These pretty coffee macarons are filled with a rich, coffee liqueur-flavored buttercream that is sandwiched between espresso-flavored almond meringue shells. The coffee flavors cut through the sweetness nicely and make these macarons a delicious treat for any occasion.
This recipe is adapted from the beautiful Tartelette blog. I used the basic macarons batter recipe from Tartelette and then flavored it with my all-time favorite dessert flavor: coffee. I added instant espresso powder to the macarons batter and filled the macarons with a coffee liqueur buttercream.
For the shells:
For the filling:
- egg whites – make sure to let the egg whites come up to room temperature before using them; they whip up easier that way.
- instant espresso powder – this is actual brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into a dry powder. You can find it in the coffee aisle of the grocery store.
- almond flour – make sure to get the stuff that’s blanched (which means that the dark, tough almond skins have been removed). Blanched flour is much less gritty than unblanched and makes for a smoother batter.
- The bowl you’re going to whip the egg whites in must be completely clean (the same goes for the beaters), because any fat will interfere with the meringue formation. Note that there is fat in egg yolks, so you need to be absolutely sure not to get any egg yolk into the whites when you separate the eggs.
- I have tested different types of baking sheets and liners for baking macarons and what I found to work best is a silicone baking mat on an insulated cookie sheet (a cookie sheet made from two sheets of metal with a layer of air sandwiched between them). If you have those, I recommend you use those.
Tips for making macarons:
I’m not going to lie to you, making macarons is tricky and there is a whole list of things that can easily go wrong. Here are notes and tips that will help you make beautiful and delicious macarons.
Whip the meringue on low speed:
This is the most important tip I can give you and it will accomplish two very important things that are crucial for making macarons:
1. Whipping the meringue on low speed will ensure that all the granulated sugar will be fully dissolved. This is very important. What you want is for the sugar to be fully dissolved in the meringue so that when you slide a bit of meringue between two fingers, you can’t feel any grittiness. If you whip at high speed, the meringue will reach stiff peaks so quickly that the sugar won’t have enough time to fully dissolve and you will still be able to feel sugar granules in the meringue.
2. Whipping the meringue on low speed will make it much easier for you to see when you need to stop whipping. It is super important not to overwhip the meringue. As soon as the meringue just barely holds stiff peaks (as pictured in the photo below), stop whipping. As long as you whip at low speed, you will easily be able to tell when you’re at that point.
If you whip at high speed, you will likely blast past this point and end up with a meringue that is much too dry.
How to whip the sugar into the meringue:
Start adding the granulated sugar immediately after you have a bubbly foam (like the one shown in the photo below). Add the sugar continuously but in very small quantities. (I like to grab a tablespoon and continuously sprinkle a smattering of sugar over the entire surface of the meringue while the mixer is running.)
Fold in the dry ingredients in slow motion:
Take your time when folding in the dry ingredients. I like to add about ¼ cup of the dry ingredients at a time, then slowly and carefully fold them in before adding the next ¼ cup. Try to work in slow motion here so you don’t overmix and deflate the batter. Overmixing the batter will make it too runny.
More delicious coffee-flavored desserts:
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Full Printable Recipe
- kitchen scale
- measuring cups and spoons
- two cookie sheets (see notes) lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- mixing bowls
- standing mixer or handheld mixer
- rubber spatula
- piping bag with large round tip
For the macarons:
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 90 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25 grams granulated sugar
For the filling:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
For the macarons:
- Line two cookie sheets* with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Whisk powdered sugar, almond flour and espresso powder together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- In a completely clean bowl and with clean beaters, whip egg whites and vanilla on low speed to a nice bubbly foam.
- Continue to whip on low speed and gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites until you have a glossy meringue that just barely holds stiff peaks.
- Slowly and carefully fold the almond mix into the meringue until combined. (It'll be a sticky, very slow-flowing, thick mass). It's important to take your time here. Try to work in slow motion so you don't overmix the batter. (Overmixing the batter will make it too runny.)
- Carefully transfer the batter into a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe the macarons onto the cookie sheets. (Pipe ~16 dollops onto each sheet, each between 1 inch and 1 ½ inches in diameter. Hold the piping bag straight down when piping.)
- If your macarons keep a little tip in the center, get your finger wet with a little bit of cold water and push the tip down.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (During that time the macarons will form a dry "skin" on the outside. When you touch them, they should not be sticky at all.)
- Heat the oven to 280 degrees F.
- Bake the first baking sheet until the macarons are hard to the touch and don't move around when you touch them (15 to 20 minutes).
- Once baked, leave the macarons in the oven, turn the oven off and open the oven door a crack. After 15 minutes, take the macarons out. Turn the oven back on and once it's up to temperature, bake the second sheet in the same way.
For the filling:
- Whip all ingredients together until you have a smooth cream.
- Match the macarons into pairs by size.
- Put a dollop of buttercream on one shell and fit a second shell on top.
- Keep the macarons refrigerated until serving.