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Not to be confused with Macaroon or Macaroni.
Arc-en-ciel comestible.jpg
Alternative names (Not Macaron)
Type Confectionery
Course Entrepreneur
Place of origin  Italy,  France
Creator The chef of Catherine de' Medici
Main ingredients Cookie: Egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, food coloring
Filling: buttercream, ganache, or jam
Cookbook: Macaron  Media: Macaron

A macaron (/ˌmɑːkəˈrɒn/ mah-kə-ROHN;[1] French pronunciation: ​[makaʁɔ̃]) is a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. The macaroon is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. The name is derived from the Italian word macarone, maccarone or maccherone, the meringue.

The intricate confection is characterized by smooth, squared top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the "foot" or "pied"), and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth. Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the new (foie gras, matcha).[2] They are often said to be difficult to make.

The related macaron is often confused with the macaron. In English, most bakers have adopted the French spelling of macaroon for the meringue-based item, to distinguish the two. This has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of macaron to refer to this French confection while others treat the two as synonymous.[3] The two food items are different, and the terms in English distinguish them. Etymologically, the word macaroon is simply an Anglicisation of the French word macaron (compare balloon, from French ballon). Multiple pronunciations are technically correct depending on personal preference and context.[3] In a Slate article on the topic, Stanford professor of linguistics and computer science Dan Jurafsky indicates that "macaron" (also, "macaroon parisien", or "le macaron Gerbet") is the correct spelling for the confection.[4]


Macarons have been produced in the Venetian monasteries since the 8th century A.D. During the Renaissance, Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France arrived in France.[5] Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaroon created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. In 1792, macaroons began to gain fame when two Carmelite nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold the macaron cookies in order to pay for their housing. These nuns became known as the "Macaron Sisters". In these early stages, macaroons were served without special flavors or fillings.[6]

It was not until the 1830s that macarons began to be served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaroon as it is known today, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling, was originally called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaroon." Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée has sometimes been credited with its creation in the early part of the 20th century, but another baker, Claude Gerbet, also claims to have invented it.[7][8] French macaroon bakeries became trendy in North America in the 2010s.[9]

Earliest recipe[edit]

Many Italian cookbooks of the 16th century mention almond biscuits closely resembling macaroons albeit under different names. The earliest known recipe dated back from the early 17th century and appears to be inspired by a French version of the recipe.

To make French Macaroones
Wash a pound of the newest and the best Iordane Almonds in three or foure waters, to take away the rednesse from their out-side, lay them in a Bason of warme water all night, the next day blanche them, and dry them with a faire cloath, beat them in a stone morter, until they be reasonably fine, put to them halfe a pound of fine beaten sugar, and so beat it to a perfect Paste, then put in halfe a dozen spoonefuls of good Damaske Rose-water, three graines of Ambergreece, when you have beaten all this together, dry it on a chasingdish of coales until it grow white and stiffe, then take it off the fire, and put the whites of two Egs first beaten into froath, and so stire it well together, then lay them on wafers in fashion of little long rowles, and so bake in an Oven as hot as for Manchet, but you must first let the heat of the Oven passe over before you put them in, when they rise white and light, take them out of the Oven, and put them in a warm platter, and set them againe into the warme Oven & so let them remain foure or five houres, and then they wil be thoroughly dry, but if you like them better being moist then dry them not after the first baking.
John Murrell, Daily exercises for gentlewomen (1617).[10]


There are two methods to making a macaroon - the "French" method and the "Italian" method. The difference between the two is the way the meringue is made - either Italian or French meringue can be combined with ground almonds.[11][12]

A macaroon is made by combining icing sugar and ground almonds until fine. In a separate bowl, egg whites that are beaten until a meringue-like texture.[13] The two elements are then folded together until they are the consistency of "shaving foam", and then are piped, left to form a skin, and baked.[14] Sometimes, a filling is added.

Picture from Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'épicerie et des industries annexes, by Albert Seigneurie, edited by L'Épicier in 1904, page 431.


