Enjoy a classic candy flavor in a new way with sweet tart macarons! This easy-to-follow macaron recipe is packed full of tips, tricks, and process shots every step of the way to set you up for success even as a beginner!

sweet tart macarons in a pile together.

Macarons have forever sparked my obsessive habit of challenging myself to make banana cream pie macarons and cookies and cream macarons but these sweet-tart macarons are my favorite creation!

The classic hard sweet-tart candy flavors of cherry, lemon, grape, and strawberry have been combined with soft and chewy French macaron shells to create these cookies.

This is my top flavor for Valentine’s Day dessert but really it’s amazing for any special occasion like a birthday or no occasion at all!

sweet tart macarons arranged in a line.

why you’ll love these sweet-tart macarons

  • They taste just like the classic sweet tart candy!
  • Fun and colorful
  • Easy-to-follow recipe
  • Perfect for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or any occasion!

ingredient notes & substitutions

sweet tart macaron recipe ingredients.

Almond meal: I love buying mine in bulk from Costco or Bob’s Red Mill as they have the best high-quality meal.

Sugar: I use cane sugar as it has a fine texture which is perfect for macarons.

Egg whites: Fresh egg whites are required for successful macarons.

Kool-Aid: The combined flavors can all be found in most grocery stores and sold in individual packets for less than a dollar!

Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below!

helpful equipment & tools

  • Kitchen scale: I have this exact scale and it’s always less than $10 on Amazon. The ratio of ingredients is the most important key to success!
  • Fine mesh sifter: This tool is required for sifting the dry ingredients so your shells are smooth and lump-free.
  • Kitchen Aid stand mixer: I have a standard 5-quart mixer, but any size should work well. I don’t recommend using a hand mixer but I know some people that do have success with them!
  • Silicone baking mats: I prefer to bake on a silicone baking mat to maintain even heat.
  • 18-inch piping bag: A large bag will be easier to pipe with and you can fit all the batter inside it!
  • #12 Wilton tip: This tip is what I use every single time. It’s a small round tip that allows more control over piping the batter.

recipe instructions

Step 1: Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar together into a large bowl and set aside (image 1 below).

Step 2: In a stand mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, then add the cream of tartar.

Sprinkle in the sugar slowly while mixing until all of the sugar is incorporated. Add a few drops of yellow gel food coloring, then keep mixing until the whites reach stiff peaks (image 2 below).

Step 3: Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl of meringue. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold them together.

Continue adding the dry ingredients in thirds until completely combined (image 3 below).

Step 4: Scrape and mix the batter against the sides and bottom of the bowl to deflate some of the air.

The batter will look glossy and flow in slow ribbons off the spatula when ready (image 4 below).

Step 5: Fit an 18-inch piping bag with a #12 round Wilton tip and fill it with the batter. Flip a baking tray upside down and line it with a silicone baking mat.

Pipe the batter directly above the tray into 1 ½ inch round shells, spaced two inches apart. Tap the tray on the counter a few times. You can pop any air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick (image 5 below).

Step 6: Sprinkle the tops with white non-peril sprinkles if desired. Then let the shells rest until a dry skin forms, anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on humidity.

Bake each tray for 13-14 minutes at 300F/149 until the tops don’t budge from the feet when gently touched. Allow them to cool completely before filling them with buttercream.

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.
  • Wipe your mixing bowl with vinegar– This will 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 for them to form feet. You should be able to smoothly run your finger across the tops without them sticking.
  • Make sure your oven is at the right temperature – you don’t want the shells rising too quickly or slowly. Chances are, your oven temperature is off by a few degrees so I always keep my oven thermometer on the lower oven rack.
  • Let them mature overnight– once filled and assembled, let the macarons mature in the fridge overnight. This will soften the shells and marry the flavors together.

storage & freezing

Once filled, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight to mature. They will stay fresh for 1 week in the fridge.

You can freeze just the shells or the assembled macarons for up to 1 month!

sweet tart macarons lined up together.

recipe faqs

Where can I buy the Kool-Aid powders for the filling?

They can be found at most grocery stores in the juice section! I always buy them in individual packets since you only need a small amount of each.

Can I use something other than Kool-Aid?

