Bright and citrusy orange macarons are filled with fresh mandarin orange buttercream that tastes just like an orange creamsicle. This macaron recipe is full of tips, tricks, and plenty of photos to ensure you make these orange macarons with success!
Did you know macarons are the dessert that prompted my journey to pastry school?
These orange macarons are bursting with fresh mandarin orange flavor, which is a sweeter, less acidic citrus fruit. This recipe is easy to follow and very detailed, and the flavor is perfect for any occasion or season.
why you'll love these orange macarons
- These are bright and citrusy French macarons with a mandarin orange flavor that tastes similar to an orange creamsicle.
- This recipe is packed with helpful tips, tricks, and step-by-step photos to set you up for success.
- These orange macarons are perfect for any occasion, but especially in spring or summer!
ingredient notes & substitutions
Almond meal: For best results, use a blanched super-fine almond meal. Almond flour is coarser and still has the brown almond skin which will show up in the shells.
Cream of tartar: You can substitute lemon juice if needed.
Egg whites: For the best results, use fresh separated egg whites and not the ones in the carton.
Mandarin oranges: These oranges are sweeter and less acidic. I tested these orange macarons with clementines or tangerines and they both give a similar flavor if you need substitutions.
Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
- You can use any kind of sprinkle you want for the shells, or you can leave them plain.
- Fill them with vanilla or lemon buttercream if you don't care for orange. If you don't like buttercream, you can fill them with white chocolate ganache or orange curd!
helpful equipment & tools
- Kitchen scale: A kitchen scale is highly recommended for success!
- Fine mesh sifter: If you want smooth macaron shells, you will need a fine sifter.
- Kitchen Aid stand mixer: This makes making the meringue a breeze so you don't have to hold an electric mixer.
- Silicone baking mats: I prefer silicone mats but you can also use parchment paper.
- #12 Wilton tip: This is a small round tip and is perfect for piping the shells!
STEP 1: Sift the dry ingredients. Sift the powdered sugar and almond meal together into a large bowl, then set it aside (image 1 below).
STEP 2: Make the meringue. Add the egg whites to a clean stand mixing bowl and use the whisk attachment to whip them to soft peaks.
Sprinkle the sugar into the mixing bowl and then continue mixing until stiff peaks form (image 2 below).
STEP 3: Fold in the dry ingredients. Add the stiff whites to a large bowl and add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients. Fold the dries and meringue together with a rubber spatula and then add the next third (image 3 below).
STEP 4: Scrape the batter. Scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl until it looks glossy (image 4 above).
STEP 5: Test for doneness. 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, the batter is ready (image 5 below).
STEP 6: Pipe the macaron batter. Pipe the batter directly above the tray into 1 ½ inch rounds, spaced two inches apart. Tap the tray on the counter then sprinkle the tops with white non-peril sprinkles (image 6 below).
Let the shells rest for about 30 minutes or until a dry skin forms, then bake.
STEP 7: Make the buttercream. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until very light and fluffy.
Then add the mandarin orange juice, zest, and fresh mint, and mix until combined (image 7 above).
STEP 8: Fill the macaron shells. Match up like-sized shells. Pipe the buttercream on one half of the shell and then sandwich it with the other half (image 8 above).
Place the assembled macarons on a sheet tray, wrap them in plastic, and let them mature in the fridge overnight. Enjoy your orange 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.
- Whip to stiff peaks. not whipping the egg whites long enough can result in various problems.
- Use an upside-down baking pan. This can help prevent the shells from exploding.
- Don't skip the rest time. Shells that haven't been rested will not form feet when baking.
- Let them mature overnight. This matures the shells resulting in a chewier texture and better flavor.
storage & freezing
Orange macarons should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
You can freeze both the unfilled shells and the assembled macarons in a freezer bag or sealed container for up to one month.
It's not required but highly recommended. This step allows some of the moisture in the filling to seep into the shells making them super soft and chewy.
A scale is required for consistent macarons. Scales are very affordable, easy to find, and make measuring the ingredients a quick task!
Yes! The cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites while they are mixing to create a stable meringue. This can help prevent hollow shells and other macaron problems.
I don't recommend it because they can be very inconsistent, but you can definitely try!
other macaron recipes to try
- 1 ¼ cups + 2 tsp powdered sugar
- 1 ¾ cup blanched super-fine almond meal
- 3-4 large egg whites
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1-2 drops orange gel food coloring
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon mandarin orange juice
- 2 mandarins, zested
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
Make the Shells
- Flip two baking sheets upside down and line them with silicone baking mats (my preferred method) or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal.1 ¼ cups + 2 teaspoon powdered sugar, 1 ¾ cup blanched super-fine almond meal
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and add the food coloring. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.3-4 large egg whites, ½ cup + 2 tablespoon granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, 1-2 drops orange gel food coloring
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the almond meal/powdered sugar into the stiff egg whites. Scrape the batter against the sides and bottom of the bowl. The batter is ready when it looks glossy and flows in slow ribbons off the spatula. You can also try to draw a figure 8 with the batter. After 30 seconds, look for the 8 to have soft edges to know it's ready.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip. Pipe the batter into 1 ½-inch rounds spaced 2 inches apart. Tap the baking sheets on the counter to release any air bubbles. You can pop them with a toothpick.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature until the shells feel dry, about 30-60 minutes.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 300F/149C. This temperature could range from 275 F-325 F, I recommend testing a few and seeing what works best for your oven!
- Bake each tray separately for about 13-14 minutes. Touch the top of the shell. If it moves, give it 2 more minutes. The top shouldn't budge from the food when they are done baking. Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire cooling rack before filling.
Make the Buttercream
- In a stand mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.½ cup unsalted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, pinch fine sea salt
- Add the mandarin juice, zest, and fresh mint and mix on low until completely combined. Then increase the speed to medium again and whip until light and fluffy.2 tablespoon mandarin orange juice, 2 mandarins, zested, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
- Match up like-sized shells. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of buttercream onto one shell and sandwich it with the other half.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet or container and let them mature in the fridge overnight to soften.
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.