Macarons are a favorite sweet treat of foodies all over the world. These delicate cookies are made from almond flour, sugar, and egg whites.
The cookies are typically sandwiched with soft filling like buttercream, ganache, jam or fruit curd. They come in a wide variety of flavors and gorgeous bright colors.
But you may still be wondering: what do macarons taste like?
Macarons have a light, airy texture with smooth tops that have a slightly crispy exterior. The macaron shell typically is not overly sweet and may have a slight nuttiness from the almond flour. However, most of the flavor of macarons comes from the sweet or savory filling.
Some popular choices for macaron flavors are vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, lemon, and salted caramel. However, you can find this delicious treat in any flavor you can imagine.
Chocolate macarons or cookies with a coffee filling will have a richer flavor, while sweet macarons with fruit fillings will be lighter and brighter. While most macarons have a sweet filling, you can also enjoy savory macaron flavors like fig, walnut or black sesame.
No matter what the flavor, a perfect macaron will have a light, delicate flavor with a slightly crunchy exterior and a delicious creamy filling that helps create a chewy texture in the center.
What Are Macarons?
Macarons are a type of French pastry that resembles a fancy sandwich cookie. The cookies are made from almond flour, sugar, and beaten egg whites whipped to stiff peaks.
The macaron batter is added to a piping bag that is piped onto a baking sheet into small rounds, and then baked.
Once cooled, a variety of fillings, such as chocolate ganache, flavored buttercream or fruit jam are added between two of the delicate cookie shells.
French macarons are perfect for special occasions because they are fun and whimsical with their bright, beautiful colors and endless flavor options.
Macarons are notoriously difficult to make. Even top pastry chefs can sometimes struggle to achieve the perfect texture, size and flavor of these tasty treats.
But the results are well worth the effort. When made correctly, they have a perfect combination of texture with a crisp shell and a soft, chewy interior.
The shell of the macaron should be smooth and shiny, with a slight crisp to the first bite. The filling is generally soft and helps creates a chewy texture when you bite through.
A good macaron has the perfect balance of textures.
What Does A Macaron Taste Like?
Seeing sugar in the list of ingredients in a macaron might lead you to believe it’s like any other sweet dessert. However, macarons have a very interesting and complex flavor profile.
As mentioned above, macarons come in a wide range of flavors. While macaron shells typically use similar ingredients, most of the wonderful flavor is developed by adding different flavors to the filling.
Macaron Flavors And Fillings
When it comes to macarons, there are so many flavors to choose from. Adding a different filling to the same macaron shell can transform a classic flavor into an entirely new experience.
Let’s take a look at some common flavors and different ways to change up the flavors.
Chocolate macarons are one of the most popular flavors. For the chocolate macaron filling, you can’t go wrong with a decadent chocolate ganache, made with just chocolate and cream.
Or, for something a little lighter, you could enjoy a white chocolate buttercream or ganache.
Get creative with a filling flavor like chocolate hazelnut spread like Nutella, salted caramel, coffee or cookies ‘n cream or liqueur.
Chocolate also pairs well and creates a great balance with fruit flavors like orange, raspberry, lemon and strawberry.
Vanilla is a sweet and simple flavor loved by almost everyone. A classic buttercream filling with confectioners sugar, butter, a few drops of vanilla and a pinch of salt makes for a perfect macaron.
A vanilla base is also the perfect blank canvas for creating delicious macaron flavor combinations. Literally, any sweet or savory filling you can think of would work well with vanilla.
You can go with a traditional white or cream color for the shell and filling of a vanilla macaron. But because vanilla is such a versatile flavor, you also choose any color of the rainbow. In fact, blue macarons are a popular choice when going with a vanilla flavor.
When it comes to lemon macarons, you have a lot of options. The pretty yellow macaron shells look beautiful with simple lemon curd, cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream.
Add a pop of contrasting color and flavor with a strawberry, raspberry, blackberry or blueberry filling.
You can have lots of fun mixing and matching strawberry flavors. Peanut butter and strawberry jelly macarons are a fun flavor fun for kids to enjoy.
Other fruit flavors like lemon are great for a sweet and tart flavor profile.
Strawberry with dark, milk or white chocolate is a classic pairing. A strawberry macaron with champagne and liquor fillings makes for a tasty grown-up treat.
