Spring is in the air! Celebrate with these tender lemon macarons- they are sweet, tangy and vibrant to excite the air of SPRING!
Spring is here! Welcome! Welcome. It has been a brutal winter so I hope you are here to stay and be brutal with lots of sunshine. Depending on where you are located, you are probably thinking are you nuts? Spring is not even close to being here (Camp A) or Spring’s been here for ages what are you talking about? (Camp B). Despite being in Camp A, I refuse to succumb to that way of thinking. My calendar says it’s the start of Spring and thus I am choosing to spring forward. And with that, I have all things lemon on the brain. Lemon tarts, lemon poppyseed donuts (coming soon) and lemon macarons!!
Today is also Jour du Macaron or Macaron Day! This day originated in France and was created by the famous patisserie chef Pierre Hermé who wanted to mobilize and collect funds for a charity by offering a free macaron to customers in exchange for a donation to a charity. Now, several cities across the world celebrate on May 20th and each participating bakery in that city gives away a free macaron to customers and a portion of their macaron sales for the day goes to a charity. New York City Macaron Day, the closest participating city to me, will be donating to City Harvest, a food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women and children. Buying macarons today will not only be good for your taste buds, but it will also be supporting a great cause. Check to see if your city is participating.
If you are not lucky to live in one of those cities, that’s ok, You can make these lemon macarons at home and virtually celebrate jour de macarons! The macaron shells are bursting with lemon zest and lemon extract to give you a tangy crunchy cookie that is filled with a sweet lemon vanilla bean buttercream. The sweet and tangy balance in these lemon macarons make them the perfect spring treat.
Lemon macaron shells filled with lemon vanilla bean buttercream make this sweet and tangy treat perfect for the Spring.
- 110 g fine almond meal/flour
- 155 g confectioner's sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 90 g egg white (3 large egg whites)
- 55 g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Few drops yellow food coloring (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- zest of lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or scrapings of half a vanilla bean
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. I used a 1½-inch round cookie cutter to draw circles on the parchment paper and flip over the paper (drawing side down). Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip. I used Wilton 2A.
- Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour and zest into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of almond bits left. Add these to the mixture.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Add the food coloring and lemon extract and whip for another minute.
- Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula. Gently fold to deflate the meringue by pressing against the side of bowl and scooping from bottom until batter is smooth and shiny; about 20-25 folds. To check consistency, drop a spoonful of batter and it should have a peak that quickly relaxes back into the batter. Start checking the batter after 20 folds.
- Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Tap baking sheet hard on counter to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. Let shells sit on counter for 20-30 minutes to dry.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shells harden, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time. You should be able to peel off the macaron from the parchment. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment.
- Whip the butter until light and creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until combined. Increase speed to low and whip for additional 2-3 minutes.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip, fill macarons. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to get to room temperature before enjoying!
Macaron shells adapted from Brave Tart
** Don’t forget to enter the giveaway going on right now for a chance to win a set of 12 silicone baking cups.**
I will have to attempt these one day… but for now I can just drool over yours!
Thanks Tracy! I hope you try them soon!
These are so pretty! I love your macarons and lemon 🙂
Okay I need you to come over and teach me your mac skillz. These are perfect!
Gorgeous macarons! And I love that we can dedicate a whole day to them. Now, if only I could get my hands on a few today 🙂 How did you get the pic of them leaning over?! Love it!
Thanks Ashley!! I agree a whole day to them is warranted. I did not plan that picture. I wanted a stack of 4 but they fell as soon as I stepped back and I caught them falling lol! It’s a picture of my failure hahha but it was cool 🙂
Oh my goodness — I was going to ask the same thing about the Leaning Tower of Macarons. I wondered “did she stick a skewer through them? Nah, she wouldn’t have done that to such beautiful macarons. Did she photoshop them? Nah, I’m sure she didn’t do that either” Even if the picture resulted from a mistake, it turned out beautifully!
And these look like the perfect way to usher in spring! So light and refreshing, which is perfect this time of year, even if it’s still a bit cool outside.
I love lemon too! These Macrons scream spring, I love it!! They are simply beautiful.
Lemon has been a flavor I have been craving all month. These look so gorgeous. I applaud your macaron making skills!
Thanks Jamie!! I am now craving cupcakes after seeing your cupcakes today 🙂
These photos brightened my day — I love that beautiful yellow color! You are the macaron queen, Zainab — these look delicious AND beautiful! 🙂
Awww thanks Marcie!!
