Gingerbread macarons, with crispy, ginger-flavoured shells, ginger buttercream filling, white chocolate drizzle and festive sprinkles on top. These Christmas macarons taste just like traditional gingerbread, but in a form of a macaron!
With holiday season slowly approaching, these gingerbread french macarons would make perfect festive treat or a gifts for the loved ones. The warming spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg create a perfect flavour combination for winter holidays!
The ingredients needed for these ginger macarons are rather basic, but I have included some helpful notes for you below.
- Almond flour - The finer the almond flour, the smoother the macaron shells will be. It's important that you use almond flour, and not almond meal. Almond flour is off-white in colour and doesn't have dark brown specks of almond skins. In the UK, some stores label almond flour as 'ground almonds'.
- Icing sugar - Powdered sugar. Ensure to sift it to get rid of any lumps.
- Spices - Ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. Feel free to use your own favourite combination of warming spices.
- Cocoa powder - Small amount (1 teaspoon) of cocoa powder to add colour, rather than taste. You can also use few drops of brown gel food colouring instead.
- Caster sugar - Caster sugar is a granulated sugar with superfine consistency.
- Egg whites - From about 3 large eggs. Some sources recommend 'aging' egg whites first (placing them in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours).
Gingerbread Buttercream Filling
- Butter - Unsalted, room temperature butter.
- Icing sugar - Sifted powdered sugar.
- Molasses - Key ingredient in gingerbread, with distinctive bitter-sweet flavour and dark appearance. If you have black treacle, you can also use it instead.
- Ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg - For the wonderful and slightly spicy flavour of our macarons.
- Milk - Only use milk if your buttercream feels dry. 1-2 tablespoons will be enough. You can use any type of milk.
White chocolate and festive sprinkles are the optional ingredients that you can use for decorating your gingerbread macarons.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
This easy gingerbread macarons recipe can be split into few separate components. The macarons shells are baked and cooled. Then there's the gently spiced ginger buttercream filling. Lastly, the assembling and decorating of the macarons.
Let me take through each step of this recipe through the process images, so you can succeed at making your christmas macarons too.
Make macaron shells
Hint: My Salted Caramel Macarons recipe includes the video showing detailed steps of making macarons. Visual on how to make the macaron recipe makes the process much easier!
Sift together almond flour, icing sugar, spices and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until stiff peaks.
Using spatula or metal spoon, gently fold half of the almond flour mixture into the meringue, until well combined. Add the remaining half and fold again.
Keep folding the batter until it is shiny, glossy and reaches 'flowing lava' consistency. You should be able to draw a figure '8' with the batter before it breaks.
Transfer the batter into large piping bag with large plain nozzle, and pipe small circles. Tap the baking sheets few times against the kitchen surface, and use a toothpick to pop any visible air bubbles.
Rest macarons for 30 minutes - 1 hour, until they develop 'skin' on their surface. When gently touched, they should feel dry. Bake one tray at a time, in the middle shelf of the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Hint: Allow the baked macarons to cool completely on their baking sheets. They should peel of easily from the silicone mat or baking paper. If they are sticking to the mat / paper, leave them to cool for longer.
Make the gingerbread buttercream and Assemble
Whip the softened butter for 2 - 3 minutes on a medium speed. Add icing sugar, gingerbread spice, molasses, and whisk again to combine.
Add a little milk only if necessary (if the buttercream feels and looks dry). Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with nozzle of choice (I used small french star piping tip).
Match up the similar size macaron shells together before filling. Turn one side over.
Drizzle melted white chocolate on top of macaron shell and top with festive christmas sprinkles.
Pipe the gingerbread frosting on the remaining macaron shells and gently top it with the decorated shell.
Place the assembled macarons in an airtight container and transfer to the fridge for 12 - 24 hours to mature.
Hint: For the best taste and texture, bring these gingerbread macarons to room temperature before serving. I recommend removing them from the fridge about an hour before eating.
- Different filling - If you prefer to use different type of buttercream, you can try filling your macarons with ginger Swiss meringue buttercream, which is less sweet. Simply follow the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe included in my Salted Caramel Macarons, but instead of salted caramel, add molasses and gingerbread spices.
- Use icing to decorate - Swap the melted white chocolate and use simple icing instead. You can also use food colouring markers to draw decorations on your macarons.
Right equipment plays a big role in a successful making of these festive macarons. Below I have listed the pieces of equipment that are necessary for this christmas macarons recipe.
- Freestanding mixer - While it is also possible to make macarons with hand-held mixer, stand mixer will make the process of beating the meringue much quicker and easier.
- Kitchen scales - Weighing the ingredients is MUCH more accurate than measuring them in cups. Macarons are known for being finicky, so precision and accuracy are important.
- Oven thermometer - Home ovens are often not accurate, with their temperatures running either too hot or too low. Baking stage is super important and crucial for macarons, and you will get the best results and most accurate temperature with an oven thermometer.
- Large baking sheets - You will need two large baking sheets. Sturdy baking trays that conduct the heat evenly will work best.
- Silicone mats - These are optional, but very helpful. I use silicone macaron mats, which already have printed circles on them, but plain silicone mats are also fine. Alternatively, you can use parchment paper instead.
- Piping bags - I typically use large piping bag for macaron batter, and a smaller one for the filling and decorating.
- Piping nozzle - I use large, plain round piping nozzle for piping macarons. The opening size of mine is 1 centimetre (0.4 inch), which I find works best for me. But any nozzle similar in size can be used. I also use small open french star nozzle for piping buttercream, but it is optional. You can use same piping nozzle that you piped the batter with for the filling.
