Salted Caramel Macarons

In the fall, I made a bunch of salted caramel things (including one of my favorite cupcakes ever, these salted caramel cupcakes). One day, after posting recipes for salted caramel mochas and salted caramel pears within a week or two of each other, I tweeted something about being on a salted caramel kick and asking what else I should make.

Be careful what you wish for.

One of my coworkers immediately replied to my tweet with her suggestion: salted caramel macarons.

I inwardly groaned. Ugh…macarons. While these trendy little cookies are delicious and fun to eat, they are infamously difficult to make. I made them once when I first began blogging two years ago (see them here: passion fruit and prickly pear macarons). It was pretty successful for a first try (many had “feet,” the ruffled edge around the bottom), but I remember them being a lot of work for not quite enough return.

A challenge is a challenge though, and I knew I would try to make them as soon as I read her idea. Truth is, I love a good baking challenge. I was lucky enough to stumble upon Not Quite Nigella‘s post on a macaron class she took, which included tips and a recipe for salted caramel macarons. If you want to tackle macarons, you have to check out her helpful photos and directions. I also watched this video on making macarons the first time I made them.

These were worth the effort! I don’t foresee myself making them again soon, because they are a lot of work, but they were really good. One friend said they were actually better than the ones at Ginger Elizabeth (a wonderful Sacramento chocolatier). I finally got around to trying the macarons there last month, and I too preferred my version of salted caramel macarons only because the one from Ginger Elizabeth didn’t have much filling and was barely salty at all (however, I did love the mocha macaron I had there). The salted caramel filling in this recipe has a great balance of sweet and salty – you can taste the saltiness, but it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.

I ended up with way too much filling so I whipped up some easy chocolate whoopie pies and filled them with the extra salted caramel filling (stay tuned – I’ll share those with you in a few days).

Have you ever tried making macarons? How did it go?


Salted Caramel Macarons

Adapted from Baroque Patisserie

Salted Caramel Filling

  • 250g heavy cream
  • 350g castor sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 10g fleur de sel
  • 350g butter, cut into small cubes

Caramel Macaron Cookies

  • 300g almond meal (AKA almond flour)
  • 300g powdered sugar
  • 120g egg whites
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 75g water
  • 120g egg whites

Make salted caramel filling:
Place cream into a small saucepan. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan and set aside. Cook cream until it just begins to boil, then remove from heat. Begin cooking the sugar, stirring occasionally so it caramelizes evenly. Once the sugar reaches a dark copper color, remove from heat and pour in hot cream, continuing to stir with a spatula.

Let mixture cool to around 115°F. Add fleur de sel and butter, a few cubes at a time, while continuing to stir the caramel. Once all the butter has been incorporated, pour the caramel into a shallow container and let cool in the fridge.

Once cooled, beat the mixture until light, shiny and smooth. Store in fridge until your macarons are baked and completely cooled.

Make caramel macaron cookies:

Sift together almond meal and powdered sugar. Run through a food processor if needed to remove any lumps. Mix with 120g of egg whites until it becomes a smooth paste and set aside.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine castor sugar and water. Place the remaining 120g of egg whites in a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Once the sugar has reached 239°F, begin whipping egg whites until they have a soft peak. When sugar reaches 244°F, remove from heat and pour slowly into the egg whites, keeping the mixer on low speed. Turn the speed to high for about a minute, then reduce to medium speed for around 2 minutes. Let meringue cool to 120°F while mixing at low speed.

Use a spatula to gently fold in the almond meal mixture into the meringue until batter becomes unified and shiny.

Pour batter into a piping bag with a plain, round tip. Pipe shells onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper (you can use a template if you want to make them the exact same sizes – just Google “macaron template”). Tap the baking sheet gently so batter spreads a bit (if you use a template, stop piping before the mix reaches the outer edge of the circles and tap until it spreads to the edges).

Preheat oven to 300° and let the batter sit until they form a skin and are dry to the touch.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning the baking pan around halfway through. Let them cool completely before removing from pan. You can pour a little water underneath the Silpat/parchment paper to help release the macraons easily (the steam helps).


Assemble the salted caramel macarons:

Remove salted caramel filling from fridge. Soften over a bain marie (you could try using a microwave but be careful – you just want to soften it slightly). Once soften, remove from heat and whisk vigorously until it thickens to a buttercream consistency.

Match up pairs of macaron cookies that are the same size. Spread or pipe some filling on one, living approximately 3mm from the edge. Take it’s pair in your other hand and gently twist the two cookies together, letting filling spread all the way to the edges.

Store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and let return to room temperature before serving.


46 Comments on Salted Caramel Macarons

  1. Jennifer (Delicieux)
    February 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm (6 years ago)

    You salted caramel macarons look divine! I absolutely adore salted caramel anything.