This is so cool, Zainab! I’ve never heard of Jour de Macaron before, but I love the idea of it and that it helps charities world-wide! Plus these lemon macarons are gorgeous and so bright! Absolutely perfect for the first day of spring. 🙂
These shots are so fun! I love these and want them now! What a fun burst of spring!
Your macarons are so cute. Love the choice of colour. Very springlike. Happy Macaron Day Zainab
These are so beautiful in the spring yellow! They look yummy! I will have make these soon. I am still drooling over the your gingerbread cake I made for my family at Christmas. It was a huge hit! Your photos are just gorgeous.
Thank you very much Allison!! I’m so glad you loved that gingerbread cake…still one of my favorites. And I hope you get to try the vanilla cupcakes too soon with your girlfriend 🙂
Gawd these photos are beautiful, Zainab! I especially like the super cool ones where the tower of macarons is falling over. Here’s hoping that spring comes to your city asap!
Thanks Nancy!! I am hoping it does too. We are in 30s today and that is awesome!!!
Seriously, who do you make such perfect macarons? I’m in awe!
These look lovely and are the perfect way to welcome Spring! I’m in camp C because it has started to look like it this week hehe ;–)
Thanks dear!! I wish I was in your camp lol!
I’ve never had a macaroon before but I have always wanted to try one and just recently, I’ve been wanting to make them because they’re such a pretty dessert. I love lemon so I think I’ll start with this recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Kelly they are very sweet and delicate. Making them will be a great start 🙂
These look marvelous and I know they are french but I CAN NOT help but think of the leaning tower of Pisa with that last photo! Gorgeous!
Hahhah thanks Nancy!!
These sound perfect for spring! Hope it’s soon springtime outside your kitchen, too!
Thanks Hallie! Me too! Is it spring for you over there yet?
Spring came early for us this year…it’s been spring since the beginning of the month!
these are so appropriate for today..lemon, and yellow it screams nothing but Spring..
Gorgeous macarons, Z! Just beautiful and I love your whimsical styling and photography here…perfect for spring! I’m in Camp C, but we’re getting there with warmer and sunnier days. Thanks for sharing your spring sunshine with us with these sweet lemon macarons. 🙂 Have a fabulous Friday and weekend, my friend!
Thanks Stacy! I hope we get warmer and sunnier weather too soon. Hope you have a great weekend 🙂
I didn’t even know about Macaron Day! I wish I had, I would have loved to whip up a batch. Luckily I can admire your little lovelies. They are sweet perfection & I love your photos too. That little font trick on the one picture is so smart 😉
Thanks Allie!! I was bored with my fonts and played around a bit 🙂
Can you start a lemon bakery? Because these, and those donuts, sound AMAZING. Your photos alone welcome spring – so bright and clear and cheery! Love those cupcake liners, too!
These are so lovely, Z! I’m in awe!
These look incredible! I have macarons on my list of things to try, I’ll have to add this recipe to my list! 🙂
I literally just read about this “macaron day” in the paper yesterday! You are truly the “macaron queen” Zainab!! I have never made them, but I sure like looking at yours!! 🙂
Your macarons look beautiful Zainab! I love how bright and fun the pictures are and that falling tower shot is awesome! These bursts of lemon sunshine are so perfect for spring and Macaron Day:) Pinned:)
What a great way to give back to the community and to encourage others to give back. I’d take free macarons for a donation! Today in our area Rita’s Water Ice was giving away free small water ices all day long to celebrate the First Day of Spring. It would be a great idea if they would ask for a donation for a great cause like this. Happy Friday! PS thanks for stopping by my blog.
You are amazing with these macarons! You actually make me feel like I MIGHT be able to make them 🙂 Happy Spring!
These look so delicious, Zainab! I’ve tried macarons several times, and I am consistently disappointed in my abilities. I think you need to move over here and teach me your baking wisdoms. 🙂
Zainab these are so bright and cheery, I love them. I really need to get over my fear of macaron failure and try these out, pinning!
OK. Can I have 2 words?
These are so gorgeous and delicate and delicious looking! WOW!
There could not be a more perfect way to ring in spring! These macarons are beautiful! You’re totally motivating me to get my act together and finally make these 🙂
I really really wish I was brave enough to try to make them at home…. we devoured our last macaron brought from Paris just a couple of days ago, it was a sad, sad moment
Zainab, I am so jealous that these bright little guys get to hang out with you! Seriously, so cheerful and beautiful. Spring needs to get here already in Michigan!
