Gluten-Free Chocolate Macarons that are sweet, chocolatey, and perfect for any occasion.
This recipe was featured in the 2017 September/October issue of Gluten Free & More magazine.
Macarons, also called macaroons, are light, airy, naturally gluten-free cookies that are sandwiched together with frosting or cream filling. They’re simple to make and use only six standard ingredients.
They are perfect for any occasion, but especially perfect for Halloween parties. Fill these fudge-like chocolate macarons with orange or purple frosting for a fun and decadent Halloween treat.
If you aren’t into making gluten-free Halloween cookies, you could fill the insides of these macarons with a peppermint pieces and buttercream frosting for a festive holiday cookie.
Tips for working with almond flour
One thing to note about using almond flour is that it is NOT a 1-to-1 for gluten-free flour. It has a lot more protein and fat, and less starch, so it reacts differently in recipes. It’s best stored in the refrigerator or freezer if you’re not going to use it up in a week or two.
Always bring Almond meal or flour to room temperature before baking with it. If you use it cold, it’ll absorb more of the liquid and your batter will be thicker than it should be. And remember, because it’s made from almonds, it can go rancid, so keep track of when you opened the bag.
Almond meal and almond flour are not the same thing, they are processed differently and almond meal includes the almond skins. These gluten-free chocolate macarons work with both almond flour and almond meal, just sift the almond meal first to remove the skins.
Macarons don’t require a lot of ingredients but they can be tricky to make if you don’t pay attention to the details. Here are a few tips to help you successfully make macarons.
Tips for making the perfect macarons:
- Always, always, always follow the recipe instructions. Macarons can be a simple recipe IF you follow the directions.
- Double check to make sure your almond flour didn’t expire otherwise your gluten-free chocolate macarons will taste like dirt.
- Make sure your almond flour is at room temperature before starting.
- Do not stop beating your egg whites until you have stiff peaks.
- Always fold your ingredients into the egg whites, or the egg whites into the other ingredients otherwise you’ll lose the air that you just whipped into the egg whites.
- After you’ve piped your cookie batter onto your baking sheet, be sure to tap the cookie sheet on the counter to help bring air bubbles to the surface.
One tip that is a given for almost all frosting filled or topped cookies is to make sure your cookies cool to room temperature before you frost them. If you don’t allow them to cool all the way you’ll end up with a mess of runny frosting.
Brands of almond flour/meal I’ve tried in this recipe:
- Trader Joe’s sells an inexpensive almond flour/meal under their label. I’ve used it several times, including in macarons. I sifted the almond flour to remove any large bits of almond skin.
- Bob’s Red Mill Fine Ground Almond Flour is one of my go-to’s for making macarons.
- Kirkland brand almond flour. I love, love this almond flour especially for the price but sometimes it comes a bit on the dry side and absorbs too much liquid. When buying this brand, pinch some of the almond flour together. If it sticks a little, then it has the right amount of oils/moisture.
Looking for more Halloween treats? Check out these Pumpkin Marshmallow Pops from What the Fork Food Blog.
Did you make these gluten-free chocolate macarons? Please stop back by and let me know what you thought! Also, if you have any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you. Happy Baking!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup fine ground blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- egg whites from 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dairy-free butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- optional: orange food coloring (or purple)
1. Sift powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and almond flour into a medium mixing bowl. Discard larger pieces left in the sifter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they begin to foam.
3. Slowly add sugar to the eggs, beating on medium-high speed, until egg whites form stiff peaks. Approximately 2-3 minutes.
4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula.
5. Fill a pastry bag (or sturdy ziplock bag) with batter. Cut the tip off the bag.
6. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Pipe batter into 1-inch circles, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Tap baking sheets on the counter a few times, to bring air bubbles to the surface.
7. Let macarons rest at room temperature for 1 hour, or until the tops are no longer glossy.
8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Once oven is preheated, reduce oven temperature to 325°F (160° C).
9. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes. Carefully transfer macarons to a cooling rack.
10. To make frosting, in a medium mixing bowl, cream dairy-free butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Alternate one cup of powdered sugar with one tablespoon dairy-free milk until all ingredients are combined. Beat in additional dairy-free milk if needed to obtain desired consistency. Add food coloring and mix until the color is consistent.
11. Pipe or spread frosting onto one macaron and sandwich with another macaron.
12. Store in an airtight container the refrigerator for up to 5 days.