    I’ve only attempted making macarons once, which was recently, using the French method, and through trial and error the last batch were ok, but not quite as I hoped. I’m not put off though and have since heard the Italian version is much more reliable so I plan to give that a go. I have Lorraine’s post bookmarked as a reference guide for my next attempt actually, so it’s funny you mentioned it.
    Jennifer (Delicieux) recently posted Chocolate Beetroot Marmalade Cake

    • Stephanie
      February 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm (6 years ago)

      @Jennifer – thanks! Her post is so helpful, I definitely recommend reading it and using her photos as a reference guide. Good luck – I hope your next attempt goes better!

  2. Kevin
    February 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm (6 years ago)

    Stephanie..for the love of God..register on and start selling your delicious food..will you do that for we hungry fellow countrymen? Please?

  3. Kevin
    February 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm (6 years ago)

    Stephanie..for the love of God..register on and start selling your delicious food..will you do that for we hungry fellow countrymen? Please?

  4. Lori
    February 21, 2012 at 10:58 am (6 years ago)

    Looks delicious- Does anyone have a recipe for this with U.S. measurements? Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      February 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm (6 years ago)

      @Erin – thanks! They are a ton of work. But the results are worth it, right? 🙂

    • Stephanie
      February 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm (6 years ago)

      @Still Served Warm – thank you! 🙂

  5. Choc Chip Uru
    February 21, 2012 at 11:07 pm (6 years ago)

    What a wonderfully divine recipe – look and I bet taste heavenly 😀
    I look forward to exploring more!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 5 Min Wrap Pizza
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted Second Savoury Post

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm (6 years ago)

      @Choc Chip Uru – thank you! They did taste pretty good, which made all the effort seem worth it. Enjoy 🙂

  6. Liz
    February 22, 2012 at 4:36 am (6 years ago)

    My first and only attempt went well…room for improvement, though 🙂 Your recipe has enticed me into considering another batch…mmmmmmm.
    Liz recently posted Cookie Dough Dip~

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm (6 years ago)

      @Liz – my first attempt went pretty well too and the second was better. I’m sure, just like anything, it gets better with practice. You should think about trying these out. I like being an enabler 😉

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm (6 years ago)

      @RavieNomNoms – salted caramel is too good! I keep seeing it everywhere – blogs, Pinterest, Twitter. “Sinful” is a good way to describe it.

  7. Janna M
    February 22, 2012 at 9:36 am (6 years ago)

    My first try with macarons was successful but I have been having trouble with consistently making them well. Even the mistakes taste good but you just want the perfect macs. They are so darn photogenic too. Yours look absolutely perfect!
    Janna M recently posted Pretzel Love

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm (6 years ago)

      @Janna M – It’s frustrating not to get them perfect. Why can’t they all develop feet? I wish they weren’t so finicky! Oh well, you’re right – at least the mistakes taste good. You can eat them and no one will know they didn’t all turn out well 😉

  8. Lauren Razz
    February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm (6 years ago)

    I can say – these were amazingly delicious! In no way do they even compare to Ginger Elizabeth’s! I was spoiled trying these before theirs 🙂

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm (6 years ago)

      @Lauren Razz – thank you! I like them more than Ginger Elizabeth’s too. I liked their other flavors though – their salted caramel just fell flat for me after making these.

  9. Sabrina
    February 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh, macarons… It took me two attempts to make okay-ish macarons, the third attempt went better but I have yet to master the perfect macaron. And I seem to have the same problem as Janna M – making them consistently well is the tricky part.

    Your salted caramel ones look amazing, though! Just thinking about it, I can almost taste them…
    Sabrina recently posted Miniature makes it big | WEEKEND WIND UP#

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm (6 years ago)

      @Sabrina – they are tough! I wish they weren’t so finicky and difficult. I don’t feel like I’ve mastered them yet either. I’m not even sure I really want to try again because they’re so much work…but I said that last time and here we are. Give me a few months and I’ll probably attempt them again.

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm (6 years ago)

      @threeblondesandatomas – thank you! What a lovely compliment 🙂

  10. Lacy @ NYCityEats
    February 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Yum!! These look and sound fantastic! I’ve never made macarons before, they do seem like a lot of work. But there are so many recipes coming around they all sound amazing. I think I might try yours first!
    Lacy @ NYCityEats recently posted Sausage, Egg & Fried Tomato Sandwich

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm (6 years ago)

      @Lacy – good luck! Check out the video and link I posted for more tips. They’re a lot of work but oh so good!

  11. Emily @ Life on Food
    February 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm (6 years ago)

    yes, be careful what you wish for but these look outstanding. you out did yourself with this cookie.
    Emily @ Life on Food recently posted Pretzel Rolls

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm (6 years ago)

      @Emily – thank you so much! 🙂

  12. Betty
    February 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm (6 years ago)

    This recipe looks awesome…want to try the salted caramel 🙂

  13. Valerie
    February 24, 2012 at 8:26 am (6 years ago)

    Your macarons are perfect! (Thanks for the helpful link.) The last time I made macarons was about 2 years ago too, and oddly enough, I think the fact that I was new to the process worked in my favor. Now that I know how much trouble they give people, I’m not sure if I could make them again. :p
    Valerie recently posted Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

    • Stephanie
      February 25, 2012 at 9:00 am (6 years ago)

      @Dina – thanks! 🙂

  14. ilona
    August 2, 2012 at 2:10 am (5 years ago)

    great thanks but what is fleur de sel?

