This Macaron Tower doubles as a deliciously easy macaron recipe for Lemon Vanilla Bean French Macarons. Plus a complete DIY guide for a Macaron Tower that is sure to wow any and all of your party guests!
Who doesn’t love the amazing taste and look of a classic French Macaron? Macarons are always so elegant, yummy, and colorfully fun! I love serving macarons for any kind of party or event. Macarons have a reputation for being super complicated to make, so people are usually super impressed when you reveal a freshly baked batch! Wanna know a secret though? Mastering a macaron recipe is actually pretty easy! This recipe for Lemon Vanilla Bean French Macarons in particular is a total breeze! This amazing recipe is from our new contributor, Brandi from Posh Little Designs. I knew she would be such an amazing force on our team after following her on Instagram for the past year. Once you’ve conquered these macaron confections, be sure to start crafting your very own Macaron Tower. This DIY macaron tower guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to build it. It’s the perfect way to display your delicious macarons and seriously impress your family and friends! :)
What Is A Macaron?
A classic French Macaron isn’t actually as intimidating as it sounds. Macarons are just little colorful pastries made up of a delicious icing that’s sandwiched between two soft cookies. Macarons aren’t just frosted cookie sandwiches though. A signature macaron recipe calls for almond powder and tons of whipped egg whites for the cookies! That, combined with a little patience, is what gives a French Macaron its yummy, signature texture. Plus the best part of macarons is all of the amazing flavor combos and beautiful colors that you can bake into them! With a little practice, I promise you’ll be a macaron pro and ready to teach all of your friends how to make macarons!
How To Make Macarons
Figuring out exactly how to make macarons is easier than you think! This macaron recipe is seriously not complicated. Just be sure to follow these macaron tips and you’ll be cranking out batches of French Macarons in no time! ;)
Lemon Vanilla Bean Macaron Recipe
Classic lemon and vanilla flavors are a great starter combo when it comes to making macarons. When you start with any macaron recipe though, remember to properly sift your flour and your almond powder. All that sifting will help you get that smooth macaron texture! Once everything is combined, be sure to follow the exact directions for whipping and folding your egg whites. Those egg whites can be pesky and temperamental, but they’re so, so important to cracking that macaron recipe! After you have stiff white peaks in your egg whites and have gently folded everything in, you’re ready to pipe those pretty macarons!
How To Pipe Macarons
First place your macaron batter into a piping bag and slowly pipe out 1.5 inch circles. The trick with piping macarons is to do it on parchment paper or a Silpat. I totally prefer the Silpats that come with a macaron outline already on them. It makes the piping process so much easier and helps you make symmetrical and even cookies! Before baking any of your macarons, you have, have, have to let them rest! This step is seriously not a drill! Letting your macarons rest, helps them develop a skin so they will properly bake later on. After about 15-30 minutes, when your macarons are dry to the touch, you’ll be ready to bake!
How To Bake Macarons
When you’re baking macarons, you want to watch your oven like a hawk! You really want to be on the lookout for what’s called “feet.” Sounds super appetizing right? ;) I promise it’s nothing gross! Macaron feet are just the little frills and air pockets that develop along the side of the macaron. It will probably take about 6 minutes in the oven until you can see those little macaron feet! After your macarons are baked and cooled, pipe a small portion of the lemon vanilla filling and assemble your macarons!
A Classic Macaron Tower
If you can manage to resist eating every single one of these tasty macarons, then I totally recommend assembling a macaron tower for them! Macaron towers are found in practically every French Patisserie window, so why not make a DIY version of your very own? The macaron tower will not only be easy to make but absolutely stunning upon completion. It’s an instant stand-alone centerpiece and will look beautiful presented on dessert tables.
How To Make a Macaron Tower
Making the macaron tower itself only involves a foam cone, tissue paper, tons of toothpicks, and any decorations you like! To assemble the macaron tower, you just cut and cover your foam cone with tissue paper. After your tower is prepped, slowly start placing toothpicks in the foam cone. Remember to space them out and then place a macaron across each toothpick until the entire cone is covered! How easy is that? For some extra glam and detail, this macaron tower is topped with some gorgeous flowers to take the whole display up a notch. To replicate this look, you only have to leave some gaps in your macaron rows as you assemble. Once your macarons are all attached, you can go back through and add flowers or other dessert decorations to make the tower totally yours!
What is your favorite macaron recipe? I’m always looking for new macaron ideas and fillings! Have you found a favorite flavor or macaron color? For even more magnificent macarons, check out Posh Little Designs! Brandi has some amazing recipes like her Macaron Hot Chocolate! And be sure to send me tons of photos of your finished French Macarons and all of those gorgeous Macaron Towers using the #SOBestFriendsForFrosting hashtag! ;)
How To Make A DIY Macaron Tower
PS. Good news!! This Macaron Tower can also be made with bakery or store bought macarons.
FOR THE MACARON TOWER
- One 11 7/8 x 4 7/8 Foam Cone with 3 inches cut off the top
- 1 sheet of 20 x 24 inch white tissue paper
- Scotch Tape
- 62 toothpicks (12 for flowers)
- 50 1.5 inch French Macarons (bakery or homemade)
- 12 Fresh blooms of choice with the stems removed. (I used roses and ranunculus)
- Edible Gold luster dust or Wilton gold spray. (Optional)
- Cut 3 inches off the top of the foam cone. (This will provide a flat surface for topping the tower with flowers).
