A recipe for Vanilla Bean Macarons with Cream Cheese Filling! These vanilla-speckled macarons are topped with rainbow nonpareils and filled with a rich cream cheese frosting.
I have always wanted to attempt macarons and finally gained the courage to try! Chad took Evan out for the morning a few Saturdays ago so I would have peace and quiet to work (and also avoid little hands trying to grab one of the many baking sheets I was juggling in my tiny kitchen). These Vanilla Bean Macarons were the perfect place to start! The chewy, delicate vanilla-speckled shells blend perfectly with the smooth and fluffy cream cheese frosting- such a wonderful pairing.
While updating this recipe, my daughter opted to add a few rainbow nonpareils for a pop of color (she always finds a reason to add some sprinkles). If desired, top the macaron shells immediately after tapping the baking sheet to remove bubbles, but before they have had a chance to dry.
- I recommend using the metric measurements for the macaron shells for best results, but have also included the US Customary conversions.
- If possible, bake these on a day with lower humidity. Rain is not your friend here.
- For the ground almonds, I generally use almond meal/flour. You can also process whole almonds in the food processor. Just make sure the almonds and powdered sugar are very fine to create smooth macaron shells.
- Aged, room temperature egg whites are best for whipping into stiff peaks.
- My previous failures have generally been attributed to overmixing- easy to do with overzealous young helpers. You want to gently fold in the beaten egg whites until they are completely combined, but not to the point of being runny. I have seen the resulting texture described as “molten lava” and others have listed an average of 40-65 folds.
- If you want to make sure every macaron shell is the exact same size, use a silicon macaron mat or make your own by drawing circles using a circular cookie cutter on parchment paper, then flip it over so the drawn part is on the bottom (use white translucent parchment paper so the circles can be seen through the top). When piping, hold the pastry bag and tip completely vertical.
- Putting the baking sheets filled with piped macarons under my ceiling fan works well on helping create the shells before baking. They should be dry enough that the tops don’t stick to the finger when lightly touched. Make sure the fan is evenly overhead and not blowing air from the side. This may create uneven and oval macarons.
- If your oven bakes unevenly, it helps to rotate the sheets halfway through baking.
- Pipe just enough of the vanilla cream cheese to fill the center. You don’t want the filling seeping out as you bit into them, but you also want to be able to see the frosting.
- Refrigerate the macarons for about a day to allow the flavors to settle. Quite a few of mine didn’t make it that long. They can be refrigerated for up to a week- again, mine didn’t make it that long. Bring to room temperature about 15-30 minutes before serving for the best texture.
Looking for more Macaron recipes?
Vanilla Bean Macarons with Cream Cheese Filling Recipe
Vanilla Bean Macarons with Cream Cheese Filling
Vanilla Bean Macarons:
- 100 grams (1 cup) ground almond flour
- 200 grams (2 cups) powdered sugar
- Pinch salt
- 100 grams (~3 large) egg whites room temperature
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- Rainbow nonpareils optional
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 300 grams (~5 1/2 ounces) cream cheese room temperature
- 150 grams (~5 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- 250 grams (~2 cups) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
To make the macarons:
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the almond flour and powdered sugar a few times until fine. Do not over pulse. Sift into a bowl with the salt.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand or stand mixer until frothy. Continue beating while slowly adding the granulated sugar and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture until combined, but be careful not to overmix. It should be the consistency of “molten lava” but not runny, about 40-65 folds. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 0.4 inch (10 mm) circular tip. On a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) circles at least 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining baking sheets. If your oven runs hot, place an empty baking sheet under each baking sheet with the macarons to offer some protection against the heat.
- Firmly tap the baking sheets against the counter to remove excess bubbles. If desired, top with a few rainbow nonpareils. Allow to rest uncovered 30-60 minutes to form a shell.
- Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C).
- Bake the macarons in preheated oven until the tops become firm, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from baking sheet.
To make the filling:
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on low speed until smooth. Dice the butter and add to the cream cheese. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. If too thick, slowly drizzle in milk until pipe-able. Transfer the cream cheese filling into a bag fitted with a number 8-10 tip.
- Pair together the cooled macaron shells that are similar in shape. Pipe the filling onto half of the bottom side of the shells. Top, bottom side towards filling, with remaining shells. Gently twist until the cream cheese filling reaches the edges. Repeat with remaining pairs.
- For best results, refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.