I think the most exciting and fun part about macarons is coming up with new macaron flavors, like these birthday cake macarons!
It's so fun to think about different desserts and think, how could I make this into a macaron flavor??! That's exactly what I thought when I came up with these birthday cake macarons.
I really don't think these macarons even require a birthday or celebration to enjoy, I mean who wouldn't want to enjoy birthday cake flavors any time of year just because???
The recipe is super simple, just a classic macaron shell, but sprinkled with some fun rainbow nonpareil sprinkles and filled with a cake batter filled buttercream. Ive had plenty of cake batter macarons before and even made them before when I worked in the bakeries. If you're wondering how in the heck you could make a filing to taste like cake batter, yes, there are food extracts that are 'cake batter' flavored. However, I've found that when you use heavily artificially flavored extracts, (while they are very very cool) tend to taste, well....artificial. They always leave such a bad taste in my mouth.
I decided to make it my mission to find a way to flavor them without the use of having to source and find an extract, which is something I could only find via amazon or online!
It really wasn't too hard to source a good cake batter flavor, we grabbed a box of yellow cake mix from the grocery store and there was our cake batter flavor!
Just a bit of this cake box mix is enough to flavor our buttercream with the best cake batter flavor, for our very fun and delicious birthday cake macarons.
How to Make the French Macaron Shells
Sift together the dry ingredients
- In a medium bowl, measure out the almond meal and powdered sugar together. Mix well with a spoon to combine the two.
- Then sift them into a separate bowl and set aside.
Wipe down the mixing bowl
- You want to make sure there are no traces of fat on your mixing bowl that could interfere with the egg whites. Get a paper towel and wet a small portion of it with white vinegar.
- Rub it all over the inside of your mixing bowl as well as the whisk attachment, then add your egg whites to the bowl.
Whip the egg whites
- Attach the whisk to the stand mixer and start whipping the egg whites on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- When the whites get foamy, sprinkle in the cream of tartar and keep beating.
- Begin to sprinkle the sugar into the whites while they're mixing, just a tablespoon at a time.
- When all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer speed up to medium high and whip for 6-7 minutes or until the whites reach stiff peaks.
- Add 2 drops white food coloring, if using.
Folding in the dry ingredients
- Take a rubber spatula and transfer the stiff egg white meringue to a large bowl. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the bowl.
- Working with gentle strokes, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. When there are no more dry pockets, add the next 1/3 of the dry mixture. Continue to fold until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the egg whites.
Mixing the batter (macaronage)
- Take your spatula and continuously scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl. Do this until the batter starts to look shiny and is starting to get thinner.
- Pick up some of the batter and let it fall off of the spatula. The batter should flow in slow ribbons and you should be able to make a figure 8 out of the batter without it breaking. Stop folding the batter.
- Prepare a piping bag with a small round tip. Preferably smaller than larger, so the batter doesn't spill out of it while your piping.
Piping the macaron shells
- Turn a baking tray upside down and line it with a silpat or if you don't have a silpat mat, parchment paper works as well.
- You want to hold your bag full of the batter directly over your tray when piping. If you come at an angle, the batter will bake lopsided in the oven.
- Pipe your desired round size onto the lined tray.
- Pick up the tray and rap it firmly on the counter on all sides a few times to release any air bubbles that might still be in the batter.
- Sprinkle the shells with the confetti nonpareil sprinkles and let them sit out to form a skin, about 30-40 minutes.
Baking the macaron shells
- Bake the shells at 300 for 13-14 minutes. Check the shells at 13 minutes and touch the top of the shell. It shouldn't budge from the feet. If it does, give it one MAYBE 2 more minutes.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the tray.
Making the Birthday Cake Buttercream
- In a mixing bowl, add the very soft butter and mix with the paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes to make sure its smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add 3-4 tablespoons of yellow cake batter, and 1/2 tbsp of milk.
- Mix well until combined, then increase the speed to medium high and a whip the buttercream until its very light, white in color, and super fluffy.
