My naturally-flavored Strawberry Macarons are one of the top recipes on this site, so I had to follow it up with a Valentine’s Day twist – Heart-Shaped Strawberry Macarons!
Heart-Shaped Macarons Recipe
The French know how to do romance – and they know pastries – so what better dessert to whip up for Valentine’s Day than these heart-shaped strawberry macarons?!
In addition to being super cute, these macarons are shockingly easy to make. Macarons have an undeserved reputation for being hard to bake and super finicky but that’s simply not true! You just have to have a good recipe and know what they are supposed to look like when they are ready to pull out of the oven, which is something you will learn after a batch or two. (Just test out a few macarons at a time to avoid wasting batter.)
These cute heart shaped macarons are airy little bite-sized cookies with the perfect flavor combination of strawberry and vanilla. They make a stunning gift – whether for Valentine’s Day, a bridal shower, anniversary – or just about any lovey-dovey event you can think of! Or, do them in some funky colors for a heart-obsessed child’s party!
There were two essentials for me when developing this recipe – I wanted a distinct strawberry flavor without the use of unnatural flavorings and I wanted a recipe that didn’t need any “setting time.”
I was able to create a delicate (not overpowering) strawberry taste by using a concentrated strawberry powder – which has the added benefit of being a superfood. My daughter also really loves it in her green smoothies so it’s definitely not a one-use product. (I want to try it next for some homemade strawberry pudding!)
But it turns out, the setting time issue is one created by using cream of tartar. Most macaron recipes rely on cream of tartar for speeding up the egg beating time as it chemically alters the egg whites to fluff up and form glossy, white peaks earlier than they would with just beating alone. However – the downside of that shorter beating time is that the macarons are thinner, more fragile, and need to form a protective skin before being baked.
So, you are adding on a couple of minutes of egg beating time for the perk of not having to wait an hour to bake your cookies – plus you’re less likely to have “blown out” or cracked macarons because your batter will be thicker and less delicate – but you’ll still have the same airy end result.
Ingredients for Natural Strawberry Macarons
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 2/3 cups powdered icing sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons strawberry powder
- Pink food dye, optional
For the vanilla buttercream filling:
- 1 cup butter
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 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 Strawberry Heart Macarons
In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, icing sugar and strawberry powder. Mix thoroughly to combine, and then set aside.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat on medium speed for about 6 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 vibrant pink 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 into the heart shapes on the 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.
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, 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 Strawberry Macarons recipe:
These Strawberry-Vanilla macarons are the perfect bite-sized treat for a romantic or love-filled event, or a sweet treat “just because.”
For more strawberry desserts, check out our Foolproof Strawberry Tarts recipe.