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Naturally gluten-free maple macarons make a lovely treat or homemade food gift idea. The maple flavor is subtle and delicately delicious!
Hello there, stranger! Not you, my darling reader. I’m talking to the macarons. I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted a recipe! My current oven and I are still acquainting ourselves; and then there’s life and all. But when an idea for maple macarons came to mind this year, I knew it was time.
Welcome back to macarons with the Goodie Godmother! I have this recipe and another lined up for you in the near future. I’m also planning to launch some online classes early next year! At least one will be macarons, promise. I’ve really missed teaching my in-person classes, so this is an exciting new little project.
Anyway, back to maple macarons.
Why maple flavor?
Maple is probably one of the best and most under-rated flavors for cooler months. Sure, everyone goes wild over pumpkin spice (I have a macaron for that) or peppermint. Maple may not have the same fancy press agent, but it’s the OG of fall holiday flavors!
Maple is an appropriate flavor breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, cocktails. It’s so versatile! On top of that, it’s not even as controversial as pumpkin. Everybody has at least one maple-flavored something they like.
Adding flavor to maple macaron shells
I do have a few notes for this recipe to help you amp up the maple flavor if you’d like. The maple flavor here relies primarily on maple syrup. The first time I made the macarons, the flavor felt too subtle. Subtle to the point that if you handed me a macaron and asked me to try it, I couldn’t tell you offhand it was maple-flavored.
So while the technicalities of how to make macarons are covered in this older How to Make Macarons post, I’m going to talk about flavor manipulation here. It’s a bit rusty as I wrote it before I really knew how to blog. I’m sorry! I’ll be updating it shortly.
To add maple flavor to the shells, you have two options.
The first option is to replace about 10 grams of the granulated sugar with maple sugar. The flavor is still very subtle.
It’s a good way to use the tiniest bit of maple sugar if you have it, but if you’re looking for a bigger flavor impact, keep reading.
The second is to purchase maple extract and add a drop or two. Maple extract is preferred to adding maple syrup for two reasons: composition and potency.
First, it’s alcohol-based and will evaporate without changing the texture of your shells.
Second, maple extract has a potent commercial “maple” flavor. It will add exactly the boost you need in a far more concentrated form than maple syrup.
Maple Macarons Filling
You can also use maple extract in the frosting in addition to real maple syrup. I tried with two different frosting bases – a Swiss meringue buttercream and American buttercream.
I thought the Swiss meringue buttercream would work best. Turns out, I had to add more maple syrup to it to get the same flavor punch as with the American buttercream. So in the recipe, I’m using an American buttercream.
If you’d prefer to use a Swiss meringue buttercream, you can. Just know that you’ll need to add more maple syrup. Otherwise, you will want to have maple extract handy.
If you’re really interested in how the type of maple syrup used can impact a recipe, read my maple cheesecake bars post! I break down how maple syrup is labeled in the store and the different flavor characteristics of each category.
All that being said, these maple macarons are delicious! This is a great seasonal macaron recipe for fall. And of course, macarons make a lovely presentation for gatherings or excellent gift.
I hope you enjoy this maple macaron recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 150 g almond flour
- 150 g powdered/confectioner's sugar
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 30 g water
- 110 g egg whites, divided
- 2-3 drops brown gel coloring (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Sift together the almond flour and confectioner's sugar into a mixing bowl. Top with 55 g egg whites and the vanilla bean (if using). Do not mix.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your whisk attachment, place the other 55g egg whites.
- In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture up to soft ball stage (235 F/112 C) over medium high heat. When it is about 5 degrees away from the soft ball stage, start whisking your egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
- Once the sugar has reached soft ball stage, immediately remove from the heat, increase your mixer speed to high, and carefully drizzle in the sugar syrup, avoiding the sides of your bowl as much as possible. Continue whisking until you've reached a soft peak.
- Dump in the almond meal mixture (and a drop or two of color if using) and fold it into the egg whites until the mixture is homogeneous and looks like slow moving lava. Be careful not to over mix.
- Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheets.
- Heat your oven to 300 F.
- Bake the sheets one at a time for 18-20 minutes until the shells easily lift off the parchment but aren't colored around the edges. Because these macarons are larger, they will take a little time to bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
- To make the macaron filling, beat the butter until light and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, then the maple syrup, followed by the remaining powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency and flavor as needed by adding either additional maple syrup or powdered sugar.
- Pair the macaron shells in sets of two. Pipe filling into one of the two macaron shells in each pair and then cover with the other.
- Place the macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours to rest. Any small gaps should fill in this time. Enjoy the macarons!
- Macarons do freeze very well and macarons you don't plan to enjoy within the week can be frozen up to 2 months in an airtight container.
- The color of the macarons is entirely up to you. I used about 2 drops of brown gel food coloring for these.
- If you are using unsalted butter for the filling, add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. You shouldn't need to if using salted butter.
- For the boldest flavor maple syrup, use dark maple syrup. It has the most robust flavor.
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