Red Velvet Macarons with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet Macarons are classic French macarons with the flavors of red velvet cake.  They’re crisp, chewy and filled with a tangy cream cheese frosting!

plate of red velvet macarons stacked up

Baking is a big part of who I am thanks to my mom.  She baked birthday cakes from scratch for everyone’s birthday, and always made an assortment of quick breads, cookies and other treats to give as gifts to friends and family every year for the holidays.

I inherited my mother’s love of baking at a young age, which is why I’m taking part in the Nielsen-Massey Vanillas #BaketoShare campaign.  This campaign is designed to help increase connections between family and friends this holiday season through the act of baking.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas conducted a survey with 1,000 Americans to uncover insights around holiday baking trends and found the following:

  • 87% of Millennials and Gen-Xers are most likely to bake during the holidays
  • More than half of the Millennials surveyed are motivated to bake as a way to spend time with loved ones
  • The top 3 occasions that people bake seasonal treats for include watching holiday movies, decorating for the holidays and traveling to see friends and family

I began baking red velvet treats for the holiday season years ago because they’re a favorite of ours.  One of our holiday traditions is to enjoy a seasonal treat and a cup of hot chocolate while we decorate our tree, which is why I will #BaketoShare these Red Velvet Macarons this year for this occasion.  They’ve already become a favorite!

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has created a Holiday Flavors Bundle on Amazon to help bakers create amazing holiday treats.  This bundle includes Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Pure Almond Extract and Pure Peppermint Extract.  This bundle is the perfect gift for your favorite home baker or for you to use in your kitchen year round.

Start your holiday shopping early!  Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is offering an exclusive deal for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Starting on November 29th, you can 30% off of their 4 oz. Holiday Bundle.  It’s available for a limited time!  (limit one per person)

Click here to find details about the Holiday Flavors Bundle on Amazon.

nielsen massey vanilla with red velvet macarons 2

Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient in red velvet flavors, so not just any extract would do.  Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is my go-to brand because all of their products have a fresh, pure flavor that shines through in anything that you bake.

Nielsen-Massey has been in business since 1907 and has a reputation for quality and consistency in their pure vanillas and flavors.

Product sustainability means a lot to me, and Nielsen-Massey is committed to the plants, people and communities that supply its ingredients.   They’ve taken a leadership role in improving the health of the vanilla industry, as well as the economic prospects for farmers and their families.

Read more about the company’s sustainability practices here.

For this recipe, I used 1 teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract in the macarons, and 2 teaspoons in the cream cheese frosting.

This vanilla is the most versatile, all purpose vanilla, and is perfect for any sweet and savory recipe.  Vanilla from Madagascar has a sweet, creamy flavor with velvety after tones.  

It’s quality you can taste!

overhead shot of red velvet macarons with cookie crumbs

Red Velvet Macarons

I’ll never forget the first time I tasted red velvet cake.  I had no idea what it was going to taste like, but I figured since red is my favorite color and it included cream cheese frosting, I had to like it. 🙂

I didn’t like it.  I loved it.

For those of you that have never experienced red velvet flavors, it’s mainly a vanilla cake with a bit of cocoa powder and enough red coloring to achieve that beautiful hue.

I normally don’t use food coloring, but I make an exception for red velvet desserts. 🙂

When I made my first batch of red velvet macarons, I wondered if they would really taste like the cake.  They turned out wonderfully, and had big red velvet flavor!

overhead shot of red velvet macarons lined up

What is a macaron?

French macarons are delicate almond flour – meringue based sandwich cookies.  They come in a wide variety of colors and flavors, and are filled with chocolate ganache, jam and frostings of every kind.

The texture of macarons is completely addictive.  They have a crisp exterior that gives way to a chewy interior, and creamy or fruity filling that brings it all together.

Macarons are visually unique because of their “feet”.  Read the section on how to make this French macaron recipe below for more information on how the macaron feet are formed.

Red velvet macaron ingredients

red velvet macarons ingredients

There are only a few ingredients for this red velvet French macaron recipe, so prep goes very quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

overhead shot of red velvet macarons

How to make red velvet macarons

French macarons have a reputation for being a bit fussy and hard to make, but if you follow my simple steps, you’ll have macaron success.

Gather your ingredients and prep your baking pans

Mise en place, or prepping your ingredients before you get started is crucial in this recipe as things go quickly. 

  • Place your egg whites in a mixing bowl on the counter first as they beat up much more quickly when they’re room temperature.
  • Line your pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  

Prepare the macarons:

red velvet macarons process collage 1

  • Place the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine.  
  • Place the dry ingredients in a fine mesh sieve and sift over a medium bowl.  Discard any large bits (there shouldn’t be more than a teaspoon or so).
  • Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat on medium speed with a mixer until frothy.

red velvet macarons process collage 2

  • Once the egg whites are frothy, increase the mixer speed to medium high and gradually add the super fine sugar, about a half a tablespoon at a time, beating until the meringue has soft to medium peaks.
  • Add the vanilla and gel paste food color and beat at low speed until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form.  When the meringue is done, it will stand straight up on the top of the wire whisk, or you can turn the entire bowl upside down and the meringue won’t budge.