Sadly, with the weather and it being Spring and all, I fit into Camp A. WHOMP WHOMP. Warm weather come soon! About this fabulous post, you are inspiring me to make macaroons. Lemon Macaroons sounds divine. I’m slightly intimidated to make them. However, why the heck not right?! Thanks for sharing!
Seriously girl! You and your macaroons are amazing! And now lemon… I cannot get enough! I need to make these ASAP to make myself think it’s spring since I think it will always be winter in Minnesota, haha. Delicious once again, Zainab!
Thanks Allie! I am hoping Spring gets here eventually too.
I’ve been wanting to make macarons for years, but those danged feet have me all intimidated!
I found you at the Best of the Weekend link party! I hope you’ll stop by ItsYummi.com and check out my grilled chicken panini sandwich! 🙂
The feet scare me too Becca. But with the right textured batter and oven temperature they rise. Hope you try them soon 🙂
I’m visiting from the Best of the Weekend Link-up Party. I love how bright and cheery your photos are of the lemon macarons – perfect for spring!
Carrie thanks for stopping by! Hope you are having a lovely Spring day!
Hi your macaroons look so good and I pinned it! I love macaroons and i saw it on best of the weekend party.
Julie at Julie’s Lifestyle
Thanks Julie!! Hope you are having a great weekend.
I LOVE the picture of the macarons toppling over! SO cool! Also, you make the prettiest macarons, PLEASE teach me 🙂
Thanks Meriem! They were not cooperating to be stacked and I was lucky to catch them fall. I can teach you for sure…they are not hard to make. Eclairs are hard…so teach me in return?
Oh Macarons! these look beautiful. 🙂 http://www.handmadeintheheartland.com/
Ah, wow! Macarons are one of those things that I would never have expected to like, but each time I try them I find myself oohing and ah-ing over them! I especially like the fruity fresh-flavoured ones, so these would be just up my street! Pinning for later, Zainab!
Thanks Helen! They are very addicting 🙂
These macarons look so bright and sunny! Amazing treat!
This makes me want to make macarons, but I am chicken! They seem so tricky
They are not that tricky. You can do it 🙂
These look lovely!
Wow, they look amazing Zainab! I love Spring and lemon always come to mind when this season.
Thanks Laura 🙂
These are absolutely beautiful! The vanilla bean filling looks heavenly Zainab. Props to you for perfect looking macarons!
These look delicious and remind me of spring days ahead.
These look amazing. I’ve never had a macaron or baked a macaron, but now I’m pretty intrigued!
Lemon yellow catches my eye every time! I have a bag of almond meal waiting for me to get brave enough to make my first batch of macaroons. I think this may be the recipe!
Your macaroons look delicious!! I’ve tried making then a few times but never got mine to look as smooth as yours!
Eating macarons and raising funds – that’s a winning combination! They look adorable and oh so springlike 🙂
These macarons are beautiful Zainab! Pinned and shared on Facebook 🙂
They look exquisite !!
I don’t like to eat macarons, but I looooooooooove looking at them
Your are perfectly done 🙂
ohmigosh, girl… MORE gorgeous macarons! I’m in awe <3
Will you please give me lessons?! P.S. Found these at the Marvelous Monday link party. I made a great vegetarian and gluten-free side dish this week. Hope you'll come by and see it! 🙂
we love anything lemony! these macarons sure make us think of spring and put a big smile on our faces!
Well you know me! I’m in camp B. But I won’t brag too much. 😉
These look lovely, Zainab. If you lined up a bunch of different macarons in front of me, I’d probably go for this one first. Or maybe a chocolate one. Or maybe both at the same time. LOL. Thanks for sharing these at MM. Pinning and sharing on social media!
Hahhah FL girl lol! Thanks Julie! And I will so go for a line of macarons right now…this afternoon needs to end 🙂
I think you should come over (stay at my place- of course!) so we can taste test all the macaron spots in NYC… better yet, let’s just make them together in my kitchen because you make it look so easy. I haven’t done it yet, too timid.
Connie, I will be taking you up on this offer!! Visiting bakeries in NYC is on my list of things to do soon!! Maybe this summer 🙂
Yes def! I’m down with that! Just let me know when it starts getting close to when you’re coming. 🙂
These are beautiful! You have some serious talent girl. I adore French macarons, so I must have been subconsciously channeling the holiday–I bought a whole collection of them at a bakery this weekend (no lemon though…I need yours 🙂 )
Hi! I am visiting from the Marvellous Mondays Linky! I have to say your macarons are flawless and so cheerful! I have never tried making macarons. I love eating them, off course, but I am too scared to bake them myself. I am pinning your recipe for when I overcome my fears ha ha 🙂 🙂
Thank you very much Maria for stopping by and for your sweet comment 🙂 I hope you are able to try these soon. They are not as bad as people make them to be.
