What Is Actually a Macaron? The Anatomy of this Supreme Pastry

What Is Actually a Macaron? The Anatomy of this Supreme Pastry

If you're a food lover, chances are you've heard of the macaron. This supreme cookie has taken the world by storm in recent years, with people becoming more and more obsessed with its delicate flavour and airy texture. 

But what is a macaron? And how is it made? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the anatomy and characteristics of the macaron and what makes this little cookie so unique. 

Join us on a journey to discover why this sweet treat is so loved by cookie aficionados everywhere. If you're curious about this pastry phenomenon, read on.

What is a Macaron

As you probably already know, a macaron is a "fluffy" French pastry made from egg whites, almond meal or ground almonds, sugar, and icing sugar. It consists of a light-as-air meringue-like filling sandwiched between two round discs of sweet baked confectionery.

Smooth tops, ruffled edges (called the "crown," "foot," or "pied"), and flat bottoms distinguish meringues. They're airy, moist, slightly cakey, and chewy in terms of texture. Macarons that have been properly baked should have a characteristic melt-in-your-mouth quality.

How Macarons are Made


Although the art of macaron-making is time-consuming, the results are well worth it.

How Macarons are Made

Although the art of macaron-making is time-consuming, the results are well worth it.

The meringue may be made in two ways: The French way, which involves whipping egg whites until stiff peaks form, or the Italian way, which consists of mixing egg white with simple syrup to make the meringue. The French approach is the most common method of preparation.

The dry ingredients are folded into the egg white mixture once the meringue is produced. It takes a tremendous amount of care and precision to fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites so that air is not lost.

The macaron batter is then piped onto parchment paper or silicone mats in small circles, generally about two inches apart. These circles will be used as molds to form the macarons' characteristic ridges.

The final step is baking the macarons at around 160 degrees Celsius to make sure they form the right "shell" on top.

Macarons are usually filled with ganache, buttercream, jams, curds, custard, or boiled sugar icing.

When making macarons, it's critical to follow exact instructions. They won't turn out as perfect sandwich cookies if you don't. Get your food scale-out to ensure that all of your ingredients are accurately weighed.

Anatomy of Macaron

The shell or crust of a macaron is made up of egg whites, sugar, and almond flour. Macaron shells are usually baked with a small amount of egg yolk (for stability) and no water.

Why do we use only egg whites?

Egg whites allow the meringue that traps air bubbles for expansion during baking. This expansion is necessary to create the porous, light texture of the macaron shells.
What makes a good shell?

The shells inside must be moist but solid enough to maintain its shape when consumed. The crust should also be slightly chewy and should not easily fall off or break apart when picked up.

How does one make a good macaron shell?

The lesser you interfere, the better your macarons will turn out. When mixing the batter to achieve that perfect consistency, it is best not to over or under mix since both can lead to cracked shells and feet that won't form properly. It is also important not to let the macarons sit for too long before baking them since they can become flat, hard shells.


Macarons are made with two cookie shells and a cream filling sandwiched in the middle. Macaron fillings vary per baker, but typically they're flavoured creams, jams, curds, and ganache.

The filling should be light but intense in flavour, like ganache made with Valrhona dark chocolate (64%) and heavy cream or flavored buttercream with Japanese soft cheese or mascarpone, for example, or matcha green tea cream.


Serving macarons topped with chopped, colorful sprinkles offer a playful element to the macaron. When determining an appropriate topping for your macarons, many bakers and pastry chefs prefer to keep their options light and delicate.

Chopped nuts or shredded coconut are an excellent option, although these toppings can be overpowering when paired with the delicate flavour of the macaron. Instead, many chefs prefer to top their confections with pulled sugar, chocolate garnishes, or dried fruit (citrus peel).

What makes a perfect macaron?

Although you only need three simple components -almond flour, sugar & egg white-, making a perfect macaron requires time and expertise and good equipment.

Crispy exterior & chewy interior - The shell of a perfect macaron should crack open easily but stay intact and not crumble or splinter when bitten into. The shells must have feet or 'pieds' which means they should rise evenly at the sides showing the distinctive ruffled base, called the 'pied du chat'. They need to be crispy outside while remaining soft inside and stay fresh for several days without crumbling.

Shiny & smooth surface - The texture of a perfect macaron depends on the ratio of egg white to icing sugar used in the recipe. If there are too many whites, it will produce chewy shells with cracks when baked. Too much sugar makes them dull and less shiny when cooked.

The texture will also depend on how much moisture is left in the batter before it's baked. If it's over-mixed or under-mixed for example.

The shell can also be dry if overcooked, so it's best to test a few macarons before baking the whole batch to get the timing right.

Strong & distinct flavor - When choosing your ingredients, don't buy a cheap pale almond meal and expect a good result. Buy the best quality you can afford because the flavour of the macaron shells is determined by their ingredients that make up about 50% of total weight. It is recommended that you use pure almond powder rather than a ready-made almond meal mixed with vegetable oil since it contains more moisture.


Due to its pleasing aesthetics and taste, macarons are considered as a supreme pastry. If you’ve ever had a delicious French dessert, then you know what we mean. They may be small, but they pack in so much flavour and texture, making each bite one of life’s simple pleasures.

If you can't find them at your local grocery store or bakery, or you simply don’t want to bake them yourself, you can buy macarons online from The Macaron Company!

Ordering directly from us ensures freshness and quality since our products are delivered straight to your door.

The Macaron Company is here for your sweet tooth needs, so buy some online today! It doesn't matter what flavour because they're all divine :)