size of your baking sheet), simply separate half of the meringue and half of the almond mixture to use later. Then mix them right before filling your piping bag for your second batch. Make sure that you’re able to transfer the dissolved sugar to the egg white mixture before it cools. Otherwise, you will unintentionally end up with rock candy.
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