These look delicious! What amazing photography and a simple enough recipe to try myself. Can’t wait to explore your blog further!
Thank you Danni!! I hope you find some more recipes you can try 🙂
Mmm lemon! Definitely pinning these – they look delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Sew Lah Tea Dough
Zainab, I’m all about Camp B… although, I’m still wearing my snow boots. It’s so darn cold and not warm enough for open toed high heels or flip flops. But, with the looks of these (gorgeous!!!!) macarons, I’m living in Spring time already! Pinned.
Oh, these sound so good! I love citrus flavors this time of year and these just look happy and spring like too. Can’t wait to try these myself!
Wow you rocked these macarons! They totally scare and intimidate the heck out of me! Also, I’m stuck in Camp A. So now I’m going to cry myself to sleep while dreaming of these cheery lemon macarons!
Hhahah yeah Camp As rocks!! Let’s tell ourselves that 🙂
Oh wow, those just scream spring Zainab!! I love lemon, the flavor and the bright, happy feeling that it invokes. 🙂 They are so gorgeous!
Thanks Lisa 🙂
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? These are gorgeous, Zainab…you are utterly talented. 🙂
Thank you Samantha!!
Yum! I will take macaroon day any day, I love them! Thanks for the recipe, lemon is so yummy and springy.
These are stunning. I’m not a talented baker, but I would love to give these a try!
Stopping by from Totally Talented Party. These look scrumptious! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow
These are perfection come true! They look awesome and they must taste heavenly! I´m here through Pint Sized Baker´s link party, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for visiting Viviana 🙂
These are gorgeous! I would love to eat them right now, and I also think that they would be a perfect addition to the Easter dessert spread. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thanks Blair! What a great idea for an Easter spread 🙂
Some of the most gorgeous macarons I’ve ever seen! Great job, Zainab! Soon you’ll be putting Bouchon outta business 😉
Awww thanks dear 🙂
I think macaroons are so awesome, but I’m intimidated on making them. I’m going to have to try your recipe and give it a try.
Shannon ~ bohemianjunktion.com
You’re seriously a macaron queen. I need to work on my skills.
Those are so bright and cheery looking. I keep hoping spring will get here for good and replace the winter!!! Lemon treats are the perfect pick me up!!!
Holy cow. I have not made macarons in a while and yours always look absolutely gorgeous! I am in LOVE with all things lemon, as you know, and I need these in my life immediately!! Pinned! xo
Thanks Claire! Lemon makes everything better 🙂 hope you are having a great weekend!
Zainab, Congrats on being the most viewed link on the Best of the Weekend party. Thanks for linking up. You will be featured this week. The party is live tonight!!
Thank you Nichi!!
These are gorgeous! Can you just send me some? 🙂
Zainab, These looks delish! Who doesn’t like lemon cookies … not me! Your photos are gorgeous too. Pinning this!
Best. Recipe. Ever! I love lemon and find these to be AMAZING, Zainab!! Thanks so much for sharing at SNF!
Hi, friend! I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I just made macarons for the very first time, based off of your lemon macaron recipe. They turned out perfectly — thank you so much! I cut the recipe in thirds, just to keep myself from eating them all at once, and also added some additional lemon zest rather than the extract (had a surplus of lemon zest I was trying to use up!) ! Thank you so much for the inspiration — you finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to try my hand at homemade macarons. Now I’m anxious to try every macaron recipe I can get my hands on : )
Oh my gosh Jamie I am so so happy to hear this!!! Macarons are the best but have the bad rep of being hard to make. I am so glad your first try was positive…mine was not and I have no idea what I stuck with it lol!
I made these cookies today and they came out perfectly! My husband mistakenly got wax paper instead of parchment so I had to take my chances with silpat (and no stencil!). They’re in the fridge setting now, but we ate a few bites of one of them and loved it. They’re a bit too sweet for me since I’ve had to give up gluten, but I will find a way to make these work since macarons are one of the few gluten-free cookies that are already meant to be gluten free.
Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ll continue to tinker to balance out the sweetness, but overall your recipe was perfect for my first try!
Hi Kristen! Thank you so much for coming back and letting us know. SO glad the cookies came out great. I used wax paper once as well and the results were not so great, so I am glad you passed on that. Macarons are a bit sweet I agree but you can make the filling less sweet.