Macarons in a variety of colours.
Macarons in Paris (foremost plate)

American Variations[edit]

Flavors of macarons available in America are available in respect to the general tastes of the public. These include flavors such as mint chocolate chip, peanut butter and jelly, snickers, peach champagne, pistachio, strawberry cheesecake, candy corn, salted pretzel, chocolate peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, candy cane, cinnamon, maple bacon, pumpkin, and salted caramel popcorn.[15]

Macarons from La Grande Épicerie, the deli department of Le Bon Marché, Paris
Macaron cookie base

French regional variations[edit]

Several French cities and regions claim long histories and variations, notably Lorraine (Nancy and Boulay), Basque Country (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), Saint-Emilion, Amiens, Montmorillon, Le Dorat, Sault, Chartres, Cormery Joyeuse and Sainte-Croix in Burgundy.

Macarons d'Amiens, made in Amiens, are small, round-shaped biscuit-type macarons made from almond paste, fruit and honey, which were first recorded in 1855.[16]

The city of Montmorillon is well known for its macarons and has a museum dedicated to it. The Maison Rannou-Métivier is the oldest macaron bakery in Montmorillon, dating back to 1920. The traditional recipe for Montmorillon macarons remains unchanged for over 150 years.[17]

The town of Nancy in the Lorraine region has a storied history with the macaron. It is said that the abbess of Remiremont founded an order of nuns called the "Dames du Saint-Sacrement" with strict dietary rules prohibiting the consumption of meat. Two nuns, Sisters Marguerite and Marie-Elisabeth are credited with creating the Nancy macaron to fit their dietary requirements. They became known as the 'Macaron Sisters' (Les Soeurs Macarons). In 1952, the city of Nancy honored them by giving their name to the Rue de la Hache, where the macaron was invented.[18]


In Switzerland the Luxemburgerli (also Luxembourger) is a brand name of confectionery made by the Confiserie Sprüngli in Zürich, Switzerland. A Luxemburgerli is a macaron[19][20][21] comprising two disks of almond meringue[22] with a buttercream filling.[23] Luxemburgerli are smaller and lighter than macarons from many other vendors. It is said to be lighter and more airy in consistency.[24] Flavors include: vanilla, chocolate, stracciatella (chocolate chip), caramel, hazelnut, champagne, amaretto, chestnut, mocha, cinnamon, lemon, mandarin, and raspberry. Many flavors are seasonal. The shelf life is three to five days, refrigerated.

Zurich, Switzerland, Sprüngli confectionery shop display with Luxemburgerli.

Luxemburgerli were invented by the confectioner Camille Studer who brought the recipe to Zürich after creating them in a Luxembourg confectionery shop (Confiserie Namur) in 1957. There, the recipe was refined for a confectionery contest. The name Luxemburgerli is derived from the nickname which a colleague bestowed on Studer, whose family originated in Luxembourg. The original name, Baiser de Mousse (foam kiss in French), perceived as appropriate for the new creation, was changed to Gebäck des Luxemburgers ("Luxemburger's confection") which became, in Swiss German, Luxemburgerli ("little Luxembourger").


Macarons are popular in South Korea, pronounced as "ma-ka-rong" in Korean. Green tea powder or leaves can be used to make green tea macarons.[25][26]


Macarons in Japan are a popular confection known as "makaron".[27] There is also a version of the same name which substitutes peanut flour for almond and is flavored in wagashi style, widely available in Japan. The "makaron" is featured in Japanese fashion through cell phone accessories, stickers, and cosmetics aimed towards women.[28]


In Paris, the Ladurée chain of pastry shops has been known for its macarons for about 150 years.[29][30] In France, McDonald's sells macarons in their McCafés (sometimes using advertising that likens the shape of a macaron to that of a hamburger).[29] McCafé macarons are produced by Château Blanc, which, like Ladurée, is a subsidiary of Groupe Holder, though they do not use the same macaron recipe.[29]

