Homemade macarons are one of my favorite desserts to make for special occasions, and these Birthday Cake Macarons are perfect for a birthday! Inspired by our recent trip to Paris, these pretty pastel macarons are a fun and festive alternative to cake.
Birthday Cake Macarons Recipe
Ella and I just got back from a two week long trip to Paris, the birth place of the French macaron.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I think we ate at least 20 different varieties of macarons while we were there, if not more! There were so many amazing flavor combinations that I’ve never seen before, and we were determined to try as many delicious treats as we could!
We also got to participate in a macaron baking class led by a French pastry chef, which was one of the highlights of the trip for Ella (and I got a few great tips on making my homemade macaron recipe even better).
One issue that has come up a lot in the comments of my previous macarons recipes is that some readers have had their macarons crack during baking.
I’ve always said that humidity has a lot to do with the success or failure of a batch of macarons, but one way to help avoid this is to let the macarons sit out for an hour to develop a “skin” before baking.
Also, apparently silicone baking mats (which are a go-to kitchen staple for me, as they reduce waste and are super easy to clean) are actually a no-go when it comes to macarons. Stick to parchment paper for best results.
These birthday cake macarons combine vanilla paste (or powder) and almond flour for a delicious birthday cake taste. And what is a birthday cake without sprinkles? Add sprinkles before baking for a fun, festive touch.
Check out our homemade macaron recipe video so you can see exactly how the macarons should look at each step of the recipe process:
Birthday Macarons Ingredients
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 2/3 cups powdered icing sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or flavor powder, optional
- Pastel food dye, optional
For the chocolate buttercream filling:
- 1 cup butter
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (omit for vanilla buttercream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons cream
Tip: Almond flours is sometimes referred to as almond meal. Homemade almond flour from processing your own almonds is much denser and only 2/3 cup is needed for this recipe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Stand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Heart-silicone tray
- Cookie sheet
- Mixing bowl
- Piping bag
How to Make Birthday Cake Macarons
Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, icing sugar and choice of flavor powder. Mix thoroughly to combine, and then set aside.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, then add in the sugar and continue beating for 4 minutes until glossy, stiff peaks form (as shown below). You should be able to pull your beater away and have some of the egg whites form a little “tuft” on the tip of the beater.
Dye the egg whites now if you want a pretty pastel color – just a few drops will do.
Preheat oven to 285F
Carefully but thoroughly fold in the dry ingredients – some people will say exactly 25 folds, some 30 – just make sure you don’t have dry patches and that everything is well incorporated.
Spoon the macaron batter into a piping bag and snip the tip off for about a half inch opening.
Pipe the batter in 2″ dollops on the parchment paper lined tray.
Bang the tray on a hard, level surface to remove any air bubbles, then wet your finger and smooth down any “peaks” on the macarons. Evenly distribute the sprinkles.
Note: some people have best results letting the macarons develop a “skin” – I’ve not had any issues baking right away, but humidity has a lot to do with this. Let the unbaked macarons sit out for an hour if you have cracking issues.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the glossy appearance has become matte, the macarons have “feet” (that little bubbling at the bottom) and the feet look cooked through. (If they look uncooked when you take them out, immediately return them to the oven.)
Cool, then add frosting or jam to create macaron sandwiches.
If using frosting, simply combine the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of cream in a large bowl for 2 minutes. Adjust the consistency by adding more cream to soften.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag, securely wrap and tie the end and then snip off the tip of the bag. Apply about a half tablespoon of frosting to the side of the macaron that was on the baking sheet, and then sandwich with a second macaron on the same end.
Grab your free printable for our birthday cake macarons recipe:
For the chocolate buttercream filling:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 1g
These birthday cake macarons are a sophisticated twist on a classic birthday cake and a great addition to a pretty birthday party spread.