Raspberry macarons are a sweet and tart treat when paired with raspberry jam or frosting. Chocolate or white chocolate buttercream or ganache filling would also be a very tasty complement to a pretty pink shell.
Macarons are delicate cookies that work really well with equally delicate, floral flavors. You can find beautiful macarons in pastel colors flavored with rosewater, lavender, violet, jasmine, hibiscus, cherry blossom and even edible dried flowers.
Another popular macaron flavor is coffee. Coffee is a versatile flavor that pairs nicely with so many flavors. Just think of the wide variety of flavored coffees that are available. Any of those fun flavors could be made into a macaron!
One classic pairing is coffee and chocolate, often referred to as “mocha”. These flavors work especially well together, as the rich sweetness of the chocolate is balanced out by the bold flavor of the coffee.
Another popular choice is espresso macarons, which will have a stronger coffee flavor.
Vanilla and hazelnut also are perfect flavors to pair with coffee. These hazelnut coffee macarons are a great recipe to try.
If you want to try something a little different, you could also experiment with fruit flavors like berries or citrus.
The sky is the limit when it comes to macaron flavors. For people that enjoy a more savory treat, you’ll find macarons with flavors like goat cheese, parmesan, basil, avocado, wasabi, fig, ham, black pepper, balsamic and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Macarons
How would you describe a macaron?
Macarons are a popular French pastry that has a light, airy and slightly crisp shell made from almond flour, egg whites, and sugar.
They are filled with flavored buttercream, ganache or jams and come in a variety of colors and flavors.
While there are many traditional flavors and common fillings such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, hundreds of unique flavor combinations are available.
Are macarons really sweet?
While macarons are often associated with sweetness, the best macarons are well-balanced in flavor.
The majority of their flavor comes from the filling, which can be tailored to taste. As a result, macarons can be as sweet or as savory as you like.
Are macarons crispy or soft?
The outer shells of macarons have a slightly crisp bite. The soft macaron filling offers a contrasting chewy texture. The perfect ratio of cookie to filling ensures a great balance of texture.
What is so special about macarons?
Macarons have a rich history dating back to the 1500s. Today these popular French pastries have made their way into the hearts of foodies all over the world.
One bite of a macaron and you will understand what all the fuss is about. The cookies have a light, airy texture that melts in your mouth, and the filling is the perfect balance of sweet and rich.
Macarons are also incredibly versatile, and they come in an endless variety of flavors and colors.
Why are macarons so expensive?
Macarons are often considered to be a luxurious treat because they are delicate and require a skilled hand to make. In addition, the ingredients used to make macarons are often expensive. Learn more about why macarons are expensive.
Are macarons supposed to taste like almonds?
Unless you are enjoying a macaron that is specifically flavored to taste like almond, you typically won’t detect almond flavor in a macaron.
Macaron shells are made with fine almond flour which is basically finely ground almonds. However, after other ingredients and a delicious filling are added, you’ll enjoy a perfect balance of all the delicious flavors.
Do macarons taste like eggs?
No, macarons do not taste like eggs. Although egg whites are used to make macaron shells, the ingredient is used more for texture than taste.
Are macarons eaten cold?
Macarons are best when enjoyed at room temperature. Most macarons are ok to be stored for a couple of days at room temperature in an airtight container.
However, depending on the fillings used it may be recommended to keep the macarons refrigerated.
What is the difference between macarons and macaroons?
Given the similar spelling, it’s easy to confuse macarons and macaroons. However, these are two totally different cookies.
Macarons are colorful, meringue-based sandwich cookies filled with buttercream, ganache or jam that come in a wide range of flavors. Coconut macaroons are chewy cookies made with shredded coconut and often dipped in chocolate.
If you’ve never tried a macaron, we highly recommend it! You can try making macarons at home with the help of some great macaron recipe books that are available on Amazon.
Or if you’d prefer to order macarons, here are a few famous macaron bakeries that are worth a try!
Micky Reed, a two-decade veteran in the food and baking industry, leverages her influential Three Snackateers food blog and Instagram presence to collaborate with industry giants like Ben & Jerry's and Crumbl Cookies. Her work has been featured on Delish, PopSugar and more. Her expertise as a product curator for one of the world's largest international snack subscription box companies solidifies her status as a key player in the field.