  15. Rebecca H
    September 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Help! I noticed these were listed under Gluten-free yet do not know what Fleur de sel is nor understand the measurements (I wish they taught them in the US as all the wonderful European recipes I see have them!), Another lady named Lori also asked about an American version of the recipe. Would you so kindly help us? I would live to make them for my daughter’s bridal shower and she must eat gluten-free. Thank you!

    • Stephanie
      September 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm (5 years ago)

      @ Rebecca – all macarons are gluten-free (since they use almond flour instead of regular flour). I unfortunately do not have the measurements for these in cups, teaspoons, etc., as weight measurements are the most precise and best for baking in general, especially for something delicate like macarons. I recommend buying a kitchen scale (that one is only $15). If you’re not ready for that yet, I found another blogger who posted a recipe for salted caramel macarons with US measurements here.

      Also, fleur de sel is a nice French finishing salt. You can find some here. Sea salt should work in it’s place as well.

  16. Babsy
    September 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve made the salted macarons twice now, following Stephanie’s recipe. I adjusted the sea salt the second time, used a little less. 1st time macaron mix was a little runny but they still came out superb just were difficult to pipe but got there. 2nd time I added the sugar syrup more slowly beating more inbetween each addition and I cut the water by 10ml to try to avoid the runny problem reoccurring. It did the trick. Both ways turned out good and tasted sensational. I brushed them with gold dust after I assembled them and they looked a million bucks! It gave them a beautiful shine. Everyone loved them. I also cut the recipe to 2/3. Full ingredients made 40 LARGE macarons (large because runny mix). 2/3 batch made 35 normal size macarons which was a perfect number for the dinner party with some left for next day.. not that they lasted long! Don’t give up after you make them the first time and they don’t turn out perfect. Read the troubleshooting tips and try to judge where you think you went wrong. First time I made them they were very difficult because of 1st time learning the steps. Second time was MUCH easier. Btw, I didn’t use a thermometer 2nd time and they were fine. I just removed the sugar syrup once it had started to boil and let it cool for 5 minutes before adding to the meringue, SLOWLY. These are very cheap to make, considering how expensive they are to buy made!
    Babsy recently posted Vegan Pumpkin Doughnuts

  17. SImonne
    November 28, 2012 at 6:26 am (5 years ago)

    I am wondering can cut down the sugar for the caramel filling ?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      November 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm (5 years ago)

      Simonne, unfortunately sugar is the main ingredient of caramel, so I don’t think you could really cut it down very much.

  18. Sahar
    January 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm (5 years ago)

    I was wondering if anybody knows why my filling splits after whipping, and how to fix it? Thanks

  19. Rebecca
    January 5, 2014 at 11:38 am (4 years ago)

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I have wanted to make s/c macaroons for ages and buy hand made ones locally. Your directions are easy to follow and in no time at all I’ve made 30 fantastic macaroons which my husband and children are saying are better than the bought ones!

    • Stephanie Saunders
      January 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm (4 years ago)

      Rebecca, I’m so happy to hear that! Enjoy them! 🙂

6Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Salted Caramel Macarons

  1. […] of whoopie pies until the last year or two. When I had some leftover salted caramel filling from salted caramel macarons, I couldn’t let it go to waste. I kept seeing whoopie pies pop up around the blogosphere, in […]

  2. […] and unless you’re quick, the filling starts leaking out of the macaron shells. One blog recommends whisking the caramel till it reaches a buttercream consistency; perhaps I’ll try […]

  3. […] de Sel Caramel Macarons (adapted from Tartelette and 52 Kitchen Adventures) Printer […]


  5. […]   I think the salted caramel flavour is really great and diverse, there’s the sweet, caramelized  sugar, if some of you like the crème brulée flavour, you can burn the caramel a bit. Anyway, using the salted butter, you get a nice, lightly salted flavour to it. I think next time, I’ll use unsalted butter, then add some sprinkles of fleur de sel, so instead of an even flavour of salt, you get these lovely little bursts. I love salt. It’s such a simple yet addictive. I find you notice salt so much more when you’re on a reduced salt diet, or you limit the amount of salt you add. For example, all these soups I’ve been cranking out (the kale soup and the curried carrot soups are just my bases for soup. I’ve been adding things like cauliflower or butternut squash to add a little somethin somethin =P) have had pretty much only garlic, onion, garlic powder, onion powder, curry, paprika and chili flakes to add flavour. Oh and vegetable broth. But at the very end I give it a little taste test, and then add probably about 1/4 tsp of salt and it makes a world of a difference. 1/4 tsp salt! That’s all it takes. Anywho. Right. Macs. Here’s the recipe! Caramel filling adapted from 52 Kitchens […]

  6. […] de Sel Caramel Macarons (adapted from Tartelette and 52 Kitchen Adventures) Printer […]

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