These birthday cake macarons are full of confetti sprinkles and sweet vanilla cake batter flavored buttercream with a slightly crisp and chewy macaron shell. The French macaron shells have just the right amount of sweetness and are perfectly soft and chewy. The cake batter filling is flavored with some good old store bough cake mix for that classic cake flavor! Birthday cake isn't official without fun confetti sprinkles, which are generously added to the filling for color and crunch as well as the top of the shell. These macarons make for the perfect birthday celebration dessert for your next party!
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 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 ⅓ 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 ⅓ 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 Cake Batter 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 ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add 3-4 tablespoons of yellow cake batter, and ½ 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.
Birthday Cake Macarons
- 124 g powdered sugar
- 140 g blanched almond meal
- 107 g egg whites
- 110 g sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Cake Batter Buttercream
- ½ 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!
- ½ tbsp milk
- 1-2 tbsp confetti nonpariel sprinkles
- Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar together into a large bowl. If there are any large pieces of almond meal, discard. Set the bowl aside.
- Add your room temperature egg whites to a stand mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Begin whipping on medium speed (3-4) for 1 minute until foamy.
- When the whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar.
- After adding the cream of tartar, start sprinkling in the sugar. Do not add too much at once or it will deflate your egg whites! Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium high (5-6) for 6-7 minutes, or until the whites get glossy, shiny, and hold a stiff peak!
- Using a rubber spatula, add the whites to a large bowl. Sprinkle in ⅓ of the dry ingredients and gently fold them into the whites. Try not to fold too aggressively, you want to preserve as much air as possible in this step. Continue adding the dries in thirds until all of it has been added.
- Then use the spatula to scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl. Every few scrapes test to see if the batter is ready. Pick up some of the batter and let it flow back down into the bowl. If it flows slowly and looks like ribbons, try to form a figure '8' . If you can make a figure 8 without the batter breaking, its ready!
- Fill your piping bag with a #12 round tip. Better to have a smaller tip than a larger one! Flip a sheet pan upside down and lay down your parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Pipe directly from above into desired size.
- Grab your pan and firmly tap it on the counter. Make sure you tap all sides of the pans. This will release any air bubbles and bring them to the surface. Use a tooth pick to pop any bubbles that come to the surface for the smoothest shell possible.
- Let them sit at room temperature until they form a skin. You should be able to touch the top of the shells with your finger and it shouldn't leave a mark.
- Bake the macarons at 275-300 for 13-14 minutes. Do not open the oven too soon. 10 minutes into their baking, open the door and touch the top of the shell. The top should not move from the feet when they're ready!
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing.
Making the Cake Batter Buttercream
- In a mixing bowl, add the very soft ½ cup + 2 tbsp butter and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the 1 cup powdered sugar in ½ 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 ½ 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.
Looking for More Macaron Flavors to Try?