These birthday cake macarons taste just like a slice of vanilla cake! These soft and chewy macarons are filled with birthday cake buttercream and covered in rainbow sprinkles; perfect for a birthday dessert!
I love baking birthday cake desserts that aren't cake, like birthday cake cookies or birthday cake brownies. These birthday cake macarons are a delicious treat for a birthday party or any other special occasion, especially for people who don't like regular funfetti birthday cake!
why you'll love these birthday cake macarons
- These fool-proof birthday macarons are made using the Swiss method instead of the French method, making them perfect even for beginners!
- This is the perfect macaron for celebrating a special day like a birthday, especially when you are craving something other than a traditional cake.
- They are filled with rainbow cake batter buttercream, giving them a birthday cake flavor.
ingredient notes & substitutions
Clear vanilla extract: I tested these birthday cake macarons with boxed cake mix in the filling and found it annoying to have that on hand. Instead, I used clear vanilla extract and almond extract, which gives them the same flavor.
Rainbow sprinkles: You can use any kind of rainbow sprinkle like rainbow nonpareils or jimmy sprinkles.
Egg whites: Fresh, separated egg whites are recommended for best results. You do not need to use room-temperature egg whites because they will get cooked over a double boiler.
Powdered sugar: This sugar is finer than granulated sugar, making it perfect for macaron shells.
Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
You can fill the shells with vanilla buttercream, white chocolate ganache, or any other flavor if you don't care for the cake batter filling!
make the macaron batter
Step 1: Sift the dry ingredients. Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar into a bowl and set it aside (image 1 below). If your almond meal is coarsely ground, you can pulse it in a food processor until finely ground.
Step 2: Cook the egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the powdered sugar and egg whites together. Place the bowl over a small pot of water and whisk occasionally, until the egg whites reach 120 F/48 C (image 2 below).
Step 3: Make the meringue. Add the cream of tartar. Whisk on low speed for 5 minutes, until the bowl feels cool. Continue whisking, increasing to medium speed, but not going faster than #6 on a KitchenAid, until soft peaks form.
Then add the pink food coloring. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form (image 3 below).
Step 4: Fold in the dry ingredients. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl of meringue. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the meringue (image 4 above).
Step 5: Scrape the batter. Fold and scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl then back into the center (image 5 below). This is known as the macaronage.
Step 6: Test the batter. When the batter starts to look glossy, pick up the batter with the spatula and let it fall into the bowl. It should flow in slow ribbons. Set a timer for 30 seconds. If the edges of the fallen ribbons are very soft and mostly disappeared into the batter, it's ready (image 6 below).
bake and assemble the macarons
Step 7: Pipe the macaron batter. Pipe the batter with a large piping bag onto the prepared baking trays into 1 ½-inch circles, spaced 2 inches apart. Tap the tray gently on a flat surface, then pop any large bubbles with a toothpick (image 7 above).
Step 8: Bake! Sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles (image 8 above). Keep the rest of the batter in the bag for now.
Bake the first tray right away on the middle rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes. When the first tray is done baking, pipe the rest of the batter and bake the same way.
Step 9: Cool, then fill with buttercream. Once completely cool, match up like-sized shells. Pipe a dollop of the buttercream in the center of each half, then sandwich it with the other shell (image 9 above). Mature the macarons overnight in the fridge. Enjoy your birthday cake macarons!
expert baking tips
- Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the "metric" button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
- Use gel food coloring. I recommend using gel or powdered food coloring for best results.
- Baking times may vary. All ovens are different, and your macarons may bake quicker or take longer than the indicated baking time. You may also need to adjust the temperature as needed!
- Bake right away. Unlike my fruity pebble macarons, you do not need to wait until they form a skin before baking them.
storage & freezing
Once filled, store the birthday cake macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight to soften. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
You can freeze just the shells or the assembled macarons for up to 1 month!
Gel food coloring is best, too much liquid in the chocolate can make it seize and clumpy.
The batter is likely overmixed if they are spreading. Stop mixing when the batter falls in a continuous ribbon of the spatula to prevent this from happening.
This is likely caused by baking them at too high of a temperature. Try turning the oven down 15 degrees and getting an oven thermometer.
other macaron recipes you'll love
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Birthday Cake Macarons
- 1 ¼ cup + 2 tbsp super-fine blanched almond meal
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 4 egg whites about ½ cup
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2-3 drops Americolor gel pink food coloring
- rainbow jimmy sprinkles
For the buttercream
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Preheat the oven to 300 F/150 C.
- Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar into a bowl. Set aside.1 ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon super-fine blanched almond meal, 1 cup + 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- In a stand mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites and powdered sugar. Place it over a pot of boiling water. Whisking occasionally, bring the temperature to 120 F/48 C.4 egg whites, 1 cup + 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Attach the bowl to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and add the cream of tartar. Whisk on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until it cools down. Once at a soft peak, add the food coloring. Increase the speed again, mixing until stiff peaks form, then run the mixer on the lowest speed setting for 1-2 minutes to even out the meringue bubbles. Do not take the speed faster than a #6 on a Kitchen Aid!1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 2-3 drops Americolor gel pink food coloring
- Add the dry ingredients to the meringue all at once and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula.
- Fold and scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl. When it starts to look glossy, pick up some of the batter and let it fall off the spatula into the center of the bowl. Count to 30; if the edges of the ribbons are very soft and mostly disappeared into the batter, it’s ready.
- Fill a piping bag with a small round tip with the batter and pipe it onto the prepared baking pans. Each round should be about 1 ½ inches wide spaced 2 inches apart. Gently tap the edges of the pan on the counter, with quarter turns in between taps. Pop any large bubbles with a toothpick, then sprinkle the tops with the sprinkles.rainbow jimmy sprinkles
- Bake the first tray straight away after piping, for 18-20 minutes. When they stop wiggling, bake for another two minutes. Then let the pan cool on a wire cooling rack. At this point, you can pipe the rest of the batter on the second tray and bake right away.
- While the macarons cool, make the buttercream. Combine the butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Then add the clear vanilla extract, almond extract, heavy cream, and sprinkles. Mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, 2 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles, ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- To assemble; match up like-sized shells. Pipe a dollop of buttercream on half of the shells, then sandwich the filling with the other shells.
- Place the filled macarons in an airtight container and mature them in the fridge overnight to soften the texture. Enjoy!
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.