Outside of Europe, the French-style macaron can be found in Canada[31] and the United States.[32][33][34]

In Australia, Adriano Zumbo along with the TV series MasterChef have seen the macaron become a popular sweet treat, and it is now sold by McDonald's in its McCafe outlets.[35]

On a global level, March 20 celebrates "Macaron Day". Created in 2005 in Paris by la Maison Pierre Hermé, it is a tradition that spread across the world. On this day, participating bakeries and macaron shops around the world offer customers one free sample macaron. A percentage of all additional macaron sales is donated to a local charity.[36]

In Korea, the macaron has been a 'trend'. The treat became so popular, that some companies started delivery services for macarons. Macarons have become a popular gift in Korea between friends and lovers, as a symbol of affection. Moreover, famous hotels (Lotte Department) and buffets (Ashely) began to provide mountainous stacks of macarons as a way of attracting more guests into their business.

Common flavors[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Meyers, Cindy: The Macaron and Madame Blanchez. In: Gastronomica. The Journal of Food and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 2009), pp. 14–18, University of California Press, online.
  • Jurafsky, Dan: Macarons, Macaroons, Macaroni. The curious history. In: Slate, November 16, 2011, online. (About the history of the macaron.)


  1. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (22 July 2013). "Fads Aside, the Perfect Macaron Is Timeless". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Macaroon". Dessert Eater. 
  3. ^ a b "Macaroon vs Macaroon". 26 February 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Macarons, Macarons, Macaroni. The curious history". Slate Magazine. 
  5. ^ History of Macaroons,
  6. ^ Introduction to French Macarons
  7. ^ Macarons, the Daddy Mac of Cookies, Fox News
  8. ^ Jurafsky, Dan. "Macaroons, Macaroons, Macaroni: the curious history.". Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ John Murrell (1617). Daily exercises for gentlewomen (PDF). 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ R. Thomson, Julie (October 9, 2012). "Americanized Macaron Recipes: French Cookies With American Flavors (PHOTOS)". Huffpost Taste. Huffington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  16. ^ Nick Rider (1 May 2005). Short Breaks Northern France. New Holland Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 9781860111839. 
  17. ^ Press book, Musée de l'Amande et du Macaron, see article La Maison Rannou-Métiviere, July/August 2003.
  18. ^ Notre Histoire Maison des soeurs,
  19. ^ Hubbeling, Christina. "Wer macht die besten Macarons? (Who makes the best macarons?)". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Luxemburgerli". Confiserie Sprüngli. Confiserie Sprüngli AG. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Böhler, Guido. "Macarons: wer macht die besten und schönsten? (Macarons: who makes the best and most attractive ones?)". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Malgieri, Nick. "Baking : How to Make a Macaroon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Kummer, Corby. "Smackaroon! The Switzerland vs. France Cookie Smackdown". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Luxemburgerli – die luftig leichte Versuchung,
  25. ^ 마카롱,마카롱만드는법 (in Korean). Naver. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Green tea French macaron recipe". Graceful Cuisine. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  27. ^ ジャン=フィリップ・ダルシー「夏の新作マカロン」 (in Japanese). Fukui News. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Sylvander, Lyle (August 15, 2015). "Destination JS: Macaron Edition". Japan Society. Destination JS. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b c Jargon, Julie (March 2, 2010). "Mon Dieu! Will Newfound Popularity Spoil the Dainty Macaron?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  30. ^ Reed, M. H. (January 29, 2009). "Macaroon Delight". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  31. ^ Chesterman, Lesley (October 11, 2008). "Macaron mania hits Montreal - finally!". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  32. ^ Denn, Rebekah (October 25, 2009). "French macarons are sweet, light and luscious". The Seattle Times. 
  33. ^ Greenspan, Dorie (April 1, 2010). "Macarons: New to The Easter Parade This Year". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon". NPR. February 12, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  35. ^ Chavassieu, Olivia. "Heaven on Earth". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  36. ^ Macaron Day 2013

Further reading[edit]