Lemon extract, grape extract, cherry extract, and strawberry extract can all be used in place of the kool-aid! You will only need very small amounts to flavor the buttercream as the flavors are stronger.

more macaron recipes you’ll love!

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

sweet tart macarons in a pile together.

Sweet Tart Macarons

5 from 4 votes
– by Cambrea Gordon

Enjoy a classic candy flavor in a new way with sweet tart macarons! This easy-to-follow macaron recipe is packed full of tips, tricks, and process shots every step of the way to set you up for success even as a beginner!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 20 macarons
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

  • 124 grams powdered sugar
  • 140 grams almond meal
  • 110 grams sugar
  • 107 grams egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 drop yellow gel food coloring, americolor
  • white non peril sprinkles

Sweet Tart Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/8 tsp cherry Kool-Aid powder
  • 1/8 tsp grape Kool-Aid powder
  • 1/8 tsp lemon Kool-Aid powder
  • 1/8 tsp strawberry Kool-Aid powder

Instructions

Shell Instructions

  • In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal until no lumps remain.
    124 grams powdered sugar, 140 grams almond meal
  • Add the room temperature egg whites to a bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the egg whites on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until white and foamy, then add the cream of tartar.
    107 grams egg whites, room temperature, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • Slowly add in the granulated sugar and then increase the speed to medium high. Mix for 5-6 minutes until medium peaks, then add the food coloring. Continue whipping for 1-2 minutes longer or until stiff peaks form.
    110 grams sugar, 1 drop yellow gel food coloring, americolor
  • Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture into the stiff egg whites.
  • Slowly fold and mix the batter smooth. The batter is ready when it flows slowly in ribbons off the spatula and you can draw a figure 8.
  • Line an upside down baking tray with a silicone baking mat.
  • Fill a piping bag with a small round piping tip and pipe the batter over the top of the tray into 1 ½ inch rounds spaced 2 inches apart.
  • Tap the baking sheet on the counter to remove any air bubbles. You can pop them with a toothpick if desired. Sprinkle with white non perils if desired.
    white non peril sprinkles
  • Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to form a skin.
  • While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 300F/149C.
  • 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 them to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Buttercream Instructions

  • In a stand mixing bowl, mix the butter on low until smooth, then add the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low speed until completely combined.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup (100 g) powdered sugar, pinch salt
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the koolaid powders and mix until well combined. Taste and add more powder to a stronger flavor if desired.
    1/8 tsp cherry Kool-Aid powder, 1/8 tsp grape Kool-Aid powder, 1/8 tsp lemon Kool-Aid powder, 1/8 tsp strawberry Kool-Aid powder
  • Assemble the macarons, piping a dollop of the buttercream in the center of one shell and then sandwiching it with the other. Place them in a sealed container to mature overnight in the fridge to soften, then enjoy!

Notes

Step by step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.

 

recipe tips

  • 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 mixing bowl with vinegar– This will 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 for them to form feet. You should be able to smoothly run your finger across the tops without them sticking.
  • Make sure your oven is at the right temperature – you don’t want the shells rising too quickly or slowly. Chances are, your oven temperature is off by a few degrees so I always keep my oven thermometer on the lower oven rack.
  • Let them mature overnight– once filled and assembled, let the macarons mature in the fridge overnight. This will soften the shells and marry the flavors together.
 

storage

  • Refrigerator: Once filled, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight to mature. They will stay fresh for 1 week in the fridge.
  • Freezer: You can freeze just the shells or the assembled macarons for up to 1 month!
 
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

This recipe was originally published on January 25th, 2021.

It has been updated with brand-new content on January 16, 2022.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. So this mag be a stupid question but do you divide the filling into separate bowls for separate flavor or mix them all together? Thanks

  2. Love this recipe! The buttercream is to die for!5 stars

    1. YAY! Thanks, Margaret!! I am so glad you love it, it’s my favorite filling ever ☺️

  3. Love this recipe! The buttercream is to die for!5 stars

    1. YAY! Thanks, Margaret!! I am so glad you love it, it’s my favorite filling ever ☺️

  4. Mackenzie says:

    the flavor of these macs is just unbelievably spot on, i want to eat them every single day!!!!!5 stars

  5. Mackenzie says:

    the flavor of these macs is just unbelievably spot on, i want to eat them every single day!!!!!5 stars