red velvet macarons process collage 3

  • Fold the almond flour mixture into the meringue by gently scraping the bottom of the bowl and folding the batter over the top. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn with each fold. The batter will become runnier as you fold. Continue to fold until the batter flows from the spoon in an even stream and you can make a figure 8 out of the batter without it breaking.
  • Place the macaron batter in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ baking tip and fill the bag. Pipe the macarons by placing the tip directly over the center of each circle and squeezing the bag to dispense the batter.
  • Rap the baking sheets on the counter 5 times each to pop any air bubbles that have formed.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Let the macarons stand 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature before baking to allow them to dry out.  A skin will form over the top of the macarons, which prevents air from escaping.  The air is pushed out the bottom of the cookie, creating their signature feet.
  • When the macarons are smooth and dry to the touch, bake for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a wire rack. The cookies will release from the pan easily when they’re done. If they don’t, bake them for 2-3 minutes longer. Cool completely.

red velvet macarons process collage 4

Prepare the frosting:

  • Beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt, and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  • Place the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ round tip and pipe the frosting onto the half of the macarons. Top with the additional macarons and press down gently.

red velvet macarons process collage 5

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • I purchased one macaron silicone baking mat and use it as a stencil for parchment paper for my other baking pan.  I honestly like the results when I bake macarons on parchment more than silicone, and there are many free macaron stencil sheets online!
  • Store macarons in an air tight container for up to one week.  They become even better as they’re chilled!
  • This recipe makes 12 macarons, but the recipe can easily be doubled.
  • Be sure to use gel paste food color as the liquid will result in an overly wet batter.  All gel food colors are not created equal, so I suggest adding 1 teaspoon and adding 1-2 more teaspoons until you reach the desired hue.
  • Super fine almond flour isn’t completely necessary as you’ll process it in the food processor anyway, but I recommend using super fine sugar for the meringue for best results. 

plate of red velvet macarons with a bite out of top cookie

Hungry for more sweets?  See all of my Dessert recipes.

More red velvet recipes you’ll love:

Red velvet brownies

Red velvet cake by Live Well Bake Often

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet sandwich cookies

 

Red Velvet Macarons

Yield: 12 macarons
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Red Velvet Macarons are classic French macarons with the flavors of red velvet cake.  They're crisp, chewy and filled with a tangy cream cheese filling!

Red Velvet Macarons

Ingredients

For the macarons:

For the filling:

Instructions

Prepare the macarons:

  1. Place the egg whites in a bowl at room temperature first as they beat up much more quickly for the meringue when they're not cold.
  2. Line (2) baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a macaron stencil and trace 1 1/5" circles onto the parchment as a guide if desired. Turn the parchment pencil side down on the baking sheet.
  3. Place the 1 cup powdered sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor and process 10-15 times or until fine.
  4. Sift the almond flour mixture into a medium bowl and discard any large pieces.
  5. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed in a large bowl until frothy. Increase the speed to high and add the superfine sugar about a half tablespoon at a time while beating until stiff peaks form. When the meringue is done, it will stand straight up on the top of the wire whisk, or you can turn the entire bowl upside down and the meringue won't budge.
  6. Add the vanilla and red food coloring to the meringue and beat on low just until incorporated.
  7. Fold the almond flour mixture into the meringue by gently scraping the bottom of the bowl and folding the batter over the top. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn with each fold. The batter will become runnier as you fold. Continue to fold until the batter flows from the spoon in an even stream and you can make a figure 8 out of the batter without it breaking.
  8. Place the macaron batter in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" baking tip and fill the bag. Pipe the macarons by placing the tip directly over the center of each circle and squeezing the bag to dispense the batter.
  9. Rap the baking sheets on the counter 5 times each to pop any air bubbles that have formed.
  10. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the macarons stand 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature before baking to allow them to dry out. A skin will form over the top of the macarons, which prevents air from escaping.  The air is pushed out the bottom of the cookie, creating their signature feet.
  11. When the macarons are smooth and dry to the touch, bake for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a wire rack. The cookies will release from the pan easily when they're done. If they don't, bake them for 2-3 minutes longer. Cool completely.

Prepare the frosting:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt, and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Place the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4" round tip and pipe the frosting onto the half of the macarons. Top with the additional macarons and press down gently.
  3. Enjoy macarons immediately, or chill in an air tight container and enjoy within 5 days.

Notes

  • I purchased one macaron silicone baking mat and use it as a stencil for parchment paper for my other baking pan.  I honestly like the results when I bake macarons on parchment more than silicone, and there are many free macaron stencil sheets online!
  • Store macarons in an air tight container for up to one week.  They become even better as they're chilled!
  • This recipe makes 12 macarons, but the recipe can easily be doubled.
  • Be sure to use gel paste food color as the liquid will result in an overly wet batter.  All gel food colors are not created equal, so I suggest adding 1 teaspoon and adding 1-2 more teaspoons until you reach the desired hue.
  • Super fine almond flour isn't completely necessary as you'll process it in the food processor anyway, but I recommend using super fine sugar for the meringue for best results. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 macaron

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 20mg Sodium: 51mg Carbohydrates: 25g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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