First made by convent nuns during the eighteenth century, macaroons (macarons in French) are one of my most favorite things about being in Paris, and I love walking through the city nibbling on them. I usually get them from either Dalloyau or Ladurée.

If you’re not going to Paris soon, whip these chocolate macarons up and make-believe. They’re not at all like the macaroons most of us grew up with. You’ll love the textural contrast between the crisp cookies and the luscious creamy ganache filling.–Lori Longbotham

Three chocolate macarons in paper wrappers in a blue dish.

Chocolate Macarons

5 / 2 votes
Chocolate macarons can be yours in hours. They’re light and airy and made with dark chocolate, both in the cookie and the rich ganache filling. No fancy French patisserie required. Here’s how to make them.
David Leite
Servings48 servings
Calories55 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time2 hours


For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Make the cookies

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and pulse until well blended.
  • Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.
  • Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macarons are still slightly soft to the touch.
  • Move the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macarons and place on wire racks to cool completely. (The macarons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container.)

Make the filling

  • Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread.

Assemble the macarons

  • If desired, scoop the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macarons. Top with the remaining macarons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The macarons can be stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)


But Seriously, What’s So Special About Macarons?

These ethereally airy macarons turn decadent beyond imagination when slathered with a sinful ganache-meets-buttercream situation. Natch, the lovely little chocolate macarons are also quite nice—and still quite the indulgence—when nibbled in their simplest form, free of filling and, as a consequence, free of flour or dairy. They’re either sent from heaven above or from Paris abroad. Wait, is there a difference?

Adapted From

Luscious Chocolate Desserts

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Serving: 1 macaronCalories: 55 kcalCarbohydrates: 7 gProtein: 1 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 4 mgSodium: 5 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2004 Lori Longbotham. Photo © 2004 William Meppem. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. Hi,
    I have seen a few other macaron recipes, and they all said to tap the air out after piping, and to rest from 45 minutes to an hour before baking. I don’t see the same instructions in your recipe. Just wondering if chocolate has anything to do with it or it was a typo? Thanks.

    1. These actually look more like “macarons à l’ancienne/ macarons de Nancy/ St Emilion” or macarons craquelés- the old style macarons that AREN’T fussy at all and which do not require a rest before baking.

      You can see they do not have the “feet” (the little ruffle around the edges) which the macarons you may be familiar with have – those are made with a more complex technique (there are three different ways of making the meringue for those and yes, you do rest them before they bake) and you’ll see this recipe even says the tops will be cracked (hence the “craquelés” in the French name – something those fancy macarons with feet should never have.

      This is actually a very popular traditional recipe that you will find all over France (many regions have their own versions – photo attached is from the pâtisserie Aurore Capucine in Paris) – the original cookie was simply ground almonds, sugar and egg whites – similar to ingredients used in the fancier version of macarons but completely different in texture (and way less fussy to make!

      Note that the texture of these will not be “airy” – they will be a little bit chewy and a little bit crispy. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi i was wondering if i could skip the almond and replace that with cornmeal or something else would it still be fine?

    1. Ashley, cornmeal is, I suspect, going to change the integrity of the recipe too much. It just won’t be right in terms of taste or texture. Baking is such a precise science, it’s really tricky to change a primary ingredient and have the results be as lovely as the recipe was intended.