Make these dirty chai macarons with this easy-to-follow French macaron recipe! Featuring espresso-infused shells and chai spiced frosting, these macarons taste just like you ordered a dirty chai from your favorite cafe.
These chai macarons have easily become one of my favorite macaron flavors ever.
I had never had a dirty chai latte until I managed the front-of-house cafe at a bakery a few years back. I instantly became addicted to the espresso, anise, and cardamom flavor combination that is a dirty chai.
So naturally thinking of these flavors made me want to create a macaron for them, so I added the spices and freshly brewed espresso to the filling for the ultimate bakery drink treat that I know you'll love!
why you'll love these chai macarons
- Extremely detailed recipe that is full of helpful tips, tricks, and photos in an easy-to-follow format.
- Ground and brewed espresso gives them a fresh coffee flavor
- Warm chai spice is added to balance out the coffee
- Perfect recipe for macaron beginners!
- Almond meal: I love buying mine in bulk from Costco or Bob's Red Mill as they have the best high quality meal.
- Egg whites: fresh egg whites are required for successful macarons. Do not use carton or boxed egg whites unless they are unpasteurized.
- Ground espresso: I love opening a pod of Nespreso coffee and using the grounds inside. You can also grind your own or use instant coffee and leave out the food coloring.
Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
expert tips for perfect chai macarons
- Use a kitchen scale: the ratio of ingredients is the most important key to success. I always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients.
- Wipe your bowl with vinegar-:before mixing the egg whites, dampen a paper towel with a bit of white vinegar to wipe your bowl with. This will ensure it is free from any fat residue which can prevent your eggs from whipping.
- Turn your baking sheet upside down: This is my favorite trick ever and people always tell me they have success after doing this!
- Don't skip resting them: Resting the shells is required for the feet to form!
- Make sure your oven is at the right temperature: Chances are, your oven temperature is off by a few degrees so I always keep my oven thermometer on the lower oven rack.
Step 1: Sift the powder sugar, almond meal, and espresso grounds together into a large bowl, then set it aside.
Step 2: Add the egg whites to a clean stand mixing bowl and use the whisk attachment to whip the whites to soft peaks. Sprinkle the sugar into the mixing bowl and then continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
Step 3: Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the meringue Fold them together with a rubber spatula and then add the next third. Continue folding until all of the dries are combined, then add one small drop of Americolor Brown gel coloring.
Step 4: Scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl until the batter starts looking glossy. Pick up some of the batter and let it fall off the spatula. If it falls slowly in ribbons and you can draw a figure 8 with it, it's ready.
Step 5: Fit an 18-inch piping bag with a #12 round Wilton tip and fill it with the batter. Pipe the shells on the baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat into 1 ½ inch round shells, spaced two inches apart. Tap the tray on the counter a few times and pop any bubbles with a toothpick.
Let the shells rest until a dry skin forms, then bake at 300 F/149 C for 12-13 minutes.
Step 6: Once completely cool, remove the shells and match them up with like sizes. Pipe about one tablespoon of the buttercream on one shell and then sandwich it with the other half.
storage & freezing
- Fridge: Once filled, store them in an air-tight container overnight in the fridge to soften. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge!
- Freezer: You can freeze just the shells or the filled macarons for up to 1 month!
Naturally, the macarons will harden in the fridge so before eating, leave them out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to soften.
The batter was either under or over mixed. Not mixing the batter enough leaves too many air bubbles which expand and crack the shells when baking.
I personally do not list the ingredients in cup measurements because the sizes can vary in small amounts and when making macarons even the smallest difference can ruin your batch.
Yes! You can fill them with any flavor you desire. I love filling them with plain vanilla frosting.
more macaron recipes you'll love
Dirty Chai Macarons
- Stand mixing bowl with whisk and paddle attachment
- large mixing bowl
- rubber spatula
- 18 inch piping bag
- Silicone baking mat
- baking tray ( SEE NOTES )
Espresso Shell Ingredients
- 124 grams powdered sugar
- 140 grams blanched almond meal
- 2 teaspoon ground espresso or instant coffee
- 107 grams egg whites, room temperature
- 110 grams granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 small drop Brown gel food coloring
- 10 tablespoon unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon brewed espresso, cooled
- ½ teaspoon chai spice
Making the Macaron Shells
- Line an upside down pan with a silicone baking mat and fit a piping bag with a small #12 Wilton round tip, then set them both aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the almond meal, powdered sugar, and espresso into a larger bowl and discard any large pieces. Set aside.124 grams powdered sugar, 140 grams blanched almond meal, 2 teaspoon ground espresso or instant coffee
- In a stand mixing bowl, begin whisking the egg whites on medium low speed for 2-3 minutes until foamy, then add the cream of tartar.⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar, 107 grams egg whites, room temperature
- Very slowly, sprinkle the sugar into the mixing whites with a spoon. When all of the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium and whip for about 7-8 minutes or until stiff peaks form.110 grams granulated sugar
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry mixture to the bowl of meringue. Fold very gently with a spatula until combined. Continue until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add the food coloring.1 small drop Brown gel food coloring
- Scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl. Every few scrapes, pick up the batter and let it fall into the bowl. The batter should flow slowly in a continuous ribbon. Try to make a figure 8 with the batter. If it falls without breaking, it's ready.
- Pipe the batter in 1 ½ inch rounds (spaced 2 inches apart) directly over the baking tray. Drop the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles which you can pop with a toothpick.
- Let the shells sit to dry and form a skin, at least 30 minutes or until you can touch the tops without leaving an impression. Preheat the oven to 300 F/149 C.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. The shells are done baking when the top of the shell doesn't budge from the feet. Let the tray cool completely on a wire rack before removing the shells.
Making the Filling
- In a mixing bowl add the butter and use the paddle to mix the butter on low for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar in ½ cup at a time. Mix on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium and whip until light and fluffy. Add the brewed espresso and chai spice and mix on low to combine.10 tablespoon unsalted butter, soft, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoon brewed espresso, cooled, ½ teaspoon chai spice
Assembling the Macarons
- Pipe about 1 tablespoon of buttercream onto one shell, then sandwich with the other half. Place the macarons in a sealed container and let them mature in the fridge overnight to soften.
Tips for Perfect Macarons
- Use a kitchen scale- the ratio of ingredients is the most important key to success. I always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients for success!
- Wipe your bowl with vinegar- before mixing the egg whites, dampen a paper towel with a bit of white vinegar to ensure it is free from any fat residue which can prevent your eggs from whipping.
- Use an upside-down baking pan- my favorite trick for perfect macarons is turning the pan upside down to prevent hollow or exploded shells.
- Don't skip resting them- resting the shells is required in order for the feet to form at the bottom of the shell when baking.
StorageOnce filled, store them in an air-tight container overnight in the fridge to soften. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge! You can also freeze just the shells or the filled macarons for up to 1 month! Naturally, the macarons will harden in the fridge so before eating, leave them out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to soften.
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.