Finished macarons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep them in an airtight container, to avoid them drying or absorbing any fridge smells.
Cooled macaron shells as well as finished assembled macarons can also be frozen for up to a month. Thaw them at room temperature before filling/ serving.
Gingerbread buttercream can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Re-whip it briefly, before using it to fill macarons.
Here are few tips to help you produce the best gingerbread macarons:
Before you start, make sure you have everything ready:
- Prepare the baking trays, and line them with baking paper or silicone mats.
- Prepare the piping bags and fit them with the nozzles.
- Wipe the mixing bowl (for the meringue) with lemon juice or a bit of vinegar.
- Measure all of the ingredients.
I recommend sifting the icing sugar and almond flour twice, before sifting it again with spices and cocoa. It's important to sift everything thoroughly, to get rid of any lumps. This will also ensure that the macaron shells are smooth.
If you don't have silicone mats, don't worry! Grab two sheets of baking paper instead. You can also use a 2.5cm or 3cm round cookie cutter as a guide, and draw circles on the baking paper. Leave at least 2cm space in between each circle.
Frequently asked questions
In simplest terms, macarons are done baking when they don't move around when touched. When baked, they will also be darker in colour and should have formed feet. If they feel jiggly when moved, they need more baking time.
This could be down to few things, but most likely the macaron batter was under or over mixed. Pay attention to proper macaronage (the stage when the batter is folded), and stop mixing as soon as you achieve the right consistency. Additionally, make sure to pop any air bubbles appearing on the surface, and be sure your oven temperature is correct.
Most of the trouble with macarons come down to incorrect mixing of the batter or oven temperature. Avoid over-beating the egg whites or over-mixing the batter. Allow the piped macarons to dry before baking them.
I recommend making two separate batches, rather than doubling this recipe.
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on the photos above.
If you try this recipe, or any other recipe on Anna Banana, please take a moment to rate the recipe and/ or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you, but it also helps other readers who are thinking of making the recipe.
- Digital kitchen scales
- oven thermometer
- electric mixer hand-held or freestanding (with whisk attachment)
- 2 large baking trays
- baking paper or silicone baking mats
- mixing bowls glass or metal
- disposable or reusable piping bags
- large plain piping nozzle
For the macaron shells:
- 110 g egg whites room temperature
- 110 g caster sugar
- 115 g almond flour
- 115 g icing sugar sifted
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
For the filling:
- 70 g unsalted butter
- 150 g icing sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoon molasses or black treacle
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon milk optional
- 100 g white chocolate, melted optional
- 2 tablespoon festive sprinkles optional
To make the macaron shells:
- Sift the almond flour and icing sugar together, disposing of any large particles remaining on the sieve. Next, sift the almond flour, icing sugar, spices and cocoa powder together into a large bowl. Set aside.115 g almond flour, 115 g icing sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- Place the egg whites into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Gradually, start adding the caster sugar, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The peaks should be pointing straight up when you lift the whisk, rather than bending to the side.110 g egg whites, 110 g caster sugar
- Tip half of the dry ingredients into the meringue, and using a figure-of-eight motion, fold in gently with rubber spatula or metal spoon, until combined. Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and fold again until combined and glossy.
- You should stop folding the batter when it is glossy, and has thick, flowing consistency (like honey). The batter is ready when you can draw a figure of '8' with the batter before it breaks. If you can't, keep folding the batter, and checking often, as you don't want to over-mix it. 3-4 folds at a time is what you should be aiming for.
- Transfer the batter into piping bag with large plain nozzle. Hold the bag vertically to the baking tray, with the nozzle about 1 cm above it. Apply a gentle pressure and carefully pipe rounds, about 2.5 cm in diameter, for about 3-5 seconds, then quickly pull the piping bag up, twisting slightly at the top.
- Once you have piped all of the batter, tap the baking trays against the kitchen surface 3-4 times to release any air bubbles that formed in the batter. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that are visible on the surface of macarons shells.
- Let the piped macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes- 1 hour, or until they have developed skin. They are ready when you touch them gently and they feel dry.
- Heat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Bake one tray at a time for 12-15 minutes. As the macaron shells bake, they should form feet. They are done when they do not move on their 'feet' when touched.
- Remove the tray from the oven and let the shells cool completely on the baking sheet, before gently peeling them off. The shells are ready to fill and sandwich together.
To make the gingerbread buttercream:
- Place the butter into a bowl of an electric mixer. With the mixer running on medium speed, cream the butter for couple of minutes, until smooth, pale and fluffy.70 g unsalted butter
- Add the icing sugar in two additions (to avoid sugar eruption), and mix well on a low speed, until combined. Add the molasses and the spices, and mix again to combine. If the frosting feels too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk. If it feels too thin or is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar. Your buttercream should have smooth, creamy and firm consistency.150 g icing sugar, 2 teaspoon molasses or black treacle, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon milk
- Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with nozzle (you can use the same nozzle that you used to pipe the macaron shells with).
To assemble the macarons:
- Match up together the macaron shells that are similar in size. Turn one side over.
- Drizzle the melted white chocolate on top of half of the shells. Add festive sprinkles on top of the chocolate drizzle.100 g white chocolate, melted, 2 tablespoon festive sprinkles
- Pipe the buttercream onto the remaining half of the shells, then top with the decorated shell.
- Transfer the assembled gingerbread macarons into an airtight container or box, and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours, allowing them to mature. Serve at room temperature.
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- I do not recommend substituting any of the ingredients in the macaron shells recipe (you can use different spices, or different combination of spices).
- Do not use egg whites from the box /carton.