I made these Lemon Macarons for the super bowl party and it was a crowd favorite. I found your post from Pinterest ! Thanks for sharing, Zainab!
This recipe is fabulous, and so easy to follow! Absolutely delicious – I filled mine with raspberry preserves which worked so perfectly with the lemon!
Thank you Lex! I am glad you loved it.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never had lemon macarons! This recipe looks great though so hopefully that will change! Thanks for posting it, Zainab!
Thank you! I hope you try it 🙂
I’m not sure if I’ll get an answer since this recipe is so old but I wanted to make these and didn’t want to run to the store to get lemon extract,… can I substitute for lemon juice? If so how much would I need? I know sometimes the extract is stronger than the real deal so I was just wondering if it would work or if it would throw the recipient off.
Hi Eden, I would not recommend using lemon juice in the meringue but you do want to try it go ahead. Let me know how it works.
hi my filling came out a little runny to fix that do i just add a little more powder sugar
Yes, it should not have been runny. maybe you added too much liquid to the frosting?
Hi! I wanted to try this recipe. Is there a way to convert this recipe to cups/tsp/tbsp?
You can use a conversion tool online or just google. However, for macarons, weights are really the best for the best results.
This recipe did not work well at all, i tried it twice and wasted so many ingredients just to create weird flavorless yellow disks.
Hi Laura, I am sorry to hear that. Macarons are delicate and take some practice to make. As you can see from above, a lot of people have tried this recipe and it works for them. Without being in your kitchen, it is hard to help you troubleshoot.
I made these for mother’s day and they were amazing!! I made lemon buttercream for the filling and let them sit for two days to allow the shells to become moist and chewy, and it worked!! The day that I made them, they were ok, but not amazing. On the third day, though, they had the most amazing flavor. This was my first time making macarons, but they turned out amazing!! Thanks for the recipe!! I will probably use it again!
So glad to hear Carolyn that you loved them. macarons are definitely better after they sit for a bit.
Hi Zainab! I’m an new baker who wants to use your recipe for my first attempt at macarons. Unfortunately, I’m confused by one of the first instructions (which doesn’t bode well for me. ha!)
“Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour and zest into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of almond bits left. Add these to the mixture.”
To clarify, I sift and sift and sift until there are less than 2 tbs of little lumps left when I sift, correct? These little bits can then go back into the sifted dry ingredients without making my macarons lumpy?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Amanda, you are correct. You sift the dry ingredients until there are just a few tablespoons left. You can add back in some of those and the macarons won’t be lumpy. You can also just leave it out if you don’t want to.
Hello! I just made these and they turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I will definitely be making these again! 🙂
Hi Sarah! So glad you loved them!! Check out my other macaron flavors too 🙂 https://aclassictwist.com/recipes/sweets/macarons/
Zainab, thank you!! Our family has tried to make these for years and they were never quite right. Your recipe is the ticket!! Ours turned out to be picture perfect tasty sensations. We’re thrilled. And your buttercream is also perfect – neither of these recipes is too sweet. They are just the right amount for us. I made a batch of your lemon version and also made a batch of coconut ones. For the coconut I used your recipe but exchanges 2 TBSP of the almond flour with coconut flour from WalMart and used coconut extract in place of the lemon extract. We balanced that with a non-lemon version of your buttercream. My favorite!! Thank you so much. Macarons are possible with your recipe. Everyone should try it!! Your other recipes look interesting too, I’ll give more of them a go.
Oh, I am so glad to hear this!! I love the idea for the coconut macarons..so glad you tried it so now I can too 🙂
I used this recipe for my first ever attempt at making macarons and they turned out great!! I was always intimidated by the idea of making macarons but they were actually so simple. Coupled with homemade lemon curd and they were a bit hit!
So glad to hear Kiana! I think macarons get a bad rep from bakers who are not patient or love experimenting.
Hi there! I’m just wondering what the net weight of one macaron is. I know it’s a random question, but if you could let me know, that would be great.
Hi Christina, unfortunately, I don’t know.
Delicious and so cheery-looking! I shared them with my book club – outside next to some socially-distanced fire pits. Thank you so much for the excellent recipe!
Thank you, Michelle!! I am so glad to hear you loved this recipe. I’m jealous of your book club, sounds so cozy!!
I was curious what type of almond flour you are using? I used an almond flour and it caused them to be quite speckled with brown bits curious how you would fix that?
I use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour/meal. The brown bits are leftover almond skin in the flour. It shouldn’t impact the recipe but I know the look isn’t swell.
Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I will definitely try it some day!