- Add in the 2 tbsp of sprinkles and mix to combine.
- Fill the buttercream into a piping bag and fill each macaron with some of the birthday cake buttercream, placing a second macaron shell on top of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
I always want everyone's first macaron baking experience to go as smoothly as possible but know that it doesn't always happen that way!
If you are having any trouble or need more details on making French macarons, please check out my guide on How to Make French Macarons!
- What if I don't have white food coloring?
- These macarons can 100% be made to look almost the exact same without the white food coloring. While the batter will still be white-ish, it will have more of an off white color because of the almond meal.
- Can these be eaten the same day?
- You most definitely can enjoy the macarons the day you make them, however I highly recommend giving them at least 24 hours to mature in the fridge before enjoying. Over the 12-24 hours, the macaron shell will have a chance to absorb the moisture in the buttercream and will soften the shell. This makes for a better macaron experience and is completely worth the wait!
- How long do the macarons last?
- The macarons will last 4-6 days in the fridge in an airtight container. They also do well in the freezer, again in an airtight container, for 1-2 months.
Looking for More Macaron Flavors to Try?
French Macaron Shell Recipe
- 124 grams powdered sugar about 1 1/4 cup
- 140 grams almond meal about 1 2/3 cup
- 110 grams sugar about 1/2 cup
- 107 grams egg whites, room temperature about 3 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Dry Ingredients For Chocolate Shells
- 120 grams powdered sugar
- 138 grams almond meal
- 8 grams cocoa powder
- In a medium bowl, scale the 140g almond meal and 124g powdered sugar***. Sift both of them into a larger bowl and discard any large pieces. Set aside.
- In a stand mixing bowl, add the 107g room temperature egg whites and begin whisking on medium speed (speed 3-4) for 1-2 minutes. When the whites get foamy, add the cream of tartar.
- Very slowly, begin adding the 110g sugar by the spoonful, sprinkling it into the whites as they whip. When all of the sugar is added increase the speed to medium high (speed 5-6). Whip for about 6-7 minutes or until stiff peaks have formed. Stop mixing.
- Add the whipped egg whites to a large bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the almond meal/sugar mixture to the whites. Fold very gently with a spatula until combined. The add the next 1/3 and fold to combine. Continue until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Using your rubber spatula, scrape the batter against the side of the bowl. Every few scrapes, pick up the batter and let it fall into the bowl. The batter should flow slowly in ribbons. Try to make a figure 8 with the batter. If it falls without breaking, its ready!
- Line an upside down pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and fill a piping bag and round tip with the batter. Pipe directly over the top of the parchment. When the pan is full, rap and drop the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. You can use a tooth pick to pop any bubbles that come to the surface.
- Preheat your oven to 300. (If your oven in on the hotter side, lower temperature might be better ie: 275-285)
- Allow the macarons to sit out to dry and form a skin. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the level of humidity in your house. They are ready to bake when the shell can be touched without it sticking to your finger or leaving an impression.
- Bake each tray for about 13-14 minutes. The macarons are done baking when you gently touch the top of the shell, it should just barely budge from the foot. Allow to cool completely before filling!
- ***if making chocolate shells, sift together 120g powdered sugar, 138g almond meal, and 8g cocoa powder.
Birthday Cake Macarons
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter, very soft
- 1 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp boxed yellow cake mix add more or less for a stronger cake batter flavor!
- 1/2 tbsp milk
- 1-2 tbsp confetti nonpariel sprinkles
- In a mixing bowl, add the very soft 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the 1 cup powdered sugar in 1/2 cup at a time and mix on low until incorporated.
- When all the powdered sugar has been added, add the 3-4 tbsp of yellow cake batter and 1/2 tbsp milk. Mix until combined, then increase the speed to medium high and whip until the buttercream is very light, white in color, and super fluffy.
- Add the 1-2 tbsp of confetti sprinkles and mix to combine.
- Pipe a dollop of buttercream on one macaron shell and top it with a second shell.