- Wrap the foam cone tightly in the sheet of tissue paper, taping the edges. The tissue will act as a barrier between the foam and the macarons.
- Insert a toothpick one inch from the bottom of the foam cone, leaving half inch of the toothpick exposed/sticking out. (You want the toothpick to be long enough to hold each macaron.
- Attach the first macaron to the tower by gently pushing the center of it into the exposed toothpick.
- Insert the second toothpick into the foam, one inch from the first macaron, AND THEN attach the second macaron.
- Continue to insert the toothpicks and attach the macarons until the entire bottom row of the tower is full. 11 macarons fit on the bottom row of my tower. You’ll want each row of macarons to be snug or almost touching.
- FOR ROW TWO: NOTE: I left off one macaron (an open space) to be filled with a flower upon completion.
- Insert the first toothpick directly above the center of two macarons on row one.
- Attach the macaron and repeat these steps until row two is full, then move onto row three.
- NOTE: I added flowers to every other row of the tower, leaving an open space on row two, four and six. The tower has 6 rows total.
- Continue to insert the toothpicks and attach the macarons until each of the six rows are full.
- Don’t forget to leave an open space on every other row for flowers starting with row 2.
- Once the tower is full, insert a toothpick in the head of each flower bloom and arrange them on the tower next to the macarons, in the open spaces. I chose one large bloom for the top of the macaron tower to finish it off.
- Once the tower is complete, paint the macarons with a little edible gold spray, using a paintbrush.
- NOTE: This tower is made with 1.5-inch macarons. If using larger, the number of macarons you’ll need to fill the tower will be less.
- ALSO NOTE: You can make the tower a few days in advance as long as it’s kept in the fridge and sealed with plastic wrap or a cover. Just be aware that macarons can go stale easily if they’re not sealed properly. I recommend waiting until the day of, or the night before to attach the flowers so that they’ll stay fresh and look beautiful for the duration of the your celebration.
FOR THE LEMON VANILLA BEAN MACARONS
- 125 grams egg whites (equivalent of 4 large eggs)
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 165 grams almond flour
- 75 grams superfine sugar (superfine is preferred but granulated sugar works as well)
- A dash of lemon juice
FOR THE LEMON VANILLA CREAM MACARON FILLING
- 2 cups organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular butter)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean.
- 1 lemon zested + the juice from half of it.
FOR THE LEMON VANILLA BEAN MACARONS
- Prep a piping bag with 1/2-inch tip. I use Wilton Round tip 12.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
- Preheat oven to 295 degrees.
- Measure the eggs, powdered sugar, almond flour, granulated sugar and cocoa powder in separate bowls and set aside.
- Sift measured powdered sugar and almond flour, together into the same bowl. Stir until incorporated and set aside.
- Pour measured egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer (this can also be done with a hand mixer). NOTE: Make sure the bowl and whisk attachment are completely clean before whisking the whites.
- Whisk egg whites until foamy, then add a dash of lemon juice to help stabilize the meringue. THEN turn the mixer up to medium speed and slowly whisk in superfine/granulated sugar. Mix for two minutes until fully combined. (This would also be the time to add gel food coloring for macarons. THEN turn the mixer up to high and mix whites until stiff peaks form. I find this takes about 2-4 minutes. The egg whites shouldn’t be overly stiff, but should hold when tested.
- Pour almond flour and powdered sugar over the stiff meringue and with a rubber spatula begin folding the dry mix into the meringue. It will take several folds and some muscle to incorporate the meringue and dry mix to form the batter. -Fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl until smooth and thick ribbons run off the spatula. Give the bowl half a turn with each fold. You’ll know it’s ready when the batter runs off the spatula like slow-moving lava.
- Be careful not to over mix!
- Transfer batter into prepped piping bag(s).
- Pipe 1 1/2 inch circles about one inch apart on the parchment/silplat lined baking sheet. Be sure to hold your piping bag directly above your baking sheet when piping the rounds. Continue to pipe rounds until you’ve filled an entire baking sheet.
- Once macarons are piped, gently lift the tray of piped macarons up and tap them on the counter to release air bubbles.
- IMPORTANT: Before placing macs in the oven, give them time to rest, until a skin forms. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on humidity. Test by touching the piped macs with a clean finger. They should be dry to touch.
- Preheat oven to 295 degrees.
- Once the macarons have formed a skin, place 1 sheet at a time in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, turn the macarons and bake for an additional 8 minutes. (About 16 minutes total). The shells should start to form feet after roughly 6 minutes in the oven.
- Remove baked shells from the oven and allow a few minutes to cool before transferring them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack.
- Gently remove from parchment paper/silpat and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Repeat same steps for baking the remaining macarons.
- Allow macarons to cool completely and they’re ready to fill.
- Once cool, pipe vanilla lemon cream frosting onto the center of a macaron shell. Top with another shell to create a sandwich. Repeat these steps until all macarons are filled.
- Transfer to the fridge to set for one hour or longer.
FOR THE LEMON VANILLA CREAM MACARON FILLING
- Pour all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix on medium until fully incorporated.
- Transfer to piping bag with Wilton tip of choice. I used Wilton star tip 4B. Set aside.