For an elegant cookie perfect for special occasions, look no further than these Chocolate Strawberry Macarons. Rich chocolate buttercream and strawberry jam are sandwiched between two chewy pink macaron shells—just like the kind you buy at your favorite French bakery!
You can’t help but feel a little bit fancy when you’re eating a macaron. I mean, first, they’re French—and we all know that France is the origin of everything fancy. But they’re also dainty and pretty, with a rainbow of pastel colors and a perfect chewy texture.
Don’t be intimidated by their high-end reputation, though. With a little bit of practice, macarons are easy to make at home, and this chocolate strawberry macaron recipe will show you how.
These macarons are perfect for bridal showers, baby showers, and even brunch get-togethers—especially paired with a mimosa for sipping! They’re also a great dessert for Valentine’s Day with their pretty pink color.
Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Strawberry Macarons
- Something special – While I love everyday cookies like Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sugar Cookies, there’s something extra special about macarons. They’re a little fancier, a little more delicate, and they always feel like an indulgence.
- Impressive but easy – Macarons may have a fussy reputation, but they’re actually simple to make at home. As long as you have the right ingredients and follow the steps carefully, you’ll have flawless macaron shells in no time.
- Irresistible texture – The chewy macaron shells and creamy filling offer the perfect contrasting textures. Although the flavor of macarons is fantastic too, I think the key to their popularity is that chewy/creamy contrast!
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the Shell:
- Egg whites – The base of our meringue. They do not have to be at room temperature, but they shouldn’t have any egg yolks in them.
- Granulated sugar – Sweetens the macarons and helps form the meringue in the macaron shells.
- Powdered sugar – Used as a main dry component in both the shell and buttercream. It also adds additional sweetness to the macaron.
- Almond flour – The key to classic macaron shells. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill.
- Pink gel food coloring – If desired.
For the Filling:
- Butter – Make sure it’s fully softened so you don’t end up with lumps in your filling.
- Chocolate chips – I use semi-sweet chocolate, but milk or dark chocolate would work too. Just make sure you’re using a high quality brand!
- Powdered sugar – Sweetens and thickens the filling.
- Strawberry jam – I like seedless strawberry jam, but feel free to use what you have on hand.
- Swap the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips; this creates a filling with a more pronounced strawberry flavor.
- Try using raspberry jam or orange marmalade instead of the strawberry jam.
- Add a teaspoon of espresso powder to the chocolate buttercream for some additional richness and a bit of coffee flavor.
- Piping bag and large round tip – These are essential for piping the macaron shells onto your baking sheet. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off.
- Food scale – This will ensure accurate measurements for the ingredients, which is crucial for making perfect macarons.
- Silicone baking mat or parchment paper – You’ll need something to line your baking sheet with to prevent the macarons from sticking. A silicone mat works best, but parchment paper will also do the trick.
How to Make
For the Shell:
- Heat and whisk – Heat a small saucepan of water over medium heat. Once the water is simmering, add the egg whites and granulated sugar to a heatproof bowl and set it over the water. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Mix – Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until the meringue holds a soft peak.
- Color – Add a few drops of pink gel food coloring to the meringue and continue mixing on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add the dry ingredients – Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into the bowl and fold them gently into the meringue until the meringue flows smoothly off the spatula without breaking.
- Pipe – Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe 1” macarons onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Pop air bubbles – Hold the tray a few inches off the counter and drop it straight down to release any air bubbles; repeat 4 or 5 times.
- Rest – Set the macarons aside for 20 to 30 minutes or until a skin has formed. You should be able to tap them gently without the meringue sticking to your finger. While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Bake – Bake the macarons for 14 minutes on the middle rack, one tray at a time. Turn the tray halfway through baking. Cool completely.
For the Filling:
- Beat the butter and sugar – Add the softened butter and melted chocolate to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add the sugar – Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly beat in the powdered sugar.
- Finish – Turn the mixer to medium high speed and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag.
- Fill – Place the macaron shells in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small ring of buttercream onto the flat side of one macaron and fill the center with strawberry jam.
- Sandwich – Place another macaron shell on top and gently press down, until the chocolate buttercream reaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining shells and filling.
- Chill – Refrigerate the macarons in an airtight container overnight; bring to room temperature before enjoying.
- Your oven must be at 325ºF, so use an oven thermometer to make absolutely sure the temperature is correct. Ovens often run hot or cold.
- To get evenly round macarons, hold the piping bag perpendicular to the tray while you pipe the shells. Don’t try to draw a circle!
- Macaronage (the process of folding the dry ingredients into the meringue) is one of the most important steps when making macarons. You should be able to draw a figure 8 with the meringue without the stream breaking. There are lots of great videos online if you aren’t 100% sure what the meringue should look like.
- You must use gel food coloring in macarons, not liquid! Both Wilton and Americolor are great.
How to Store
Refrigerator – Store the chocolate strawberry macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
Freezer – You can freeze filled macarons for up to 1 month. Place them in an airtight container and thaw them in the fridge overnight before bringing them to room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Macaroons are a type of chewy coconut cookie, while macarons are delicate French sandwich cookies made with almond flour and filled with various flavors.
Yes, almond flour is an essential ingredient in making traditional French macarons. It gives the shells their signature texture and flavor.
With practice and attention to detail, anyone can master making macarons at home! Don’t get discouraged if your first few batches don’t turn out perfectly. Keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it.
One of the biggest mistakes when making macarons is not properly folding the dry ingredients into the meringue, resulting in a deflated and flat shell. Another common mistake is over-mixing the batter, which can also lead to a flat and cracked shell. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and pay attention to things like oven temperature and piping technique.
Chocolate Strawberry Macarons
For the Shell
- 90 grams egg whites
- 90 grams granulated sugar
- 95 grams powdered sugar
- 95 grams almond flour
- Pink gel food coloring, optional
For the Filling
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¼ cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
For the Shell
- Heat a small saucepan of water over medium heat. Once the water is simmering, add the egg whites and granulated sugar to a heatproof bowl and set it over the water.
- Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has fully dissolved– about 3 minutes.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure to not get any water into the egg white mixture when you transfer it from one bowl to another.
- Beat the egg white mixture on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the meringue holds a soft peak.
- Add a few drops of pink gel food coloring to the meringue and continue mixing on medium speed until stiff peaks form (about 1-2 minutes). I like to start with 3-4 drops and slowly add more if needed.
- Once stiff peaks form, sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into the bowl and fold them gently into the meringue. Make sure to fold gently because you don’t want to deflate the egg whites.
- Fold just until the meringue reaches the “lava stage”. When the meringue flows smoothly off the spatula without breaking, it’s ready.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe 1” macarons onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Once you’ve finished piping the first tray, hold it a few inches off the counter and drop it straight down to release any air bubbles. Repeat 4-5 times or until any large bubbles have popped.
- Repeat steps 7-8 with the second tray of macarons.
- Set the macarons aside to rest for 20-30 minutes or until a skin has formed. You should be able to tap them gently without the meringue sticking to your finger. While the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 325F.
- Bake the macarons, one tray at a time, on the middle rack. Bake for 14 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking.
- Allow the macarons to cool completely on the pan before assembling.
For the Filling
- Add the softened butter and melted chocolate to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy– about 30 seconds.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to medium high speed. Beat until the buttercream becomes light and fluffy– about 1 minute.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
- Place the macaron shells in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small ring of buttercream onto the flat side of one macaron and fill the center with strawberry jam (about ½ teaspoon).
- Place another macaron shell on top and press down gently, just until the chocolate buttercream reaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons.
- Place the filled macarons in an airtight container and rest them in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature and enjoy.
- Store any leftover macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.